Like any other travel enthusiast, I too happen to have a bucket list. There are certain things which I want to do and adventures that I want to experience from all across the world. There are quite a few places which I tend to read and make special notes about even in my free time. The reason why I haven’t visited those places yet is because somewhere at the back of my mind, I still haven’t found the confidence or the motivation required to do so. I often wonder about how there is nothing stopping me from doing these trips but somehow, it doesn’t feel right and these trips continue to remain as names on my bucket list. I am about to pursue one of these ‘dream trips’ in the upcoming months and plan to make the other dream trips a reality soon. So here are the top 5 names on my to-be-travelled-bucket list. The motive behind this post is not to talk about how to do these trips (which I can do later) but to give you an idea of what these trips are and the reason behind their position in my dream list.
The Trans-Siberian Rail Trip (Moscow to Beijing via Mongolia):
The Trans-Siberian Rails, a part of the Russian rail network, happens to be one of the best and the longest overland train journeys in the world. The network connects Europe to deep down in Asia. There are multiple routes the train can take but the most famous (and my favourite!) course is the Trans-Siberian Rail from Moscow to Beijing via the Mongolian capital. The 7261kms long train journey takes 6 nights and passes through the Siberian forest, a major part of Russia and Magnolia before connecting to the Chinese rail network to get to the Chinese capital. The journey doesn’t end there. It can be extended using the local network to
Shanghai and a ferry from there can take you to Tokyo or another train network can transport you all the way to Singapore through Vietnam. I know that it sounds crazy and is pretty much one of the wildest train journeys possible. It’s very popular among the travel community and a lot of westerners can be found on the train. The thing which fascinates me most about this journey is crossing four countries by train and getting to see various parts of the least explored places like Mongolia and Siberia. Being from India, I am used to having 2-day long train journeys but getting to spend 6 nights in a train with Russian locals and other travellers truly makes this trip the highest name in my bucket list. I wouldn’t want to do this trip alone for multiple reasons; it’s not a touristy train and the communication will mostly be in Russian so that creates a huge language barrier. Secondly, a train journey this long can be really boring if not spent in the company of friends or acquaintances. According to me, a group of minimum three crazy travellers is needed to make such a trip absolutely worth it. I have had this trip in mind for a long time and might be able to do it next year (fingers crossed)!
A Round-the-World trip with More than 12 Stops!
It is as bookish as it sounds. A Round-the-World trip is no more a part of fairy tales. It’s definitely doable. We have all heard of various travel routes that we’d someday want to embark on. After having flown half way across the world and visiting more than 15 countries within the duration of a very short time, I started reading more about this so called ‘RTW’ (Round-the-World trip) and realised that it’s not as scary as it sounds. I immediately decided to put it on my travel list. The trip starts from a city in any part of the world and one has to fly in only one direction and complete the trip and end the trip by coming back to the same city from the other direction (‘Round’ make sense now?) The thing which makes it easy is that a lot of websites and airlines offer a RTW open ticket where all you have to do is buy your RTW ticket beforehand. You can always postpone the ticket while on the run as you might decide to spend some more in a particular city in which case, you can choose to take a later flight. The only thing that you have to do is to book the entire schedule of RTW flight before you take off from the first city. One of the best players in offering RTW tickets is Star Alliance, which is a coalition of 27 airlines from different parts of the world. It makes RTW perfectly possible as not all airlines operate in all countries. This trip might take a lot of time so I am still not sure of the when or how but I will definitely do it.
South-East Asia Classic: Thailand – Laos – Vietnam – Cambodia
The Classic South-East Asia (SEA) trip is considered to be the Mecca of every backpacker in the world. While on my recent trip to Thailand (part of SEA circle), I stayed at a hostel in Chiang Mai where a particular travellers’ wall message caught my eye. The message was written by a random traveller who had stayed in the same hostel and I quote, “You can’t call yourself a backpacker, if you haven’t been to South East Asia”. It’s a strong message and I felt it to be true. The entire region was flooded with backpackers. I had boarded a train from East Thailand, destined to go to North Thailand and the train was full of backpackers. Literally. Just backpackers and no locals. The SEA circle includes Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, and Myanmar (some people tend to include Indonesia, Singapore, and Philippines). The main reason behind these being in one circle is because all these countries are on the same island and can be easily crossed overland with the help of cheap modes of transportation such as buses and trains. These countries are not only cheap but also easily accessible and portray totally different lifestyles and food which interests westerner backpackers a huge deal. I am glad to say that I have visited Thailand recently and will be visiting Cambodia and Vietnam in the upcoming months so this dream trip is not far from becoming a reality.
The 7 Sister States & Sikkim, Bhutan
In India, we talk about the North-Eastern states in such a way that the very existence of those states becomes questionable. Those states may not hold a strong political position in India but for someone who loves to travel, the 7 Sister States should be a must visit. The 7 Sister States is a combined name given to seven of India’s North-Eastern states: Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura. These states are home to many of India’s natural resources; for example, the famous Indian tea comes from Assam. Similarly, every other state has its own beauty and culture which should be experienced and explored at any given chance. Located among the unexplored parts of the Himalayas, the beauty of these states will take your breath away. There are two dominantly ignored countries located quite close to these states i.e., Sikkim and Bhutan. Bhutan, being the happiest country in the world definitely deserves a visit. The best part about these two countries is that they are super cheap and easily accessible. I would love to go on this trip as soon as I get a chance.
The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu — Peru
Every individual who loves to trek and camp considers this to be their Holy Grail. Peru is definitely not the easiest country to reach because apart from being located in South America, there are language restrictions to be faced and a lot more trouble than what one might face while travelling to Europe or Asia. But a trip is not worth it if it’s not challenging and that’s just one of the reasons why I would love to do this trail. I have never gone on a proper camping and trekking trip (just by chance) and am keeping this trail on my dream list because, I would like to hoist my national flag on the top of this trail and stand there to feel the joy of achievement…one day. I had almost planned to go on this trail this year but I decided to spend that week with my family instead. It had seemed like the right thing to do at that time. I haven’t given up on this trail and will surely be doing it very soon.