We all have dream destinations that have captured our interest and a piece of our hearts. Some of these places have been on our so-called bucket lists for as long as we can remember. While others have sprung up along out travels, from conversations with fellow travellers or reading travel blogs. Sadly, some people can only dream about these places.
I’ve had the opportunity to actually explore some of my dream destinations. Of which I am immensely grateful. European cities like Venice and Paris have been truly magical to wander. While countries like Scotland and England never cease to amaze me.
But I have a handful of dream destinations that are at the top of my bucket list. Some of these places came on my radar from my lifelong love of wildlife, and others are inspired from movies and travel blogs. The following are my top dream destinations.
I’ve wanted to travel to Africa for as long as I can remember. And yes, I know it’s a massive continent, but I can’t choose one or two countries. Which is part of the problem for why I haven’t yet gone. I mean, one of those countries is below, Egypt. But Africa’s wilds are a particular dream destination of mine! From the gorgeous gelada baboons living on Ethiopia’s plateaus to cheetahs in Namibia, and of course an African safari to see the Big 5, Africa’s wilds are without a doubt my number one dream destination. My lifelong passion for wildlife sprung this dream, but working at a zoo – with many of Africa’s astounding animals, only enhanced this dream. Some of my top countries to explore Africa’s wilds are; South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar, and Rwanda.
I’d also love to witness those spectacular African sunsets, against those incredible landscapes. And meet the Maasai people, with their colourful dress and amazing spirit. Finally, I would love to witness one of the most astounding wildlife experiences of a lifetime – the Great Migration.
Since I was a young child I’ve always been fascinated by the Ancient Egyptian culture. From their curious and massive pyramids to their beautiful language of hieroglyphs, I’ve always dreamt of standing in the desert surrounded by camels, dry heat and in the shadows of the Sphinx. I’d love to explore Cairo and the Egyptian Museum, and sail down the Nile to Luxor on a traditional wooden sail boat, a felucca. I mean, what an adventure that would be!
Lush, green, teeming with wildlife and the Pura Vida, Costa Rica has been one of my dream destinations for close to a decade now. The initial draw was its wealth of wildlife, from howler monkeys to ocelots and a plethora of brilliant bird species. Then with research I was struck by its diverse and stunning landscapes. From beaches where baby turtles emerge from the sand to volcanos to climb and explore, and of course the unbelievable rainforests, Costa Rica inspires daydreams!
Peru’s astonishing Machu Picchu made my list as soon as I learned of it. And honestly, my father and I talk about it all the time! Whether I arrive by train or endeavor to take the Inca Trail, I dream of arriving to this ancient Mayan city at sunrise. I can only imagine the rush of being that high up, seeing the sun rise over the Andes and looking out over this epic wonder! It literally gives me chills as I write this.
I credit much of my wanderlust to the Indiana Jones series! Growing up I watched them all the time, and honestly still do. I remember being in awe of the places he went. And it was Indie that first introduced me to Cambodia, but it was 2001’s Lara Croft that really put Angkor Wat on my list of dream destinations. Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument in the world. Full of wonder, mystery and character, I would love to explore this top Cambodia travel sight!
Again, thanks to Indiana Jones for introducing me to Petra, with its desert landscape and intriguing Bedouin tribes. I still remember the rush of seeing Petra’s Treasury for the first time on television. On the hunt for the Holy Grail Indie is led to this beautiful ornately carved sandstone temple façade, seemingly in the middle of nowhere, Petra’s Treasury. I was in awe! Dating back to the 1st century A.D., I would love to stand before it in person.
Turkey is a relatively new dream destination of mine. Around five years ago a travel blog article piqued my interest in the stunning city of Istanbul. And for my 2012 Euro trip I started researching the possibility of going there. But what I found was I wouldn’t have enough time, turns out I couldn’t travel to Turkey without seeing all of the amazing sights that hooked me. I want to explore Istanbul, Ephesus, and of course Cappadocia. I always get excited when I see those fairytale images of balloons hanging over this enchanted land at sunset. One day…
And the Truth…
These seven locations are my top dream destinations. Whether it’s their history, natural beauty, or some other enchanting reason, they all tug at my travelling heart. But truth be told, I may never get to all or any of these places. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll try. But alas, I must be realistic. And if I’m being honest, I’m okay if I never see them all.
I consider myself fortunate to have travelled as much as I have, which is considerably more than most people I know! And if travel and life has taught me anything it’s that life is short and the more you travel, the more you want to see. So the list continues to grow.
Gone are the days when I travelled to check off cities and sights. I love hunkering down and really exploring more of a particular city, or even more of each country. Some places keep drawing me back. And I always laugh when people say, ‘why are you going back to Europe again?’ Why? Simply because I must follow my heart, and my heart loves Europe and all the countries I have visited there. I’d love to travel to each and every country in Europe!
Plus, there’s this massive and amazing country that I call home, Canada. I’ve seen more of Europe than my own country. But I’d love to see more of Canada!