A few months ago I turned 25. I must admit, I was a little worried that turning 25 was supposed to be some sort of momentous occasion that marked a new phase in adulthood.
A month before I turned 25 I had been out of university for a year (after five and a half years of undergraduate and postgraduate studies), been on a whirlwind three month trip through Europe and had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with my future (except for travel, obviously).
Fast forward four weeks and I had started a new exciting job, met some incredibly inspiring people and the thought of future felt a little less scary. I think it is really easy to get swept up in other people’s expectations or trying to live up to a fantasy of what life is supposed to be like. Instead if making a list of life goals with things on it like buy a house and get a full time, well paid job (though I do have one of those lists), I decided to make a travel bucket list, designed to inspire me and push me to step out of my little corner of Melbourne and into the big wide world.
I first started this list in 2014, but finally finished it. It is quiet an ambitious list for someone who has limited travel opportunities, but I think it is important to challenge myself 😉 Some of this list is me wanting to explore places I have been to before more thoroughly and some is all part of my quest to discover as much of the world as possible!
1.Ride in a hot air balloon.
2. Eat my way through Italy or Thailand.
In 2014 I made a pretty good attempt to eat my way through Italy. Next stop, Southeast Asia!
From my trip to Rome in 2014
3. Go on a staycation.
Going on a staycation seems like the best way to feed my wanderlust while I am unable to travel- and is also an excellent excuse to discover more of Melbourne!
4. Visit all Australian states and territories.
I am incredibly embarrassed about how little of Australia I have seen. I have been to Tasmania, South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria (my home state). But Australia is such a big country. Many people don’t realise just how big Australia is. Each capital city offers vibrant city life and cultural diversity. The Australian landscape is diverse and interesting, full of glorious beaches, sprawling national parks and interesting wildlife.
5. Get a European passport.
6. Go castle hopping.
Is there a difference between a castle and a palace? Either way the world offers so many excellent castles to explore (except for Australia, there are no castle at home!). While I have so far seen some impressive castles I won’t consider this one achieved until I have seen Neuschwanstein Castle!
7. Learn about voodoo and dance the night away in New Orleans.
When completing my undergraduate degree and studying all things American history and politics I spent an incredible month exploring the US. A highlight was the couple of days I spent in New Orleans. We stayed in the French Quarter, visited the house that Tennessee Williams wrote A Streetcar Named Desire in (and rode an actual streetcar) and ate the most amazing food! But being just under the legal drinking age in the US and travelling with people in their 50s I didn’t get to experience all that the New Orleans nightlife has to offer. I cannot wait to go back and dance the night away, maybe even experience Mardi Gras!
8. Visit Marrakesh, Morocco.
I have heard nothing but wonderful things about Morocco. The colours and culture seem so enticing and exotic.
9. Discover the all things literary in the UK.
It will come as no surprise that I am a bit of a book nerd. I would love to travel through the UK and see where some of my favourite writers lived and the places that inspired them. Not to mention visit all the incredible places that movie and television adaptations have been filmed I can think of nothing better than exploring the world of Jane Austen in Bath and at Chawton House, or discovering the world of Harry Potter and Game of Thrones. There are so many spectacular houses in the UK that have been used as filming locations for many adaptations- I suspect I would need months to see them all! And of course lets not forget uncovering the world of Shakespeare at the Globe Theatre or Stratford-upon-Avon.
10. See as many UNESCO World Heritage sites as possible.
11. Spend a summer island hopping in Greece.
The beauty of Santorini and the spectacular sunset of Chania
12. Discover New Zealand.
Every time one of my friends goes to New Zealand (which is extremely often as you can see here and here) I eagerly stalk their Facebook and Instagram waiting for photos. It seems like such a magical country, full of lush landscapes and vibrant cities. Besides, one of my earliest memories is of my dad reading me the Hobbit, how can I not visit Hobbiton!
13. Experience Orthodox Easter in the village my dad was born in in Greece.
14. Stand on top of a mountain.
Is there anything more liberating than standing on top of a mountain? Early this year I did just that in Hobart. Now to find my next mountain…
Mt. Wellington, Tasmania
15. Go to Oktoberfest.
Oktoberfest has become something of a rite of passage for travellers in the 20s. A couple of years ago the friends I was travelling with went to Oktoberfest for the day while I chose to visit Hallstatt. While I don’t regret my decision (visiting Hallstatt was really important to me), next time I have the opportunity I would really like to don a dirndl and head to Oktoberfest!
16. Fall in love with Kyoto.
the colours of Kyoto
17. Get lost in the South of France.
Exploring the South of France has looooooong been on my bucket list. I am very much drawn to the small towns, landscapes and cuisine of the region. I want to relax on the beach in Nice, get lost in the streets of French villages, see the famous lavender fields and the perfumeries and see the historical sites of Aix-en-Provence.
Aix-en-Provence, Avignon and Nimes
18. Uncover the beauty of Scandinavia.
19. Visit Uluru.
Visiting Uluru is a bit of an Aussie pilgrimage. Uluru has great historical and spiritual significance to Australia as it is sacred to indigenous Australians who are the traditional landowners. It is believed to be more than 600 million years old.
20. Stand in the middle of a flower field.
There are so many stunning flower fields, the most famous being the lavender and sunflower fields in the South of France and the tulips in Tulpen Keukenhof, the Netherlands. Of course there are some great flower fields in Australia like the Bridestowe Lavender Estate in Tasmania and the Tesselaar Tulip Festival in Victoria.
21. Go on a holiday that involves doing nothing but relaxing on the beach.
I am not very good at switching off and relaxing. In Santorini I struggled so much with spending a day on the beach. I think it is really important that everyone takes time to relax, be mindful and stop to enjoy a peaceful moment. Maybe a trip to Bali is needed…
22. Go on a road trip.
I have such great memories of family road trips. We would pile pillows up between my brother and I in back seat that would conveniently stop my brother and I from fighting. Dad would sing along to bad 80s music and we would ‘roll our eyes with embarrassment’ but secretly love it! Australia is a great place to road trip, as is the US or Canada and I have always thought Tuscany would make for a great road trip.
23. People watch in Central Park, New York.
Can you believe that I have been to New York but never been to Central Park. What is wrong with me? In-between Broadway shows and museums, I would love to explore Central Park and hopefully get to know New Yorkers a little by people watching.
24. Explore my home state more.
25. Go on safari and see the big five in their natural habitat.
26. Discover the history of Spain.
The food, the history, the music, the architecture- what’s not to love about Spain?! I can’t decided where I want to go to more; Barcelona, Madrid, Seville, San Sebastian- I might just have to go to them all!
27. Discover the sounds, colours and tastes of India.
28. Experience Halloween in the US.
Halloween isn’t widely acknowledged in Australia, but it looks like so much fun! I think part of the attraction is how beautiful the US looks in autumn (or should I say fall?)
29. Experience the magic of a white Christmas or at least a cold one.
Christmas in Australia means barbecues, insect repellant and outdoor dinning. Even though we have Christmas in summer, Melbourne weather means it can be anything from 20-35 degrees. One year we will be bundled up in coats for carols and another we will be spent at the beach. I would love to experience the magic of a white Christmas; see fairy lights twinkling amongst snow covered windows, drink mulled wine, gather around a fireplace and visit Christmas markets. And wouldn’t it be great to see a reindeer? I know this seems all idillic, but a girl can dream right!?
30. Travel solo.