Anyone that knows me well will know that I am pretty easily pleased! Given the chance, I would happily hop on a plane to absolutely anywhere (well, not so sure how I'd feel about North Korea at this present time...) I believe that every country has beautiful things to offer, and that's why I like the idea of travelling to places that not many people know about or are slightly under the radar. Having said that, there are major cities and famous sights that I'd love to visit, too. This list of course is not exhaustive and is in no particular order, but a snapshot of places that I'm certainly considering heading over to in the near future! Japan Japan has owned a little piece of my heart ever since I was young. I used to be obsessed with manga and anime, and had my Mum promise to take me to Japan once I finished my GCSEs. Needless to say this never happened, and my dream has yet to be fulfilled. Japan is a place where the old clashes with the new. It is known for its efficacy, its vibrant pop culture, its dabbling in the futuristic, and yet the Japanese are still very much engaged with their traditions and customs. At first glance it may seem as if Japan can be epitomised by crowded trains and men in grey business suits, however that couldn't be farther from the truth. Boasting mountains, imperial palaces, thousands of shrines and temples and some of the most punctual trains on earth, Japan is a country that has got my attention. Top picks: - Tokyo Japan's bustling capital - also the largest and busiest metropolitan area in the world - is a must for anyone visiting the country for the first time. Interestingly it is also one of the safest cities to travel to. - Mount Fuji Mount Fuji is one of Japan's icons and the inspiration behind much artwork, understandable considering how picturesque it is. - Kyoto Kyoto, the former capital of Japan, is famous for its many Buddhist shrines and temples, gardens, imperial palaces and geishas. - Hiroshima Hiroshima is sadly most famous for being bombed during WW2 by the world's first deployed atomic bomb, causing mass destruction and radiation problems for years to come. A visit to the Peace Memorial Park is sobering but perhaps a needed pause from all the craziness of the other Japanese cities. - Osaka Often overlooked by travellers, Osaka is worth a visit for its food, shopping and puppetry.
Iceland I love all things outdoorsy and beautiful - what better place to head to than Iceland? Known for its incredible and dramatic geography, hosting a wide range of waterfalls, hot springs, mountains and volcanoes, Iceland is one for the nature lovers. As well as getting super cold, the weather can be very unpredictable, much like my beloved Britain, so I'm sure I'd feel right at home. I haven't explored any of Scandinavia, and although rather seperate from its Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish counterparts, luckily I have a fascination with Iceland so for me, it ticks all my boxes. Top picks: - The Blue Lagoon What could be better than bathing in a geothermal spring that is simultaneously completely Instagrammable? - Snæfellsnes Peninsula Iceland can require a lot of travelling around to see the best bits, hower at the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, there is lots to see packed into a relatively small area, so great if you are looking for Iceland's finest landscape without wanting to scour the whole of the island. - Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon This is the deepest and most beautiful glacial lake in Iceland, with some of the icebergs being more than 1000 years old. Pure art. - Reykjavík Reykjavík is the northernmost capital of the world and splattered with colourful houses, puffin colonies and cool street art. - Þingvellir National Park A World Heritage Sight, the Þingvellir Natinal Park boasts ruins from the 10th century and is also one for the nature lovers. You can snorkel, explore lakes and gorges.
