From the very beginning, I have had the strongest desire to travel and see the world. I would have done anything to pick up my belongings and just go. But, that wasn’t always possible.
As I grew older, I began to make travel a priority. To this day, it still takes priority over anything else in my life. I make sacrifices to travel, and whether they are big or small, I do anything I can to make sure I get out and see as much of the world as I have always dreamed of.
For me, there has always been a priority in the places I desired to see. Yes, the world was my oyster and I wanted to explore it all, but I also thought it was important to narrow it down to my top three.
This grew from a personal question to one I would ask everyone around me. What were the three countries in the world that someone needed to see before they died? It’s a great way to start conversation, and in my early-twenties it was also the dating question that I placed the most importance on.
I’ll admit that at times this could make me a bit judgmental, but as I’ve grown older, I’ve learned not to judge others dreams, but more to listen to them and what they were. Why did they dream of visiting those countries? Once I learned more, I understood. Just as once they learned more about my dreams and the places I desired to see, the more they understood, as well.
Growing up, my top three were usually different from the people around me. But again, as I’ve grown older, I’ve been able to connect with others who share my experiences and dreams, or at least understand them. Once I began meeting people who had actually ventured to my top three, I knew it was time to take those dreams and make them my reality.
So, what are my top three? Well, I can tell you this, I have just one left, and an opportunity to make this a reality very soon. Then, I guess, I will have to make an entirely new list.
But for now, here are the two places I have been to on my list, and the place I am hoping to get to by the end of 2014.
I think that I have wanted to visit Thailand since the very moment I knew it existed. The people, the culture, and the religion have always intrigued me, and in the summer of 2011, I was lucky enough to spend a week in this beautiful Southeast Asian country. It was not long enough, and I only got to experience Bangkok and Chiang Mai. Still, it was enough to make me fall in love and long to return.
Thailand held my heart long before I ever arrived, and the kindness of its people and beauty of its country along with delicious food and an interesting culture are enough to get me back sooner rather than later.
Anywhere in Africa
I know, I know, this is totally cheating, but I just always wanted to visit everywhere in Africa, so why not lump the continent together? I guess, it was really hard for me to choose between all the different cultures and countries that Africa had to offer. Eventually, I made my decision, however, and headed south.
My trip to Africa in the summer of 2012 was the trip of a lifetime and the best four weeks of my entire life. I visited Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, and Egypt, getting to cross off a slew of bucket list items during my time there. Between the people I met on my tour to those I encountered in the country, along with the cultures and beauty of the land, Africa lived far beyond my expectations. Now I miss it everyday, and I am already scheming on when I can visit next.
There it is, the final country on my top three list. It’s the only place I have left on my original list, and the destination I hope to visit in 2014. As with the others, I can’t explain what has always drawn me to India, but I believe that I have always been fascinated with it. The culture, the food, the colors, the life, and the energy, all are what draw me to India.
Once I reach India, I know I’ll feel accomplished because I’ll have reached my top three. But, that list will forever grow and change until I have uncovered each part of the world. I know that I never want to stop learning about the world and myself; I know that I will never stop traveling.
It makes me curious, as my readers, what countries are in your top three?