Last year I discovered my love for nature. Almost by accident. My ideal travel destination used to be a big city with crowded hostels. I wanted to be surprised by the stories of strangers and perhaps delighted by a bite of food that was unfamiliar. Over the years, I have travelled to many bustling destinations. Often alone, but always in search of company. But last year something changed. I had booked a few days in a hotel in the Atlas Mountains (mainly because the hotel looked very nice). And it was in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains that I found a space for quiet contemplation that is unreachable for me in its urban counterparts. Now I want more of these encounters. More nature. More solitude. More beauty. So today I am sharing five destinations I would love to visit in nature.
West Highland Way – Scotland
I have been in the highlands of Scotland before as a teenager and absolutely loved it. When I lived in Edinburgh a few years later, I didn’t end up seeing much of the rest of Scotland. (Not a bad thing, there was enough to explore in Edinburgh.) But I always wanted to go back to the highlands. And what better way to explore the rugged mountain scenery of Scotland than with the famous weeklong hiking trail. During my stint in Edinburgh, I actually hosted two girls through Couchsurfing who had just come back from the West Highland Way and they absolutely loved it. This one is close to home and easy to plan, so I hope to make this a reality in the next few years.
Santiago de Compostela – Spain / Portugal
This is another famous trail in a much sunnier part of the world. The most well-known trail to Santiago de Compostela is through Northern Spain, but I would be interested to do the trail through Portugal. The full hike from Lisbon takes about a month, so if I am serious about tackling this hike I might start in Porto instead. This is again a relatively easy trip to plan and budget for and something I have been talking about for years. (I even mentioned it in this blog post.) Another one I ought to make happen soon.
Sossusvlei – Namibia
Although you might not know this place by name, you surely have seen pictures of it. It is an area in Namibia most known for its large red dunes and bone-dry trees. I have always wanted to go to a desert and this one has been the desert that speaks most to me. I know quite little about travelling to Namibia or the background of this desert. So for now, this is a faraway dream I hope to revisit some day in the future.
This destination is probably on most people’s bucket list. It has been on my list since seeing it featured in Iain Stewart’s BBC documentary Earth as a young teenager. (If you remember, I once wanted to become a geologist.) Flights to Iceland are not too expensive and due to its recent popularity getting around on the island should be easy as well. However, I want to take my time with this destination and not just do the golden circle tour on a weekend trip.
Patagonia is the #1 travel destination on my bucket list. Period. I have been telling everyone and their mother that I want to visit this place since I was 15. The rugged, desolate landscape looks breath-taking to me. The fact that very few people visit this corner of the world makes it even more alluring. The only problem? It isn’t visited much for a good reason. Flights to Patagonia are ridiculously expensive. And unless you are a seasoned wild man, you will need to book an even more expensive tour guide to get around. One day though…
I am not saying I will never visit a city again. Or that I am becoming an outdoor expert extraordinaire. But I have started venturing into more natural surroundings throughout 2018 and want to continue this trend in the years to come.
Do you have any places in nature on your travel bucket list?