One of my biggest regrets of my twenties and pre-kid life is not travelling the world. When I left school it wasn’t something that interested me or that I had a passion for. I worked the same job for nine years before I had my first daughter and I liked the security of it so didn’t want to ever leave it to go travelling. Now I really wish I had! In my thirties and with two kids and a mortgage, I now, rather annoyingly, have the thirst to travel! Only now I can’t just save up and zip off round the world for a year or so as I have responsibilities. Why, oh, why did I not have this passion and desire in my twenties or late teens when anything was possible?!
It’s never too late though and rather than totally dwell on the past and my life choices, I can now dream and plan the future. I imagine Ben and I as older travellers – travelling the world when we retire, early of course. That’s the plan. Even if we don’t jet off on a specific around the world trip, I hope that we can go on long breaks to travel to the countries we long to see.
Six months pregnant on our babymoon to Gran Canaria 2012
There is so much in the world to see and do and I have a fear something will happen to me before I get to see any of it. The planet we live on is beautiful and I often feel so stuck and trapped in the one place I live doing school runs, mundane housework, working and stressing over finances and little battles of life every day. I think this is why I now have the desire to travel, perhaps to escape it all and also from feeling so tied to one place and consumed by responsibilities. I long for the freedom that travel can bring.
We have been lucky enough to take one family beach holiday to Fuerteventura earlier this year and I hope we will be able to afford another holiday abroad in the coming years. We have travelled to Germany several times to visit family and although it’s not a holiday, it has still given us the opportunity to explore an area of another country and culture.
Most of our family travels will now be in the UK, especially with our exciting purchase of a pop-top Bongo this year which gives us and the kids somewhere to sleep on a budget. I hope we’ll also go to Europe in our van if it lasts long enough! It’s 20 years old and in the five months we’ve had it, it’s already had the turbo replaced (£400) and it’s currently in the garage having the head gasket replaced (£1200)! We’re worried what else they’ll find when dismantling the engine for the current fix. Hopefully nothing and we’ll be happily bongoing all over the place next summer.
Here’s our Bongo:
Travelling exotic places for weeks on end is not totally possible at the moment as we simply cannot afford to and have the constraints of work schedules and so on. For now, I do have responsibilities of kids, mortgage and debt, so I can’t jump on a plane as my heart so desires, but I can plan my future travel endeavours. I hope in my lifetime I can go and see all these places or as many of them as possible.
Creating a bucket list is a fun thing to do. It can be ever evolving too and more places can be added as they are discovered and learnt about. I love having some travel goals and ideas of places I want to visit in the future. I’m going to get my husband Ben to write his too and I’ll share that with you soon.
Here is my current travel bucket list:
Australia, New Zealand and Great Barrier Island
I think this calls for a few weeks travel for the ultimate adventure. It’s such a long distance to travel to that it would be a shame to have to cram it in to a standard two week holiday. I’d love to go for perhaps 6-8 weeks at a minimum and see Oz, NZ and after watching Ben Fogle’s TV show called Lives in the Wild, I really want to see Great Barrier Island. When I saw the program it looked like the perfect off-grid location to relocate to! I’ve always heard great things about New Zealand from those who have been there and I’ve always been curious to see Australia.
Someone I used to be friends with stayed in Bora Bora for around 6 weeks or so and it sounded divine. The images online are simply breath-taking, so I can’t even imagine how incredible the island must be in real life. The ultimate dream would be to stay in one of the over-water bungalows with jet-skis parked up outside and an on-hand masseuse and plant-based chef… Oh I can dream! But I’ll settle for a short holiday there one day just so I can experience it.
Krabi, Thailand. Photo by Mo Baghdadi
Years ago I really wanted to visit Thailand for the party scene. I knew people who had been there to the full moon parties and so on. Now that doesn’t appeal to me at all, but seeing the beautiful islands, beaches and landscapes does. Thai food is delicious too!
Treetops Hotel, Kenya, Africa
For a long time I have been keen to visit Africa and experience a safari. I mentioned this once before in a blogging network group and someone suggested I look into Treetops Hotel. I did and it is now officially on my travel bucket list! It looks like the ideal place to stay for a true safari and wild African experience. The hotel is on stilts with the incredible animals roaming around and underneath! I absolutely love zebras, giraffes and elephants. They are all such magnificent creatures and it would be a dream come true to see them in Africa and stay in this fascinating hotel.
I’ve been to California, Nevada and Arizona with an ex-boyfriend for five weeks and had an amazing time. I returned with a friend for a not-so-amazing time the year after for a 2.5 week stay. I definitely want to go back as there was still so much I didn’t see or do, such as the Grand Canyon and Lake Tahoe. I’d love to go to the USA with Ben and the kids to do some of the touristy things, but also to venture into the landscape, see the beaches, go up the mountains and more. It would be so fun to hire an RV when the kids are older and explore the south west coast and states. I’d love to visit other states too, but I need to learn more about which ones appeal to me.
Grand Canyon, USA. Photo by Blake Richard Verdoorn
After watching Expedition Happiness on Netflix and seeing the breath-taking landscape of the wilderness and the national parks with rocky snow topped mountains, ‘forest trees’ as I like to call them, and what looks like unpolluted brilliant blue waters, I just had to add Canada to my bucket list.
Ireland and Scotland
I have not been to Ireland or Scotland yet! How mad is that as a UK citizen?! Giants Causeway is a must see in Ireland and the beautiful mountains and beaches in Scotland. I don’t know much about many areas in these countries, but I know I’d like to explore them.
I’d love to tour the Channel Islands to see what they’re all about. My Grandad has visited some of them and always enjoys his time there. It would be fun to stay a couple of nights on each one and spend a week or two seeing them all.
Greek Island Hopping
Talking of island hopping, I would love to Greek island hop! I’ve been to Zakynthos, Rhodes and Corfu and love them all. The weather, the friendly locals, the food, the beaches, the scenery – what’s not to love about the Greek Islands? Ben has never been that keen to go to Greece for some reason, but I think I can change his mind!
Shipwreck Bay, Zakynthos, Greece. Photo by Yannis Papanastasopoulos
This is a place I’ve always been curious about as it’s British Overseas Territory. It’s very small at only 2.6 square miles, but has a population of 30,000. They use pounds, but their own version the Gibraltar Pound and their main language is English. I’m intrigued by it!
These look similar to Bora Bora, like paradise on Earth! I rarely get in the sea, definitely not in the UK, but their crystal clear warm turquoise waters look so inviting, even I want to jump in! The sand is pure white and there are palm trees everywhere. It definitely looks like the perfect honeymoon location and me and Ben never had a honeymoon…
See the Northern Lights
I’ve read some articles with scientists suggesting the Northern Lights are fading and they won’t last forever. They may even disappear in our lifetime with some scientists predicting they’ll fade over the next ten years. I’d love to see them and stay in a glass igloo or a hotel room with a large glass viewing roof so I can lie in bed and get lost in their magical colours.
I think that’s enough for now! There are so many incredible places around the world, I am only here once and I always feel I am running out of time to see them all. I hope I will live a long, healthy life and be able to see as many of these places as possible.
Please pin me to your travel boards for inspiration: