The 10 places I most want to visit..

Okay, for this list I decided I could choose countries I’d visited before but wouldn’t repeat places  in those countries I’ve been to although there are many I’d like to go back to. 

1. Peru

I’ve never been to South America. Its usually cost issues that have prevented me from doing so although the prospect of a 17 hour flight via Madrid didn’t really enthuse me. Now that direct flights are available and the times reduced to 12 hours it’s a bit more manageable. 

It’s not just Machu Picchu that I’d like to see but places such as Ollantaytambo and Sacsayhuaman with their amazing ruins. I’m not into crossing continents off an imaginary list but South America is deserving of a visit so Peru and its wonders make the list. 

2. Namibia

When I mention Namibia most people look blankly at me. It’s not a country that’s registered with many people although it’s neighbour, South Africa, is obviously widely known. 

It’s not my unusual sort of place. It’s not got ancient ruins and temples, it’s got vast empty places, sand dunes, the skeleton coast and wildlife. I’m not one for safaris or things like that but seeing wildlife in a non-contrived way, a natural way, does appeal. 

3. Syria 

Yeah this is a tricky one. Tricky because of the state it’s in. Tricky because the chances of it being safe to visit in my lifetime are probably zero to non-existent. 

I’ve almost been twice. I’ll regret those near misses till the end of my days. First time I was taken ill the day before I was due to fly and my doctor wouldn’t let me go and the second time civil war broke out and that’s not conducive to travel. 

I so wanted to see Palmyra, the amazing citadel of Aleppo, Damascus in all its glory and the mighty crusader era castle of Krak De Chevaliers. ISIS put paid to all that. The damage they perpetrated on Syria is monstrous. An archaeological disaster. 

4. Libya

This might come into the same category as Syria. Another country beset with problems and safety concerns not easily rectified. I almost booked several years ago and, again, regret not doing so. To see the glories of Sabratha and Leptis Magna would have been amazing. 

5. China 

China has been on and off this list many times. There are places I want to see in China but I wish they weren’t in China. I’m sure it’s lovely but there’s just something about it that makes me slightly uneasy. A friend signed up to teach in China for three years. She lasted three months and had nothing but horror stories about her time there. 

I’d love to see the Terracotta Army, the Summer Palace, Guilin, the Forbidden City, Black Dragon Lake; it’s such a vast country the lists rather long. I feel I should go there. I feel as though I’ll regret it if I don’t. So I’ll keep it on my list. 

6. Those parts of India I haven’t been to yet! 

Hard to be specific but three visits have really just scratched the surface. I want to see where Mum was born in Calcutta, I want to see the Ajanta and Ellora caves, the Temples of Khajuraho, see Mumbai and I’ve always had a fascination about Hampi so I’d love to go there. To the Rann of Kutch, to Gujarat, Varanasi and Gwalior. So much I’ve yet to do. 

7. Japan 

Wildly expensive unfortunately. I think it’s an exceptional country with an incredible history and a very modern outlook. A country of great contrasts, of great beauty and of order. And then there’s the cherry blossom. 

8. The UK

Hang about, you live there!. Well I do but the more I see the less I realise I actually know. I’ve been to Wales, enjoyed the delights of Scotland and travelled fairly widely, with my parents, through England. But I’ve not seen many of our great houses, spent much time in our national parks, walked along our great rivers or actually just sat and taken in many views of the country I live in. And it’s beautiful here. It deserves my attention. 

9. Italy

This is for my partner. It’s her favourite country. She’s been and I haven’t. I should take her there. 

10. Lebanon

We end this list back in the “probably will never get there” category. So closely associated with Syria yet with its own problems where fundamentalist activity is concerned. Both times I booked to visit Syria it was with Lebanon added on. I wanted to see Baalbek, Sidon and Tyre, so much history on such a small country but, alas, I was overtaken by circumstance. 

So that’s it, that’s my list. 

There are other places of course. Other places both old (Egypt, Cambodia) and new (Honduras, Laos) omitted from this list. 

It’s the one thing that keeps me going; the hopes and the dreams that I can get to these places, or some of them. 

I wonder what’s on your list ? 

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