There are some things in life that you have to be in it to win it. That’s a lie, this applies to everything in life.
When I saw there was a competition to win a trip to see the Northern Lights by the kind folks at Transun on Backpacks and Bunkbeds, I just had to take part. The Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights to you and me) aren’t just any old natural phenomenon to tick off your bucket list. They’re only visible on some nights and in certain parts of the world. Only the luckiest will get to see them if you don’t happen to live in the Arctic Circle. I can imagine it would not be dissimilar to hoping you see a certain animal on Safari in Africa. Or going to the Third Man Records shop in Nashville in the vain hope that Jack White will happen to be performing on the very same day you visit (…just me?).
And all I had to do was write a blog on my Top 3 Bucket List Destinations?!
…Easier said than done…
There are sooo many places I want to visit. But when I finally picked my top three, they all had one, unsurprising link between them. It was because I’d seen them in films. I believe films are the perfect way to experience places and events you might not have the chance to experience otherwise. I firmly believe that any wanderlust I have inside me has been spurred by the sheer amount of hours I’ve clocked up watching all of these beautiful places on-screen.
1. Road tripping in Iceland, courtesy of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)
Although I have never been there, I wholeheartedly believe there is no place like Iceland. I have dedicated hours and hours of my life to learning about Iceland and planning the perfect Icelandic road trip. In fact, Iceland gets a whole Pinterest board to itself. My perfect Icelandic trip would be an epic road trip, probably spanning over two weeks. Visiting natural beauties like volcanoes, glaciers, (hopefully the Northern Lights!) and of course spending a bit of time bathing in The Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa.
I’d also love to spend some time in Reykjavik vintage clothes shopping after reading this post by Pommie Travels. The Big Lebowski bar she mentions looks SO GOOD and appeals to me on many levels, even more so the quirky cafes in Reykjavik that Kathi from Travelettes talks about in this post (N. 12 especially! Yay for veggies!) Iceland seems like the perfect balance between relaxing and outdoorsy. I especially like how Kathi mentions that Reykjavik is not a city with lots of tourist attractions because I’d love nothing more to be able to walk around a city and not feeling like I’m missing out on something somewhere. I’d be there, watching and walking around, and not missing a single thing.
Even though absolutely none of the reasons I want to visit Iceland are featured in Walter Mitty (okay, yes, there is a volcano…) I know my obsession started with the tiny seed it planted in the wanderlust part of my brain. Walter docks on Icelandic shores from a shipping boat, and has to fight the sailors on the ship to ride a bicycle into town. Cue the most gorgeous scenery and quaint little houses I ever did see. There’s a fabulous scene with Walter long boarding down a beautifully tarmacked road (read: great road tripping country) on his way to said volcano. And I didn’t need to see anything more.
2. Driving into the Grand Canyon (Arizona, USA), courtesy of Thelma and Louise (1991)
Lol, no, just kidding, I’m not going to drive into the Grand Canyon. That would really make this a Bucket List, but Thelma and Louise sure made it look appealing! My love affair with the US probably started long before I saw this film, but it definitely started with film. The thing about America is that it’s got so many higgledy piggledy things going on. You’ve got the cities, the highways, the small redneck towns, and the vast open landscapes and national parks. And all this and more has been documented in one of the USA’s biggest entertainment exports.
Let’s go to the Movies…
Yeah, you may not have heard of National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983) or the simply titled Grand Canyon (1991) if you’re not from the US. But that doesn’t mean you haven’t seen it documented in countless travel shows and documentaries. I have this feeling like I’ve already been there and experienced it. But I know that once I actually go there I’ll feel something else altogether.
Around this time last year, Monica from The Travel hack wrote this post about hiking in the Grand Canyon. And this one about her helicopter ride over it. In the latter post’s first sentence she states “Flying over the Grand Canyon in a helicopter has to be on almost every travel lover’s bucket list.” And you know what? There’s a reason for that. Along with the Aurora Borealis, it’s one of the seven Natural wonders of the world and one I plan on witnessing for real one day.
3. Eating Vegemite in Australia, courtesy of Our Lips Are Sealed (2000)
Wait… what?! Our Lips Are Sealed?! Are you joking? That Mary-Kate and Ashley straight-to-video crappy tween romp?
That’s exactly the one I mean. Me and my sister used to love the straight-to-video Mary-Kate and Ashley films and Our Lips Are Sealed was definitely the favourite. They used to go everywhere. Paris, London, Rome, the Bahamas… and more notably Australia! Nowadays, I get my regular Aussie fix by watching Australian soap Neighbours. But back when I was 7 years old, I watched Our Lips Are Sealed over and over again. And we all know how impressionable kids are. I genuinely remember everything about the film so well.
Get ’em young
What’s great about it is that it opened me up to all sides of Australian life that the average 7 year old wouldn’t know about otherwise. Including the lingo, the cuisine, snorkeling with fish and the fact that everyone in Australia surfs really well… Did you know that? 7 year old me knew that, and 22 year old me is still itching to get on that surfboard and ride/fall into some Sydney waves.
For me, the reason Australia is a place so high on my Bucket list is because of the lifestyle I’ve seen in movies. I’d love to be able to do water sports in weather you’d actually want to do water sports in. I want to scuba dive in the Great Barrier Reef and walk across the Harbour bridge, see the Opera House, literally everything. Going to Australia would allow me to tick off so many items on my Bucket List that have all been absolute-musts since I was 7. And hey, anything Mary-Kate and Ashley do is still cool… Right?
So that’s my little Bucket List! Road tripping around Iceland, Driving off into the Grand Canyon in the USA, and basically doing anything and everything I possibly can in Australia.
Are you able to pinpoint your top 3 bucket list destinations?