Scratch Maps – USA and The Woooorld!
For Christmas 2012, my mum bought these awesome scratch maps for me that are currently hanging on my bedroom wall back in Cumbria. One is a map of the US and the world and you can scratch off every state/country that you’ve visited. They’re a really sweet gift idea for anyone that loves travelling and country counting. I haven’t got many countries scratched off mine yet, but that doesn’t mean I don’t intend on scratching a lot more off eventually!
I’ve compiled a list from my pinterest board of places I’m currently dreaming about visiting and scratching off my maps. Though, given the chance and the cash, there aren’t many places I wouldn’t return to or visit.
Iceland used to be an odd choice for a holiday destination but it seems to be getting more and more popular in recent years. And you can tell why! Chasing the Northern lights, visiting a Blue Lagoon and visiting nearby ice caves: it’s a frosty paradise. Films like Cold Fever (1995) and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013) paint it as a really gorgeous, not-so-hidden gem. Not forgetting Game of Thrones too!
Ireland? Really? But it’s like, right over there? *Points* Why would you want to go somewhere only 5 minutes away? Maybe, but I’ve never been to Ireland and I’ve always wanted to go, and what’s wrong with going somewhere close if it’s absolutely breathtaking?! Galway, as seen on film The Guard (2011) looks like a gorgeous coastal town. Plus, it’s not too far away from Dublin so a rail trip around Ireland to see the countryside and the cities is something I would love to do. It’s probably one of my more do-able travel dreams!
The architecture in Lisbon looks absolutely stunning! Because it’s a city that has been around for thousands of years and had its borders redefined over the centuries, it has become a wealth of culture. I imagine it’s similar to Barcelona which was amazing.
Note from July 2016: I have since been to Lisbon and it was bloody amazing. Check out this post on 39 Photogenic Reasons to visit Lisbon and you’ll understand why. It was also SO cheap which was a welcome surprise. But it’s not similar to Barcelona. That was a wildly incorrect estimation.
Las Vegas, USA
This wasn’t a tough one – Las Vegas is surely a city that no one would say no to! Beautiful hot desert, theatre, magic, gambling, drinking, tacky hotel themes, what’s not to love! Apart from the environmental impact maybe, it’s not Sin City for nothing. Going back to America just becomes more and more appealing to me, especially since I’m gonna be 21 soon! Yaaay!
New Orleans, USA
For those who know me, it’s no surprise that I want to visit New Orleans and the South. I love country music (though New Orleans is more famous for its Jazz) and I would love to visit New Orleans at Mardi Gras, a tourist’s paradise! What I would really love, however, is to visit all of the South, that’s the real big dream.
To be honest, I really don’t know why I want to go to Toronto so much. I think I would really like to go to the film festival there someday. Berlinale film festival was amazing two years ago (and I went again in February 2016!) and I’d love to go to more film festivals. Plus, I’ve been to Montreal which was beautiful so I’d love to check out other Canadian cities. I’ve also been told Toronto is a really clean city, and I really hope that’s true.
Mexico City, Mexico
The Day of the Dead celebration in Mexico sounds like one of the strangest, but most exciting celebrations in the world and I would love to experience it someday in Mexico City. I would also like to try some of the more picturesque places in Mexico and beachside cities like Cancun.
I would love to go to the Caribbean some day, who wouldn’t? Relaxed atmosphere, strong rum cocktails, dancing, reggae, sounds like paradise to me. All I would need is some sexy, tall, dark and handsome man to take me there!
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
City of God (2002) is one of my absolute favourite films of all time, it’s brilliant and its set right here in Rio de Janeiro. Granted, its set in the slums. It’s really upsetting that such vibrant, cultural Ocean side cities like Rio and Cape town have such a stark contrast between those in poverty and the wealthy. However, there are certain sides to the city that are supposed to be breath taking and it’s somewhere I’ve always wanted to go. I’d love to go during the Rio Carnival.
Cape Town, South Africa
I’ve been a bit obsessed with South Africa ever since I finished Nelson Mandela’s autobiography Long Walk to Freedom late last year. It seems like a gorgeous country with a breath-taking landscape that has been crippled under corrupt Government regimes and extreme violence which is really sad. Sometimes, I think in the Western world we live in a little bubble and what we see on the News just isn’t a good enough insight for what really goes on in other countries. However, it is somewhere I really want to go. I would love to head out into the country and go on Safari but also check out the museums and see the real effects that violence and apartheid has had on this amazing country and city.
Anyone who’s read or watched Eat Pray Love will understand why I want to visit Bali so badly. In the past, it has had problems with violence and war, but just by google-ing pictures of Bali I already feel more relaxed. I would love to go to Bali just to lay on the beach (not without plenty of sun cream for my freckly fair skin) for a few days and find out more about Buddhism first hand.
The dream would be to travel around all of the major cities in Australia (Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, etc.), but if I had to pick only one, it would be Sydney. The Sydney Opera House, the surfing and water sports (yes, the beach!), Harbour Bridge, the nightlife, the friendly people, there’s not one thing about Australia that doesn’t sound appealing. Apart from every Brits fear of running into an unidentified lizard/spider/snake and being convinced that it will kill you if you stand within one metre of it. Which I’m sure it most definitely will.
Southern Sun Trek, Trek America
This is the big one. I’ve been dreaming about this trip since I did Camp America in the summer of 2012. It was pretty common for foreign camp counsellors to stay in America after camp and travel around, some did treks and some braved it alone. Myself and my friend did a small trek up to Niagara Falls and around New York state before staying in New York for a few days which was amazing. But THIS bad boy would be spectacular. Trek America do so many amazing treks for 18-30 year olds but this one is particularly appealing to me. I would love to go to DC as well as all the Southern States and spending a while in LA and maybe go up to San Francisco for a while later. God, maybe Portland, Oregon too. Urgh, too many ideas. This one may have to be put on the backburner for a couple of years because it is pricey, but I’m pretty determined that I’ll eventually book my place! Check out the tour on Trek America’s website.
What destinations have you currently got on your must-visit list?