Bucket Lists

Way back when I was a kid, and travelling to exotic and not so exotic places, I had dreams of travelling on my own, as an adult, and seeing some of the last remaining wonders of the world. I made a bucket list of places I wanted to visit long before there was even such a thing as bucket lists. Sadly, a lot of those places which I have yet to visit, are no longer safe places to go, or even all that desirable given how time and man (in his infinite stupidity) has marched on.

Places like, Ulan Bator (Ulaan Baator, meaning Red Hero), in central Mongolia. The fabled centre of a continent that inspired my childhood imagination of war lords and warriors on horseback roaming the wild plains. It was still on my list up until a few years ago and then, after reading a National Geographic article on what had become of the once beautiful, wild, and pristine area, my heart broke into a thousand tiny pieces.

Pollution from factories spewing unregulated toxins into the atmosphere, and the spread of urban and industrial sprawl, now makes Ulan Bator the world’s most polluted capital on the planet.

Hardly the dream place it once was, or a place to want to visit.

One of the other places I wanted to visit before I kicked the bucket was Machu Picchu. I thought the fabled Inca city was at least still untouched by the ravages of man and time. Well, almost. Deforestation and logging have led to ecosystem degradation and, along with poaching and fires, have reduced this once pristine UNESCO heritage site to something less than it was.

That leaves just a handful of places left on my list, places like Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, once known as Ayers Rock, in the heartland of Australia. Here at least, this iconic rock formation is being protected and people are no longer allowed to just climb all over Uluru like they use to.

Maybe I’ll get down under one day sooner rather than later. And, if I do, get to see Uluru in all her glory.

And you, what places do you dream of visiting?

6 thoughts on “Bucket Lists

    1. You know what it’s like when you’re a child, you have this idealised image of places you read about. I think I picked the most dream-like locations I could think up.

  1. Joining this party late. I have this list of places I still wish to reach but many of them I’ve done in Southeast Asia. Now I really wish to see the pyramids in Giza, sail down the river Nile, visit Istanbul, find my way to Morocco. I almost did this in 2020 but things intruded. I also would like to visit a few more places here and close to Mexico. That will not happen because once I leave for Asia in a few weeks, the cards say I will not be back again anywhere here. In Asia though, I have this dream of taking a Japanese train from the tip of the northern island all the way south and I want to ride the train north from Singapore all the way to Bangkok or Chiang Mai Thailand. I would like to get back to India and be able to visit old friends in Bangalore, find my way using the great Indian railways to reach New Delhi and Mumbai. See the places in-between. India is a great exploration thing to me and I could just go for months. I think a few of the bucket list items will happen in 2023. I always add more to the list in Southeast Asia though. Vietnam is forever for me finding the places. What I have found though is all the places change as soon as I leave. Visiting a place again is like the first time to me even Hanoi Vietnam which I lived in for years in 2020/2021. So each place is a bucket list item to me really 🙂

    1. Oh, I hear you. I would say my childhood list has grow steadily over the year to include so many, many places. But sad to say, like you, there are only a handful that I might still be able to visit in the coming years.

      I would also love to visit Japan and more of SE Asia, Indian, Egypt, and maybe even as far as Australia. There’s just so many places to see and not enough time, let alone, this being the time of the pandemic(s) travelling may be a thing of the past, not the future.

      I will just have to live vicariously through you, Mike, and look forward to your posts and photos.

    1. Sad to say that over the last 20-30 years things have changed so dramatically across the planet. We seem to have this innate ability to mess things us for future generations.

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