My 13 Most Wanted Destinations

Posted: September 8, 2011    Categories: Travel

I do not have a bucket list. If I did, I’m sure most of the things on that list would have been crossed off by now. That does not mean, however, that I do not have goals or a priority list of things I’d like to do. The following list is of the 13 places I would most like to visit.

You will notice that most of these destinations are out of the way and rather hard to get to. While I still haven’t visited many places which get large numbers of tourists (Shanghai for example), they are relatively easy to get to. If I really wanted to visit Shanghai I’m sure I could do it no problem. I’m also sure I’ll wind up going there at some point.

These places have all captured my fancy for some reason or another. Save for the locations in Canada and Australia, all are in countries which I haven’t visited before. (Technically, I have been to Chile when I went to Easter Island, but it isn’t the same as visiting the mainland of Chile)

Here is my list in no particular order are the 13 places I would most like to visit:

  • Nahanni National Park (Canada) – There are three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Canada which I have not visited. One of them is Nahanni. Located in the Northwest Territory of Canada, it might well be the most underrated national park in all of North America. The photos I’ve seen are incredible. Being in the NWT it is not an easy park to visit. You pretty much have to fly there via bush plane. UPDATE: Visited in 2014
  • St. Helena – A speck of land located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, St. Helena is best known as the location where Napoleon was exiled and died. Getting to St. Helena isn’t easy. There are no flights here and there isn’t an airstrip to land even if you could find one. The only way on or off the island is by a mail ship which arrives about once a month. A trip here would also probably involve visiting several other islands in the Atlantic such as Ascension and Tristan da Cunha. UPDATE: Visited in 2014
  • Tuvalu – I have visited every independent country in the Pacific except for one: Tuvalu. I was going to visit back in 2007, but due to getting denied entry into the nation of Kiribati, I never ended up going. Tuvalu is one of the smallest nations in the world both in terms of area and population. It is also made up exclusively of coral atolls which makes it extremely vulnerable to sea level rise. Visiting Tuvalu might very well be a case of visiting it while I can.
  • Kashmir (India) – When I visit Kashmir I will probably start all my blog posts with lyrics from the Led Zeppelin song. That being said, despite its political problems with India, Pakistan and China, Kashmir holds the most interest for me in India. The mountains plus the people make it a fascinating place.
  • The Atacama Desert (Chile) – This is the driest place on Earth. Some soil samples taken here were found to be the most devoid of life ever found on the planet, including Antarctica. I am a sucker for extreme places and this is one of the most extreme. I’m not certain that photos from here would be on a par with visiting a snow capped mountain range, but I want to go nonetheless.
  • Lake Baikal (Russia) – This has always been the one place in Russia that I’ve wanted to visit. Lake Baikal is the oldest and deepest lake in the world. It contains about 20% of the unfrozen fresh water in the world. –
  • Mount Everest (Nepal) – Make no mistake, I have no desire to CLIMB Mount Everest. I can tell I’m at altitude when I’m at 10,000 feet. I don’t think I’d do well at 30,000 feet. I would, however, like to get as far as base camp. I think the act of getting to Mount Everest would constitute the greater adventure.
  • Leptis Magna (Libya) – Maybe right now is not the best time to visit Libya. However, in a few years I hope things settle down enough to visit what are probably the greatest Roman ruins in the world: Leptis Magna. Located on the African shore of the Mediterranean Sea,
  • Persepolis (Iran) – The former capital of the Persian Empire, Persepolis is, along with Leptis Magna, some of the greatest ancient ruins in the world. I can’t say I have visited any Persian Empire ruins in all my travels. Also, going to Iran in and of itself would be an interesting experience.
  • Lord Howe Island (Australia) – Lord Howe Island is located about 600km east of Australia and is technically part of the state of New South Wales. It is also home to the southern most coral reef in the world and is considered by many respected travelers to be one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Getting there requires a propeller plane and you are weighed before you can get on board. Only a limited number of visitors are allowed on the island at any given time. UPDATE: Visited in 2012
  • Li River (China) – The best photos I’ve seen come out of China have been from the Li River. In fact many of the iconic images people have of China are from the Li River. I have a sneaking suspicion that the Li River would be one of those places where you can do no wrong taking photos. –
  • Socotra (Yemen) – If you’ve seen photos from Socotra you’ll understand why this is a very special place. It is an island in the Indian Ocean located about 240km from the coast of Yemen. It is home to species found nowhere else on Earth. Moreover, they look really cool. It has been called the most alien looking place on Earth. I think I’d have a photography field day here.
  • Pitcairn Island – This list was only going to include 12 places, but at the last moment I decided to include Pitcairn Island. If you are not aware of it, it is perhaps the most remote human settlement in the world. With a total population of 48 people, all of whom are descendants of the mutineers of the HMS Bounty, Pitcairn is one of the hardest places in the world to visit. There are no flight and no regularly scheduled ships which visit the island. This might just be the hardest human settlement in the world to visit.

What places do you want to visit?

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