How to make a travel wish list

girl holding helmet next to statue

Where to next? The one thing all real Intrepid travellers know, is that the more places you visit, the more exciting new destinations you want to explore. So how do you narrow down your options and decide your next adventure? Intrepid’s Ella Benjamin has 6 great tips for making your own travel wish list…

“With airfares getting cheaper and destinations that were once considered obscure becoming increasingly accessible, I find that my travel must-do list is forever being added to. While this allows for enjoyable travel daydreaming, it means that setting out your travel priorities is becoming more difficult. You know life is hard when your biggest problem is working out what is higher on your travel agenda – scuba diving in Indonesia or trekking in Nepal?

As a result, I thought about what I really wanted to achieve in order to fulfill my travel goals, then that way I can work towards making them happen. I believe the most affective way of making a “must-do-before-I-die” travel list is breaking it down into what you want to accomplish:

1. What you must see
Have you ever looked at a picture of a destination and your immediate response is “get me there right this second”? For those like me who spend hours looking at travel magazines, blogs and Pinterest boards, I find that I am constantly finding photos that inspire my travel dreams. The key when making a travel wish list is to narrow these down to images that you absolutely must see in person. This might be the Eiffel Tower lit up at night, the ancient wonders of Petra in Jordan or the pristine beaches of Tulum, Mexico. For me, my current number one must-see is the picturesque waters of the Crystalline Turquoise Lake in the Jiuzhaigou National Park, China.

2. What you must experience
Travel is ultimately all about experiences and immersing yourself in a new culture and way of life. For your travel wish list you need to decide what is your absolute must-do experience. This could be a safari in South Africa, taking a boat ride under the Iquazu Falls in Argentina or counting down the New Year in Times Square. My dream travel experience would be to ride camels past the astounding pyramids of Egypt.

3. What journey you must make
Classic journeys are a staple for intrepid travelers. Whether it be sailing the Panama Canal or road tripping Route 66, there are always amazing journeys to be taken. After watching the incredible documentary The Long Way Round, by Ewan Mcgregor and Charie Boorman, I have been obsessed with going to Central and Eastern Asia. Whilst they traveled by motorbike, I can’t wait to journey by train along the Trans Mongolian Railway,

4. What you must conquer
Travelling will always present you with new challenges. One of the best parts of travelling is setting yourself a challenge or goal and then enjoying that amazing feeling when you finally achieve it. I recently conquered one of my top travel challenges of trekking the Inca trail. The next on my list: ride Bolivia’s Death Road.

5. What you must taste
Travel and food are inherently connected. The foundation of most cultures is to welcome an outsider with food. Often with the absence of a shared language, it is though food that we can connect with others. That amazing goat curry in India or the tapas in San Sebastian or the heavenly gelato in Florence will always bring back happy memories of life on the road.
My next must-eat would have to be fresh sushi at Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market.

6. What you must hear
I believe that, like taste, sounds has plays a huge part in how we experience the world around us. When writing your travel wish list it is important to think of what you must hear before you die – a gospel choir in Harlem, the Opera in Vienna or even the roar of the crowd at Buenos Aires’ La Boca football stadium. On my travel-wish list is to hear the world’s best artists play at the Glastonbury Music Festival in England.

And don’t forget the best thing about a travel wish list – once you tick one thing off there will always be a new destination to add!”

What’s on your travel wish list?

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About the author

Sue Elliot - Like many of us, Sue contracted a serious travel bug at an early age. She's visited over 90 countries in search of a cure, but her wanderlust just seems to get worse. Thankfully at Intrepid Travel she's amongst people who understand the affliction and since 1998 Sue has enjoyed being our blog and newsletter editor. Here you'll find helpful travel advice and inspiring tales from Sue and other Intrepid travellers.

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