Places to Visit before You Pop it
I’m always been a bit apprehensive about compiling lists like “5 or 10 Places to See before You Die” or “15 Places to Add to Your Bucket List,” quite simply because we simply have different tastes for what makes life good. I mean I myself have a couple of buddies who are just as passionate as I am about travelling, and although our friendship is indeed based on the fact that we have a lot of other things in common, we can’t even come to an agreement about where we’d stop on a road-trip which unfortunately hasn’t seen the light of day yet.
So in putting together this post of places to visit before you go, I’ll first focus more on what type of places to go to as opposed to explicitly suggesting some destinations and then I’ll come up with some suggestions I think would befit those identified flavours of travel destinations.
What are you escaping from?
One of the most powerful driving forces behind that wanderlust one feels and subsequent decision to jet off is indeed the burning need for some physical escapism. Do you perhaps need a vacation which has you occupying your time with the complete opposite of what you’re in a sense forced to do at work, on a daily basis? Perhaps a yoga retreat in Thailand’s Koh Samui will do, since you’ll be able to take your pick from a variety of activities, non-activities, treatments, views, etc. which would account for the exact opposite of what you do at the office.
If your escapism dreams take more of an adventurous form, then you best perhaps be looking to a different continent. There’s a very mystifying yet at the same time satisfying stretch of the Kalahari Desert running along a road that leads from South Africa to Namibia, which can be explored Going Nowhere Slowly style. For someone like me who hails from Glasgow, it’s a sort of hurry-up-and-wait type of scenario where the escapist traveller will undoubtedly be in for a real mind-reset travelling through especially the dirt-track parts of the roads running through the Kalahari Desert. Some escapist havens lie in wait along the way, making for the perfect setting to just stare into the rolling landscapes which will leave you in awe of a very simple type of beauty, far-flung from any place near your office.
Travelling for the cultural experience
The other driving force for a pair of itchy feet is seeking a cultural experience beyond the everyday realms of your ordinary world. So again, from the point of view of this Glaswegian bloke, the right amount of culture shock will have me suggesting places like the Vung Vieng floating fishing village in Vietnam. In this particular case it’s as much about the lifestyle as it is about the scenery, which the locals themselves don’t quite seem to be in awe of as much as us visitors. Perhaps they need some cultural travel escapism of their own, but sure, there are a lot of very beautiful fishing villages around the world anybody would enjoy visiting, however none of them are as unique as Vung Vieng.
I could suggest a number of the regular “clichéd” culturally-rich destinations to see before you die, but beyond the likes of the Taj Mahal in Agra, India, Christ the Redeemer in Rio, Brazil and even the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, I’m more for an actual experience which comes with a particular cultural sight. So I guess between the destinations in my rather anaemic list of suggested places to visit before your final departure, lies a whole world of culture and physical escapism waiting to be discovered.