We all have our very own ideas, undiscovered places, wishes and dreams. Personally, I don’t have a big list of material things I wish for, to be honest. Of course I am happy and thankful to live in a comfortable home, wear clean clothes and that I can buy my daily needs in the shops. But I’m not interested in cars, designer bags or clothes (OK, maybe I have a few special items) or most stylish electronic gadgets. Not that I blame or don’t understand people who find those materials very important in life, and tempting. It’s just not me. I rather go to the best Deli in town and pay with credit card with my eyes closed because of the shocking amount. Furthermore when it comes to spending quite a bit of money on material, there is probably something I can think of: a new farm style kitchen – with old tiling, a big stove, natural materials, a huge wooden table with comfortable chairs, a fire place, dogs and people always around. Oh, and chickens running outside on the grass, a little kitchen garden with herbs, vegetables and fruit trees.. I am such a romantic soul (sorry for that!) Although I don’t have an endless material wish list (and don’t even like shopping) I do have a huge travel wish list… There are so many places I still want to see, feel, smell, discover. Today I’ll share my travel wish list with you.
Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia
OK, I am cheating. This is more than one destination, but I am so ready for an Asian adventure! It doesn’t really matter to me which country to start with. Having said that, Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia are quite high on my list. Oh, and Vietnam. In Thailand I would love to visit Bangkok (but not for too long), Chiang Mai (and do a famous Thai cooking course here), Ko Lanta, Ko Mook or another idyllic island. In Cambodia I would try to see the famous building Angkor Wat, in Indonesia I’d like to see the rice fields, beaches and eat local, and in Vietnam the nature should be so beautiful and the people the sweetest you’ll ever meet. And the Vietnamese Noodle soup Pho (not to confuse with poo) must be delicious. Also, Vietnam of course has a rich and sad history, because of the war. There are a lot of memorials and musea about these tragic years. Overall I think Asia must be the ideal place to combine culture & nature, being active & lazy at the same day, meeting friendly people & eat the most wonderful food for almost nothing. Another nice extra reason to visit Asia now from South Africa: In these countries our weak South African Rand is worth more than for example your Rands now in Europe or in the USA…
The city that never sleeps… I would love to visit NYC! The buildings, Central Park, famous art musea, shops, Manhattan, Brooklyn, West Village, Statue of Liberty, a boat trip to with the Staten Island Ferry, a Broadway show, definitely a guided bike tour (yes I know! That is so tourist be like) and all the food… I’d like to try the NYC burgers where everyone talks about, the ones from the Shake Shack. And of course strolling around on the Chelsea Food Market. Or eat a cup cake at the famous Magnolia Bakery (in the hip & happening suburb Greenwich), and book a fancy upmarket restaurant for one evening. Oh, not to forget to go for drinks at one of the rooftop bars in Midtown Manhattan. And I would definitely visit the 9/11 Memorial + Museum and Ground Zero. OK, I think we have to book two weeks NY instead of 4 days. When do we leave?
There are not a lot of places more romantic than the sloping lands of Tuscany, Italy. The smells, the views, the wines, the food, the space, the interesting cities with their architecture, the Italian people, their beautiful language and temperament. Yes, I want to go there. And probably in July already the Mr and myself will go there, for a road trip through Italy. First we’ll stay a few days in Milan, and then in Tuscany we will visit Sienna, Lucca, and Florence. And the outback with its well known hills, farms, olive trees, tomatoes and vineyards. And we are still deciding on a nice coastal place to stay a few nights too, for example San Vincenzo or Follonica. I can’t wait.
There is no other country in the world that intrigues me more than Japan. The culture, the people, the architecture, the nature, the food. I don’t know why, but I just would love to go there one day. To see the cherry blossoms in spring, or go during their Indian Summer season in fall. You can also ski in Japan, they’ve got the most beautiful mountain ranges. See mount Fuji, visit Kyoto and Osaka, eat culinary food in Tokyo, walk through a local bamboo grove and discover the country’s breathtaking nature.
Our last safari has been a while ago. It’s time for some new wildlife encounters. Especially to see a wild leopard in full swing is still on top of my game drive ’to see’ list. Namibia, Botswana or Kruger, it doesn’t really matter. I am ready for dark Africa, cold nights, hot days, exciting game drives, birds, simple but tasty food, camp fires, friendly people and only the bush sounds. It’s a special feeling when you are outdoors the whole day, far away from the civilised world; I love it. Driving through Namibia and Botswana in a 4×4 vehicle and sleep in a tent on the roof is something I want to do already for a long time. Maybe in September or October this year….
Algarve Coastal Route, Portugal
Hire a camper, don’t plan too much ahead, and just start driving along the coastal route of the Algarve – Portugal. Drive along the yellow, white and red cliffs, the bright blue sea and picturesque coastal towns and villages. Sagres for example, a place located at the most South-Western tip of Europe. Eat Portugese food as peri-peri prawns, salads, seafood, Pastéis de Nata (Portugese custard pastry), local wines and small fried sardines for sundowners, and fresh fruit for breakfast. If you have time book a domestic flight to Lisbon or Porto, to finish off the camper trip a bit more luxury.
Okay, until here my list at the moment. It’s a lot, I know… and it’s not even all…
On my travel wish list (but for later, when I’m old?) you’ll also find Iceland, to experience the Northern Lights. And to relax in one of the hot springs open air spa and saunas of the country. Also on my list there is Scotland, Sweden and Cuba. Let’s search for the pot of gold and the garden of time, and let’s go. But for now I enjoy the South African Winelands in autumn colours and dream about our next trip…
Source all photos: Unsplash