This week marks six months in Melbourne, which means Steve and I are halfway through our visas here in Australia. While we still have plenty of time left for more exploring down under (trips to Cairns, Sydney, and Tasmania are in the works, as well as a few weeks in Japan during the Rugby World Cup), it’s also time to start thinking about our post-visa adventures. We’ll be heading to Ireland as our next long-term destination, but leaving Australia just as it’s coming into summer to head to cold, rainy Ireland in the dead of winter doesn’t sound like the the most fun.
As we begin to outline our plans (in a massive spreadsheet I’m having way too much fun making) for a couple of weeks hiking in New Zealand followed by a ramble through Southeast Asia, I’ve started thinking about my ultimate travel bucket list. I’m lucky enough to have already been on several trip-of-a-lifetime adventures, from a road trip across the USA a few years ago to a year living my best Lord of the Rings life in New Zealand, but the world is so big and there’s still so much more to see. Here are the other places and things I’m most hoping to experience someday.
Hike Mount Kilimanjaro
I bought Steve’s flights for Japan for his 30th birthday present, and I’ve already told him that when I turn 30 a few years from now, I want a ticket to Tanzania. While I’m not into mountaineering and I definitely don’t dream of ascending all seven summits, after Mount Kosciusko earlier this year I would like to see the top of one more. The tallest peak in Africa, Kilimanjaro is high but not overly technical, meaning that you have to account for altitude but don’t have to worry about plunging to your death off an icefall. The average trek takes about a week and a half, and sounds tough but so rewarding.
See the Northern Lights in Iceland
Steve and I talked about flying up to Yellowknife or Whitehorse in hopes of seeing the Aurora Borealis when we were living in Vancouver, but in the end the trip would have been extremely expensive and if we hadn’t gotten lucky enough to see the lights we would’ve felt like there wasn’t much to do in either town. In Iceland, even if you don’t see the lights you’re still treated to some of the world’s most beautiful waterfalls and cliffs. The northern lights would just be an amazing bonus.
Aside from Antarctica, which is its own thing, South America is the one country I haven’t yet visited. When I do, I want my first stop to be Torres del Paine National Park in Chile. Mountains, glaciers and lakes create awe-inspiring landscapes. By the end of this year I’ll have plenty of overnight hiking experience and I’ll be prepared to take on hikes like the 7-day O trek, as well as many incredible day hikes around the area. And while mainly being an outdoor-focused trip, I also want to visit cities in villages in the area, like Ushuaia, the southernmost city at the end of the world.
Do a YTT abroad
I know that I want to undertake a yoga teacher training someday, more to deepen my own practice than necessarily to teach, and ideally if I can take the time to do so I’d much prefer an intensive version of the 200-hour course than one that is split up over nights and weekends, in order to fully dedicate myself to the training. And if I can go the immersion route, I’d love to do so in another country, where a new environment will help me leave behind the day-to-day and completely focus on learning and yoga.
Take a photography trip to the Scottish Highlands and the Isle of Skye
My friend Medb and I were planning to do this a few years ago and then she, a fellow adventure-lover, ended up taking off for New Zealand on short notice instead (and really, who could blame her?). However, I’d still love to do this someday and now that I’m heading back to Ireland for good(-ish) maybe we’ll even get to go together! I’ve only been to Edinburgh previously, and while it was a beautiful city I’d like to revisit, I really want to get out into the wilds of the moors and see the rugged beauty of the far north of the country.
Backpack Southeast Asia
This is the one that’s in the works. As I said, we’re hoping to skip out on Irish winter and spend a few months eating, hiking, and relaxing (but mostly eating) our way around SEA before arriving back to Ireland in early March (“Just before Paddy’s Day” – Steve). Right now our hope is to visit Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam, and while we haven’t done much planning yet, thinking about this trip is my current favourite daydream. Anyone with recommendations, please share them!