Top 5 Travel Bucket List

I’ve been back in the U.S. about four months now which means I’m starting to seriously get the inch to go abroad. When thinking about where I want to go, five countries instantly pop into my head:

#1  Cuba – I’ve heard so much about Cuba over the years from my Canadian and European friends (those who are able to freely travel there). As an American, I need to go through a travel agency, which is cool by me. I’m thinking Christmas in Cuba this year!

Zighy village, MusandamI originally became fascinated with Cuba with the popularity of the Buena Vista Social Club eons ago. And then there were the Cuban sandwiches I sampled in Miami, and the stories of Cuban resiliency and ingenuity relayed by friends with ties to the country.

I also hear the beaches are beautiful, the diving amazing, and the people warm and open. Sign me up! I’ll be winging my way there as soon as I can arrange it!

#2  Oman – I first thought of visiting Oman after an Egyptian friend mentioned that it was one of her favorite places. I wasn’t even sure where it was (southeast corner of the Arabian Peninsula, bordering both Yemen and Saudi Arabia.) Oman’s proximity to two countries where a lone American woman probably should not travel gives me only slight pause.

But Oman is not only supposed to be relatively safe, but also chock full of activities, as outlined by the Trip Advisor post “170 Things to do in Oman.” The capital Muscat just sounds romantic. Plus there’s the lure of a desert safari (I love these!) and exploring the coast in a dhow. I hear they even have turtle hatchings. What more could a girl want?!

#3 Easter Island – This Polynesian island is part of Chile, bringing together my two loves of all things tropical and Latin. Making it even more tempting is that I’ve been to Chile three times and still haven’t taken the flight from Santiago. (Granted Easter Island is far away and expensive to reach.)

I also obsessed with moai, the giant stone images that dot the island. I particularly want to scuba dive to see the underwater moai (which may have been put there by the tourism office – but no matter – I still want to see these carved monoliths up close and under water!)

Maoi by AhuTongarikiThere is also a history of cannibalism on the island that’s making me hungry to go!

#4 Paraguay – This is one of the few Latin American countries I haven’t visited – but it was a near miss! I was supposed to travel overland from Bolivia, through Paraguay, and then head into Argentina but I had to hasten my trip to meet the sailing of my Antarctic expedition (poor me!). So Paraguay got cut.

With a reputation for beautiful prairies and a rich gaucho (cowboy) tradition, I want to go and ride the range! The villages are also supposed to be untainted by modernity, with true Latin personality.

To me, Paraguay promises a glimpse at how life used to be in South America. Pronto! (which is more an Italian word than Spanish. Just another reason to go – to work on my dwindling español!)

#5 French Guiana – Situated in the northeastern corner of South America, the three countries of Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana are pulling me. These fascinate me mainly because I know so little about them. The mystery is alluring!

I was planning to tack on a visit during my 2-year trek after visiting neighboring Venezuela, but when that trip was canceled due to the threat of political violence, my dreams of going to these countries, collectively known as part of “The Guianas,” was shelved too.

French Guiana is especially intriguing since it considers itself a part of France and a member of the European Union. French as the official language, the Euro is its currency, and the country even requests protection under NATO. Is this a place I need to explore? Oui!

Ever been to these places? Please write me and give me the inside scoop! I also want to hear your Top 5 travel bucket list!

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This entry was posted on Friday, July 11th, 2014 and is filed under Travel Favorites.

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