As I turned the decade two weeks ago, on September 27th, the pressing question I had to answer to myself was about the travel experiences which will be the priority for thirties.
This amazing planet earth has so much to offer for the one who wonders and wants to wander. Having been to four continents, seeing mountains, beaches, rivers, wild life in savannahs, fields, lakes, attending festivals, urban metropolises, historical towns, temples, churches, mosques, what is next? The answer was ready, when I sat down to write it.
Here is the list of 8 experiences and trips that are my top most travel goals for this decade:
1. Visiting Japan during Fall Foliage or Cherry Blossom
Source: Damien Douxchamps
Japan has been in the bucket list ever since the travel bug bit me. Why do I want to go there? I am extremely fascinated by the eclectic metropolis of Tokyo; zen buddhism, minimalism, harajuku culture, sushi, and everything bizarre that exists and happens there. But the ultimate cherry on top will be visiting there in either fall or literally cherry blossom season, when this uniquely crazy country is also at the peak of it’s beauty.
2. Seeing the Caribbean jewels & Mayan Ruins
This is one trip to Caribbean plus Central America, in which I plan to visit either Cuba or Jamaica, or both ideally, along with covering Mexico, Guatemala and other few countries in the same belt. Why Cuba? I am charmed by what I have seen and heard about Cuba. This is a poster-like city stuck at some time back in history. Why Jamaica? Because, Reggae & Bob Marley. Do I need say more? Why Guatemala? Travelling has made me a history buff. And after seeing ancient temples and cities in various parts of the world, Mayan cities’ ruins have me very very curious.
3. Attending Burning Man
Source: Flickr/Kyle Harmon via the Creative Commons
I have been to USA, west coast to east, seen the major cities, and I know there is a lot more. But, what has me planning second trip to USA is Burning Man gathering. Why? Because I want to loose myself, and find myself. It is the ten principles of Burning Man that make me want to be a Burner: Radical Inclusion, Gifting, Decommodification, Radical Self-reliance, Radical Self-expression, Communal Effort, Civic Responsibility, Leaving No Trace, Participation, Immediacy.
4. Seeing the North Pole: Visiting Scandinavia
Source: Getty Images/Steffen Schnur
I have seen many countries and cities of Europe, but what will now draw me back to my thus far favorite region of the world is, what I like to call, ‘the great outdoors’. The Scandinavia. My plan is to cover in either one trip or two: Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden and Iceland. Why? I am in awe of The Atlantic Road and Norwegian Fjords. I want to visit and see in Coopenhagen, what is the happiest country of the world is like. And if I get the reservation, I would like to dine at the world famous Michelin star restaurant, Noma. And above all, the biggest reason to visit the region is to see the Northern Lights. I believe, my life no more be same after that.
5. Visiting Oceania
In my thirties, my goal is to step on all remaining continents of the world. Oceania is one of the three left. I have many friends in Australia, who keep inviting me. And I find Newzealand inviting because I have seen and heard very less of it or about it, and hence the curiosity. Also, there are a few Pacific island countries near NewZealand which are visa free on Pakistani passport, I aim to visit there too. But if there is one thing I know for sure, my visit to this continent will not be complete without visiting Hobbiton. Yes, it exists. 😀
6. Seeing the South Pole: Trekking the majestical Patagonia
I have no idea how will I get visa for Chile and Argentina, but I desperately want to go this part of the world. I have seen enough videos and pictures to cause a severe itch to explore this fascinating region. Blue glaciers, rivers and mountain peaks that glow in the sunset, and the fact that I have never been to this continent has made me put this experience on the top of my bucket list.
7. Visiting Amazonia & around
Again, I have no idea how will I ever get the visa of Peru or Bolivia, them having no embassy in Pakistan. But I will find a way. I have since forever been enchanted by the wild wild Amazon. Its rainforests, jungles and wild life. I have by the way never been to a jungle. The history of its people, Inca Empire and the ruins of Machu Pichu. This is the second trip in South America, that gets my heart racing when I talk about it. The key highlight of this trip will be the Ayahuasca experience. It is an ancient, sacred, medicinal herb treatment; also spiritual in nature, conducted as a retreat by the shamans themselves. They say you don’t just disrespectfully ‘do’ Ayahuasca. It is Mother Ayahuasca, and it calls you. I am waiting to be called. Again, it will be a life changing experience, this one.
6. Visiting the edge of the planet: Antartica
The final and the biggest one in my thirties’ experiences is an Antartica expedition. This by far is my ultimate travel wish; challenging my physical self to experience the very extreme planet earth has to offer. And to meet these guys (the penguins!) in their home town. Have a cuppa with them may be. haha. The cruise expeditions to Antartica sail from Ushuaia, a town on the southern most tip of Argentina, and so I will be needing the Argentinian visa. Besides, from my research so far, cruises to Antartica start from about $10,000. So this trip will be challenging not just from visa, point of view but also financially. How am I going to save so much, time will tell. But Antartica! And then I do not want anything else from life.
P.S. These eight experiences are my top goals for thirties not the only trips I plan to take.
If you have a similar list, let me know!