Taking a trip means different things to different people. For some, it is visiting the family in Milwaukee; for others, it is scuba diving in the Caribbean. For those who want to go further afield and spread their travel wings, however, you might want to consider these 10 bucket list trips.
1. Great Wall of China, China
Construction of the Great Wall of China began in about 220 BC by Qin Shi Huang, and continued until the Ming Dynasty (1368- 1644). The theory behind building the wall was to keep out the invading hordes of nomads. Soldiers, common people and even criminals labored to build this massive military structure, and it is difficult to estimate how many died in the process.
2. Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt
Khufu wanted a mausoleum to be his final resting place, and decided on building a pyramid with three chambers. Located just north of Cairo, it took an estimated 2.3 million stone blocks to construct the largest pyramid in the world, each weighing between 2.5 to 15 tons. Remember: this was before the days of cranes and forklifts.
The best way to get to the pyramids is to hire a guide who will take you the long way through a little village on camelback to avoid paying the entry fee. These animals stink, kick, and spit, so you’ll need to be careful when they get down on their knees to let you mount them.
3. Yellowstone National Park, United States
Best known for its geysers, the Yellowstone Nation Park is now home to a regeneration of wildlife. Prior to 1995 – when 70 wolves were reintroduced – an overabundance of deer meant that flora and fauna was quickly disappearing.
4. Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Located just north of Siem Reap in Cambodia, Angkor Wat is one of the many temples in the area. Dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu, it took about 30 years to build in the early 12th century. A visit to Angkor Wat wouldn’t be complete without watching the sun rise over the temple at about 05:30 to 06:00, and you might want to consider hiring a tuk-tuk driver to guide you around the ruins as it is not possible to visit all the temples in one day.
5. Trans-Siberian Express, Russia
The Trans-Siberian Express is misnamed as there is nothing fast about it. However, it is still considered one of the great train trips of the world with various routes including Moscow to Beijing via Mongolia or Manchuria or Moscow to Vladivostok.
Take along some good reading material as chugging across Siberia can become very boring and there is no Internet connection. It is also better to travel in May to September, even if it is peak season, as the winters are very cold and the trains not very warm.
6. Andes, Argentina
If climbing 6000-metre peaks appeals to you, head for South America. There are so many on offer in the Andes that deciding where to go could be the most difficult decision to make, like Aconcagua and Bonete-Chico in Argentina, or El Muerto (meaning ‘Death’) on the Argentina-Chile border.
7. Taj Mahal, India
Emperor Shah Jahan was devastated when his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, who died giving birth to their 14th child. She was an astute politician and a good chess player.
The Taj Mahal was built between 1631 and 1648 as a memorial to her and she is buried in its center. The Emperor had planned to build an even bigger and better version for himself and his final resting place but died before it was finished and was ultimately buried next to his wife in the Taj Mahal.
8. Machu Picchu, Peru
For those not afraid of heights – 2,430m above sea level, to be exact – and narrow mountain trails, a four-day hike to reach the 15th century crown of the Inca Empire would be an ideal trip.
The Inca abandoned Machu Picchu after they were conquered by the Spaniards, and it wasn’t until 1911 that it was rediscovered by the outside world. Given that it is relatively new in terms of travel destinations, visiting Machu Picchu has a certain status about it. The infrastructure to get there – bus, train, walking – is questionable, so be prepared to rough it.
9. Victoria Falls, Zambia/Zimbabwe
Like Niagara Falls which is shared by Canada and America, Victoria Falls straddles the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe.
It is the largest waterfall in the world and the locals call it Mosi-oa-Tunya – the Smoke that Thunders. Since you’ve spent a considerable amount of money to get there, you may as well break the bank and go for a helicopter ride to get a truly panoramic view of the falls.
10. Cooking classes around the world
A relatively new type of vacation is to go to a foreign country – particularly in Europe or Asia – and learn how to cook the local cuisine. Cooking schools are run by local people, and you’ll get to meet people from various parts of the globe.
See Also: 5 Magical Sights to Visit Before You Die
Once you start travelling, it’s difficult to stop as it seeps into your blood. An important aspect of the top 10 bucket list trips is to do your homework before you book you ticket. Check things such as visa regulations and any required vaccinations.