A friend of mine brought a study by the British Heart Foundation to my attention recently - it made for interesting reading as it showed that top of Brit's lifetime regrets is not travelling enough and seeing more of the world. This is a common grumble among my friendship group of people largely in their late 20's/early 30's - less work, more experiencing the world needed.
I didn't take a gap year but was lucky enough to go inter-railing before university and had a great time travelling around Europe - since then it's been holidays rather than adventures all the way. I'm certainly not complaining as I always have a fantastic time whilst away but this year I'd like less of a holiday and instead experience something entirely new. So here's my list of top travel experiences that I've got my eye on - what would be on yours?
Kenya Migration Safari
I'm copying one of my best friends a little with this one as he went there a few years back and couldn't stop raving about it. Kenya sounds like an incredible country, widely renowned as one of the best places in the world to watch wildlife. Not only would I stand a very good chance of seeing the 'Big Five' but I could also take in the migration of the Masai Mara, a once in a lifetime experience if I ever heard one.
I've always been fascinated by the Arctic, was obsessed with Frozen Planet and marvelled at the crazy guy who got in the weird-cube thing to get closer to a polar bear than ever before on TV recently. So this experience seeing polar bear cubs as they emerge for the first time with their mother looks right up my street. The stark Arctic landscape is also home to wolves, caribou and Arctic foxes too so if I was unlucky enough not to witness a polar bear, there'd still be plenty to take in. The only downside I can see is that it will be incredibly cold!
One of my old housemates took up a teaching post in the Colombian capital of Bogota last year and his Facebook posts range from 'reason #481 why this is the best place I've ever lived' to image galleries of him travelling the country by motorcycle complete with some of the most stunning scenery I've ever laid eyes on. In short, I'm a bit jealous. I wouldn't just limit myself to Bogota, a visit to the walled city of Cartagena would be high on my list too.
Surely Madagascar has to be one of the most fascinating places on earth? It's said that over 80% of the wildlife is endemic including of course lemurs (some of them are small enough to sit in an egg cup apparently!), chameleons and geckos. Even on a relatively small island such as this there seems to be plenty of variety from the coastal regions to the more arid inland areas. I'll definitely be heading here one day.