There are so many places I’d like to visit that I get overwhelmed when I try to choose. Each place has something that appeals to me.
For example, although I’m not a good swimmer, I love water and places that have beautiful beaches call me. I discovered recently that I also love the mountains. Mountains capture my imagination and give me a sense of peace so any place that has both makes me happy.
I’ve always felt that I was born in the wrong era and the wrong place. I love looking at old buildings and visiting quaint villages that take me back in time. I’m also in awe of old stone monuments, Gothic cathedrals and the ruins of ancient civilizations.
I love places that are rich in art and culture – they make me feel right at home – and good food. I could have stayed in Barcelona, because of the food.
You probably understand now how creating a Top Ten List of places I’d like to visit could be difficult. But I’m going to try. And remembering something one of my travel buddies said to me a while back, pick a region and focus. (Now, why didn’t I think of that?) I’ve decided on the Caribbean and South America. After all, it’s my backyard.
Most of you who’ve been reading my blog know that I’m from Jamaica and you’re probably wondering why I
picked it. It’s simple. As I stated on my About page, it’s the place I feel I should know more about. I know that I’ve been to all 14 parishes but it was so long ago, I can’t remember the visit I made to two – St. Thomas and Portland – so I need a refresher course, one I plan to take later this year.
Years ago, I said to a Haitian friend that I wanted to visit Haiti. She looked at me with a shocked expression on her face and asked, Why? Why, indeed. Haiti has been independent since 1804. Despite its problems, it is a beautiful and very diverse country with a rich culture. I’d go just for the art.
Just next door to Haiti is the Dominican Republic. Both countries share space on the island of Hispaniola. The second largest country after Cuba, it’s almost twice the size of Haiti. The Dominican Republic has some fabulous beaches and its Ciudad Colonial home of the first castle and cathedral in the New World, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
One week in Havana left me longing to go back. I loved the food, the music, the people, the art, the culture. On my return, I’d head straight to Santiago, the place with the largest population of Jamaicans and others from the Caribbean.
Everyone I’ve talked to say you can’t go to Trinidad and not visit its sister island, Tobago. Known for its pristine beaches, Tobago is also fast becoming an ecotourism destination.
My sister visited Roatan last year and couldn’t stop talking about how much it reminded her of Jamaica. Now, I want to see what she saw. Only 37 miles long, it’s about 10 miles longer than Tobago. With beautiful beaches and great places to dive or watch Bottlenose dolphins.
Part of The Guianas, an area that comprises Spanish Guiana (Venezuela), Dutch Guyana (Suriname), French Guiana, a department of France, and Portuguese Guiana (Amapa, part of Brazil), Guyana (British Guyana) is a diverse region of mountains, rivers, waterfalls, unspoiled rainforests, and rare species.
Its Kaieteur Falls has fascinated me since I saw a photo of it some years ago in a restaurant of the same name. At over 700 feet, it is five times higher than Niagara Falls and about two times higher than Victoria Falls. Kaieteur is thought to be one of the most powerful waterfalls in the world.
Best known for soccer, carnival, music, art and the Amazon rainforest, Brazil is vast and diverse. Outside of Rio de Janeiro, the place top of my list is Bahia and its historic capital, Salvador. Of course, I’d definitely also have to see Rio’s Copacabana Beach.
On my original Travel Bucket List is Machu Picchu, home of the Incas, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Like a lot of people, photos of this place leave me in awe.
Home of Mount Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the Americas and one of the highest in the world, Talampaya National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, wildlife, food, art, theatre, movies and the tango. Buenos Aires beckons.