NZ has been on my mind for a while but it’s never really gotten onto the bucket list. Probably for the same reasons some Germans haven’t been to Poland, or some Irish haven’t been to Iceland. NZ is so close and quick and cheap to get to, it’s awesome in any season, it’s perfect for solo travellers, everyone speaks English, exchange rate is easy to convert, it’s FULL of nature and outdoor experiences, and Aussies can travel and work there indefinitely! NZ would be a breeze to travel to, a destination suited to my personality. But it doesn’t feel foreign enough haha. I know that’s a silly thing to think about travel, because everywhere is a different and new experience. I just feel that a lot of things would be similar to Sydney – language, money, customs.. I think of NZ as a country to road trip with a bunch of friends, somewhere to try ‘expat life’ and I can hope back to Sydney whenever. So I guess it’s always been a ‘saved for later’ destination. But for the past year the desire to check out NZ has slowly creeped up on me. Maybe it’ll be good to check it out for ‘later’ 😉
GEORGIA / ARMENIA / AZERBAIJAN
Not a typical tourist destination come by, and not known to many either apparently. I’ve always known Georgia to be some place in the states but I never knew a Georgia existed between Russia and Turkey! I got intrigued at first reading about Georgia on a travel article and the more I saw / read, the more it excited me. Georgia has a culture and way of life so different I want to immerse myself in, not to mention its shockingly beautiful landscapes. It seems Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan are travelled to as a trio. Honestly I haven’t looked into the nifty stuff like visas but I’ve now skimmed through the Lonely planet book and I’m sold.
Okay so after Japan, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, India, Bali I was feeling pretty over Asia. Even though they’re all unique destinations Asia is Asia right? But for the past year I’ve revisited the thought of Taiwan again and again and well.. why not? I’ve only heard good things and upon first research it seems all about the street food, city life, and cheap eats. But I’ve discovered Taiwan has so much more to offer a nature-lover like me. With more than 50% of the country covered in foliage, there are many mountains to climb, waterfalls and lakes to see, and it’s actually popular for cycling! What I like about Taiwan though is that it’s a relatively small country and I could see myself spending 3-6 months there living amongst the locals and travelling through the country at my own pace. Australians get 90 days visa-free stays too (plus!).
IRAN + THE MIDDLE EAST
Iran has intrigued me for a while too and every year it’s getting more popular amongst travellers. For obvious reasons it doesn’t sit high in the ranks of destinations people would dream of going to. But more news about what an amazing country this is to explore is becoming common. I’ve read many blogs of females who have travelled here solo and stories from travellers who have experienced their culture, food, and hospitality, and it’s not as ‘dangerous’ as first thought out to be. I think what draws me is the idea that Iran isn’t so established as a tourist destination yet and is still in the early stages of catering to backpackers and travellers alike. And so the experience would be so raw and local – I would imagine it to be reminiscent of my time in Turkey. There’s also the somewhat invisible/unspoken barrier between our way of life and theirs – it’s just so different – at least that’s the impression I’ve grown up with living in Sydney. I’d say this for the Middle – Eastern countries in general – Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria… doesn’t sound like the safest place for a 23 yo Vietnamese Australian to be wandering around on her own eh? haha. Amidst all the political unrest and dramatic stories we hear on the news, I believe – I know – there is quiet hidden beauty in this region of the world.
Random thought – Iran is actually pretty close to Georgia.. And I’ve’ been curious about Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan too. I think I’ll have to make this a regional trip 😛