Every traveller would have a list of travel destinations that they want to visit, our own bucket list if you will. Not so often that we can accomplish what we have put on our list but it helps you to focus and prioritize. For me, I have two lists – one is for the near future, of places that I would like to visit and another list for my dream travel locations.
So, what’s on my list?
Places that I would like to visit in near future
- India: recently, I have been drawn towards India – its vibrant colours, chaos and long cultural heritage. It is a massive land which you could spend months to cover; obviously, I don’t have that luxury to visit all in one trip but perhaps, over the years.
- Mongolia: I am not entirely sure what to expect there but there is the certain charm that draws my attention there. The first two things that come to my mind when I think of Mongolia are 1) Grass plains stretching all the way to the horizon as far as your eyes can see; with herds of sheep or horses roaming and grazing. 2) Gobi Desert, a land of extremely harsh weather conditions from scorching heat to the bone-chilling wind; gazing at the milky way in the late night sky.
- Indonesia: Borobudur, Prambanan.
- Central Asia: massive vast land which songs are made, sung and renown through the tales of Marco Polo and his Silk Road journey; with the beautiful Islamic Silk Road Era architecture and vast wilderness.
Once in a lifetime travel journeys
- Trans-Siberian railway journey: truly worthy of a journey of a lifetime and the title itself is enough said, starting from St. Petersburg and Moscow (Well, St. Petersburg is not exactly on the Trans-Siberian route but if you are in Russia, this is a must-visit.), going into Mongolia and ending in Beijing, China. A tale of hardship and romance!
- Silk Road Journey: another once in a lifetime odyssey; to visit the places where the trade of the silk and spices once prospered; multiple cultures, religions or races co-existed in harmony.
- Everest Basecamp: It is nothing cultural (unless you put a magnifying glass and look) about this but simply because the name Everest is prestigious. Getting to the summit of the world’s tallest mountain is a fairytale but the journey to the basecamp is achievable for normal people (Affordable as well.)
I did the trek to the Everest Basecamp in May, 2017 and I am rather proud of my achievement. For someone with terrible fitness level, I was disciplined enough to train for months and was determined throughout the trek of 12-days. It was physically tiring and mentally exhausting – I would like to say that this is a journey that we should all attempt at least once in our lifetime. I was tearing up at the base camp but I wasn’t ashamed about it.
- Places of Inspiration behind Hayao Miyazaki movies: on his travels, he was inspired by certain places and they become part of his animation works. The list is long and hard to achieve but I will hopefully see all these places with my own eyes too.
- Istanbul, Turkey: there is no place that feels as charming and mysterious as Istanbul. The place where the east meets the west, the capital city of three empires, well, I can go on and on.
Finally, I managed to make a trip to Turkey in February 2015! I went out with a high expectation and didn’t get disappointed at all. It was the first trip for me to explore Islamic arts and architecture, to which I am a total stranger. Maybe not in the near future but I would love to visit Istanbul again.
- Bhutan: the happiest place on earth. It is also a country where religion permeates into the very fabric of the daily life, it would be more like a soul-searching trip for me.
I went to Bhutan in October 2016 and it was one of the most amazing trips ever. This was the first trip where I feel that nature can be so beautiful and able to connect with it (I was never able to connect or appreciate nature well). I don’t see Bhutan as the land of mystery or the happiest place on earth like how the Tourism industry promoting it to be but this country is incredibly beautiful.