Updated: Mar 29, 2020
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If you have a case of the ol wanderlust bug like myself the chances are you have a Bucket List tucked away somewhere. A list you visit when you fancy and imagine yourself ticking off one thing at a time. If you're like me you periodically visit your bucket list locations on TripAdvisor or Google images.
I've always felt armchair travelling to be so rewarding. A few hours spent on TripAdvisor and I feel like my mind has stretched across the world and I've experienced just a glimpse of a new place or experience.
I've been blessed to have traveled to some wonderful places in my life and to share it with my best friend, my highschool sweetheart and wife. My Bucket list is somewhat ambitious and not limited by any kind of budget constraints. I don't just want to visit a place I want to experience it in a unique way! I would be so interested to hear from you about any unusual destinations or experiences on your bucket list.
Blue Lagoon, Iceland
I love Spa's and so this makes it onto my bucket list. The ultimate Spa created by Svartsengi Geothermal power plant in Iceland. There are a range of things to do besides soaking up the healing waters and minerals. You can make use of the luxurious Spa services or get an in-water massage. Or why not swim up to the Lagoon bar and order a drink after you apply your Silica Mud Mask. If you visit in the summer you wont need to brave the below freezing temperatures and you'll have 22 hours of daylight a day to enjoy Iceland.
Visit the Blue Lagoon
Bora Bora, Water Bungalow
Bora Bora has to be the most one of the most idyllic Island paradises in the world. There's good reason this is one of the most popular desktop wallpapers in the world. The Four Seasons overwater bungalows with their own plunge pools and large decks perched on stilts over transparent, turquoise waters are what fantasies are made of. The resort boasts its own Lagoon Sanctuary which is home to 100 species of marine life. Explore nearby islands aboard a Catamaran or simply relax in their world class Spa.
Santa Claus Village, Finland
Friends of mine took their kids here and they said as adults they enjoyed it probably even more than their kids did. Remind you of somewhere...? Apart from the Village where kids can meet Santa Claus there is an exciting list of activities such as Husky Dog sleds, Reindeer sleigh rides, Snowmobile safaris and enough Christmassy activities to really get you in the spirit. Open year round but more popular in December. Located in the arctic circle Santa's village doesn't see much sun in the festive season but if you ask me that just adds to the fun!
I grew up in Africa and my father owns a Safari company so much of my childhood was spent in Africa's amazing Wildlife parks. But I never got the opportunity to see the great Wildebeest migration with the thousands of Wildebeest and other animals moving through the Serengeti. My father advises that the best place to watch the migration unfold is at the river crossings where large herds attempt to brave the deep waters and hungry crocodiles in an effort to reach greener pastures. An even better way of seeing this natural, dramatic event unfold would be from the birds eye-view of a Hot Air Balloon.
Beach House in Marthas Vineyard, Massachusetts
O.k so this is a combination of travel fantasies taken from a variety of sources. Images of the Beach House from the movie 'To Gillian on her 37th Birthday', together with the classic thriller 'Jaws' filmed in Martha's Vineyard. The New England architecture, the grey skies and emerald ocean just makes me want to invite a bunch of friends to a Splendid beach house and play board games all weekend!
Now whats shocking about this one is that I currently only live about 3 hours from Munich so there is just no excuse for not crossing this off my list. The trouble is Oktoberfest is so popular that finding any accommodation for my family size in or near Munich, Germany is almost impossible. To really get into the spirit of things you need to reserve a place in one of the big Beer tents. Oktoberfest is suitable for families and children as there is plenty to do with a typical carnival setup.
Foodie fest - Lyon, France
Now I hate to describe myself as a foodie as there are far greater food enthusiasts than myself and Louise. But we have been know to spend a small fortune on a Michelin meal and completely see it as a worthwhile investment. I love French cuisine and would love to visit the culinary heart of the country - a romantic city called Lyon. Although not leading the pack in Michelin stars and often described as not being as refined as Parisian cuisine - it still is often referred to as being the culinary capital of the world.
We have been blessed enough to have visited some fine restaurants and so I contribute to TripAdvisor reviews. To read some of my reviews click here
Tiger Safari, India
Ever since my brother in-law returned from India raving about an Elephant back Tiger Safari it's been something I've always wanted to do. I am not too worried if its on the back of an elephant or the back of a Land Rover - I would just love to see these majestic wild cats in their natural habitat. If anyone has done this or has ideas who to do this with please let us know in the comments below.
