When I was a teenager, I used to have a pretty long walk to school. To entertain myself (this was pre iPod days) I used to imagine winning the lottery and then plan in great detail what I’d do with the money. Fastforward almost 20 years later and these thoughts still occupy my mind from time to time.
Growing up in South Africa, I didn’t have the luxury of taking a gap year after school to go travelling. But it didn’t stop me dreaming of far flung and exotic destinations. Now that I live in London, travelling is much easier and affordable and I’m lucky to have travelled far and wide to some amazing places, such as Miami, Rio, Argentina, Barbados, Japan and New York.
But if money were no object (or time), where would I go?
I don’t know why, but Tibet has always called to me. Perhaps it’s the mysticism or the fact that it’s referred to as the ‘roof of the world’ , but it’s always been on my ‘must see’ list.
Potala Palace in Lhasa is a World Heritage Site and was home to the Dalai Lamas until the Tibetian uprising in 1959 when the 14th Dalai Lama fled to India. It’s now a museum and I really want to visit it!
Staying in Asia, another on my ‘must see’ list is the Great Wall of China. Also a World Heritage Site, the wall was built to protect the Chinese against attacks and raids and one archaeological survey has found that the entire wall with all of its branches measures out to be 21,196 km – staggering!
Moving from Asia to South America, next on my ‘must see’ list is Machu Picchu in Peru. I remember watching a cartoon when I was a kid called The Mysterious Cities of Gold and I became fascinated with South America and the Inca Empire. We’re hoping to visit Machu Picchu this year so watch this space! And if we do, then I HAVE to go on the Belmond (former Orient Express) Hiram Bingham train. (update – we’ve still not been…. Machu Picchu is still firmly on the list!)
I’ve been to India before but only to Chennai. On my ‘must see’ list is Taj Mahal in Agra and also the palaces and forts in Rajasthan. My dad has this great black and white photo of him and his friends when they were in their 20s standing in front of the Taj Mahal and it’s always been proudly displayed in our home. My sister has also travelled India extensively so it must be in our blood!
The phenomenon that is the Northern Lights is also on my ‘must see’ list, however, the thought of the cold does put me off a bit! Would definitely need to stay in a glass igloo at the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort. Of course you’re never guaranteed to see them so I hope luck will be on our side when we do visit.
Lastly, I would love to see the Red Square in Moscow. St Basil’s Cathedral is just an amazingly colourful piece of Byzantine architecture and I’d love to see it up close. I’m a big fan of architecture and I’m lucky to live in London, which has amazing buildings. The Red Square is also a World Heritage Site so there’s clearly a theme here!
Where would you love to go if money were no object?