#9 Countries on my bucket list for the future

This year has been like for many no travel, no spontaneous adventures and no opportunities to meet new people. It’s been a year where I thought I haven’t really missed travelling, until last night. I found myself going through my memory cards for my camera and suddenly became nostalgic and missed all the memories I had made abroad. It reminded me just how many amazing people I have met along the way and just how much I have learnt through such experiences. I never forgot those memories, but they were just put to the side temporarily while I was dealing with this challenging year in front of me.

Although right now travelling is restricted and not the best idea during a pandemic.  I thought I would share with you destinations I’m eager to visit in the future. Something that is completely opposite to what I’m used to back in England usually appeals to me. A place that has rich culture and hidden gems that the rest of the world may not have heard of, exotic landscapes and a strong identity are all characteristics I love about a destination.

So here are some destinations I hope to visit in the future in no particular order.

 SAUDI ARABIA المملكة العربية السعودية

green palm tree under blue sky during daytime

Probably not a destination most people think of to come on holiday, however with Saudi opening up slowly to tourism and welcoming visitors to the country, there are plenty of hidden gems to discover. You might be surprised to hear that mountainous and green areas do exist in Saudi. Picturesque views filled with palm trees as well as camels, cows and wildlife here. This beautiful, tropical remote place is known as ‘Al Ahsa Oasis’. When I look at pictures of this place, it feels very pre-historic looking that looks almost untouched despite people living here. This oasis has become a world heritage site and its easy to see why. In Al Ahsa you can also find Souq Al Qaisariya which seems like the perfect place to find gifts to bring back to family and friends.

Another place that I’ve had my eye on visiting in this country is the Rijal Almaa village. This historic village is located on the slopes of steep mountains. It holds ancient fortresses and proven to be a popular tourist attraction amongst locals and foreigners.

As I am moving back to Kuwait at the end of this month, Saudi is only next door which also makes me eager to come here and visit with it being so close in distance. Finding out about this green oasis gave me even more of a reason to visit the country in the future.

 

 VIETNAM VIỆT NAM

high-angle photography of boats on water near hill during daytime

Vietnam, a place that is perhaps more of an obvious destination to choose. I feel this country is starting to really become more popular over the years, which for a long time, countries such as Thailand seemed to have dominated tourism in this part of the world.

Pictured above is Hạ Long Bay, one of the most well known areas of Vietnam. Also a UNESCO World Heritage Site this is a beautiful bay where you can book boat/cruise trips for the day or overnight and soak in the stunningly panoramic views around you. Fun Fact Hạ Long actually means ‘descending dragon’.

This country really appeals to me as it seems so diverse in things you can do as well as experiencing the tasty cuisine which I’ve heard is a huge hit in the country. I feel like the beaches won’t be as packed as you may find in Thailand which is a huge plus. No matter how beautiful a place may be, if it’s packed with tourists it simply takes away that wow factor.

The endless, striking landscapes makes it almost impossible to not be in awe of. Vietnam would be an enriching cultural experience that you could gain a lot from. The mixture of silent paradises to the bustling cities such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, there is something for everyone.

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 UZBEKISTAN

mosque under blue sky

Uzbekistan is home to the Silk Road, documented in a fantastic series by Joanna Lumley. You have Kazakhstan to the north, Kyrgyzstan to the Northeast, Tajikistan to the Southeast, Afghanistan to the South and finally Turkmenistan to the Southwest. All fascinating countries nearby to make this a multiple stop trip. The official language is Uzbek which is one of the Turkic languages.

This place has had a huge impact historically. Some of the cities that I would love to discover in the future are Tashkent the capital, as well as Samarkand. Filled with islamic architecture, Samarkand is quite something to look at. Conquered by Alexander the Great and then rebuilt by Timur, this place alone is enough for me to come to Uzbekistan. The fact that many people won’t have necessarily heard of Samarkand makes it all that more intriguing. Seen as the ancient trading network it has been seen over hundreds of years as an important historical hub along the Silk Road.

For those that are into photography like me, I feel this hidden gem is the perfect place to be.

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 CHINA 中国

person carrying umbrellas

China is such a huge country it’s hard to know where to start. Which cities would I want to visit? where would I stay? How long do I need to spend in this country to get a significant feel and experience out of it. These are all questions I have when I think about wanting to visit here. Nevertheless from research and hearing other peoples experiences, here are some cities I have my wandering eye on.

. Kunming
. Yangshuo
. Shanghai
. Hong Kong
. Lijang

This country would be far from anything I have experienced yet in my travelling journey. I mean lets face it. The amount of Chinese takeaways I’ve had over the years it would be rude not to visit China itself ha! It looks like the place you would want to travel with a friend or group of friends rather than solo. Especially for the nightlife scene I think this would be a great trip to go on in a group and get the most out of my experience here.

I kind of imagine a hangover part 2 vibe here  but would obviously be dangerous to live out haha nonetheless an exciting place. From the skyline views of Shanghai and Hong Kong to off the beat places such as Chaka, a very instagrammable place.

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 JAPAN 日本

two women in purple and pink kimono standing on street

Now this country surprised me. I’m not sure what I was expecting for how it would look but from what I’ve seen from peoples travel photos on instagram, I was taken a back by the cherry blossom trees that surrounded majestic parks, combined with the epic sunsets. This country seems like it was built for spring. These iconic features bring a real sense of peace and calm atmosphere to the country.

I would have to make sure to visit during the right season to see these picturesque places for myself.

