” Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” – Confucius
The world came to a complete stand still in 2020; thanks to the pandemic. All travel plans became suspended while the tourism and travel industry grappled with a crippling economic crisis. Wanderlusters grew listless in this suspended state and the only way out was armchair travel. I also came up with a bucket list of sorts to travel to all the places I haven’t, but wish to. And also the places I have been to and wish to go back there all over again.
I asked a few of my fellow travel addicts to share that one spot in the world they are craving to visit as soon as the travel restrictions are lifted. This post is a compilation of our wishful travels in 2021 and I hope to enthrall you with the choices. Feel free to drop in your bucket list in the comment section please.
| Bali, Indonesia, South East Asia | Shalzmojo’s Bucket list |
Bali has long been on my bucket list of places to visit for I am enchanted by the rolling greens of its rice terraces on one hand and the golden beaches with shimmering azure waters on the other. Equally fascinating is the Balinese culture, architecture and the history of Bali. My ideal itinerary would include living in a villas surrounded by the lush rice fields with some great food options close by. The temples and markets would be my next on the list to visit items. And yes this would be a long lazy stay wherein I would work my way around quite a few of its landmarks.
| Gili Trawangan, Gili Islands, South East Asia | Victoria Heinz | Guide Your Travel |
Gili Trawangan is the perfect island to escape to once travel is possible again in 2021. It is part of the Gili Islands which lie close to Bali and Lombok.
Gili Trawangan is known for its vivid nightlife, incredible underwater world and pristine beaches. There is no motorized traffic on the island and the main form of transport is by bike or horse cart. What makes Gili Trawangan unique and an absolute must-see in 2021 is the fact that you can swim with green sea turtles right from the beach.
There is no need to book a tour or hire a guide, you can simply go to the beach and find giant turtles grazing in the shallow waters. It’s an incredible experience and makes Gili Trawangan well worth a visit. After a long day of swimming and snorkelling, you can relax by the beach with a cocktail or dance the night away at one of the nearby clubs. Gili Trawangan has something for everyone and should be on your bucket list.
| The Cloud Forest in Mindo, Ecuador | Carley Rojas Avila | Home to Havana | Instagram |
While South America might be well known as home to the Amazon rain forest, have you considered a visit to the cloud forest? Wedged between the Pacific Coast and the Andes mountains, Ecuador’s cloud forest – a subtropical forest at higher elevation, creating cooler, cloudier days – is filled with incredible biodiversity and lush, tropical landscapes, making it the perfect place for an escape in the new year.
The most popular and idyllic destination within the cloud forest is Mindo, located just two hours away from the capital city of Quito, making it an easy weekend getaway. Mindo is the perfect mix of relaxation and adventure. Here you’ll see countless butterflies and hummingbirds, as well as have the opportunity to zip line across the jungle, hike to remote waterfalls, and more. Make sure to check out the countless adventure sports and activities available in this guide to Mindo, Ecuador, and plan to stay in a jungle lodge or hostel with a view of the mountains.
| Kathmandu, Nepal, Asia | Shalzmojo’s Bucket list |
Kathmandu-the capital of Nepal lies in a bowl shaped valley that is historically been called the “Nepal Mandala“. It used to be the royal capital of the Kingdom of Nepal and so boasts of several gorgeous palatial residences and gardens. These were the homes of the royal aristocracy of the region and are now popular tourist spots. Besides these, due to the huge Buddhist influence, one can visit several Monastaries, Stupas and other famous temples.
Nepal is one of India’s closest neighbors and its possible to travel there by road through the Himalayan region. What I am most keen to explore in Kathmandu are the momos which I have heard are the best one can get anywhere.
After reading Anna Meanders ‘s post about her time in Kathmandu, I was convinced to add this one to my bucket list.
| South Island, New Zealand | Michelle Endo | Wander Eat Write | Facebook |
New Zealand’s South Island is at the top of my travel bucket list as I had plans to explore the region in the spring but was unable to due to COVID.
From December 2019- April 2020, I lived in McMurdo Station, Antarctica . Because Christchurch is the transit gateway for personnel headed to and from McMurdo, I had plans to take a road trip around the South Island after returning from my contract in April.
New Zealand has such beautiful nature and landscapes, a road trip is the only proper way to see and enjoy it all! While long drives can be boring, a road trip through the South Island is the complete opposite with exciting winding roads along the coast and picturesque views of the ocean and mountain ranges.
The South Island has something for everyone, including hiking and cycling trails for wilderness enthusiasts, the world’s first bungee jump for adrenaline junkies, and of course Lord of the Rings filming locations for the Tolkien fandom.
I was fortunate enough to spend a week around Christchurch and Canterbury prior to leaving for Antarctica in December and pre-corona virus, and I can’t wait to get back to the stunning landscapes and rich culture that New Zealand has to offer!
| Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | Evelina | Evbeing | Pinterest |
Having fulfilled a fruitful Europe and Marrakech round trip in 2019 I had landed Kuala Lumpur as my next destination for 2020. Before the pandemic outbreak, I was motivated to explore Malaysia and set Kuala Lumpur as a starting point. Due to Covid-19, I had to change plans and postpone my trip to 2021.
Hopefully, travel will return to normal by spring 2021, we may hit the road again. Here is my top six things-to-do wish list in Kuala Lumpur. A thing not to miss visiting is Menara Tower, the 421m-high KL Tower, which is considered the seventh tallest telecommunication tower in the world and the tallest in Southeast Asia, to get a breathtaking view of the city!
