My top three travel bucket list destinations

I've a long list of places I want to visit and while I'm doing my best to cross places off, somehow more always seem to sneak onto my list. That's fine by me though as what would life be without an adventure or three?

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing
— Helen Keller

The people at Transun are running a competition and the prize is a chance to see the Northern Lights for one lucky winner. Wow. And exactly it'd be rude not to enter wouldn't it?  The Northern Lights are something I want to see - who doesn't? - so winning a trip would be an absolute dream. I've left them off my top three though, because as I said before I've got lots of other places on my list...

1. Kerala, India

We honeymooned in India back in 2007 and did the Golden Triangle of Jaipur, Agra and Dehli along with a trip to Ranthambore, Rajasthan's famous tiger reserve, where we were lucky enough to spot not one, but two tigers and many other beautiful animals besides. 

During our whole trip all of our senses were assaulted by the joy and colour that is India. And I mean all of our senses - sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. The vibrancy of the outfits, the chaos of a rickshaw ride through Dehli, curry and chilli omelettes for breakfast, and the smoothness of the silks and the sapphires and well, let's leave the smell shall we?

It's somewhere I've wanted to return but so far, it's eluded us. India's such a large country that when (that's a when and not if) we go back we want to see another part of it entirely which brings me to my first destination, South India and in particular Kerala.

For me South India screams of Kerala's lush vegetation and its backwaters and tranquility. It's the simpleness and slowness of life, where traditional ways remain today. And what better place to be to get away from the hubbub of everyday life?

To explore the backwaters by houseboat, to wander through a tea plantation, to see the Uru wooden boats, to see the traditional fishing nets and to taste the Southern Indian cuisine of dosa, thali and biryani.

Add to that the rice paddies, coconut groves and you can start to understand how India gets under your skin (not literally though I'd hope!) And to once again experience the colour and vibrancy India offers would be amazing. For this trip though I think we'd be braver, and experience more off the well-beaten tourist track, although that probably is already sending shivers up the spines of my parents. 

For all of these reasons that Kerala just has to be on my list, there's more of India's charms on my Pinterest board.



2. Peru

My second destination is somewhere I initially thought was completely different to Kerala but there's similarities too: colour, vibrancy and tradition.

So you may wonder why I'm including this on my travel bucket list as well - well, apart from it being somewhere I'd love to go but it's the chance to explore Machu Picchu first-hand that gives Peru it's place on my list. 

The "lost" city of the incas can scarcely be imagined, although it was advanced it remained primitive - no invention of the wheel and no way of writing its language, Quechua.

For me that makes it somewhere to explore first hand - surely that's in keeping with its history? And imagine the photos I'd take, I think this trip would seriously go into the thousands and by far surpass the hundreds of photos I usually take!

Also I'd have to include a tour of the capital city Lima, as it fascinates me where worlds collide; the rich and the less privileged, the sky scrapers of the business district and the beach. 

There's also Lima's historic city centre which is a UNESCO World Heritage site and as I understand has its own up and coming foodie scene. Did you know that the country famously yields 3000 varieties of potato? As well as potato I'd expect fresh fruits like papaya and pomegranate and I'd hope for some dry-aged beef too! 

And as well as all of that, it'd be great to visit Peru and see if we could uncover more of Paddington Bear's heritage! For more Peru-based inspiration see my Peru Pinterest board.

3. Italian Lakes

My third destination is somewhere a bit closer to home. Well Europe anyway - it's a place we almost made it too once, but the choice of which lake to choose became too much so the planning for that trip was abandoned for something which at the time seemed less complicated and fit into the timescale we had available.

Ideally I'd like to visit each of the lakes and we'd stay in a fine villa or apartment overlooking a lake. We'd have a car to help us see as much of the area as we could, but we'd also do plenty of walks so we could take a break (or two) of the fresh mountain air. The walks would also help ensure the delicious Italian fare didn't attach itself too firmly to our waistlines!

This is likely to be a relatively long trip for somewhere that I've said is closer to home, but that's because I don't want to rush it and make it a flying visit. That's what scuppered my previous plans - there wasn't enough time available then to do it justice.

We'd also make time to take a boat trip on the lakes, and that I'm sure would bring a different dimension to our trip. Not only because I'm not the biggest fan of boats - but in a place like this, it's definitely something I'd have to do. When in Rome and all that, or in this case the Italian Lakes at least! And maybe we'd even spot Mr and Mrs Clooney...

But there's no doubt what the highlight of my trip would be and that would be the time (I'm not limiting myself to a single day for this) we'd spend exploring Isola Bella, literally the beautiful island and its Italianate garden. 

 For more views of the Italian Lakes and their surroundings take a look at my Italian Lakes Pinterest board.



So that's my top three travel bucket list. Have you been to any of these places, do you have any tips for me? Or let me know where your dream destination is, and how close you've got to booking a trip there. And wish me luck in the competition, as I'm sure there's a Northern Light trip out there somewhere with my name on it!