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I had a conversation with Jonnie this week about his trip to Switzerland and how he feels he has “done the area” he travelled to. He went up mountains, got on cable cars, went inside glaciers, did all the chocolate factories and other touristy places and came away thinking he could well and truly tick Interlaken off his list. I joked how that is absolutely NOT how I feel about a trip I did to LA when I was 22. I went for the day. Can you say you have done LA in a day? No of course not!
I was broke though and on a real Thelma and Louise trip (with less Brad Pitt and obviously without the final scene) with a friend and we really couldn’t afford to do anything other than drive through it. Ditto San Francisco. I have always vowed that I would go back and do California properly.
Which then led to me to day dreaming about the places I would also like to revisit, or go to for the first time. So when I saw that Exodus Travels were running a competition called 7 Wonders where you could win trips to your top seven destinations around the world. Imagine a year of adventures to those seven places?! I have had a gorgeous afternoon thinking where mine might be if I entered the competition and then won it (I am not entering but please please please can you do it so I can live vicariously through you if you win).
In no particular order my Top 7 destinations would be:
I would love to go back to San Francisco. This is another city we drove through on our California trip in 92 and other than to sit on the bay and stare at Alcatraz we didn’t even get out of the car. Except when Sue panicked driving up a really steep hill and got out of the car screaming at me “I can’t do this”. One of my favourite songs is “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay” and I would love to explore that bay a bit more, wander down through the street markets around the piers and generally try and take in the hippie vibe of the city.
This is another place that I have visited fleetingly. In a previous life when I was living in Saudi Arabia I went for a long weekend to attend the air show in Dubai, but didn’t really get to do any of the touristy things. Indeed many of the tourist things that attract people now didn’t even exist back then. Back in 93 it really was just pretty much a desert city with just a few major hotels and now there is the seven star Burj Al Arab dominating the skyline, and The World Islands dominating the shoreline. It would be lovely to explore the area again and to brush off my twelve words of Arabic.
This has long been on my wish list for places to visit and I am really excited that we are finally getting there in January. Not just in the hope of seeing the Northern Lights, but also to spend some time in thermal pools, lounge in the Blue Lagoon and to photograph the volcanic landscape. I have bought a stack of guidebooks and will be spending time over Christmas and New Year putting together our itinerary. And saving up money in order to be able to pay for it all!
My auntie lived in Cape Town for over 30 years and I never visited. Sadly she has passed away now but my wish to visit still hasn’t gone away and I would love to finally make it over there to see my cousin Emma. My aunt lived in a block of flats right under Table Mountain and every time I see a picture of it I try and spot the tower blocks so it would be lovely to actually see them up close.
It would also be a great opportunity to eat at Test Kitchen (though we would need to book it as soon as we book our trip as they only release tables on the 1st of the month and they all go in half an hour apparently!)
Every time a friend says they are off to Morocco I don’t know if I want to hug them because I am so pleased for them, or punch them because I am so jealous. This would be another opportunity to practice those 12 words of Arabic but to do more shopping in the souk rather than designer shops. To ride on some camels and to eat all the babaganoush. To be able to spend a day wandering through the Medina of Marrakech would be my idea of heaven.
Talking of heaven. I am sorry but how can any holiday wish list not include the Maldives? I mean, look at it! Or rather them. The Maldives are actually 26 ring shaped atolls, made up of 1000 coral islands. This would be the most incredible holiday on which to relax, to kick back and to really just do nothing other than lie on a beach and read a book. I think the only thing I would really have on my to do list would be visiting the 17th-century Hukuru Miskiy , a mosque made from coral. But other than that, pass me the sun tan lotion and another Pina colada please.
Lastly I would love to take Mr B to Jordan. I went there on a charity trip a couple of years ago but this time would love to visit Petra. One of the true wonders of the world I think they really have to be seen to be believed. Photographs just don’t do them justice from what I have heard.
So that is it. My Seven Wonders of the World. What would yours be? I would love to hear.
All photos courtesy of Unsplash
This is a collaborative post written for Exodus Travels