The problem with taking a year-long round the world trip is that while you think it will satiate your desire for travel in fact it does the opposite – the more I travelled, the more I loved to travel, and the more places that I’d never even considered that suddenly began to appeal. So now that I’m back in gainful employment, and armed with both a salary and a holiday allowance (and even better – six weeks a year, the best I’ve ever had) it’s time to start thinking about where to go next…
Here’s my first stab, arranged into some rather arbitrary categories just to give it some structure. Anyone who knows me and fancies a holiday next year – let me know if any of these appeal!
UPDATE: March 2015: So, 6 years on and I’ve managed to tick off four of the 50 (Morocco, Mozambique, Montenegro, and the Kruger National Park) – and should tick off another 3-5 later this year (Buenos Aires, Torres Del Paine, Parque Nacional Los Glaciares and possibly Stockholm and / or Prague)
1. Nicaragua UPDATE: Visited November 2010
Everyone I met in Central America raved about this as one of their highlights – fantastic colonial cities, volcanoes, great beaches, friendly people. This is likely to be my first trip – this November for a couple of weeks.
My time in the Andes was probably the highlight of my year. Now I want to see the Himalayas.
Probably a bit of a longer term objective this one, given the current state of the country, but I really want to go and visit the country of my father’s birth, I’ve heard some incredible things.
4, 5 & 6 Morocco, Mozambique & Mali – UPDATE: Visited Morocco in 2012 & Mozambique in 2014
Africa is the one inhabited continent I haven’t been to – and I’m very keen to rectify that. These three, one from the north, one from the west, one from the south all appeal for different reasons.
7. Montenegro UPDATE: visited summer 2014
Great beaches, lovely mountains, and one of the biggest canyons in the world.
One of the nicest people I met on my trip was an Ecuadorian girl, and she got *very* cross that I’d managed to spend four months in Andean countries and not made it there.
Fantastic ruins and the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. People I know who’ve been rave about it.
Possibly another long term objective this one – partly because I need to learn to drive before I can tackle the Pamir Highway.
1. Socotra, Yemen
I’ve been fascinated by this place since I saw pictures of the Dragon’s Blood Tree that grows on the island. The more I read about it the more obsessed with visiting I become.
I have a feeling the place will change a lot in the next decade. I’m keen to see it sooner rather than later.
My favourite travel book of all time made me fall in love with Crete from afar. Read it, you will too.
Partly because of the volcanoes, but more because of fellow travellers Rob & Vicky raving about their time there to me one night in Guatemala.
Home to some of the most bizarre landscapes I have ever seen, plus unique wildlife
6. Mindanao, The Philippines
I’m dying to go back to the Philippines and this is one that really appeals (although well away from the dangerous bit).
Again to a travel book, this is the Pacific country I’d like to see most.
8. Cape Verde
Portuguese heritage, fantastic music, great beaches, nice hiking.
Italy & I haven’t really agreed with each other so far. Time to give it another go, and the food, ruins, cities and volcano hear all sound great.
Best diving in the world, or so I keep hearing.
1. GR20 – Along the mountain spine of Corsica, allegedly the toughest in Europe. I quite fancy this in the summer of 2011.
2. GR10/11 – Two paths running the length of the Pyrenees, one on the French and one on the spanish.
3. Sierra Norte, Oaxaca, Mexico – pioneering eco-tourism project run by a co-operative of indigenous villages
4. Tiger Leaping Gorge, China – not least because of the name.
5. Milford Track, New Zealand
6. Mt. Kinabalu, Borneo
7. Mt. Kilimanjiro, Tanzania
8. Everest Base Camp
9. Torres del Paine, Chile
10. Southwest USA – So many amazing hikes I’m not sure I’d know where to start – includes some of the most amazing national parks of the country, including Arches, Monument Valley and Bryce Canyon
Other outdoorsy stuff…
1. Kruger national park, south africa – seeing Orang Utans in Indonesia ignited a desire to see more wildlife that I never knew I had – UPDATE: visited December 2014
2. Iguazu Falls, Argentina / Brazil
3. Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina – loads of my mates have been here and it looks incredible
4. Outback Australia – I’ve seen all the big cities. Now I’d love to spend more time exploring the vast empty bits of the country, so many amazing things to see, and even the emptiness itself is intriguing.
5. The Galapagos Islands – obviously
6. Kinigi National Park, Rwanda – home of the Mountain Gorilla
7. The Amazon jungle – gutted I missed this while in Bolivia
8. Sahara Desert
10. Angel Falls, Venezuela
1. Buenos Aires
3. New Orleans
8. Naples (Pizza, mmmm)
10. Morelia, Mexico
That list could easily be twice as long…but that’s plenty to be getting on with for now. And like I said, if you know me and fancy any of these let me know!