To the traveler who seeks to be enchanted
To the traveler who seeks to be enchanted
Yes, this is yet another bucket list… but it is special to me like no other list that I have ever made. I have pined for many of these travel experiences for a really long time now. Some others I have stumbled upon after researching, I kid you not, hundreds and hundreds of places where I might like to travel.
As I started making this list, I realized my choices were guided by an emotional pathway that kept forming a step ahead of me each time. Mostly I wanted something that inspires absolute astonishment, an otherworldly, out of body kind of experience. At other times, I wanted to be at a place which was so naturally simplistic, it would allow me to experience Shunya, a state of zero and absolute calm. Then of course, I wanted to be at fun places, crazy places or just places that were remarkably different from the life I know so far. So, here I am sharing more about the places I want to travel to.. and they truly reflect a part of my personality, aspirations and soul.
# 1 Stay up all night under the Northern Lights
Imagine staying awake all night in a glass igloo, staring at the stars, when suddenly the sky lights up in impossible shades of green and blue.. That is Aurora Borealis for you (more commonly known as the Northern Lights). You can see this phenomenon in select countries in the world- Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Finland, parts of Canada & Greenland. I would grab the first chance I get to visit any of these places, but the place of my dreams is Finland. Hotel Kakslauttanen situated in the Finnish Lapland, 250 kms north of the arctic circle (excited already. yayyy.) makes sure you have an experience of a lifetime. As if taking a Safari chasing the Northern Lights around the arctic wasn’t exhilarating enough, you even get to sleep under it. Yes, that’s how awe-inspiring life can get! Take a look.
(Photo courtesy : Varjisakka via Wikimedia)
#2 Night snorkeling in Bioluminescent waters
Stoking my obsession with phenomenons that involve ‘lighting up’, here’s my next travel goal. Snorkeling in glowing waters… Remember Life of Pi ? When Pi wakes up and sees the sea glowing around him.. that wasn’t a figment of imagination of the writer, but a glorified version of something truly inspired by nature. This is a phenomenon called bioluminescence, where certain species of marine insects & plankton emit light. Of course, you shouldn’t expect to see something as vivid as the fictitious Life of Pi scene, because maybe nature purposefully keeps magic of this sort unique and rare… only for the adventurous souls like you and me to seek out. Puerto Rico, Japan, Belgium, Jamaica, Maldives and Thailand are some places that have Bioluminescent beaches. I plan to see this in Krabi (Thailand) and I have my reasons for choosing this place. For one, I would end up spending a bomb on most of the experiences on this list.. Thailand is one of the cheapest places to travel abroad and have a great time, making it a good choice. And secondly, I can have another awesome experience planned in the same trip.. read on to find out!
#3 Dance till sunrise at the Full-moon party
Koh Pha Ngan in Thailand hosts one of the most famous events in the world, the Full Moon party. As the name suggests, the party happens on several days of the year and attracts tens of thousands of tourists. The peak time is around January when as many as 15000 tourists party here at the same time! There are several arenas for music, alcohol is sold by the bucket and people basically go crazy on this night. The party is known to be somewhat notorious and is definitely crowded; so go there while you’re still young and don’t (yet) find these qualities repulsive. No, I’m not into any substance; I just think there’s a certain charm in being at an infamous beach party!
#4 Bathe in a Hot Spring
Another one of nature’s gifts.. hot springs are found in many places with different climatic conditions, very often freezing cold places. The water is usually rich in minerals and you would get the feeling of being in a natural spa; it’s no wonder that I fancy taking a longish dip! While there are beautiful hot springs around the world, I find the terrace thermal waters particularly enticing. Two breathtakingly beautiful ones are in Saturnia (Tuscany, Italy) and Pamukkale (Turkey)…..water so serene & perfect, it pains.
