For the last few months, I have been planning a pretty epic adventure. As you might know by now I travel from New Zealand to the United Kingdom quite a lot as my boyfriend is from there, so whenever it’s time for me to go back home I try and stopover in different countries. Last year I backpacked solo around India for 6 weeks and it was the best thing I have ever done.
At the start of January, I sadly have to leave the UK again (I’m only allowed to stay in the UK for 6 months out of a year) so I decided “why not travel for a couple of months?”, and tick off some more countries off my bucket list. Then the two-month trip has turned into a 5-month trip due to some amazing opportunities that I have been offered along the way. So, are you eager to know where I’m going to next?
My first stop will be to Lisbon, Portugal, just for the weekend. I have been reading so many awesome articles on this cool city so I want to check it out myself. I have never been to Portugal before so it’s a bit sad I will only be here for a few days, but luckily it’s really cheap to travel from the UK. I am sure that I’ll travel and experience Portugal again in the future!
Morocco has always been on my list mostly due to the blue city of Chefchaouen. The entire city is covered in blue buildings and it looks so Instagramable it’s incredible. There are also some really amazing resorts in Marrakesh, which I am super keen to check out too. This will be my first introduction to Africa! I have heard that the markets in Marrakesh can be a bit intense, especially for a solo female traveller but I feel I may a little bit prepared as during my travels in India I experienced some very intense bargaining as well!
Oh my gosh, I have been dying to go to Egypt for years. I got offered an opportunity to work with Travel Talk Tours and one of their locations is Egypt so I decided it would be perfect timing. Egypt’s tourism industry has taken a huge fall in the last several years and it’s a real shame because it’s a magical hub for history. Egypt’s tourism is set to increase in 2017 and people are expected to flood back to this fascinating country so in my opinion, I think it’s the perfect time to check it out!
Petra and the Dead Sea, two places that are also high on my bucket list. I am going to spend a week exploring this interesting country. I have been recommended to hire a car and drive around the country, which I am not too sure how confident I feel doing that – but who knows what the future holds?
A country that I haven’t really thought about exploring in the past but I have heard my friend Brittany from The Sweet Wanderlust talk about her love of Israel, she’s been there many times! What excites me the most about Israel? Apart from exploring the historic buildings and holy sites, I cannot wait to try the food! Falafels and hummus are two of my favourite things so I’m excited to try the real version and all the other food it has to offer! I think my trip to Israel will be highly food-orientated so expect to see a tonne of food porn.
It’s a country that isn’t often talked about. Some people I have been speaking with didn’t even know where it was situated (in case you’re wondering, the answer is “next to Saudi Arabia”). I did a lot of research because I didn’t know anything about the country myself and after some digging, I added it to the list pretty quickly. I was even more excited when Lonely Planet released their top 2017 travel destinations and Oman was one of them! Oman has a pretty amazing landscape too that I am excited to photograph.
Because why not? Actually, Dubai has been on the list just simply because I would LOVE to go skydiving there. It’s such a huge stopover destination although flying from NZ to the UK all the time I have never stopped over there. I will only be here for a few days but I am excited to have a look around and hopefully have some wicked Dubai experiences.
Oh, Iran! For months I have been waiting for the chance to travel to Iran. I have seen a few travel bloggers that have recently travelled around there and their pictures looks amazing and their experiences are never dull. From the gorgeous buildings, friendly locals and most of all, the colours!
Turkmenistan is a mysterious country not often talked in the media, which is what really attracts me to countries like this. People find these places intriguing because they don’t know a lot about them. It’s famously known for the ‘Door to Hell’ which may sound horrific but let me tell you about it. It actually used to be a natural gas field and it collapsed in 1971 becoming a huge crater that is 30 metres deep! When it collapsed, geologists actually set it on fire to avoid the methane gas spreading and, to their surprise, it has been burning ever since then. Although it may not sound impressive, it’s not until you see photos that you start to take in the actual size of this and how incredible it looks. I didn’t think visiting a massive gas crater would be on my bucket list but the world is full of surprises! Unfortunately, the negative thing about visiting Turkmenistan is obtaining a visa which proves to be quite difficult and a lot of work so for now it’s on the list as long as I can gain a visa. You have to have a guide for your entire trip, which is why this country is probably not as popular as its neighbouring countries to visit. The crater is not the only thing that attracts me to this country though it’s also the ancient cities and ruins that I would love to see as well. Turkmenistan has one of the largest deserts in the world too.
When I think of Uzbekistan I think of buildings covered in beautiful mosaics! The architecture here is just phenomenal and the more I research the more I fall in love with this place. Also, apparently Uzbeks are the 4th happiest people in the world despite 99% of them living in poverty. Uzbekistan is the centre of the legendary Silk Road which links China to Europe. It really looks like a magical and place and, luckily for me, visas are easier for me to obtain because I am from New Zealand.
By the time I finish visiting those places it will be just in time for my birthday so why not visit Cyprus and spend it by the beach although I am fully aware it will be colder weather for the locals! I haven’t researched the country too much, so if you have any suggestions on places to see then leave your comment below as I would love to hear!
12. Suggestions welcome!
Now I want to hear from you! There’s going to be a couple of weeks where I’m going to be waiting for my Anzac tour in Turkey to start (more about that below) so I would love to know where you want me to go. I don’t want to veer too far from Turkey due to keeping costs down so let me know your suggestions. Look at the map above and pick a country for me, it’s too hard!
I didn’t plan on going to Turkey but Travel Talk tours offered me the chance to experience Anzac day in Turkey which is a once in a lifetime opportunity for a Kiwi like me so of course I said yes. Anzac is a day where all Australian and New Zealand soldiers are remembered for fighting in Gallipoli during World War 1. It’s a very special day for Kiwis and Aussies so I was so honoured to be given this opportunity to remember those who served in the exact place that the battle was fought.
Why not finish the trip with a bang?! Maldives is on everybody’s list I’m sure and since there have been tonnes of travel bloggers heading their lately I thought I should join the trend and relax for a few days after my long adventure. It’s actually not too expensive to get there and since I am travelling to NZ I can go to Sri Lanka and get a return flight from there. Then from Sri Lanka I can visit my Australian family and then back to the homeland, New Zealand.
So, what do you think? If you have any suggestions on places that you think I should visit then don’t be shy and leave your comment below.
Do you want to sponsor me on this epic adventure? I would love to hear from you! If you’re a hotel/ resort owner, tour operator, tourism board or just an awesome local who wants to take me to the best restaurants and shops in town, I want to hear from you! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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