Eight Travel Goals and No Bucket Lists

Today I wanted to write a bucket list. Then I remembered, I don’t really like bucket lists. Bucket lists take the sense of uncertainty out of travel, they leave us to focus on something in the future – 2 or 3 maybe 10 years down the road. To me travelling is about taking the opportunities placed before us. As much about seizing the day and spontaneity as it is about dreaming.

That being said, I do have some travel goals. They are more open ended and I hope more actionable than anything I could put on a bucket list.

Here, broken in to 2 sections, is nobody’s bucket list but my own, personal, Fuckit List.

Visit

Iceland

Iceland is a place that has always fascinated me. The more people I meet that have been there, the more fantastic it becomes. I love the Nordic countries and the natural beauty of the Far North that Iceland is so famous for.

 

beautiful iceland
Iceland – A country of stunning natural beauty.

Iceland is unchanged through centuries. It’s insular inhabitants overwhelmingly believe in the fairy folk that live on their island and the language is nearly unchanged since viking times. Why wouldn’t anyone want to visit this Fairytale land?

Greenland

While we’re up North I think I have to throw Greenland in to the mix. I have to admit I have a little obsession with extremes, extremes of latitude. Greenland calls out to me as a haven of outdoor life, camping and backpacking at the top of the world. Again, I have seen some stunning photography and can only imagine the stories that lie behind them.

Greenland Backpacking
Greenland – The perfect place for backpacking.

 

Sarajevo

OK. This is coming out of left field I know. It’s not quite frozen nature at the end of the world but still. If you were anything like me you grew up during a time of war in that part of Europe. I remember as a child seeing newspaper headlines about the Seige of Sarajevo and seeing it on the TV and on radio. It was big news and as a child it was the first act of war that I was aware of. Then it ended. I grew up. I forgot about it for the most part, until I was told of the Sarajevo Roses by someone in a hostel late one night and decided I had to see them. That was 2 years ago now, still it is on my list.

Sarajevo Rose
The concrete where mortar shells have killed people are filled with a red resin to create Sarajevo Roses

 

 

Mongolia

I don’t think I can explain this one as easily. I mean, sure there’s the history of the Mongols and the Eurasian Steppe that peeks my interest. But then, there’s something about just seeing the wide open plains and grasslands. Maybe it’s the Irishman in me coming out but to see flat grasslands that stretch for miles is incredible. I know I’m easily pleased.

Mongolian Nomads
Yurts on the Mongolian Steppe.

Japan

Last on my list of places to visit is perhaps the hardest for me to achieve. Japan. Japan to me, represents a country that has never forgotten who it is. While the tech industries strive in the cities, still outside there is a sense of cultural heritage that people share in every day. I see it as the ultimate culture shock for me and a challenge I would rise to. Hopefully.

Do

Hike A Trail

This is something I have been thinking about for a while. I had narrowed it down to three to begin with the Camino de Santiago, Kungsleden and Coast to Coast Walk,with the hopes of going on to tackle bigger and longer things – The Appalachian Trail or The PCT perhaps.

Kungsleden Trail
Kungsleden or The King’s Trail is a 400km hike through unspoiled wilderness in Swedish Lapland.

Take a Long Distance Train Ride

For me half the fun of travelling is in the travelling itself, not in the destinations. I love getting up before everyone, running across town with my backpack to get the train and then sitting on the train for hours as the country rolls by outside. I think we have become impatient as travelers and want the path of least resistance always. Not me.

I want to some day take a train for weeks. Across a country, with sleeper carts and a dining cart. The whole shabang, just like in the old movies but with less hats and murders. I expect.

Current favorites are – The Ghan, California Zephyr and of course The Trans-Siberian.

TheGhan
The Ghan travels from Adelaide to Darwin, top to bottom of Australia.

Take a Long Distance Boat Trip

This kind of goes with the previous entry I guess. Although it is vaguer. I have found that I love travelling by boat and want to try it for a long haul. The longest trip I have been ia 17 hours which is pretty short when you see the big guys. The longest ferry trips I have been able to find are the Tustumenaboasting an 82 hour trip in Alaska, Bellingham-Skagway Line in the US at 70 hours and Edberg –  seyðisfjörður at 66 hours.  The other idea I have been toying with is repositioning cruises, where there are huge savings to be made at a much lower cost than normal cruises.

Repositioning Cruises
You can save a fortune by taking cruise ships on the off season as they return to their port of origin.
What do you think? Where would you like to see and what would you like to do? Any more ideas for me? Leave a comment and let me know.

 

 

 

 

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