Pamukkale Thermal Pools, Turkey
My wife and I started visiting Turkey a few years ago and have been so impressed with what this amazing country has to offer. You'll probably recognise photos of this natural phenomenon as its one of those iconic travel photos you often see in Spas. Pamukkale means 'Cotton Castle' in Turkish and boasts numerous cascades of mineral rich thermal waters that have created this geological feature. Lower down the hill is Hierapolis, an ancient Roman spa city founded around 190 B.C. The ancient, aquamarine Roman pools with their submerged Roman columns were declared a Unesco World Heritage site. Take your swimsuit and spend the night so you can enjoy these 2 attractions before the busses of tourists arrive in the afternoon.
See Bears in Yellowstone National Park
I've been told that you're almost guaranteed to see Bears in Yellowstone so I figured its got to be one of the best places to see these amazing animals. As big as a small country the Yellowstone National Park features dramatic canyons, alpine rivers, lush forests, hot springs and explosive geysers, including its most famous called 'Old Faithful.' There are between 700-1200 Grizzly bears in Yellowstone with many more Black Bears as well. Apart from the bears the Park boasts the highest concentration of large and small mammals.
Live the High Life in Dubai
Dubai has become a tourism hot spot and with its central location and excellent airlines it is accessible for just about everyone. It seems every time I fly through Dubai they've added a new top class attraction to their long list of things to do. This cosmopolitan city boasts some of the best hotels in the world, fine-dining and excellent shopping. If you have money to burn - this is the place to do it! Seeing that my bucket list is not based on a realistic budget I would like to stay in the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, rent a Lamborghini, eat at the Zuma and take a hot air balloon ride over the dessert.
Sparty in Budapest
Budapest is known as the 'Queen of the Danube' and boasts countless Springs and Spa's including some of the worlds most famous Public Baths. But I don't just want to take a dip in a few Baths and Hot pools. I want to party! In Budapest they call it Sparty and yeah! its a thing! Attended by 50 000 people and ranked the 5th most popular thing to do in Budapest. So what is a Sparty - well its only the most fun you can have in a bathing suit knee high in water! Sparty is a series of Spa parties but there are a few to choose from and some are year round.
Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Once a place no-one wanted to go to Mostar was the most heavily bombed of any Bosnian city during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina following the breakup of Yugoslavia. Today it is a top tourist destination due to its Old Bridge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which was built in 1566 by the Turks. It was destroyed in 1993, but rebuilt in 2004. Red Bull hosts a cliff diving competition from the bridge. Apparently people have been diving off the bridge for the past 450 years!
Burning Man, Nevada
You would be mistaken for thinking that Burning Man is a festival. In fact Burning Man is quite hard to explain. Its more like a collaborative, artistic expression where anything goes! There are no corporate sponsors or paid Music Performers. Instead creative and like-minded people gather in Black Rock Dessert and erect a temporary city with an annual artistic theme. If you plan to go you need to take along everything you need to survive the hot dessert. This event is really open to your imagination and creative interpretation with many taking along costumes, supplies to create art installations and bicycles to explore this zany city.
Swim with Whale Sharks
I've experienced a caged shark swim ( see video) and loved the experience but would like to top this with an actual free swim with one of the world's most magnificent fish (yeah! apparently even though its a whale the whale shark is a fish???). Luckily there are quite a few places around the world where this is possible - Mexico, Australia, Belize, Philippines, Honduras, Mozambique, Thailand and a few more. Now I just need to learn to swim better than I do and I'll be ready!
Stay in a Snow Hotel, Finland
Warmer than you might imagine! There are actually a few options for Snow or Ice hotels in the Arctic circle. Finland boasts some of the best with their glass igloos making it possible to watch the Northern lights while you lay in your bed at night. The Snow hotel is carved out each year with room temperatures from 0–5C°, But reindeer fur sleeping bags keep you nice and toasty. Great thing about this hotel is that it's in Rovaniemi, close to the Santa Village, also on my bucket list.
Go on an 'Around the World' Cruise
I am a cruise addict. After our first 3 night cruise in the Med I was hooked and after quite a few I still think its one of the best ways to see the world. I love waking up in my cabin to the sounds and sights of a new wonderful destination almost every day. There are a few cruise companies that offer the world cruise option: Costa, Cunard, Oceania Cruises, Regent, Holland America and a few others. When you consider what it would cost to fly to each of these destinations, pay for hotels and meals you'll soon discover that an around the world cruise isn't only more fun but far more economical.
Around the World Cruises
Cuisine Tour through India
I am obsessed with Indian food and would love to experience the massive variety in flavors and cuisines that exist in this country that is almost its own continent. But more than just taste my way through India I would love to learn how to make Indian food from different regions. If anyone knows who offers this kind of tour experience please comment down below.
I feel like a Bucket List is never ending in that as you cross one thing off so you discover another and so it gets added to the list. The world has become a smaller, more accessible place with new countries and regions opening up to foreign visitors every year.
I would love to hear about your Bucket Lists - the more unusual the better! So please share in the comments.