Travel soothes the soul and if the hectic beginning to 2019 is any sign of what is to come, a soul-soothing holiday in a beautiful place should be on your bucket list. We’re not talking about taking the kids to an amusement park type of vacation, but one that allows you to fully experience your senses in ways that please.
1. Bocas Del Toro, Panama
Bocas Del Toro is an archipelago in the Caribbean Sea. There are a few islands that must be visited and can be visited with quick boat rides. The small islands feature trendy restaurants, Afro-Caribbean arts and cuisine, and lovely hotels and bungalows.
Some of the islands are populated, while others are remote and perfect for people who enjoy seclusion. Be sure to schedule a snorkeling trip off of Isla Bastimentos.
2. Drive the Million Dollar HWY in Colorado
The continental United States is loaded with sights to see and the Million Dollar Highway in Colorado is one that everyone should see. This road, known as US-550, snakes its way through awe-inspiring scenery in the San Juan National Forest. Plan to spend a night or at least eat a meal in Ouray. And, bring your hiking shoes, a hammock, plenty of water, and a fully charged phone or camera as you’ll want to stop several times to wander off into the mountains to see a rogue waterfall or sit by a meandering stream.
If you can, take the drive in a convertible and open the roof. There are stretches on this road where you cannot go over 25 MPH, so you will hear the sounds of the mountains and smell the incredibly fresh air. When you get to Silverton, check out the railroad, gold mines, and wildflowers that line the hike to the Christ of the Mine Shrine.
3. Galapagos Islands
If wildlife is your thing, then the Galapagos Islands must be on your bucket list. These 19 islands are in the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Ecuador and are considered a World Heritage List. You can learn more info here about the location of the islands.
It is best to tour the Galapagos Islands with a top tour company that knows the laws about the island. This is a true bucket list vacation because of the cost and the time it takes to plan. But, if you do go, you will not be disappointed.
4. The Thessaly region of Greece
Santorini, Crete, and the other tropical islands in Southern Greece have been on bucket lists for years, now it’s time to visit another spot in this ancient nation. Visiting Thessaly will give you the opportunity to walk in the same places that Achilles walked. You might even be able to see a few centaurs wandering around Mt. Olympus – which you can hike.
Take time to see Meteora and Mount Pelion. The history of this area will take you out of the hectic world of today and into the memorable stories of the past.
5. Pacaya Volcano in Guatemala
Some tourist destinations are wonderful because they not only help the tourist but the locals, too. Guatemala is one of those places. The Pacaya Volcano is a must-see place in Guatemala and is a short drive from Guatemala City.
The volcano is lively, but it hasn’t had a major eruption in a long time, so it is accessible by hiking and horseback riding. There are picturesque lookouts, food stands, and rugged restrooms. It is recommended to bring a few marshmallows to toast above the hot volcanic rock.
6. Jaipur, India
There may be other spots on your bucket list in India, but the Pink City should be at the top. This large city in the Rajasthan area of Northern India is a safe place to travel alone or with a group. It is fully modernized, but loaded with old-school India art, food, and bazaars.
The must-see place is the Pink City at the center of Jaipur, but you should not visit it in the excessive heat of the day. See it in the mornings or evenings. It is also worth your time to see Amer Fort.
7. Play in the water in Key West, Florida
Key West was hit hard by Hurricane Michael in 2018. The Conch Republic has recovered and is ready for tourist. This sunny town has everything to soothe your soul – restaurants filled with live performances, comfortable bed-and-breakfasts with warm pools, and plenty of great stories to tell.
No matter what you do, make sure you get in the water. Spending the day in the warm, blue saltwater will cure all that ails you. Whether you charter a fishing expedition, enjoy a sunset cruise, or you take on a do-it-all day where you can snorkel, jet ski, swim, kayak, parasail, and relax all for one affordable price.
8. Lofoten Islands, Norway
This bucket list spot is on the opposite side of the equator and it is evident. In fact, the Lofoten Islands are on the northern side of the Arctic Circle, but it benefits from the warmth of the Gulf Stream swirling around its waters.
With snow-capped peaks and quaint cottages, Lofoten Islands is a small fishing village that is working toward becoming a sustainable destination – even with its growing tourist industry. The colors of the food and clothing, the lights in the sky, and the fresh northern air will inspire you in a way that other places will not.
9. Overwater bungalow in Malaysia
In what was once a place only for the crazy rich, overwater bungalows in Malaysia have multiplied. Even if the prices are different, the idea is the same: you sleep in an environmentally friendly resort perched above the water.
Most overwater bungalows have viewing spots on the floor where you can see the sea life in its natural habitat. You also get enjoy the flora and fauna of the island you choose as well as the native food, shopping, and culture experiences. Some are child-friendly and some are not – be sure to check prior to booking.
10. Tortola, British Virgin Islands
If you love beaches, then Tortola must be on your bucket list. The island, named for turtle doves, has mountains, rainforests, and quaint locales. The food is fabulous and the beaches are filled with the softest white sand. A coastal road wanders around the island, and Ridge Road is a must-see that brings tourists through the mountains.
The island is caught between two worlds. One is the mega-rich with impressive yachts lining the marinas. The other is historic, with old-fashioned island architecture, island-inspired crafts, and plenty of surfing.