I remember understanding what a Bucket List was thanks to that brilliant film starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson (2007) in which two sick, mature men meet in the shared room of a hospital. The Bucket List.
Both suffer from severe illness, and their first impression of each other is terrible.
Still, after sharing some time and their health situation in the same room, they become very fond of each other and practically inseparable.
So, both share something, each one Bucket List, which they decide, thanks to the economic possibilities of one of them, to make a reality after leaving the hospital.
2020 made me think more about all the opportunities you get to do what you enjoy and are passionate about. Still, for various reasons, you keep pushing them to later dates in your life without knowing if you will be able to make it.
So, since I enjoy traveling most in life and don’t want to keep on waiting, here is my 2023 Travel Bucket List.
One place that is always on my bucket list but seems to be very elusive for me to visit is Annapolis. I’ve been a sailing fan for some years now, and this is probably one of those places every sailor (or sailor wannabe, like me) must visit at least once.
This city breathes American History and has a very close relationship with the sea, especially Chesapeake Bay’s shores.
It is a small town with a little more than 38,000 inhabitants that ranks eighth among the USA’s smallest state capitals.
Annapolis has an overwhelming concentration of historic buildings of the eighteenth century, still standing in the USA, and it’s also home to the US Naval Academy.
Antarctica is probably the number one place on my Bucket List.
Although I’m not a particular fan of Cruise Travel and massive cruise ships, this is a destination that is probably best seen and enjoyed through a specialized and savvy adventure company that will take travelers from Ushuaia and across the Drake Passage to the northern tip of Antarctica on a “small” but specifically designed and equipped ship.
I’m so eager to sail amongst icebergs around the South Shetland Islands, whale watching, and being able to photograph many other species like the famous Emperor Penguins, Leopard, Elephant Seals, etc.
Of course, getting close to those impressive ice cliffs, caves, and walls that have been there for millions of years is the highlight of this trip.
The city of Boston has been on my Bucket List like forever. Since it’s home to some of America’s most renowned universities. MIT and Harvard University, I always thought it would be cool to study at one of them.
Also, institutions such as the Museum of Fine Arts, the Symphony Orchestra, and the Boston Public Library make the city of Boston their home and generate a cultural melting pot.
But the historical side of Boston captivates my thoughts and imagination. A walking trail named Freedom Trail presents the American Revolution in a didactic way. All the trail is inside Boston’s National History Park.
Many people tell me that Hungary’s capital has recovered the splendor of its best time thanks to the renewal of its heritage and cultural offer. The brilliance reached in the 19th century, when its avenues, literary cafes, and theaters rivaled those of Vienna or Paris, has resurfaced.
Two historic neighborhoods give the city its name, Buda and Pest.
Budapest is one of the primary and most important capitals of the Danube, the great Central European river whose channel serves as a link between Central European capital cities such as Vienna, Belgrade, and, precisely, Budapest.
Iguazu Falls, Brazil
Iguazu means “big water” in Guarani. The Guarani were the owners of this wonder today recognized by UNESCO, a natural harmony place that the Europeans dismantled in the seventeenth century.
Most people who visit the Iguazu falls end up very happy watching the immensity of the falling water. One thousand five hundred cubic meters per second. An experience that I’m sure I will not forget.
Many picture spots and walkways allow people to walk along the riverbed and get under at least one waterfall.
This place got on my Bucket List since I first saw the movie “The Mission”… with Robert De Niro and Jeremy Irons. The movie, filmed in Iguazu, talks about a group of Jesuits that try to defend a Guaraní tribe from falling to the pro-slavery Portuguese.
(I recommend listening to the movie soundtrack composed by the maestro Ennio Morricone).
What makes me have Jerusalem on my Bucket List?
Well, to see and experience that exciting combination of all that is new with all the ancient and historic.
Climbing up the Mount of Olives and watching a sunset, visiting the Wailing Wall, and regardless of your religious belief, the Holy Sepulcher becomes one of the important places to visit in the Old City of Jerusalem.
I’ve been to Japan a couple of times and haven’t had the chance to visit Kyoto, which once was Japan’s Capital.
Kyoto is a city with hundreds of beautiful and perfectly preserved historical places and a traditional atmosphere you will not find in another city in Japan.
Temples and shrines, such as those of Kiyomizu-Dera or Kinkakuji, and the nearby bamboo forests of Arashiyama, sleep at a traditional ryokan and, if possible, be able to witness the changing of the seasons through the cherry blossoms.
Many people have never heard of the Lofoten Archipelago. It is probably, one of the best-kept secrets of Norway. Lofoten is an archipelago made of around 2,000 islands in the Norwegian sea and is already above the Arctic Circle.
Among the things that attract me most to discover in Lofoten are those deep fjords, beaches, and bays with white sand and turquoise water (more expected to see at a “Beach Paradise” destination like Mexico or the Caribbean), as well as picturesque accommodations, beautiful fishing villages, and those very difficult to catch Northern Lights in the winter months.
There are many reasons to add Lofoten to my Bucket list.
For many people, mostly Europeans, visiting Majorca is a synonym for the beach, the sun, and the nightlife. But for me, living in America, the island is home to many places of interest, both from a cultural and heritage point of view, and attractive enclaves of nature, allowing anyone to enrich their trip.
Of course, the island’s capital, Palma, brings together many of the visits that one must do, with important monuments and museums that exemplify Majorca’s rich and long history.
Still, besides visiting the capital, the island has many other attractive places to see, and that’s why I have this Balearic Island on my Bucket List.
Majorca is just a quick flight away from Madrid and can always be an extension after or before visiting the Spanish capital.
Here is a detailed post on the best time to visit Madrid if you want to review it.
An excellent and dear friend from college decided to emigrate to Australia many years ago. He is delighted to live there; his children were born and raised as Aussies.
Since he told me he would settle in Melbourne, this city has occupied a little space in the back of my brain and my Bucket List, which I’m sure will still be there until I visit.
It seems that Melbourne has it all and more. When music, art, and food from different cultures come together, they create a unique spirit. Fun and colorful, with parks and gardens along the Yarra River’s banks and day trips to picturesque locations nearby.
When I see pictures of Porto, I immediately think of those villages in old children’s books. A bundle of stone houses with red roofs and colorful facades swirl and give rise to one of the most beautiful cities on the Iberian Peninsula.
Porto (Oporto in Portuguese) is, for many people, the name of one of the most peculiar wines on the planet. So, I’m curious to understand the different varieties of fermented products and enjoy the very photogenic city and its tasting rooms.
Singapore is a country that intrigues me, and I hope it will inspire me after I visit it.
It is a country that was part of the British Empire and an annex to Malaysia until about 50 years ago.
But the hard work of its people and the seemingly excellent management of its government have taken this small country from being a small colonized country with no identity to being a world economic reference.
Singapore is also one of the most pristine and orderly countries in Asia. Chewing gum is prohibited; smoking in public places outside the designated areas or eating inside the subway train will make you get penalized with a not-very-cheap ticket.
I wonder if all these regulations are necessary or are on the verge of attempting against individual freedom.
So, there you have it, my 2021-2022 Travel Bucket List for the next 18 months. I hope I will fulfill this list and visit at least 80% of all these places. We will see what happens and revisit this list sometime later.
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