Wanderlust List

Do you ever find yourself browsing travel sites like Lonely Planet or Travel and Leisure and creating a list of places to add to your bucket list? As travel is one of my priorities, I can be found researching my next travel spot, airbnbs, or creating lists of “must-see” attractions. Is travel a priority for you?

The following is my current Wanderlust List, complete with airbnbs and reasons for travel.

1. ICELAND

Photo: Windstar Cruises

 

Iceland has been called a “photographer’s dream” with it’s black sand beaches, gorgeous waterfalls, and abstract landscape. For adventure seekers, you can rent a 4×4 vehicle and drive around the island, camping out of your car, enjoy a dip in the geothermal pools, or join a whale watching tour. If you’re more into comfort, the Blue Lagoon offers various spa treatments or an in-water massage.

Why Iceland?

  1. Rugged and beautiful landscape
  2. Eco Friendly
  3. Warm and welcoming people
  4. Icelandic Horses

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: Paul Shark

 2.GREECE

Known for it’s breathtaking sunsets, white cliff side homes, culture, and rich history, this is definitely somewhere I would like to visit. If those reasons weren’t enough, Greeks are known for celebrating life, which is evident in their nightlight culture. In Athens, you can check out “bouzoukia” concert halls, and dance until the wee hours of the morning. Nightlife not your thing? Try island hopping Santorini. Milos. Rhodes. Mykonos. Crete. Don’t forget the food! Tzatziki anyone?

Why Greece?

  1. Proximity to both Europe and Asia – extended trip?
  2. Sailing and the beaches
  3. Rugged mountains, olive groves, wine, and rolling hills
  4. Acropolis, ruins, and olympic history
  5. Baklava
Photo: Olgaorly

 

 

 

Photo: Nordic Visitor

 

3. SCANDINAVIA (Norway, Finland, Denmark, Sweden)

 

Photo: Kakslauttanen Artic Resort

The World Happiness Report conducted by the United Nations deems Norway as the happiest country on Earth in 2017  (Denmark and Finland also make top 5!) This report ranks countries based on main factors that support happiness: caring, freedom, generosity, honesty, health, income and good governance.

Photo: Santa’s Home, Finland – Raileurope

Scandinavia is also known for its unsurpassed natural phenomenon such as the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights), or midnight sun (if you travel in the summer).  If you’re traveling with children, be sure to sip some hot cocoa and check out Santa’s Home in Finland where all Christmas dreams come true. More of a daredevil? Hike to Trolltunga (Troll’s Tongue) or Kjeragbolten (Kjerag Boulder).

If you’re an educator like me, you are probably also curious about Finland’s education system that is always making front-line news.

 

Photo: Trolltunga – Lonely Planet

Why Scandinavia:

  1. Happiest place on Earth (learn their secret!)
  2. Little to no language barrier for English speakers
  3. Their taste in minimalistic home decor
  4. Meet Santa himself or explore Viking history
  5. Epic hikes

 

 

 

 

4. AUSTRIA

The hills are alive with the sound of music. If you’re a fan of the classic film “The Sound of Music” then you need to check out Austria! In Salzburg you can get a tour that will bring you to all of the popular spots in the film. Sing your heart out (Do Re Mi) and run through the hills like Maria and the Von Trapp family.

Photo: Apfelstrudel – Oesterreich Werbung

Even if you aren’t a Sound of Music fan, Austria’s rolling pastures, snow-capped mountains, crystal clear waters, and sweet treats (try apfelstrudel) should have you convinced. Try your hand at skiing in the Alps, or browse the Naschmarkt (food and flea market) which has existed in Vienna since the 18th century!

 

Photo: Eagle Walk -Tirol Werbung

Why Austria:

  1. Beautiful architecture and villages
  2. Rich culture and history
  3. Located in the heart of Europe, easy rail access to other destinations
  4. The Eagle Walk (a 1480 kilometer trail is broken up into 126 stages with a total elevation gain of 87,000 meters)

 

 

 

Photo: Flight Centre UK

5. Australia

G’Day mate! Australia is definitely on my wanderlust list as it’s a beaut of a country and you’re guaranteed to have an ace of a time visiting allthe sites and learning the slang of the locals. If you’re a Greenie (environmentalist) like my husband and I, you’ll want to see the Great Barrier Reef which stretches more than 2,300 kilometers along the Queensland coast.  

If you love Netflix and documentaries, you may have seen “Chasing Coral”  which follows a team of divers as they explore the bleaching (due to ocean warming caused by climate change) of the world’s coral reefs.  Great Barrier experienced bleaching of 22% of its coral in 2016 according to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. You’ll want to see this beauty before it’s gone. 

Australia is also home to some very unique wildlife such as: koalas, dingos, kangaroo, capybara (my personal favourite), and the unique platypus.

 

Why Australia?

Photo: REI
  1. Surfer’s paradise
  2. Natural Wonders (Great Barrier Reef, Uluru, Blue Mountains, Fraser Island, Outback etc.)
  3. Liberal laid-back lifestyle with a passion for the outdoors
  4. Finding Nemo

 

 

 

 

Photo: Four Seasons

6. Costa Rica

Costa Rica has been on my list for a while now. I mean, how could it not be? Luscious rainforests, beautiful beaches, stay in a treehouse, zip lining, Costa Rica has it all.

Photo: Cloud Forest – Celebdu

Consider ecotourism by participating in a turtle volunteer trip with Las Tortugas where you can spend your time working with giant leatherback turtles, patrolling beaches and rainforests, helping with the clean up of the coast line, collecting turtle eggs to move to hatcheries, and helping the turtles make it to the water safe and sound.

If you visit Costa Rica, be sure to try zip-lining through the forest canopy in Monteverde, explore the Cloud Forest, tube down a river, trek up a volcano, or visit a coffee plantation.

Why Costa Rica?

Photo: SEE-Turtles
  1. Eco Tourism
  2. Lush rainforest and plentiful wildlife
  3. Thrill-Seeking Adventure  (4×4, zip-line, sky dive, Tarzan swing)
  4. Relatively inexpensive

 

 

 

 

7. Seychelles

If you aren’t sure what or where the Seychelles are, you’re going to be glad you’re reading this post.You know that desktop background of the perfect beach that you put on your computer at work and dream about…yes, that’s Seychelles.


The Seychelles
is an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, off East Africa, and has been said to have the most beautiful beaches on Earth. Fit for a princess? I’m not joking, Prince William and Princess Kate spent their honeymoon in Seychelles, as did other celebrities such as George and Amal Clooney, and most recently Julianne Hough and husband Brooks Laich.

 

If you get tired of laying on these beautiful beaches (which let’s be honest, I’m not sure how you could), you can visit the National Botanical Garden, Ste Anne National Marine Park, Morne Seychellois National Park, or go shopping in Mahé.

 

Why Seychelles?

 

  1. Serene beaches
  2. Eden Island
  3. Island hopping
  4. Blend of cultures

 

 

 

 

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