5 Cities in 5 Years
March is right around the corner and the glow from my Christmas in the Cameroonian Sun is definitely all worn off by now. Safe to say, I am totally ready for warmer climates and a little adventure. So I thought I’d put together a little bucket list of 5 cities that I want to visit in the next 5 years. When selecting my cities, I was mindful of destinations that really felt like bucket list destinations to me. There are so many cities and entire countries to choose from but I picked these destinations because they have all been on my mental bucket list for at least 6 years and they are the kind of destinations that I know would literally take my breath away.
I find Latin America so interesting with its rich, diverse history that creates a unique and varied culture. Colombia felt like a natural first choice as I speak Spanish and I think you get so much more out of a trip when you speak the local language. I particularly want to visit Cartagena because of its beautiful colonial architecture, abundant afro-latino culture and history as the first Colombian town to gain independence from Spain.
What to Do
Visit Playa Blanca in Baru | 2. Visit Castillo de San Felipe | 3. Tour the Museo de la Inquisicion | 4. Walk around Old Town | 5. Party in Getsemani.
Runner Up: Medellin
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Following on with the Latin American theme, Rio is next up on the list for much of the same reasons. The mixture of cultures creates a dynamic melting pot. I’ve met a few cariocas (natives of Rio de Janeiro) in my time and they have always been so warm and friendly - if that’s any indication of what it would be like in Rio, I’m totally sold. Of course, the pull of Carnival initially hooked me but after doing a bit more research I know there’s so much more of Rio to explore.
What to Do
Rio Carnival | 2. Visit Parque Lage | 3. Party in Pedro do Sal | 4. Visit the Museum of Tomorrow | 5. Spot Toucans in Jardim Botanico
Runner Up: Sao Paulo
New York, USA
New York, New York! Aside from hoping to fulfill my teenage dreams of becoming Blair Waldorf (well, actually, maybe Jenny Humphrey as Queen Bee is more my style, minus the eyeliner of course), New York is the ultimate bucket list destination. There are so many songs, movies and books that paint New York as the perfect backdrop it would be rude not to pay her a visit.
What to Do
Visit the Met | 2. Sightsee from the Top of the Rock | 3. Visit the Tenement Museum | 4. Marvel at the Brooklyn Bridge | 5. Stroll around Battery Park
Runner Up: New Orleans
If you don’t want to visit Bali, you obviously don’t have Instagram. Bali looks like the most beautiful tropical paradise. Their hospitality industry has really boomed over the past few years making it look super desirable. I’m not going to lie, the majority of me wants to go to Bali for beautiful photo opportunities…. (don’t judge me). However, Bali does have some beautiful temples and there’s something about the scenery that just instills a sense of calm in me.
What to Do
Visit Ulun Danu Temple | 2. Go to a treetop adventure park | 3. Visit a Turtle Sanctuary | 4. Laze about at Komune Beach Club | 5. Go Dolphin spotting at Lovina
Runner Up: Goa, India
Havana and Veradero and Viñales, Cuba
Ever since I watched Dirty Dancing 2: Havana Nights on a flight back from San Jose when I was 12, Cuba has been high on my travel bucket list. I was completely captured by the sultry sensuality of Diego Luna and the old world glamour of what I thought was Cuba. I later discovered it was actually shot in Puerto Rico but that didn’t dampen my fascination with Cuba. I became even more intrigued by Cuba after learning more about its history. The fact that the Cuban revolution meant the country was effectively frozen in the 1950s. I know that Havana is quite small so I figured that doing a tour would be the best way to get my money’s worth.
What to Do
Explore Havana Viejo | 2. See the Flamingos at Refugio de Fauna Silvestre de Rio Maximo | 3. Visit a Tobacco Factory in Pinar del Rio | 4. Relax in the lush greenery of Vinales | 5. Wander Cueva de Ambrosia (if I’m feeling brave, your girl does not handle flying animals well)
Runner Up: Dominican Republic
Travel is one of the greatest luxuries. It’s such an immersive way to get to know a different culture and to learn a lot about yourself in the process; it’s an experience that can be incredibly humbling. I really hope that I can tick all of these 5 cities (and more) off my bucket list in the near future.
What cities are on your bucket list?