Ask me why I love to hike, or why I like to ride a motorbike, or why I like to go on a road trip in a car, or camping, and my answer is almost always the same – for the views. I find my heart sings and my soul grows when I am stood facing an amazing view. Whether it be from the top of a mountain, of the sea, a flat landscape with a big sky, or even from a high point overlooking city streets, I am genuinely awe inspired. It’s like being stood in the middle of a remarkable takes over my being, widens my eyes and my mind, and fills me with all the good things in life.
You won’t be surprised that while my bucket list is full of the usual experiences-not-things type items, there are an incredibly large number of views I want to see on there too. In this post I wanted to share a few of those bucket list views with you that I’m yet to see with my own eyes. Some of these will involve a considerable amount of travel, but others are much closer to home.
I have seen these views hundreds of times in photographs on the television, on social media, in books and in magazines. But I want more than that. I want to see these places with my own eyes, hear the sounds, smell the scents, and open my soul to the emotions of the spectacles. I want to be the traveller, the adventurer, the tourist, and commit the sights to my own memory so I can see them in my mind’s eye when I’m busy and stressed and even when I’m old and frail and have to rely on photographs rather than the real deal.
In this particular list of ten, I’ve chosen what I consider the biggest views, the ones that in my head would be the most spectacular; if I could go on a road trip and visit all of these I would be one incredibly happy lady – my heart might even explode. I’d love to know if you’ve seen any of these for real, comment below and let me know!
Ten Bucket List Views
The Arctic Circle and the North Pole
My biggest bucket list dream, if I had all the money, fitness and time in the world, is to visit both the North Pole and the South Pole. So it’s only right that both feature in this list. I find the idea of standing on a huge ice field, with nothing but snow and ice all around, incredibly fascinating. Yes, it will be very cold, but that’s part of it too – being at the extreme of human survival while taking in a view that is so barren, so harsh, so big. Now if you were to throw a night in an igloo with the Northern Lights performing overhead too that would be the most amazing view in the world! I mean, that would be all my bucket list view dreams come true in one incredible experience, and I’d promise never to dream another bucket list dream again… maybe.
The South Pole and its Resident Penguins
The other half of my big bucket list dream above is to visit the South Pole and see the Antarctic penguins for myself. Can you image the sight (and the noise, and the smell?!!). A completely different landscape to the Arctic, I think being on the very top of the world could only be topped by being on the very bottom, I think that makes sense. It’s much harder to get to, but not entirely impossible with the right funding. I should definitely have become a geographic scientist, I might have found myself on a research mission by now if I had taken that route instead of Corporate Communications!
Mount Everest from Base Camp
I’ve never had ideas about becoming a mountaineer and climbing Everest myself, but I love to be in and near the mountains that are slightly more accessible to normal outdoors loving people. But the idea of spending some time at Everest Base Camp, to see the “ultimate mountain” with my own eyes, has always appealed. A Base Camp trek has been on my list for many years. There are two ways I could do this, and both are pretty realistic with the right planning and savings plan – either on foot as part of a Base Camp trek with someone like Jason, or on a motorcycle overland adventure with Nomadic Knights or similar. What do you reckon – on foot or by bike?
While we’re on mountains, once that is much closer to home that I’m yet to see with my own eyes is The Matterhorn. The most iconic and best shaped of all the Alpine mountains, in my opinion, it is just so foreboding and gnarly looking. I have no ambition to climb it, but I would happily spend some time in the surrounding area finding the best views of it.
Bears Fishing for Salmon in the Yukon
Can you imagine sitting in the woods by the side of a fast-flowing river bursting with salmon watching a brown bear catch its dinner? What an amazing sight that would be. Everything about the natural world in one scene – trees, flowing water, wildlife. The Yukon has always appealed because it is the place of so many of the adventure stories I’ve heard over the years, and I just know that in salmon season it would be bustling with the life and noise and wonders of the natural world. I’d have to make sure I was super safe as I know a bear would realise I’m probably easier to catch than the salmon, but I’m sure there would be a away.
Serengeti National Park / Maasai Mara
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have an African safari on their bucket list who hasn’t already ticked it off, it’s just one of those must-do experiences that a lot of people aspire to. And like most people, it’s most certainly on mine. There are so many wildlife reserves I’d like to visit, but I think the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania (and therefore the Maasai Mara in Kenya) is (are) probably at the top of my list. And the bucket list view I want to see there? While the iconic scenes are the migration of the zebra and wildebeest and a silhouetted giraffe against the sunset, the thing I most want to see with my own eyes is a hippo sitting in the river.
