My A-Z of Travel Bucket List

Earlier this week I read an article on SMH that listed the ultimate A-Z travel bucket list, so I decided to compile my own. Fitting everything in the alphabetical format did make things challenging, and I had to bend the rules in a few places to fit everything in and will admit that some of my reasons are a little weird. But I’m a little weird, and I think it’s a great list!

Here is my A-Z travel bucket list:

A – Atlantic Coast of Portugal – walking trails along a beautiful coastline, sim por favor.

B – Brazil 3.0 – I always say that Brazil could be a trip of its own given the size and things to do. Next time I go back, Salvador, Florianopolis, Buzios, Lopes Mendes beach (Ilha Grande) are all on the list. And Rio, again.

C – Colombia 5.0 – I don’t know how it’s possible, but there are STILL things I haven’t seen in Colombia. I’m not sure I will ever get enough of this country. Caño Cristales, Rio Claro, San Andres Island are top of the list.

D – Dominican Republic – I love the Caribbean, and it’s hard to go wrong when choosing an island destination to visit. Personally, I’m a little biased towards the Spanish speaking countries which means the Dominican Republic won over Jamaica.

E – España – What to do when there are too many places starting with “S”?! (Yep, I think I’m pretty clever). Spain is on the top of my list for Europe. I’m curious to explore the cultural similarities and differences with the Latin American countries I’ve visited.

F – Fraser Island – I will admit that I didn’t know much about Fraser Island until a backpacker friend stayed with me earlier this year. The largest sand island in the world, 100 freshwater lakes and it’s right here on the Queensland coast. What’s not to like?!

G – Germany, Switzerland and the UK to visit my friends in Europe – is it cheating to list three places under “G”? I have friends in these three countries I’ve been wanting to visit for a long time (and I guess I could do some travelling while I’m there too).

H – Hong Kong – I didn’t have time to stop here when I went to China in May, but it’s a priority for when I go back. I want to take the tram to Victoria Peak for views of the city, eat as much street food as possible and see the city skyline from the harbour. Macau is a must visit too.

I – Israel – This is on the list mostly due to constantly hearing how amazing it is on my 2011 trip. First it was a guy I met at the Grand Canyon, then it was the abundance of Israeli travellers I met in South America telling me how amazing their country is. One in particular I remember told me about its diversity, and said that you can drive from the beach to the desert to the snow in one day. Combine that with a big coastal city that has captured my interest (Tel Aviv) after being named in the top 3 most innovative cities in the world in 2012 along with two of my favourites (Medellin and NYC), and Israel definitely makes the list.

J – Jurassic Coast, UK – I love any kind of coastal walk or drive that offers beaches, cliffs and views out to the ocean. Highway 1 in California is my current favourite, but this is one of two on this list that might compete with it.

K – Koh Phi Phi, Thailand

Enough said.

L – Lisbon – I’m cheating a bit her again by separating Portugal into two letters, because I wanted “P” for something else! Lisbon fascinates me, mostly because of its coastal location, food and nightlife. I often get surprised reactions when I tell people that I haven’t been to Europe, and my love for Latin America does make me biased towards wanting to explore Spain and Portugal first. I’m expecting them to have their differences, so I’m interested to see if these countries end up being my favourites in Europe or I prefer somewhere else.

M – Marathon overseas – I have been considering running the Rio marathon for awhile now (any excuse to go back to Brazil), but New York, Boston, maybe London if I could get an entry would be awesome too.

N – North Western coast of Australia – Cheating again here, because I couldn’t use “B” for Broome. This has been on my list for awhile, I just wish it wasn’t so hard (expensive) to get to. The isolated west coast beaches, with their beautiful sun sets and the striking red colour of their rocky surroundings are calling me!

O – Other Spanish speaking countries – Aside from the ones I already have on this list, Paraguay and Puerto Rico are my next choices. I have been to 15 of the 21 countries that have Spanish as an official language and I think it would be cool to make it to as many as possible.

P – Pearl Harbour, Hawaii – I want to go to Hawaii in general (and am in January), but this was the easiest way to fit it on this list. But I will also admit that I do want to go to Pearl Harbour and visit the USS Arizona memorial. Why? I’m not really sure. Morbid fascination about being able to see the sunken boat maybe. Like I said, I’m weird.

Q – Queenstown – I’ve been told by the same friend who went to Fraser Island that Queenstown in the highlight of New Zealand. I’m going to the north island this weekend, so next time I go back I will visit the south island and see if I agree!

R – Road trip the Great Ocean Road, Victoria – This is part two of the coast lines that could beat highway 1 in California. The Twelve Apostles look amazing in pictures, I imagine they would be even more impressive in real life. This is one of the places in Australia I am yet to visit and have wanted to see for a long time.

S – Sailing Croatian Coast – When thinking about Europe, this was actually on my list before Spain and Portugal after a friend told me about it when she went in 2008. I’ve wanted to go ever since. My list for Europe is a little abnormal, I don’t even have France or Italy on there yet! Though anywhere on the Mediterranean Sea would be awesome, and so would the French Open. And Wimbledon. I’m going off topic! Croatian Coast is on the list.

T – Turquoise Pool, Chile – Maybe Chile is my France and Italy of South America because in the two times I went I didn’t have a huge interest in going to Chile. I’ve heard mixed reports, some people loved it and some say I didn’t miss much. But when I saw this photo of the Turquoise Pool earlier this year, this is definitely something I’d want to see!

U – US cities I haven’t seen yet, mostly Chicago. I’m pretty lucky with the US cities I have managed to get to, but Chicago is a notable exception. Memphis would be cool too.

V – Vietnam – This originates from watching a Top Gear special about a motorbike road trip around the country. Random, but it looked amazing. And I’ve only heard good things about it since then. I was donated a copy of the Vietnam Lonely Planet guide earlier this year, next destination maybe?

W – Watch planes land on the beach in St Maarten – Planes fascinate me. Yes I’m weird!

X – Xela and Semuc Champey, Guatemala – Yes, it’s a real place! Years ago I read about a 3 day hike from Xela to Lake Atitlan, which I haven’t had the chance to do yet. There are also hot springs scattered around Xela which I never say no to. As for Semuc Champey, I’ll let the picture talk again.

Y – Yacht the Whitsundays – I’m bending the rules again to include the Whitsundays, another place at home that has been on the list for ages. I’ve never been further north than Brisbane in Queensland, but have had a few failed attempts at going to Hamilton Island. The Whitsundays is a must, I will make it there sooner or later. And I’m sure I will go on a yacht at some point.

Z – Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks, Utah – I love the Grand Canyon, one of my favourite places ever. Sedona, Arizona is amazing too. For completely different scenery, Yosemite is stunning. There are reasons to visit so many of the national parks in the US, and you can guarantee that different parts of the country have different landscapes to offer. But my first choices would be Utah, Zion and Bryce Canyon. The emerald pools of Zion National Park and the vivid colours of the unique rocks pinnacles in Bryce Canyon are two things I would definitely return to the US for.

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