For over 130 years National Geographic Magazine has brought us a raw, inspirational and honest account of the planet and animals around the world via breathtaking photography and expert articles. This Sunday, January 27th, is National Geographic Day and it’s a great reason for us to reconnect with the world on our doorstep, as well as plan the places we’d love to explore.
At times, National Geographic Magazine has covered somewhat controversial and alarming topics in a bid to open our eyes to poaching, deforestation and endangered species. This has created a wave of new activists and campaigners around the world, as the magazine’s messages connect us to matters that might not have made it into our local media.
Thanks to National Geographic and the rise of social media we can campaign for change on other continents if it’s a cause that’s close to our hearts.
Inspired by its incredible work, this weekend is the perfect time to get acquainted with the world on our doorstep, whether we head out with cameras in hand, introduce a younger generation to insects and the current season, or make some time to reconnect with nature.
It got me thinking about the places on my bucket list that I want to one day visit for various reasons. So here are my current top 5 places I’m yet to visit and the reasons that they speak to my soul. I’d love to know yours – maybe my list will grow as a result!
This beautiful place has enchanted me for many years and for many reasons. The rainforest, beaches, people, volcanos and wildlife are all alluring to me. Although I know it has been altered by man over time, Costa Rica feels like a part of the world that has retained much of its natural connection with the earth. I imagine visiting will help me to slow down, reconnect with what’s important in life and feel deeper gratitude for how incredible our world truly is.
Ever since I was a child I have been interested in the Buddhist way of life. So, when I saw the temples, monks and stunning scenery of Cambodia in the first Lara Croft: Tomb Raider film with Angelina Jolie, I knew it was somewhere I needed to experience firsthand. Granted, the film’s portrayal was only brief and not a true representation of life in this historically-rich state, but growing up in a time before the internet, the film was my introduction. I hope to one day spend some time on a meditative retreat with the monks and immerse myself in the culture for a time.
My awe of the aurora borealis draws me to Iceland. Normally I’m not a fan of the cold, but to experience the Blue Lagoon and northern lights in one trip would be incredible. For a period, I wanted to become an astrophysicist. I even took Chemistry and Physics A-Levels after asking for a telescope for my 10th birthday. Unfortunately, I learned that astronomy was only ever meant to be a hobby, but it still fascinates me just as much as it did when I was young. The yoga and meditative work I do sees me connecting to the universe quite often, and I always imagine the aurora borealis to be some sort of gateway or sign of something mysterious and magical taking place. A little crazy? Perhaps. But I like those thoughts of possibilities.
The Great Barrier Reef
Australia, in general, is somewhere I’d love to visit for its golden beaches and choice of cosmopolitan and outback living. The main thing that draws me to the other side of the world is visiting the Great Barrier Reef while the coral still lives. I’ve read and watched many documentaries about our ocean life and it deeply saddens me that coral bleaching is present in over 50% of reefs. Climate change is a huge affecting factor as the ocean temperatures rise and more pollutants enter our waters. My dad taught my brother and me to snorkel when we were young, so to swim along and observe all of the weird and wonderful sea life going about its business within the coral would be incredible.
The Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Golden Gate Bridge, LA & Las Vegas Tour
Last but certainly by no means least is this mega road trip that I’d love to one day make along the western coast of America. (Although, probably not in this order? My geography evidently isn’t the best.) The Grand Canyon needs little explanation. It’s such a unique phenomenon in that it reveals million years of the Earth’s history in one place. Yosemite Natural Park intrigues me for its landscape and nature. The Golden Gate Bridge is an iconic feat of engineering into diverse and bustling San Francisco. The laid back lifestyle, free-spirited and creative vibes of LA appeal to me greatly, not to mention the sunshine! And finally Las Vegas. While I’m not a gambler or big drinker these days, I do think that while I’m there, Las Vegas is something I should experience just once in my life. And so the bright lights make it onto the top 5 places to visit.