There is so much more to travel than what we usually see on social media. Sure, a lot of people get excited about travelling to Europe in the summer or taking a holiday to an island abroad, but a lot of other destinations are far from traditional travel hotspots. Let’s take a look at some of the most fascinating places that you might not see mentioned frequently on your travel planner. The world is waiting!
While not completely unknown to the mainstream world, the Antarctic is mostly associated with adventure and exploration through movies like Captain Scott and the Lord of the Rings. Travellers will have the opportunity to see creatures like the polar bear or the penguin which are almost as famous as the region itself. There are no fences surrounding the Antarctic, making it one of the most open travel destinations available. If you have a suitable visa, you can even spend some time there volunteering so that you can get an inside look at how wildlife and geography coexist in this extremely remote place. Travel to this ‘last frontier’ and you may see whales from on deck of the ship, or encounter penguins on your hands and knees.
The Arctic Circle
Another place you might not normally think of as a tourist destination is the Arctic Circle, which is basically the polar opposite of the Antarctic, located in the Northern Hemisphere. This tourist hotspot not only offers a chance to see wildlife such as reindeer and Arctic foxes, but it can also get rather cold there. The Arctic Circle has no fences either, so you can wander around freely and get a sense of how the locals live and what they do for a living. If you have a good enough reason to be in the North, why not spend a little time in the Arctic Circle? It will be the adventure of a lifetime and you might even make some new friends.
The Maldives is a place that pretty much everyone has heard of, thanks mainly to its glamorous tourism industry. This luxury destination is made up of a set of islands situated in the Indian Ocean. During the day, you can find many people doing their morning exercises in the crystal clear waters or dining in the restaurants that line the beach. At night, the whole place comes alive with the twinkling lights of passing boats and the ever-present glow of the sea. There are no towns or streets in the Maldives, so all the roads and beaches seem to come together in a glorious meeting of ocean and architecture. The Maldives is one of the most romantic destinations imaginable and a good anniversary or honeymoon present.
The Great Wall Of China
If you thought that the Great Wall of China was not a place you would like to visit, then think again. The Great Wall is actually a series of fortifications built by the Chinese to protect themselves from invasion by the Mongols. However, the Great Wall does not just come in one piece. It has numerous forts and gates, which the Chinese refer to as ‘watchtowers’. These watchtowers are built on mountain peaks and offer some amazing panoramic views. The wall extends far beyond China’s borders and continues for thousands of kilometres. It is, in fact, the largest human-made structure in the world. Going to the Great Wall is on my bucket list simply because it is such an incredible feat of human endeavour. It is a place that everyone should see at least once in their lifetime.
The Pyramids are one of the seven wonders of the world. Although there are countless theories about how the pyramids were built, the truth is that we simply do not know. What we do know is that between the years 1764 and 1874, a team of over 150,000 people, including many women and children, spent over 200 years building the pyramids. If that is not an indication of human achievement, then we don’t know what is. Even if you are not a massive history buff, you have to admit that seeing these structures in person is a unique experience that not even a social media post can match. To me, the Pyramids represent the ultimate in luxury hotels and bucket lists combined.
Finally, we arrive at the most prominent church building of all time. The biggest secret of the Vatican is not that it is home to some of the most valuable artworks in the world. It is that the Vatican is a working residence for the Pope, so you cannot just walk in off the street and start exploring. You must have an invitation to enter this magnificent place. It is rumoured that the Pope’s private office alone is worth more than all the artwork and treasures put together. There are also said to be over 2000 pieces of art in the building. Wandering around the Vatican will not only give you an idea of the culture and geography of the place, but you may also stumble upon a Catholic mass going on. Make sure you look at what time it is so that you do not miss any of the Pope’s important speeches or important masses. If you are lucky, you may even get to see a Pope in person when he comes out to bless some children or give a speech.
Of course, these places are just the starting point. There are so many more wonders to explore around the world. A bucket list simply cannot contain them all. What I have tried to do here is to show you the hidden gems that you might not normally think of when it comes to travelling. There is so much more to see and do, so let the adventure begin!