Mexico Fun fact about my family: my grandfather was born in Mexico, as was his father. As far as I know, they are not Mexican (although I'm still convinced that there is room for discussion on this.) I have always been a fan of Mexican food; I absolutely love spice and am a big fan of wraps, vegetables, beans and cheese! I think 'd survive pretty well in South America, living on nothing but plantain and sweet potatoes...and the aforementioned wraps, vegetables, beans and cheese. Anyway, food aside, Mexico is a place of ancient civilizations, vibrant culture and eclectic geography. There are beautiful beaches, jungles, awe-inspiring mountains and avocados by the tons (sorry, keep reverting back to food.) Although you'd have to be careful visiting a place like Mexico, I feel as if missing out on seeing this beautiful country would be a real shame, as it deserves all the visitors it can get, and then some. Top picks: - Mexico City Mexico City is getting a revamp. There are fascinating historical sights to see, taste buds to satisfy and culture to explore. - Guanajuato Guanajuato is a World Heritage city, and it's easy to see why. With beautiful, colourful colonial architecture, narrow streets and great viewpoints, Guanajuato is one not to miss. - Playa Del Carmen One of the most well-known bits of coast in Mexico, the Playa Del Carmen boasts beautiful palm-lined beaches and coral reefs. True paradise. - Chichen Itza ruins, or any of the other famous ancient ruins in Mexico There are many, many ruins dotted around Mexico, highlighting the country's ancient past, and a visit to any of them would be an amazing opportunity to take a sneak peak into the lives of the ancient people of Mexico. - The Pink Lagoon in Las Coloradas Imagine Barbie's paradise. That pretty much sums up the Pink Lagoon of Las Coloradas, which is caused by the algae, plankton and brine shrimp that live in the lagoon. You can also take salty mud baths in the area, which is always fun.
Mascarene Islands The Mascarene Islands are a group of islands east of Madagascar - Mauritius, Réunion and the lesser known Rodrigues. I am obsessed with islands and there are a great many archipelagos that I'd love to visit, however these three seem to capture my attention, partly because they are kind of in the middle of nowhere and also the opportunities for both hiking and relaxing seriously appeal to me. I'd love to visit a place with snow white sand and palm trees as I've never really experienced this before, and as mentioned I'm partial to all the outdoorsy stuff so I think I coudd really get along with these islands. Despite being close in proximity these islands are quite different and boast an eclectic mix of native peoples, meaning a diverse range of culture, food and traditions. Mauritius is probably better for relaxation whilst Réunion is where ALL the hiking is at. Top picks: - Port Louis (Mauritius) This is the capital of Mauritius and boasts lots of interesting museums as well as an absolutely huge market selling local produce and handicrafts. - Seven Coloured Earths (Mauritius) This crazy geological formation can be found in the south west of the island. Cameras at the ready. - Trou-aux-Biches (Mauritius) A small town that has one of the best and most beautiful beaches on the island. - Chamarel Waterfall (Mauritius) A series of stunning waterfalls amid lush greenery. Perfect for a day out, picnic and a bit of shallow swimming. - Piton de la Fournaise (Réunion) Piton de la Fournaise translates to "Peak of the Furnace", a very apt name for a major volcano. It is actually active, although this wouldn't stop me hiking!! - Cirque de Mafate (Réunion) Mafate is only accessible by foot or helicopter, but hiking around here would hands down be worth it. Stunning views in abundance.
Egypt Egypt, like Japan, is another country I've been really interested in ever since I was young. I found Ancient Egyptian history fascinating at school, and use to teach myself to read hieroglyphics! The history is of course what appeals to me most - there's no way I'm missing any of the spectacular, ancient sights that Egypt is famous for, however the Nile, the other cities and the coastline all have peaked my interest. Top picks: - Cairo Cairo is the largest city in Africa, and more than a quarter of all Egyptians live in the country's capital. A visit to Egypt would not be complete without visiting Cairo. - Pyramids Need I say more? - Luxor Luxor is in southern Egypt and on the east bank of the Nile, and is also known as ancient Thebes, a place were the pharaohs exerted their power. Home to the famous Valley of the Kings, Luxor is incredible from both the air and the ground and set amongst spectacular landscape. - Alexandria The port city of Alexandria has Arabic as well as Greco-Roman influences and was once a centre of Hellenic scholarship and science, giving it a rather distant feel from that of Cairo and other Egyptian cities. - White Desert National Park This national park is absolutely huge and white chalk rock spires are what gives the White Desert its name. Deceptively beautiful, take a tour and watch the sunset to enjoy the magic of the wilderness in all its glory.
What are 5 places you'd love to go to?