A must-see attraction is the Batu Caves, a limestone hill comprising a series of caves and cave temples. The iconic Petronas Twin Towers, once the tallest buildings in the world, do not fall behind! I would not miss a stroll around China Town with its vibrant Petaling Street Market and a walk by the lush green surrounding of Perdana Botanical Garden. On the top of my list will be to experience the Living Ocean dive to swim and get up close, in a custom-made underwater cage, to sharks and other majestic marine creatures.
| Lyon, France, Europe | Or Amir | My Path in the world | Instagram |
I’ve been dreaming about visiting Lyon, France, for the last couple of years, and after having to cancel my 2020 trip, I hope I can finally make it happen in 2021.
So why am I so eager to visit this city? Well, after reading a lot about what it has to offer and seeing countless beautiful photos of it, Lyon seems like the ultimate getaway destination, and I can already tell it’s going to be one of my favorite city breaks.
Lyon is the third-largest city in France, but luckily, it hasn’t been discovered by masses of tourists yet. It’s part traditional, part modern, and offers a great mix of things to do and see, which is why I’m surprised it doesn’t get more attention. Lyon’s considered the foodie capital of France; it’s home to some amazing landmarks and museums; it has a lovely old town, many parks and gardens, and two rivers; it’s a great base for day trips like the Beaujolais wine region but can also be a base for a road trip.
Lyon seems like the kind of city where most people only spend a couple of days, but in fact, there’s a lot more to it, so I can’t wait to explore it properly and come back with a huge list of recommendations.
| Western Australia | Steph| A Nomad’s Passport | Blog |
If there is one destination on my 2021 travel bucket list, it is Western Australia. With its incredible landscapes and nature, this often-overlooked state of Australia offers so much more than just the city of Perth. After all, Western Australia is the place where the Outback meets the ocean and creates an intense contrast of colors.
With its’ many beaches with crystal-clear turquoise water and kangaroos like Lucky Bay and Turquoise Bay, Western Australia is the perfect place for relaxed days. In in addition to that you have the chance to see natural phenomena like the ‘Staircase to the Moon’ when visiting the northern part of the state or red sunsets at Cable Beach in Broome.
This wonderful area of Australia has a large number of national parks with gorges and cliffs that are perfect for hiking and swimming in natural pools. Hereby, Kalbarri National Park and Karijini National Park are the very best.
| Dubai, UAE | Elina Michaelidou | Empnefsys & Travel | Instagram |
Dubai is a city that you should not miss visiting in 2021. Its international airport makes it easy to get to the city from anywhere in the world, either as a stand-alone trip or as an extended layover.
Dubai is well known for its ultra-modern buildings and skyscrapers. At the top of your Dubai bucket list should be the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world with impressive skyline views of the city. Of course, you cannot avoid getting lost in one of Dubai’s numerous shopping centres. Dubai Mall, one of the largest of its kind in the world and the Mall of the Emirates with an indoor ski resort are some examples.
Other notable places you can visit in Dubai are Deira which is full of traditional souks, Palm Jumeirah, a man-made island full of luxurious resorts and the iconic Dubai Frame. If you have more days to spare, head on a dessert safari experience or have fun at one of Dubai’s theme parks.
To have time to enjoy all the above, you should aim to spend at least 3 to 4 days in the city. Add a couple of extra days and head to Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE or to one of the other emirates.
| Jaipur, Rajasthan, India | Ellis Veen | Backpack Adventures | Instagram |
Jaipur is the capital city of Rajasthan. With all its royal heritage, it is a jewel among the cities of the so-called Golden triangle that refers to some of the most historic places to visit in India. The city has its rightful place with all its elegant palaces, forts and ancient monuments and should be on anyone’s bucket list once travelling is possible again.
The Jaipur kingdom actually started in nearby Amber where you can still visit the magnificent Amber fort. However, Maharaja Jai Singh II, with his love for arts, mathematics and astronomy, carefully designed a new capital in the 18th century. It’s center with the city palace still reflects its royal past.
Queen Victoria came to visit Jaipur in 1876 and to welcome her the whole city was painted in a terracotta pink colour. Hence it was known as the pink city. Something you will still see in the city’s vibrant bazaar and its impressive entrance gates.
Nowadays Jaipur offers a wealth of things to do for travelers. The royal family of Jaipur have turned many of their palaces and forts into museums. Most of the forts lie just outside Jaipur and have scenic locations in the Aravalli hills with spectacular viewpoints.
Jaipur is also one of the best cities to go shopping. The bazaar in Jaipur has a great selection of souvenirs from all over Rajasthan. For foodies this is also a great place to try street food with great lassi’s, samosas, pakoras and other Indian delicacies. Jaipur really is a place where the past meets present and the city is waiting for you in 2021.
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I hope you enjoy reading this post and maybe got a few ideas for a bucket travel list of your own. I would love to know more about your list as well.
A trained Interior designer who loves to travel, photograph and write, I have done some boutique stays in limited budgets and some in extravagant ones too. My forte is in using locally sourced/ made products which would provide support to the local community. I am also an advocate of using sustainable practices in housekeeping, laundry,etc which lessens the use of harmful chemicals. The water used for such chores is clean enough to be fed into the garden directly.
You could get in touch with me for:
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