Places well known in Japan to visit?
. Himeji Castle
. Itsukushima Shrine
. Miyajima Island
. Kyoto
. OsakaCopy of aLL ABOUT ME-14.png

 Sri Lanka ශ්රී ලංකාව

aerial photo of forest

Although I haven’t had the chance to visit yet, Sri Lanka is a popular place for expats in Kuwait during the holidays. Home to an variety of cultures, languages and ethnicities, this place fills my mind with exotic forests and wildlife. As someone who loves elephants, this seems the place to be.

What comes to mind when I think of Sri Lanka? remote beaches tucked away by forests, tranquil sunsets, tea plantations and spontaneous rail journeys through the hills.

What is there to do in Sri Lanka?
. experience a train journey through a scenic route such as Nuwara Eliya to Kandy
. Kandy
. Minneria National Park elephant gathering
. Sigiriya

Here I feel would need more than a weekend away perhaps 5 days to a week to experience many places. Already looking at some of the photos and videos of Sri Lanka it reminds me a lot of my trips to India however I don’t want to compare the two countries and want to be able to discover Sri Lanka alone. I find although it is natural to compare places we’ve been too, what may seem similar to us from an outside, foreign perspective, for people who live there, they are very different in many ways.

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 NAMIBIA Namibië

person taking picture of bare trees

My previous experience in Kenya has led me to want to discover much more of Africa which led me to Namibia being one of the countries on my bucket list. Situated in Southern Africa, Namibia shares its borders with Zambia, Angola, Botswana and South Africa. Over 2 and a half million people live here, Namibia offers a pretty incredible looking desert.

This African country is filled with exotic wildlife, vivid orange sand dunes as well as rivers, mountainous areas and desert. Wildlife you can find here are oryx, Kudus, geckos, Elephants, Zebras, Rhinos, Lions and so on. Also if you are into bird watching then this seems to be a good spot to be, with over 700 species of birds across the country.

Namibia is a place I’ve heard people often like to return to over and over and that for me is of course a good sign at how incredible the country is.

What is there to see in Namibia?
. Sossusvlei an incredible landmark, standing out with its salt and clay pan surrounded by red dunes. Plenty of lodges and camping areas within this area.
. Swakopmund a lovely coastal town/ holiday resort popular with tourists all over the world.
. Etosha National Park to experience the fantastic African wildlife.

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 TUNISIA تونس

structural photo of dome buildings

The immediate thing that has drawn me to want to visit Tunisia is the crystal white and aqua blue buildings that are breathtakingly stunning to look at. Not to mention how exquisite the Mediterranean sea is.

As the official language here is Arabic it would also allow me to use my Arabic while on holiday and hopefully pick up some Tunisian dialect. As I am currently learning French in my spare time as well as keeping up with enhancing my Arabic skills this seems the perfect place to put my language skills to practice.

Just a side note that if anyone was thinking of bringing a drone here it seems very difficult to do so with one requiring a permit beforehand. However this place stills seems great for shots on rooftops, alleyways and stunning mosques with captivating mosaic patterns.

There is also something about this country that has a very romantic setting, with cosy restaurants tucked away it seems ideal for a relaxing getaway.

Beautiful cities to visit
. Sidi Bou Said
. Tunis
. Midoun
. Sousse
. Mahdia

Colourful art and creativity is captured throughout towns and cities in Tunisia making it a very pretty place to walk around.

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Let me know if you have visited any of these places and what your experiences were like in the comment section below.

x

 

 

 

 

12 Comments Add yours

  1. Noora says:

    I’d love to visit Namibia! 😍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It looks incredible doesn’t it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Rebecca says:

    Highly encourage you to visit China and Japan! Such beautiful countries with tons of history, beautiful nature, and delicious food. Namibia and Tunisia interest me to go, and I hope we can all go where we want after this pandemic ends. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They both look like amazing countries. It would definitely have to be trips I’d need to save up for but it would be so worth it. Same, travel will feel even more special then and so much more appreciated. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. vinneve says:

    We’re often in Jeddah as my son and I tag along with hubby in the past. Not much in Jeddah but I heard the capital Riyadh is very modern. Most of the touristy places are rugged mountainous areas though they have gardens all over the country.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah lovely I’ve heard of Jeddah a lot 🙂 Yeah the driving routes to get to them make me a bit anxious as I’m scared of heights lol but will have to find a great guide if I am able to go there. I looked at teaching positions there in the past but most of them was in an area called Dammam I believe it is a nice place. Riyadh looks fascinating!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. dmdm20 says:

    Japan was on my list for this year…. But the break from far flung travel has one positive site. As I am not planing anything for this year, I have time to go through all the photos I have taken over the years. Only now I understand how much of the world I have already seen.
    mountains_this_way

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Japan does seem like an incredible place. I’ve thought about going for a few years now but I keep thinking how far it is but I don’t want that to stop me. There is so much to see there. I need to do the same 🙂 makes me feel excited for when travelling can happen again. I will definitely never take it for granted again.

      Like

  5. I have visited Sri Lanka some time ago now but it was honeslty the most beautiful and happy country we visited the year after the tsunami hit to help with economy. We weren’t meant to travel the year before their when the tsunami hit we just boarding the plane which eneded up being cancelled so we rebooked and spent Christmas their a month and 1 week which I will never forget. X

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow that is such a great amount of time to spend there 🙂 Was that the Boxing Day tsunami that hit? It looks an amazing place! I really hope I can visit there one day.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. When we were originally going to go yes but we pursponed it due to the lack of medical insurance cover due to the tsunami but wanted to go the following year. It was the best time ever. We were lucky as we have friends who live their so got a driver who tooks off the tourist track but safely. C

        Liked by 1 person

      2. How incredible! Some of the best places are found off the beaten track. It’s great that you knew people already there, that helps so much 🙂 Will definitely have to go one day.

        Liked by 1 person

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