I hate bucket lists. The whole idea of pinning down the name of places and then pursuing them, one by one, never intrigued me. It doesn’t suit us backpackers lot either. The real charm of travelling is only when you set off to a place the minute you find yourself intrigued by it, not two years from now. Because two years from now, that place might still be there, but its originality, its vibe, will totally be washed away, or at least, altered.
So, I hate bucket lists. I think they’re crap. Also, as a hungry nomad, there’s no place in the world where I don’t want to be. But I think there are some places, some experiences, that I want to see (or try out) sooner or later. They’re more like priorities. And to keep a tab on them, I’m writing my travel priorities (not a bucket list!) for the next 4 years, in order to stay focused.
Here are my 12 travel goals to accomplish before I turn 30:
Completing the Appalachian Trail
Ever since I’ve read the book on Appalachian Trail, written by Bill Bryson, I’m addicted to the idea of completing the mother of all trails — the Appalachian Trail: a whopping 2,184 miles long hike. It passes through 14 US states and takes over 5 months to complete, only if you walk almost daily, for most of the hours in the day, and at a decent speed. What makes it even adventurous is the idea of staying disconnected from the real world for all that time as there is no phone network in the area — leaving you to only a few other crazy hikers on the way. Must be an amazing experience!
Experiencing life in Tokyo for a few months
I’ve heard life in Tokyo is a mix of culture, values and modernity. Here, in the shadows of skyscrapers, you can still find small alleys, ready to take you back in time, with their traditional wooden shanty bars and lantern lit street food stalls.
The city’s approach to a modern life, while leaving every trace back to its rich culture, is worth appreciating. And this is perhaps why Tokyo is the only city in the world where I would like to settle down for a few years. From Sushi to bullet trains to traditional fish markets, everything about Tokyo, and perhaps about Japan, fascinates me.
Spend a night alone on an island
After living in one of world’s most populated cities ‘New Delhi’, for over two decades, the idea of breathing in isolation has so strongly infested my heart that I often look for quiet excursions during my travels.
Solo trekking, camping, and motorbike rides in the Himalayas were all fun, but I think now it’s time to take the adventure to the next level, and experience – even if for only one night – living off on an island, all alone. And yes, it can be anywhere in the world!
Hitchhiking with gypsies in the US
…and listen to their life stories!
Not sure what my fascination towards Afghanistan is, but I’ve long fancied walking through the streets of Kabul and exploring its colourful mix people. For some reason, I also believe that Afghanistan can be one of the most hospitable countries to travel to if only the county rescues itself from the long war-like zone and insurgencies.
…and watching hundreds and thousands of penguins breathing and walking.
Experiencing luxury train travel in India
For anyone who has travelled in trains as much as I did, luxury train travel is a dream. And is’s on my travel list too, the only problem is… it is too expensive to afford.
Update: And in March 2018, I’ve done it! Read about my Luxury Train Travel Experience With The Golden Chariot
A safari in East Africa
I have never been a big fan of Safari parks in my life. In fact, I have always been so uninterested in safari parks that I’ve seen only two of them in my entire life. But experiencing the African Savanna and spotting a Leopard preying on something 5 times bigger than its size must be a different experience. A safari in East Africa is high on my list.
Stay on a ship for months
I am not talking about a luxury cruise. They carry an entire city and all necessary comforts with them. I would rather fancy a journey in a traditional fishing or a massive goods carrier ship. Exploring the great ocean, in one of them, would definitely be more real. Moreover, learning about the life, in the endless sea, from the accounts of a handful of crew members, while sailing with them, would be an experience of a lifetime.
Climbing the Everest base camp
Mountains are my first love. And to only see the world’s tallest mountain peak would be any mountain lover’s wish. Though just like anyone else, I would love to reach the summit, but considering the risks, I’d be happy to only walk only up to the base camp, click a few happy selfies, and return.
Marveling the northern lights
Since the first time I saw it on TV when I was about 13, I have lost my heart to the astounding beauty of Northern lights. To see such an enigmatic light show must be a different experience.
Travel to at least 30 countries
Why 30? I don’t know. But the number sure looks impressive. Some people might dislike my idea of ticking off countries, but trust me, it’s not about country counting, or following a list. It’s about the way you feel the minute you hit the local streets in a new country and everything feels alien. Sure I’d love to spend months in each country to reach this number, but even if not, who cares. I love experiencing The New. Sadly, right now I am at a disappointing number 6.
Would I be able to do them all? I don’t know. But this list will help me stay on track, and if only I accomplish even half out of the total 12 wishes (travel to 30 countries is a must though!) I would be happy believing that I’ve seen a bit of the world I live in, and have expanded my knowledge about the cultures and life around me, a little more.
Do you have a travel wishlist too? What countries or experiences would you like to have?