I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately…death and dying. It’s not a pleasant topic so I keep it to myself. I was thinking though, where would I like to go before I die? There are so many awesome places and sights to see on this great planet of ours. Of course, being disabled kind of puts a damper on those dreams of traveling. Add to that the problems with COVID-19 and well, I guess I’ll have to be content with seeing beautiful photos online, at least for foreseeable future.
I had a rough time with this list. There are so many beautiful destinations on Earth! When choosing a country, I then had to think about where would I go within that country? What would I like to see? Many were obvious but I had to really think hard on a few! Sooo many choices! This list is just a tip of the iceberg!
Where would you like to travel? If money were no object, and if you had no limitations, commitments or obligations, where would you go? Below are my Top 10 choices. I can dream, right?
10. The Grand Canyon, Arizona – With the Colorado River flowing through this immense canyon of layered red rock, it must be a spectacular sight! The canyon is 277 miles long, 18 miles wide in some parts, with a depth of over a mile! People say photos and videos do not do this natural wonder justice! It must be witnessed in person!
9. Antelope Canyon, Arizona – This gorgeous formation occurred from the erosion of red sandstone, due to flash flooding and winds. Several tourists have met their demise because flash flooding can occur even when it’s not raining. It’s especially dangerous during monsoon season. Light beams at certain times of the day create wonderful photo ops! I can only imagine!
8. Glacier National Park, Montana – This beautiful park of over one million acres, sits on the Canadian-US border. It consists of 2 mountain ranges, 200 lakes, 50 glaciers, thousands of species of plants and hundreds of species of animals. I would love to walk the trails that flow through the meadows and forests of this magnificent park!
7. Alaska – I was never particularly interested in Alaska until I learned of a train tour that takes you from Skagway through White Pass Summit, where you witness the glorious scenery of mountains, waterfalls, glaciers, and gorges. This historic railway was built in the 1890’s during the Klondike Gold Rush.
6. Venice, Italy – Can you see yourself touring the city on a gondola and eating authentic Italian foods in quaint little cafes? I’d love to go sightseeing and witness for myself the incredible architecture, bridges, canals, churches, and museums. Of course, while in Italy, there are other cities worthy of visiting, too!
5. Sequoia National Park, California – Home of the Giant Sequoias! What a sight (and feeling) it must be to stand next to a 200 foot tall tree! Imagine the trunk of that tree having a 40 foot circumference! Some of these sequoias have a life span of over 3000 years! Can you even imagine that? I’d like to hike the trails in this park and view the waterfalls, caves, cliffs, and canyons for myself.
4. Finland, Norway & Sweden – Well, these 3 gorgeous countries are tied for 4th place on my list. Why? I couldn’t decide which would be the better option to view The Northern Lights! Aurora Borealis can be seen in such glory in the Lapland/Arctic of these countries. I’d love the chance to camp outdoors in various spots for some fantastic photos! I would also have to visit some of Finland’s beautiful castles, such as 15th century Olavinlinna, which was constructed on a rock in the middle of a lake, the 13th century medieval fortress Turku Castle with 2 dungeons, and I can’t forget the Snow Castle! They rebuild it every year because it melts in the Spring! It has snow beds, thrones, sculptures, towers, and even a drawbridge – all made with compacted snow! Norway and Sweden also have a few medieval castles I’d love to see.
3. England – My #1 destination in England would have to be Stonehenge! There’s debate over the age of this monolithic monument, but it’s speculated that it was constructed around 3000 to 2000 BC. After Stonehenge, I’d have to roam the country-side looking for castles! The 12th century Windsor Castle, 11th century Tower of London, and Warwick Castle (also 11th century) come to mind. I can’t forget other sites such as the Wax Museum, National History Museum, and William Shakespeare’s home. Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site is something I know very little about, except that it has rock formations which span 3 of Earth’s time zones – Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous – 185 million years in all! It would be a breath-taking sight!
2. Ireland – Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t visit some of Ireland’s castles! Kilkenny and Carrickfergus Castles (both built in the 12th century) are definitely on my list. The famous Blarney Castle (15th century) would be my first stop, I think. Why wouldn’t you want to kiss the Blarney Stone? Legend has it that if you kiss the stone you will receive the “gift of gab” (great skill of flattery). To kiss the stone one must ascend to the castle’s highest peak and lean over backwards from the parapet walk. Not sure if I could do that even if I were physically able, but I’d like the chance to try! I’d also hit a few of the local pubs, because why not? When in Ireland, do what the Irish do, yes? Ireland is home to many a lovely landscape; waterfalls, cliffs, caves, and sandy beaches. Also on my itinerary is The Giant’s Causeway, a rock formation nearly 60 million years old! Legend has it that it was created by giant Finn McCool.
1. Scotland – Scotland will always be my #1 because of the beautiful landscapes and of course, the castles! My first stop is the 13th century Eilean Donan Castle. She is my all-time favorite castle, but others I’d like to see are the 12th century Stirling Castle and the Wallace Monument, Edinburgh Castle (also 12th century), and the 13th century Urquhart Castle. Urquhart sits beside Loch Ness, home of The Loch Ness Monster, aka Nessie. While in the Highlands, I’d most definitely put on my hiking boots and find some photo-worthy sights – I’m sure there will be plenty of those! Caves, waterfalls, sandy beaches, and other castle ruins. I’m sure I’ll be busy…and exhausted!
Whew! There’s my list of places I’d like to see before I die. You may have noticed that most of my destinations include some hiking, which is something I always enjoyed. If only I had the money to do these things back in my backpacking days! You may have also noticed that I have a passion for castles! I love Medieval History and castles! My ‘handle’ for most online activities is “Castlefreak.” I used to have a Facebook page about castles, but I just didn’t have time for it. I’m thinking of reviving it!
I do hope you enjoyed my list! I enjoyed making it! I’m sure I’ll think of places that I forgot, but I’ll just make another list later – because, why not?