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 the 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 quite an ambitious list, and I don’t anticipate finishing it before I hit the big 30. 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
In 2014 I made a pretty good attempt to eat my way through Italy.
3. Go on a staycation
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 castles at home!). While I have so far seen some impressive castles I still have Neuschwanstein Castle on my list…
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!
8. Visit Marrakesh, Morocco
9. Discover all things literary in the UK
10. Spend more time visiting Australia’s neighbours and see Southeast Asia
11. Go island hopping in Greece
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. Learn another language
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…
15. Spend more time at Disneyland because, well, its Disneyland
16. Fall in love with 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.
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. Head to Portugal
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 the backseat 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. Print off more photos and record more memories in hardcopy
26. Drink sangria in Spain
The food, the history, the music, the architecture- what’s not to love about Spain?! I can’t decide 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. Spent more travelling in autumn – my favourite season!
29. Experience the magic of a white Christmas or at least a cold one
Christmas in Australia means barbecues, insect repellant and outdoor dining. 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 idyllic, but a girl can dream right!?