Winning a lottery can mean a lot of different things to different people even within the spectrum of the word ‘travel’. For me, travel is a window to the world and I would like to capture all the places that I can in my lifetime. But, gun to my head if I was asked to list 7 destinations to visit NOW if I (ever) win the lottery then the list would something be like this –
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French Polynesia (Papeete, Tahiti, Bora Bora)
A favorite among most travelers all over the world is a cluster of more than 100 islands in the South Pacific which makes up French Polynesia that covers roughly about 2000 kilometers. Places of interest in French Polynesia include Tahiti, Bora Bora, Mo’orea, etc.
Pristine white sand beaches, turquoise waters, tropical greenery and endless luxury is what drive people to this little piece of heaven on Earth. Most of these islands were formed by volcanic eruptions and many of these volcanoes are still prevalent although mostly dormant. Visitors can trek and hike up the volcanoes which in itself are a thrill. The water activities, land activities, etc here makes for an amazing adventurous visit for sure.
On top of the spectacular natural beauty, the islands are dotted with some of the most beautiful luxury resorts offering every possible indulgence; it is hard to resist the temptation of never leaving this paradise.
Patagonia (Chile, Argentina)
Patagonia is the South American region where the Andes Mountains divides the vast southern tip that is shared by both Chile and Argentina. As the dividing factor is a huge mountain range, the surrounding areas are quite the contrast from each other covering an area of over a million square kilometers. While the Argentinean side include grasslands, dry and barren steppes and deserts, the Chilean area comprises of moderate rainforests and glaciers.
Such contrasting climate condition makes it an ideal region for travelers who like to explore uncharted territories. The area comprises some of the most spectacular icebergs, granite towers, national parks, glaciers that attract a lot of people. Although hiking and trekking are the main activities that attract people to this part of the world there are other activities such as kayaking, skiing, sheep rearing, etc. The locals here live among some of the harshest environment the world has to offer; even then they are a happy bunch of people who always welcome visitors into their lives.
The biggest and the least populated state of United States of America, Alaska is located in the North-Western part of Canada. Originally belonging to Russia, Alaska was purchased by the Unites States of America (USA) 30th March, 1867 in a treaty signed between the two countries.
The state of Alaska (AK) is very well known for its diverse terrain that ranges from mountains and forests to wide open spaces to abundant wildlife and human settlements. The area attracts tourists and visitors from all over the world to explore the wide array of natural richness it has to offer. Wildlife enthusiasts’ flock to Alaska to see various species of animals in the wild especially bears – grizzly/brown bear, black bear and polar bear along with whales, seals, sea lions, dolphins, bison, Sitka deer, gray wolves, caribou, etc. As a wildlife enthusiast, this is my main draw for visiting Alaska and I would love to cross it off my bucketlist if I happen to be so lucky and win a lottery.
Apart from wildlife, Alaska is also extremely popular with adventure sport lovers as the area provides some of the best locations for sports such as skiing, kayaking, mountain biking, etc. A few months in Alaska in the summer months is a ‘dream come true’ in all its beauty.
Being the capital as well as the biggest city of Iceland, Reykjavik is the northern most capital city in the world. Reykjavik is an ancient city that has withstood the test of time since the Viking’s era and is still one of the most sought after places to visit. Reykjavik houses two of the best museums viz. Saga and National museum which tells the rich history of the Vikings. Although the weather here remains generally cold the hot springs such as the Blue Lagoon is widely popular with visitors for a much needed healing dip. It is said that the volcanic mud that surrounds the lagoon has medicinal values as well.
Nature can be seen here in all its beauty as most of the country side is still pristine and un-inhabited. With massive dormant and active volcanoes rising tall and vast expansive greenery, it is hard not fall ‘in love’ with Iceland as a whole. Reykjavik as a city with modern architecture can amaze tourists with its new-age architecture and designs such as the Hallgrimskirkja church (a testament of modern architecture), the rotating Perlan glass dome that offers some amazing views of the sea, the Harpa (modern concert hall), etc. Exploring the country of Iceland is probably one of the best ways to spend time here.
Turks & Caicos Islands
An archipelago of about 40 small coral islands located Southeast of Bahamas in the Atlantic Ocean makes up the British Overseas Territory of Turks & Caicos. The islands of Turks & Caicos consist of some of the best beaches, clear waters and barrier reef around the world that encourages people to visit these islands and engage in diving, snorkeling, fishing, kayaking, etc.
With spectacular beaches and waters, the area has over the years turned into a celebrity hot-spot as there are a number of islands to choose from just for some privacy. The main island of Providenciales that is often referred to as Provo houses the famous Grace Bay Beach studded with extreme luxury resorts, shopping centers and dining options. Turks & Caicos is essentially a beach lover’s paradise with hospitality to match the same.
Rwanda & Uganda (Africa)
Rwanda and Uganda are two separate landlocked countries in Eastern Africa with extremely diverse terrain ranging from snow capped mountains to vast open grasslands to dense forests. One of the reasons to visit these two countries is to be able to go for the famous Gorilla Tracking Safaris. Tracking the shy and elusive Silverback Gorilla with experienced trackers and guides is the ultimate wildlife experience.
Dense forest accompanied with erratic rains and filled with animals some of which are exclusive to the region can get overwhelming even for avid wildlife enthusiasts. Although Rwanda is often considered as the best area to track gorillas however, since the forests and jungles often do not have prominent border markers it is quite easy to wander into neighboring countries such as Uganda or Congo. The ideal tracking safari would probably last around 10-15 days depending on the visitors motivation and budget as well. The ultimate jungle experience!
The Australian state of Tasmania lies off the South coast of the mainland that is widely regarded as still been uncharted due to its rugged wilderness and protected areas. Although cities such as Hobart which is the capital of the state and other nearby towns are conducive to visitors; vast majority of the lands here are still pristine. Port Arthur which was originally a penal colony in the early 19th century has been converted into an open air museum that showcases the transformation of Tasmania in all its glory.
Visitors, explorers, travelers are encouraged by locals to visit any part of the state and soak in the natural beauty this wonderful biosphere has to offer. Wildlife and nature lovers are often spellbound by the mesmerizing beauty of Tasmania as it is quite difficult to fathom that a developed country such as Australia still has a place which can easily be termed as one of the best nature reserves in the world.
So, where would you go if you won the lottery?