If all the seven natural wonders of the world are as amazing as The Grand Canyon, then I know I want to see them all. But this is the one of the remaining six I want to see the most. I love water – it is both all powerful and completely calming, and waterfalls for me represent everything that water has going for it. If we ever manage to arrange our North Cape to South Cape overland adventure, we will definitely be taking in Victoria Falls along the way.
Much closer to home than any of the others, I am yet to stand and take in the Giant’s Causeway in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. There are so many myths and legends associated with the 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic eruption. I would very much like to join the million-or-so other visitors each year and see this World Heritage Site for myself, to see the strangely uniform hexagonal columns – apparently some are 12 metres high.
Temples of Bagan (was Pagan)
This ancient city skyline with its red and orange stupas and temples rising above the forest just looks like the stuff of mystery and magic. Over 10,000 Buddhist temples, pagodas and monasteries were constructed in the Bagan plains between the 11th and 13th centuries, of which the remains of over 2,200 temples and pagodas still survive. There is something special about visiting very old religious buildings, and to see so many in one place would be a very interesting experience.
Underwater Sculpture Park in Grenada
My final bucket list view is perhaps a little odd… having been scuba diving just once in the sea, I’m far from being qualified, but I would very much like to become certified so I can open the door to some amazing underwater views. One such place I’d like to dive is the underwater sculpture park in the Molinere Beauséjour Marine Protected Area in Grenada, Carribbean. There are 75 culptures of human forms by British artist Jason deCaires Taylor, including a ring of children holding hands and a “Lost Correspondent” sat with his typewriter. Can you imagine?
Views to See Again
And for good measure, here are three views I’d dearly love to see again. Maybe these are on your list?
The Grand Canyon
There is a reason more than five million people visit the Grand Canyon every year. I know it’s touristy, but honestly, it’s worth it. One of the seven natural wonders of the world, I have had the pleasure of seeing it twice, and honestly it took my breath away both times. There is just no explaining or comprehending the sheer vastness of the scene you are confronted with when you reach the edge. I would jump at the chance to see it again, and next time I visit I want to trek down to the river in the canyon to see it from the bottom. Or see it in winter with snow on the ground.
Cappadocia from a Hot Air Balloon
When I headed to Turkey on a coach trip with TopDeck I had no idea that I would find myself soaring over the desert and hoodoos of Cappadocia in the world’s most famous hot air balloon ride. I didn’t even know it was the world’s most famous hot air balloon ride until I did a bit of research the night before we had to book our place. But it was SO worth it. I can’t tell you how incredibly beautiful it was being up there at sunrise, watching the light change from dark blue to pink as the sun rose around us, watching 100s of colourful balloons just like ours sail around in the sky. If you are going to go on a hot air balloon ride anywhere in the world, make it Cappadocia.
The Redwoods of California
I fell in love with Redwood trees when I was in California. Standing in the middle of a forest of 2,000 year old, 300-foot high trees was a completely humbling experience. These natural giants have seen it all. It was a view I felt a part of, as I was surrounded by trees I could barely make out the top of, touching the strangely soft trunk and marvelled at the bright red bark. I’ve since sought out redwood trees here in the UK; there are some in the New Forest Tall Trees Trail which are well worth a visit if you’re not planning on a trip to California any time soon.
I’d love to hear your bucket list views. And also the view that comes to mind first when I ask for your favourite ever scene. Put them in the comments below.
Updating My Bucket List
I’m in the process of updating my bucket list at the moment. I’ve not done a big update for a while and I’ve got so many post-it notes and random scribbles in my diary with ideas of things I want to add – and a couple of things I want to remove. I also need to get the list here on the blog sorted so it’s up to date with all my links to posts where I’ve written about my experiences – this is as much for me as it is for you, as it’s a great way to make sure I never forget the amazing things I’ve gotten up to, even if I only tried them once.
So, now would be an excellent time for you to pipe up and say if you’ve got an idea for something that simply must be on my bucket list. It’s quite a varied list, full of a huge range of one off experiences, places, foods, courses – everything from simple Sunday afternoon activities to massive year-long road trips. I’m sure you’ve got some great suggestions. Let me hear them!