“There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Top 5 Country Go To List

One of the travel blogs I follow, Never Ending Footsteps, posted on Facebook this week about the top 5 countries that she wanted to travel to. I decided to look at mine, and I couldn't really stop at 5...

The short list:
1. Madagascar
2. Malta
3. Bhutan
4. Namibia
5. Mongolia

The long list:
Bulgaria, Libya, Ukraine, Bolivia, Jamaica, Maldives, Seychelles, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Nepal, Norway, and the list goes on and on...

Too many places to go -- Several checklists!

For some reason, this week my Facebook feed has been full of 'X amazing places to see' pages. If ever there was a type of page that I can't resist, it's these ones! One day soon when I'm no longer working I plan to write one or two myself, but I still have to think of a theme! For me, life is fundamentally about travel and learning about other places and eventually, getting there myself and experiencing them. The list of places to go and places to dream of going is never-ending. Perhaps this type of life-journey is futile, as I can't take any of it with me, but new places do make me happy, and sharing other places with others also makes me happy -- which is why I started my other blog 1000 Amazing Places. I have loved counting my score up on these lists (which is up to date as of 1 May 2014). Seeing these makes me realise just how many places I still would like to get to.

10 of France's Natural Wonders Score: 0 of 10
Of course I've been to France before but it was when I was much younger (12 years old!). I only returned last summer to Paris on a whim (I was in transit and a friend I bumped into at the airport convinced me that it was a fabulous idea to have lunch by the Louvre, which it was). My mother says that it is her favorite country in the world (or at least that's what she said when she was living there!). Haven't been to any of these places, except perhaps to see Mont Blanc from a distance.

40 Incredible Places Most Traveler's Don't Know About (Rather Unknown But Really Rather Special Places on Earth) 7 of 40
A great list of places -- very beautiful places. I suppose I could increase my score by 0.5 because I've been to Thingvellir Lake in Iceland, but only the surface and not in the beautiful crystal clear water.

10 Must-See Buddhist Monuments 2 of 10
Not sure if this link will work as even when I pasted it it didn't connect, but you can find it via the blog on the website. An interesting theme -- and such amazingly rich heritage!

Ten Places To Travel For A Higher Cause 0 of 10
At first I thoguht this would be the BBC's link for voluntourism, but it turns out its for spiritual places -- and I do think they are rather random. Just missed out on seeing Medugorje in Bosnia, but chose to go to a waterfall instead!

40 Breathtaking Places To See Before You Die 8 of 39
I think this list has the most places on my ultimate wish list -- Capadocia, Iguazu, Monument Valley, Mt. Roraima, Norway's fjords, Victoria Falls, Pamukkale, Yosemite, Tianzi, Bolivian Salt Flats, Meteora!

Here are the Top 25 Cities You Should Visit In Your Lifetime 18 of 25
With Istanbul as number one, and many great places on the list, this is where I seem to have scored the highest! Cities are amazing places to visit. Think I need to add a few of these to my 1000 Amazing Places blog!

33 Unbelievable Places To Visit Before You Die (32 Surreal Places That I Can't Believe Aren't Photoshopped) 1 of 32/33
Many repeated places on this list, but some great places too. Have wanted to get to Socotra for ages! The only one I've been to is the Glowworm caves, and since I'm a New Zealander, so I should have! I'm hoping to get to the Cano Cristales in September.

15 Famous Landmarks Zoomed Out To Show Their Surroundings 7 of 15
This is a great look at perceptions, photography and travel today -- we really are crowds in a gigantic yet small world!

And then there are the ones in Colombia, which I always have to look at because I live here!

10 places to visit in Colombia 8 of 10 
The country I live in is so beautiful. It is the top place I've been posting about on my 1000 Amazing Places blog, and so I've had to stop and post about some other places so its more balanced, but honestly, the list of places still to post about is lengthy! This is such a diverse place and so untravelled --- sad. Maybe I need to pick my top 20 places in Colombia to share before I go!

Trekking in Colombia: Top 10 Destinations 2 of 10
Colombia Reports (which is a great Latin American news website by the way) has this list of places to hike, some of which I plan to do come August and September of this year in my year off!

And then to end with: a video with many great travel images: Travel is More than the Seeing of Sights

More lists -- added 9 May 2014
As soon as I posted this, I found a whole lot more lists! I love lists!! :)

10 unique beaches you need to see to believe (2 of 10)
A cool collection with a few I'd never heard of!

10 Lakeside Hotels (3 of 10)
Although this one's about specific hotels (promotions and percentages, yuck!) I decided to ignore the hotels and count how many of the lakes I've been to!

5 of Colombia's Most Beautiful Places (5 of 5)
An excellent score on this one!

35 Most Insane Restaurants With a View (1 of 35 restaurants, 16 of 35 places)
Ditto hotels above -- these restaurants don't need promoting! I was pleased by how many cities I've seen from this list however, although LA was repeated!

5 Destinations You Should Know More About (1 of 5)
This list made me excited because its one of the few that has somewhere from Guyana, where I'm planning to go at Christmas time.

10 Most Dangerous Cities in the World (3 of 10)
With a nod to Carol who shared this with me, I liked this list because most of them were quite obscure places. It does have an annoying format of having to click from one to the next, but still, an interesting list!

10 Gorgeous Places Everyone Should Visit (5 of 10)
The same as the site above (they have lots of lists!) Pretty generic and typical, but nice places anyway!

10 Most Fascinating Castles in the World (4 of 10)
I LOVE castles!!!! This is a pretty diverse collection, too.

10 Best Airports in the World (8 of 10)
I don't know if I'd agree that these are the best... perhaps the newest, or the most renovated or the most exotic. Changi in Singapore gets number one on this list though, which I do agree with!

10 Most Beautiful Bridges in the World (4 of 10)
This list could possibly be bumped up by one if I actually remembered the famous bridges in Venice!

10 Most Visited Countries (10 of 10)
Now this list is not objective -- it should simply be based on numbers. I am surprised, however, that Malaysia makes the list. I am proud to say I have visited all of them, and I am continually amazed that France always gets number 1.

20 Most Peaceful Countries in the World (16 of 20)
The only ones on this list that I haven't been to are Norway, Bhutan, the Maldives, and Portugal, all places which I would love to go to! These places are pretty predictable though -- they all have high HDI indexes so Scandinavia, Australia/NZ/Canada and a few others thrown in.

Strap Yourself In: The World's Most Extreme Road Trips (0 of 5)
Hadn't heard of some of these, but all are places I want to go to!

Tripadvisor's Top World Destinations 2014 (18 of 25)
I have some big ones here that I really should have gotten to a long time ago. Barcelona, I promise, I'm coming soon!

And even more posts - added 26 May 2014

26 Castles That Have Reached Fairytale Status (5 of 26)
I better get visiting! Lots of great ones here!

5 Mindblowing Underwater Cities (0 of 5)
Likewise, above, I better get swimming!

And even more - 31 May 2014

30 Most Beautiful Small Towns in the World (3 of 30)
30 of the Best Man-Made Sites in the World (18 of 30)

And even more - June 8, 2014
35 Most Amazing National Parks in the World (5 of 35)
Hoping to knock off a few of these this summer!