Tuscany, Italy (Photo source: 50yearsinitaly.blogspot.com)
Pamukkale, Turkey (Photo courtesy : tourism-spot.com)
#5 Live among naturists
Cape d’Agde in France is the naturist’s haven and probably the largest township of its kind. This is a clothing optional beach-town and, as is ideal, people can go about their lives in their birthday suit. Just to put things in perspective, that includes going to buy groceries at a store or walking around your resort without a care in the world. Unsurprisingly, there are a large number of swingers that visit the town too, but from what I gather, true naturism is still very much prevalent. From my whole list, this is the only one I am not 100% certain I will make it to. I was, afterall, born in no naturist community and have my set of inhibitions. But for the same reason I really want to go; to realize what it is like to be free of these inhibitions and go about life among people who consider it absolutely normal to be unclad. It is a way of life, as many others we know.
#6 Go to Coachella
THE music and arts festival in Coachella valley (California,US) is arguably as much about the fashion quotient as it is about the music. Fun unlimited. Fashion Bloggers’ Heaven. Need I say more?
(Photo courtesy: theodysseyonline.com)
(Photo courtesy: gyunel.com)
#7 Take an adventure trip to Waitomo
Rappelling down to underground caves, exploring the glowworm caves on a boat – these are things I would never imagine doing and therefore I absolutely must do! It’s not like me to be exploring dark caves, but I think I should reserve the judgment until after I’ve done it once. While it is equal parts exciting and intimidating, what made me finally put it on the list was a little video that I saw on the Waitomo website . I cannot wait to see the underground glowworm caves; maybe it will look like a beautiful starry night closing in on me, or maybe it will be like nothing I have ever imagined. What’s more to look forward to- I can stay at the cute Hobbit themed Woodlyn Park Hobbit Motel and have a lovely morning gazing out of my round windows.
(Photo courtesy : www.sites.psu.edu)
The Hobbit Motel, Woodlyn Park, NZ. (Photo courtesy: www.homeharmonizing.com)
#8 Stay in a fairytale hotel
We have all visualized pretty castles and towers when we were told fairytales we grew up on. When I stumbled upon a travel article which had the picture of a hotel that looked like it came straight out of a fairytale, it landed in this list right away. Hotel Montana Magica (Magic Mountain) is located in the middle of the Patagonian Rainforest in Chile. The beautiful hotel that looks like a mountain has a waterfall cascading from the top (awwww). This one is going to be a splurge, the cost per night being about USD 290 … so if I have to get there while I’m young, you guys should help me become a rich blogger very soon (you can start by adding me on instagram- meenakshi_afravelmovie 🙂 ) .
#9 Take a walk to remember at Plitvice Lakes
This picturesque set of waterfalls &lakes in Croatia has a wooden walkway over, through and around them. We’re talking about miles and miles to walk in the midst of jaw dropping natural beauty. Note to my friends: If you have hated me for avoiding going on foot everywhere, here’s my reason for it- it takes something this incredibly beautiful to inspire me to walk! From the pictures it looks like I can spend weeks here and not get tired of it. I’m already thinking of breathing the cool, fragrant air of the waterfalls, eating packed lunches, reading a book, miles of leisurely walk, watching the sun go up& down and most importantly finding the peace for beautiful thoughts. Oh, and clicking a zillion pictures.
(Photo courtesy: beautifulplacestovisit.com )
(Photo courtesy: theblondeabroad.com )
#10 Photoshoot at the Valley of Flowers
Trek to this beautiful valley, and get clicked with the among of an infinite stretch of wildflowers. This beautiful place in Uttarakhand, India looks like a dream and I cannot wait to get there. It is amazing that the flowers here are not cultured but completely wild and bloom with no human effort going into it (thankfully no humans destroying it either). With the Himalayas in the backdrop and light fog hugging you…this would be an amazing scene to capture in the heart and pictures forever. More alluring is the fact that you can experience beauty that only the most delicate balance of splendid and simplicity can offer. You camp the night in Ghangaria and enroute you could stay in the very serene Auli.
(Photo courtesy: Sandeep Shande via Flickr)
There’s only this life we know of and an even shorter time when we can just pack a bag and seek out a new place…Remind yourself that we will never be younger or have fewer responsibilities in life than this day. So waste no time to head out and be someplace that enchants you like no other!
And remember to do it in style, dear Fravellers…
Until next time,