My travel bucket list will always be endless, but here are a few places that I’ve seen around recently and really hope to visit sometime in the near future:
If I’m being honest, I found out about this on a Snapchat story by DailyMail about Steve Harvey’s trip here. In the photos and videos, he looks barely recognizable, but also completely distraught from seeing the castle in real life. Known as the “gate of no return,” the castle was a slave trade hub where most slaves lived for months before leaving African soil for the last time, dragged off into a nonexistence by white slave traders. It’s alarming to me how embedded slavery is in our history but how we never tackle it as deeply as we should. I feel like for all the attention we give to horrors like the Holocaust we must give to slavery as well, if not more. If anything, I am surprised at myself for not having known about this earlier.
Avenue of the Baobabs, Madagascar
Situated between Morondava and Belon’i Tsiribihina in western Madagascar, the Avenue of the Baobabs is a line of Grandidier baobab trees. They are what’s left of what used to be a huge forest of them. Many of them are over 800 years old. It’s intriguing to me simply because it’s something you can’t find anywhere else, as is the same as much of Madagascar: 90% of its wildlife is only found in its country. Seeing anything that large and looming is sure to be awe-inspiring.
Caño Cristales River, Baru, Colombia
There is nowhere else in the world where a river like the Caño Cristales can be seen. Dubbed by some as the most beautiful river in the world, the River of Five Colors runs through the province of Meta in central Colombia, and is a part of the Serranía de la Macarena national park. For specific months in the year, the river shines red, yellow, green, blue and black as a result of the reproductive process of certain aquatic plants in the river. In the surrounding park, you can also find turtles, aquinas and iguanas. The river has been protected by the local tourism board, and has reignited itself as a tourist destination after years as a dangerous region controlled by guerillas.
I have no specific places for this one, but just the country (or territory) in general. Having visited Denmark, Finland and Sweden a few years before, I’ve gotten an overall glimpse at Scandinavia, but those experiences have been more focused on their major cities. My trips to Iceland and Norway this summer (and Denmark again), the former especially, gave me a more in-depth look at its isolated and unique environment. Its amalgamation of crazy natural occurrences, from glaciers to fjords to waterfalls, never fail to stun.
The local culture of these places take on a more understated, minimal manner that you only notice well into the trip or once you’ve left, whether it’s the delicate (but never boring) seafood cuisine, austere architecture, boating traditions and harbors, or quiet hospitality. In my mind, Greenland takes these a step further. While Iceland is only home to 300,000 people, Greenland only has 50,000 (!) across a landmass roughly the size of Mexico. I’d love to explore its main cities like Nuuk and Ilulissat, but also its glaciers, icebergs, fjords, as well as scientific centers from WWII, the Cold War, and the Soviet era. More unique experiences include dog sledding, experiencing Inuit culture, and seeing the Northern lights.