The Travel Bucket List
written on October 27th, 2016 by Rafia Abubakar
It’s a big big world. So much to see, yet so little time (or budget). For an avid explorer the number of must see places can be overwhelming. Apart from world renowned sites, there’s always something new popping up or being discovered.
A bucket list can be intimidating because who wants to be disappointed if you can’t achieve them. Then again, who’s to stop you from dreaming? Isn’t that what bucket lists are for? It might seem outrageous at first, but when you write it down, that’s your first step in the right direction.
So to jump start your travel bucket list, here are a few suggestions. Narrowed down and grouped to 3 categories.
- Machu Picchu (Peru) – The place is synonymous to mystical. High up in the mountains and far from the nearest village. The beautiful and isolated remnant of the Inca civilization from long ago was not discovered until 1911 but is believed to have been built in 1450.
- Pyramid of Giza (Egypt) – The only surviving structure from the original 7 Wonders of the World. You can’t get any more ancient than the awe-inspiring Pyramids of ancient Egypt. That’s enough reason to brave the arid desert.
- Stonehenge (United Kingdom) – The mystery about this stone monument adds to its appeal and wonder. The sheer size of it, the crudeness of how it was built or why it was built for that matter. The fact that it’s still standing even after 4000-5000 years. Located in a chalky plain field in Salisbury, England. The Stonehenge draws tourists from all over the world.
- Monastery of Petra (Jordan) – The structure was carved into a sandstone hill during the Nabataean empire in the second century A.D. Also called El-Deir, may have been built as a temple, then subsequently used as a church or monastery by later societies. You may also recognize the site as a location used in some adventure flicks such as Indiana Jones.
- Great Wall of China (China) – Originally built to ward off invaders and Mongol nomads during the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BCE). The wall stretches 8,850 kilometers (5,500 miles) along the southern ridge of the Mongolian plain, resting on the hills. Contrary to popular belief, the wall is not a continuous structure. It is made of a series of short connecting walls.
- Great Barrier Reef (Australia) – Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is considered to be the world’s largest reef system and is one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World. This is the biggest natural structure made up of living organisms.
- Everest (Nepal / Tibet) – Located at the Himalayas, bordering Nepal and Tibet, rising above sea level at 29,035 feet (8850 meters), Mt. Everest is easily the world’s highest peak. Even if you’re not the thrill seeker, seeing this majestic mountain up close would undoubtedly leave you in awe of mother nature.
- Serengeti National Park (Tanzania) – The best way to watch wildlife is in its natural habitat. Free and living out the way mother nature intended them to be. The great migration is what the Serengeti is famous for. A combination of 6 million hooves; (more or less 200,000 zebras and 300,000 Thomson’s gazelles, and 100,000 wildebeests) pound the open plains, trekking for fresh graze. But even if you don’t get to see the great migration, the park is a great place to observe and be one with nature.
- Northern Lights (Arctic Circle) – Also called the Aurora Borealis, this is mother nature’s spectacular light show. Formed by a collision of gas particles in the Earth’s atmosphere with charged electrons from the sun’s atmosphere. The wonders of science and nature. You can even have your pick of location as the Northern Lights during its maximum activity can be seen in Alaska, Canada, or Norway.
- Grand Canyon (USA) – Grand Canyon National Park is one of the world’s premier natural attractions. The colorful landscape of layers upon layers of rock cliffs and columns attracts about five million visitors per year. Naturally formed by the Colorado River’s course running through it, deepening and widening it over millions of years, the canyon is a study of Earth’s geological history.
- Taj Mahal (India) – The grandest symbol of love they call it, or the grandest mausoleum – whichever you think. The Taj Mahal is still boasts majestic architecture. Built by Mughul emperor Shah Jahan for his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal took 22 years to build, finally being completed in 1653.
- Sagrada Familia (Barcelona) – The interesting thing about this structure is that it’s an ongoing project. From the commencement in 1882, under the vision of Spanish architect, Antoni Gaudi. Despite his death in 1926, the project and his vision of Gothic and Art Nouveau architecture goes on. The construction’s slow progress relies heavily on private donations, the project is set to be finished by 2026, Gaudi’s 100th death anniversary.
- The Shire (New Zealand) – This I will say is a personal choice, but I believe it is worthy of a bucket list spot. South of Auckland, Hamilton-Waikato for all its awe-inspiring landscape, breathed life into the beautiful world of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of The Rings. You can see for yourself, The Shire, the same set used for the films. Even if you’ve never read the books or have not seen the films, this is a breath of fresh air (quite literally).
- Forbidden City (China) – At the very heart of Beijing, surrounded by moat, the Forbidden City is China’s largest palace complex, and best-preserved collection of ancient buildings. In a serene atmosphere you are brought back to ancient China; Zoom out and you will find yourself in modern day China. The Forbidden City lies safely untouched and preserved over the years -simply because it was off-limits for 5 centuries.
- Burj Khalifa (UAE) – As of this writing, the tallest building in the world. You can easily dig up videos and photos of daredevils who brave the heights just to see the view from the top. If you have a fear of heights, the photos may suffice, but the building itself holds its own. Smack in the middle of a desert country, the architecture is nothing short of breathtaking. Like a crystal spire in some fantasy landscape.
These suggestions are a conservative selection. We all have our preferences and maybe you have more categories in mind. But that’s a good thing. Bucket lists for travelling can grow immensely faster from when you started. Even for me, this is only touching base with all the interesting things to see out there. We would love to see other bucket lists too.