New year, new places to visit. And although there’s actually not a whole lot of places that I wouldn’t want to explore, I’ve managed to collect a couple of destinations that I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to check out this year. Cheers to visiting many new places and doing loads of exciting things!
My 2017 travel bucket list
I have a thing for the Middle East. A big thing. I even studied Middle Eastern Archaeology (although in archaeology, we call it the Near East). Before the war, I’ve lived and worked in Syria, and somewhat later after a job in Palestine I fell in love there and lived with my Palestinian in-laws for a short while. Now I’m eagerly awaiting the day the war will be over and all the people that had to flee the atrocities there can go back, and I in their wake can visit beautiful Syria again. So far it is the strangest yet nicest place I’ve ever been, but until that day of peace comes, I need someplace else to satisfy my longing for the Middle East. Sure, Jordan could do the trick (I haven’t been yet!), but for some reason I feel that Morocco will come closer to my Syria experience. I’m probably very wrong on that account (and hey, it would actually be quite awesome for Morocco to be completely like itself), but it doesn’t matter. Morocco it is.
Take a hiking trip in Scotland / Ireland
Some years ago my love for hiking was incited by a 9-day trip along the remains of Hadrian’s Wall just below to Scottish border. Together with my good friend I started in Newcastle on one side of the country, and ended a good week later on the coastline at the other end. There were blisters, extremely sore muscles, and days were the rain came down in buckets and the hillsides were giants slides of mud. But there was also the depth of conversation during all those hours of walking, the strange joy it gives to be really tired from physical exercise, and the views. Oh, those views. So yes, this year I really want to take another trip like that again, probably in either Scotland or Ireland.
Until very recently I had never thought about Bonn in any kind of way, but for the past few weeks it’s suddenly been popping up around me at random times and places. And now my interest is piqued. I very vaguely remember it used to be the West-German capital during the Cold War, but that is about it. Turns out that this city is actually only a couple of hours away from where I live, so there’s absolutely no reason not to go check it out this year.
Go to Durham
This is so far the only thing on this list that will definitely happen this year, even though I’ve been to Durham only last month. So why go again, you ask? Well, because one of my best friends is getting married there! And besides, the north of England is absolutely stunning. In this case, there’s no ‘too much of a good thing’. I haven’t planned what exactly I’ll be doing and whether I’ll take the time to make a real trip out of it or just go for the wedding, but I most surely will be in England in April.
See the Northern Lights
This is something that’s been a bucket list item for a very long time. Since I was young I’ve always really wanted to go dog-sledding in northern Scandinavia. I don’t necessarily need to tick that item of my list this year, but I do really want to see the Northern Lights and have a snow trip in 2017. I’ve never been on a skiing or snowboarding holiday, but I do love snow, winter and mountainscapes. Never have I felt such loneliness and so out of time as while climbing the Mont Blanc, and it was great. It’s also something that’s really hard to recreate in the busy and crowded world that we live in. But I have good hopes that glimpsing the Northern Lights in Scandinavia or Iceland will be an experience of the same magnitude.
Also: my best friend and her fiancé really want to go as well, so she proposed I’d find a new boyfriend so that we can go on a double date-adventure. All applications may be sent here 😉
As always, there are many more destinations on my vast list of places to go, but these five items are something I really want to make happen (or already am sure will happen) in 2017.
What’s on your 2017 travel bucket list?
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Not my bucket list, but my actual planning list for 2017:
– Siberia! Going to run a half marathon on a frozen lake in the middle of winter. Also I aim to find out if there is any truth to the old saying “Never invade Russia during winter”.
– Japan! A friend is going to perform in one of their dance festivals, and that is a good enough reason for me to revisit the very first country I ever traveled to after leaving the caravan holidays of my parents behind
– A surprise! Booked via a travel agency that does “surprise trips”, so I’ll only find out on the airport where I will be going. Super excited about this!
Long(er) term bucket list items:
– I would like to do a safari somewhere. I hear Kenya and Tanzania are great, but have some friends in South-Africa soooo … Any of those really 😉
– The south pole. It’s like the north pole, but has more penguins and less polar bears. On the other hand I’m not sure if it is responsible to go there and pollute some of the last unspoiled places on Earth.
– Terres Antartiques et Australes de France (TAAF), THE most remote constantly inhabited islands in the world. The only way you can get here is by ship. I have only found a mail ship that leaves every quarter and has several passenger cabins for only 15000 euros…
– And I have a lot more travel ideas that range from absolutely insane to perfectly doable, active to lazy (although mostly active), but I have to draw the line somewhere
To your travel plans, I hope you will make them all a reality this year! If you want to talk to someone who gets WAAAYY too excited when travel is on the horizon, you know where to find me 😉
Wow, you are the king of travel! I’d love, love, love to go to Japan, and anywhere in sub-Saharan Africa, and so much more! I’ve never even heard of TAAF, so I’ll believe you that’s it remote. Sounds really awesome, although I can’t seem to find the 15000 euros that I’ve lying around spare for occasions like this at the moment…
Is that surprise trip through srprs.me? I was planning one taking a trip with them last year but it fell through. Curious to hear what you think about it once you’re back!
By the way, I love that your plans range from ‘absolutely insane to perfectly doable, but you have to draw the line somewhere..’ and that then running a half marathon on a frozen lake in Siberia in the midst of winter made the cut.
I’d love to catch up sometime soon! I’ll try to catch you on one of those few days your actually home. Wait, or maybe I should in fact try to catch you one a day you’re not home. Maybe somewhere in Africa? 😉