The Land Down Under, the Top of the World, the City of Lights, the Big Easy, the Eternal City, the Emerald Isle … countries, cities, places with monikers that conjure up unforgettable sights and a longing to see them. These are what bucket lists are made of. Whether you dream of visiting places far or near, a bucket list is a thing of dreams and aspirations. And no matter how well traveled you are, there’s always someplace new that fills you with a burning desire to visit.
We surveyed a bunch of our peers at Independent Traveler, Inc., parent company of, to find out where they dream of visiting. Read on, and get inspired!
Volcanoes and Hot Springs
“Iceland has always seemed just out-of-the-ordinary enough to qualify as a true adventure, yet it’s only a five-hour flight from the New York area. Amazing scenic drives and a buzzing music scene are big draws for me; I’m also going to time my eventual trip around the northern lights!” — Melissa Paloti, Director, Product Development
“My real bucket list trip would be an African safari with Abercrombie & Kent or Tauck. I would love to see the animals up close and personal as well as experience the terrain first hand, but then come back to a luxurious camp with gourmet meals. I’m amazed watching David Attenborough shows and can only imagine how much more amazing it would be to see in person.” — Kimberly Coyne, Director of Sales
Top of the World
“I’ve recently become fascinated by Nepal and Tibet, and a trip to that part of Asia is high on my bucket list. I feel most at home in the mountains, and I’m a sucker for breathtaking views. I also love studying different religions, and the monks in that region are beyond intriguing to me. My ideal day would be a hike to one of the mountaintop monasteries for some meditation.” — Ashley Kosciolek, Copy and Ports Editor, Cruise Critic
What a View
“Tops on my bucket list is to visit Sydney, Australia and take the sunset Harbour Bridge climb. I’ve heard the best time is to do it is as the sun is setting so you can take in the sunset and then come down during the dark, when the city is twinkling in lights. I cannot wait to do this someday!” — Lissa Poirot, Executive Editor, Family Vacation Critic
The Seventh Continent
“On a long wish list of desired travel spots, Antarctica is, to me, the ultimate bucket list destination. Having been lucky enough to visit each of the other six continents, I feel like Antarctica is the final frontier, and such an alien landscape that I have to step foot on it at least once. It’s so far-flung that getting there would be not only be a journey, but also an investment, so on the illustrious bucket list it goes.” — Brittany Chrusciel, Editorial Assistant
“I was introduced to my family homeland by a few short cruise port visits. I want to revisit to spend more time in the glorious cities of Rome, Florence and Venice and to see Milan, the Tuscan Coast and Naples. I also want to research and visit the two small villages where my grandparents were born in the Italian Alps!” — Laura Sterling, Senior Manager, Community
On a Mission
“In the opening shots of the 1986 movie ‘The Mission,’ a South American native community rejects a priest by tying him to a cross and throwing him over the raging waters of Iguazu Falls. Another Jesuit, played by Jeremy Irons, climbs to the top of the waters and uses his oboe to establish connections with the indigenous people. While it’s been years since I’ve seen the movie, I’ll never forget the haunting images of life atop the glorious waterfall between Argentina and Brazil. I’ve been lucky enough to travel to South America several times, but have yet to make my pilgrimage to this continent’s landmark. When I do, I’m sure I’ll be hearing the movie’s lush soundtrack as I gaze into the depths.” — Chris Gray Faust, Destinations Editor, Cruise Critic
“Though it’s not an exotic destination, Austria is at the top of my travel bucket list. I have a fascination with the architecture and landscape of the country, as well as ‘The Sound of Music’ and the era in which it took place. I’ve come so close to Austria, traveling to both Germany and Italy on different occasions, yet never crossing the borders — I suppose I’ve reserved it for a trip of its own. When I finally get there, I’m going to run through the grassy hills like Julie Andrews did and sing ‘The Hills Are Alive’ (and pray nobody’s watching me).” — Amanda Geronikos, Associate Editor, Family Vacation Critic
Wide Open Spaces
“As someone who reads about travel all day, every day, my bucket list is novel-length at this point! But one place that’s persistently near the top is the Patagonia region of Chile and Argentina. I drool every time I see photos of those craggy mountains, turquoise lakes and massive glaciers. I’d love to spend a week or two hiking through Patagonia’s national parks, keeping an eye out for guanacos and pumas along the way.” — Sarah Schlichter, Senior Editor
“I’m 50 percent Croatian and my husband is 50 percent Greek, so we’ve always dreamt of seeing the lands where our families came from. Not to mention that, in pictures, both of these places look like pretty great places to vacation! I would look forward most to immersing myself in the culture and cuisine of these two Eastern Mediterranean locales.” — Kimberly Karis, Email Marketing Analyst
“I’d like to return to Diego Garcia one day. I spent some time there when I was in the Navy but never experienced it as a tourist. It’s in the Indian Ocean, so far removed from the rest of the world. It’s like Fantasy Island. There are no big resorts or amusement rides or casinos. It’s true island living.” — Cecilia Freeman, Assistant Community Manager
Europe’s Capital Cities
“Working for a travel company definitely makes it hard to narrow down places for bucket list travel … and having a 1-year old makes it near impossible to actually cross places off the list. While I’ve traveled throughout the U.S., Mexico and Caribbean, I still haven’t made it to Europe and would love to take my daughter — when she’s old enough to appreciate it — on a trip to some of my must-see cities, including Paris and Prague.” — Amanda Hoy, Brand Marketing Manager
You May Also Like
–written by Dori Saltzman
We hand-pick everything we recommend and select items through testing and reviews. Some products are sent to us free of charge with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions and do not accept compensation to review products. All items are in stock and prices are accurate at the time of publication. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.