Ever since returning from my epic trip to Canada I have caught the travel bug. I’ve always wanted to go away and visit new places, of course, but I’ve always been so focused on my studies, my career and setting myself up for the future, that I feel I’ve almost missed out in some ways when it comes to travelling and seeing what the world has to offer. That’s not to say I regret anything, but I’ve worked bloody hard for years to get to this position where I feel settled and ready to take some time out to travel.
In short, life is short, time ticks by so quickly, and I’m desperate to get out there and explore before I do reach that stage in life where I want to settle down. However, for me, packing up my suitcase and escaping to exotic locations for months on end, living out of a suitcase and having absolutely no plan, going with the flow and seeing where my journey takes me… yeah, that’s not going to happen.
If I’m honest, the thought of living out of an endless stream of hostels and having no clue what I’m doing from one day to the next makes me want to curl up in a ball and never leave my flat. I’m also super focused on my career, and I know what I want to be doing and where I want to progress in the next few years, so travel would have to fit into those plans and my (sometimes annoying) need for routine.
So I have decided that, in typical Jessie-style, I’m going to come up with a tick list of all the places I want to visit over the next few years, whether that’s as far flung as going to Australia, or as simple as travelling a few hours and visiting Snowdonia and North Wales. I turn 30 in 2024 so I figure I have just over 5 years, and I’ll probably continue the trips into my 30th year too, to get these ticked off. Who knows what will happen and where I will end up by then, but writing things down always gives me a sense of a plan and the determination I need to start saving and to get booking!
1. New York: This is the top of my list and somewhere I have always wanted to visit. New York looks absolutely incredible, and I’d love to go in the late summer/early autumn to see the beautiful leaves on the trees in Central Park and to walk around the city and take in all the sights. I’ve said I’d love to go here for my 30th birthday, so who knows? This could be the final destination ticked off my list by the time that comes around!
2. Amsterdam: Honestly, I’m not too fussed about going to Amsterdam and getting stoned whilst walking around the sex museums and laughing at the giant penises. I want to visit the city’s museums, take in the architecture and walk along the canals, stopping at the coffee shops along the way and eating delicious pastries. Plus, it’s a short plane journey away too, so pretty easy to get to.
3. Bali: OMG, I am so bloody desperate to visit Bali. It looks incredible and having seen (read: stalked) so many bloggers on Instagram who have visited in the last year or so, I’m so keen to go and visit Bali myself and experience everything it has to offer.
4. Snowdonia: I’ve never climbed Mount Snowdon, despite being a true Welsh gal who loves the outdoors and everything my beautiful country has to offer. I’ve hiked nearby Cadair Idris back when I was a young 16 year old geography student, who was super lazy and thought the whole debacle was pure torture. However, now that I’ve grown out of that phase and am a self-confessed nature lover, I really want to go back to Snowdonia and to climb Wales’ highest peak.
5. Liverpool: I guess I could tie this in with my trip to North Wales as Liverpool is just across the border, but my blog faves Soph and Emma live in Liverpool and I’m desperate to visit and see the city they love so much. I actually may have the opportunity to go there with work next year, in which case girls, be prepared to show me around!
6. Barcelona: This city looks incredible to me. It’s insanely beautiful, the architecture is gorgeous, and I hear it’s a pretty decent place to eat and drink. Plus, there’s a beach, so you really do get the best of both worlds. A city break to Barcelona is definitely high on my list.
7. The Scottish Highlands: I’ve visited Edinburgh three times in the last two years, once on a city break and twice with work and I just bloody love Scotland. I definitely want to visit more of the country and the Highlands look incredible. The perfect place for exploring, hiking and taking in that fresh Scottish air.
8. Mykonos: Greece is my favourite country, so I couldn’t write up a travel list without having one Greek island on it. I visited Santorini after completing my BA degree with my mum, and it was honestly the most amazing place I’ve visited, on par with Canada actually. Greek people are so friendly, I love the culture, the food, the beaches, the scenery. And I adore the relaxed way of life, so Mykonos is the next island I want to visit.
9. Ireland: Visiting the homeland of our Celtic cousins is high on the list, simply because I went to Northern Ireland and visited Belfast last year with work which was incredible, and driving down through Ireland to catch the ferry home made me want to explore more of its gorgeousness. Plus, PS I Love You is my all-time fave. I may even find my very own Gerry…
10. Budapest: This is looking likely to be the city that I celebrate my 25th birthday in, as my mum and I are planning on booking a girly getaway to Budapest in early February. I want to enjoy the shopping, the scenery and, of course, the baths. Hungary is also a country I don’t know a lot about, so it will be great to learn more about its history.
11. Yorkshire: How bloody lush is Yorkshire though? I worked in York at the start of last year and fell in love with the city and the friendliness of the people there, so I’d love to go back. I genuinely feel like Northerners are like us Welsh folk; friendly, patriotic and pretty easy to get along with.
12. Venice: Italy as a country is high up on my travel list, having visited the Amalfi Coast as part of another geography field trip back when I was 16 and, despite my friends and I’s main focus of the trip being where we could get some alcopops from in the evening, I absolutely loved the culture and everything to do with this beautiful country. I’d love to visit Venice. Plus, I want to eat all of the pizza, pasta and carbs in general whilst overlooking the canals.
13. Singapore: My dad has worked in Singapore and has always said how much he loved it. He describes it as immaculately clean, really forward thinking and seriously stunning. I think this would be a great place to stop over should I ever venture further afield.
14. Rome: Didn’t I say that I want to visit loads of Italy? Maybe I should do an Italian road trip Gino D’Acampo style? Rome wasn’t built in a day, but I reckon a few days exploring would do me just fine.
15. Thailand: The Phi Phi Islands are definitely high up on my list, and as I’ve not visited Asia before, it would be great to experience another culture. I’ve seen endless blog and Instagram posts about how beautiful Thailand is, and my mum and dad visited a year or two ago and absolutely loved it. (My dad has worked there previously for several years too, and it’s definitely a favourite of his.)
16. Australia: This may be a long shot, but I’d love to live the Aussie dream even for a short term. I’m not sure whether it will happen seeing as it is such a huge journey, which would be pretty expensive, and I don’t really have any ties to the country, but you’ve got to have goals and aspirations, right?
17. San Francisco: Ever since reading/watching/being obsessed with The Princess Diaries I have wanted to visit San Francisco. Seeing Katy’s gorgeous pictures from her trip made me want to visit there even more.
18. Berlin: Germany is a country that has been recommended to me by a friend in work. She said it was “really clean, very organised and efficient” as well as being very pretty, basically she said it would be my dream place to visit! I’ve chosen Berlin as I saw lots of bloggers going on city breaks there around the time I was in Paris last year, and as the city is rich with history and culture, I’m really intrigued to learn more.
19. Vancouver: I mean, I couldn’t not have a Canadian destination on the list, could I? I visited Vancouver back in 2011 when my dad was living and working there, and my recent trip to Canada has made me really want to go back and explore the incredible city once more. I’m hoping that next time I visit Canada I can hop over there as I loved the city so much and would love to visit again.
20. Croatia: And last, but not least, Croatia. It seems that Croatia was the place to go a year or so ago, and all of the photos and blog content I’ve seen have made me realise it is a country that I would love to visit and that I’m sure I would really like.
What else should I add to the list?
Lots of love. xoxo