If I’m being brutally honest, I often think I know it all when it comes to travel recommendations. I’ve been travel writing for a few years now, and though I may not have seen the majority of my most sought-after spots, I’ve researched innumerable places to visit, and think it’s all been said and done. Well, not so.
Places to See Before You Die is a guide to the world’s once in a lifetime destinations; well, it’s my guide, and one to my once in a lifetime destinations. After inputting my name, age, nationality and interests – amongst some other titbits of information – it produces a little tailored travel passport for me, complete with any mugshot I choose. And who am I kidding? I was always going to go for a cheesy shot (and me with a pitcher of Woo Woo on the Isle of Lewis will do the trick just nicely). After selecting ‘natural’, ‘unusual’ and ‘exotic’ as my preferred travel themes, it whisks me to destinations across the continents and years into the future.
Suggesting a whopping 14 places, below I’ve chosen just five of my favourites. Here are a few reasons why I’d love to see them before I die; which, for the record, won’t be until I’m 82 (and that’s always nice to know!).
When I’m 29, I’ll visit Trolltunga, Norway in 2018
Too right I will. In fact, I’m incredibly sad to say that I went to Norway last year, and didn’t get round to seeing this marvellous landmark. Too busy skinny dipping in Oslo, I didn’t make it to “Troll’s Tongue”, a rocky tower jutting out over a 700m drop. If I manage to make my way there in five years time, I’m sure I’ll still have the energy to climb Trolltunga from Skjeggedal village (and will have mustered up the bravery to boot!).
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When I’m 44, I’ll visit Neko Harbour, Antarctica in 2033
This is a great suggestion: I’ve always liked the idea of visiting all seven continents. I’m not sure I’ll have the funds in the next few years, but hey: fingers crossed I’ll be rich and famous by then! Because one thing I do know is that the Antarctic’s wildlife would enthrall me: from the Gentoo penguin chicks to the whales beneath the water, I’d be on the edge of my seat the whole time. And besides, I’m a 44-year-old from Scotland: I can deal with all that ice and snow (I should think!).
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When I’m 59, I’ll visit The Dead Sea, Israel/Jordan in 2048
By the time I’m 59, I reckon I’ll have got round to pampering myself; and where better than The Dead Sea? Its salty waters have been said to heal ailments for centuries; though I hope I won’t find myself with anything too serious by then! I can just imagine floating in its waters after a day at the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, where the torrents of David’s Fall can be found, or following a scuba diving expedition in Aquaba. Lovely.
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When I’m 73, I’ll visit Khajuraho Temples, India in 2062
India is, for me, a land of dreams. Whenever I’m typing away at my laptop, my mind wanders to the innumerable smells, sights and sounds of this colourful and chaotic country. That said, the Khajuraho Temples aren’t something I’ve heard of till now. According to the site, they’re covered in “intricate sculptures (which are erotic in subject matter)”. Now, I don’t know about you, but that should prove exciting at 73…
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When I’m 82, I’ll visit Klevan, Ukraine in 2071
I’m 82. My travels are almost over. That’s quite a strange thing to contemplate, but I can honestly say this last suggestion is a beautiful one. I’ve heard rumours of it, but wasn’t sure whether it existed: this little town is next to the Tunnel of Love, a long track overarched with shrubbery. Apparently, if you cross the track while holding your partner’s hand, your wishes will come true. I can’t imagine a better way to end my globetrotting.
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