Inspiring destinations and experiences to put on your bucket list
2020 gave us the time to sit still and really consider what we really wanted to do, and where we want to go in the world. Along with “you’re still on mute”, one of the most common phrases that we said in 2020 – be it on zoom or over the phone – was “life is too short” and “I can’t wait to go there”. Although a bucket list is defined as a number of experiences that a person hopes to have accomplished during their lifetime, after the year that 2020 threw at us, many hope to tick off their bucket list sooner rather than later.
The beauty of a bucket list is that they are all unique. Although our team here at Unforgettable have travelled extensively, our bucket list collectively is still huge! Cycling through the ancient temples of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, and diving the coral-filled waters of Gabon are top of Elaine’s bucket list. Julian has his eye on South America destinations, including Argentina, Chile and Colombia. Pietro’s bucket list includes the Great Wall of China, visiting Niagara Falls in Canada, and getting colourful at Rio de Janeiro’s notorious carnival. And over 2020, Gemma became enthralled with all things conservation and wildlife, so has added Belize, Borneo and the Galapagos to her bucket list.
As you can see, a travel bucket list doesn’t have to be a destination. It can also be made up of experiences: swim with whale sharks, drink champagne in Champagne, watch the Northern Lights dance through the sky, scuba dive between tectonic plates in Iceland. The list goes on. We have put together some bucket list trips to help inspire you.
Located in East Asia, Japan is a country known for its neon cities, 200 miles-per-hour bullet trains, and unique century-old traditions. Among other reasons, Japan is often high on a travel bucket list because of its futuristic technology. From robot restaurants to large underground farms, Japan offers experiences that are so far from the ‘travel norm’ which in turn, attracts a huge number of tourists every year. In contrast, and as unlikely as it might sound, Japan is also a slow travel destination. Move away from the cities and a different picture emerges: dense conifer forests, snow-capped mountains, ice blue rivers, cascading falls, ancient pilgrimage paths, and picture postcard villages straight out of samurai folklore.
Although Uganda is a small country, it is regarded a bucket list destination for safari enthusiasts. Not only does the country offer diverse landscapes including Murchison Falls, Kidepo National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park, but it is also home to some of the most incredibly dense and vibrant forests that exist on this planet. The most spectacular of all is Bwindi National Park, which is located in the south-western part of the country. This forest is part of the Virunga ecosystem (spanning across Uganda, Rwanda and the DCR of Congo) and is home to the mighty mountain gorillas. Trekking through this forest is memorable enough, but when you come face-to-face with a silverback gorilla, the experience is simply humbling. Find out more about the gorillas in Uganda, or speak to our Africa specialists who can personally vouch for the experience.
From cruising across the mysterious waters of Halong Bay in the north, to exploring Ho Chi Minh City with its contrast of modern and historic attractions, Vietnam has it all. This wonderful country, located in South East Asia, features on travel bucket lists because of its variation – it offers something for everyone. Some people have experiences within Vietnam that also feature on their bucket list, such as visiting the floating markets on the Mekong Delta, exploring the caves in Phong Nha Ke Bang and visiting the pagodas of Hue. Others may have Vietnam as a destination on their bucket list for the combination – good food, ancient history and interesting culture.
Situated in East Africa, Tanzania is home to the most iconic wildlife destinations and sightings in all of Africa. The Serengeti National Park sits in the north of the country and borders Kenya’s Masai Mara. Although they share the same ecosystem, the Serengeti is five times the size and is home to wildebeest migration. Other awe-inspiring destinations to visit in Tanzania include the Ngorongoro Crater, Mount Kilimanjaro (Africa’s tallest mountain), the Selous Game Reserve and the paradise island of Zanzibar.
If we were to describe Greece in one word, we would probably say captivating. A trip to Greece can encapsulate feelings like no other – be amazed by ancient, iconic marvels like the Acropolis and the Parthenon, feel revitalised during a luxury stay in Santorini, and feel a sense of freedom hiking through olive groves, cobbled alleyways and Byzantine footpaths. Whether you have one destination or island on your bucket list – such as Athens, Mykonos, Rhodes or Crete – or whether you are dreaming of island hopping in style, our Greek Experts are here to curate your dream trip! Our passionate team live in Greece, so our knowledge on the finest hotels, restaurants and local tours is first-rate and we offer an unrivalled service.
Ironically, while Jordan is one of the most ancient destinations in the world, it is re-emerging and has become an extremely popular destination for 2021 and 2022. This relatively small Middle Eastern country often gets pushed behind ‘larger’ bucket-list destinations, but this is not necessarily a bad thing as it means that the Jordan has become a hidden, and undiscovered gem. The ancient city of Petra and its incredible stone facades is regarded the number one attraction to Jordan. While the intricacy of Petra is best seen during the day, make sure you also witness Petra by night, as it is beautifully lit by thousands of lanterns. Jordan’s other spectacular landscapes include Wadi Rum (also known as the Valley of the Moon), the ancient city of Amman Citadel, and of course, the iconic Red Sea.
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