Five Places I Want To Visit Before I Hit Thirty Five

At the start of the year, I was thinking about what sort of travel I’d like to do in 2018 and it hit me: with the exception of a fleeting visit to Scotland for a friend’s wedding in 2016, I haven’t been overseas since 2013. My personal life got in the way on more than one occasion, and I know a lot of my restlessness comes from being stuck in the one place.

I’ve always loved traveling, but I’ll admit: I haven’t been everywhere as much as I have wanted to. And now that I’m older, my perspective on travel has changed. Once, I would have been more than happy to try and cram as much as I could into a rekky around Europe or America via Topdeck. Now, I’m not looking to see how many countries I can hit in two weeks.

I’m looking for experiences. Memories. Adventures. Here are five that I’d love to do before I turn 35 (which let’s face it, isn’t far off down the track!

The Northern Lights, via Iceland

My love affair with the Northern Lights started with a children’s film called Balto. Okay, sure, Balto is set in Alaska and I’m thinking of heading to Iceland, but ever since then, the Northern Lights have been extremely high on the bucket list, and if all the social media posts I’ve seen in the last two months are any indication, I need to go asap. Well, preferably in winter, so I can see the lights, but also to go horse riding and swimming in lagoons and being in snow and Game of Thrones-land.

St Petersburg, Russia

Another city where my love affair started with a movie…yes, Anastasia. Aside from that, St. Petersburg is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and I can almost smell all the history from here. Add to that my love of The Bronze Horseman and let’s just say there’s going to be a lot of selfies and singing going on… There’s something intrinsically gorgeous about St. Petersburg that’s not hard to fall in love with.

Marrakesh, Morocco

On a completely different scale is Marrakesh. I can’t put my finger on what it is about this city that draws me in, but it’s there. The explosion of colours. The history. The architecture. The smells (I’m sure). Morocco has been inspiration for a large part of my fantasy novels for a number of years now, and I’d love to just envelope myself and take it all in. Recently, one of my favourite travel bloggers, Polka Dot Passport, did a photography tour and I’d love to take part in something similar (or if they did it again – sign me up!).

Macchu Picchu

I know I’ve said before that I don’t believe in goals but…is there any other way to describe Macchu Picchu? Talk about #goals. This would be the ultimate – the dream. The conquering. I know my limits – and they don’t extend to Mount Everest, so for me, achieving Macchu Picchu is the next best thing. I’m already planning my trip with one of my besties and author Belinda Missen as the ultimate way to challenge ourselves.

The Calgary Stampede

And now for something completely different…while most of my top five have been nature or history based, the Calgary Stampede has been at the top of my must do list for a long time, and I’m not planning on giving that up. The Calgary Stampede just looks like plain fun. Set against the glittering backdrop that is beautiful Canada, the Stampede is one of the biggest events on the calendar every July. Time to buckle up the boots, I think!

Do you have a bucket list? If so, tell me what’s on yours! Been to any of these destinations? Feel free to leave me your handy hints!




  1. 6 February 2018 / 10:38 pm

    Gahhhh Hannah, this post is making me want to travel so very badly!

    2016 was my favourite year because I was living in Barcelona as a part of a 6-month student exchange program and I got to travel in Europe. If given the time and money I’d really like to visit Eastern European cities like Prague, Budapest, Tallinn, and Warsaw because I missed out the last time. And of course there’s Sydney, which I’ve never been–I reeeeeally want to do a Marchetta tour and visit all the places she’s mentioned in her books. And I want to go to Melbourne again because I loved it there when I visited in 2015.

    Now lemme go cry because I don’t have money-

    • Hannah Elizabeth
      14 February 2018 / 8:22 pm

      COME TO SYDNEY VISIT ME!!!!!! Doing a Marchetta run would be amazing. I need to do that, I think!! Barcelona for 6 months though? How epic was that?! Eastern Europe as well is definitely on my list. I’ve been to Prague and Budapest, but I had such a short (yet wonderful) time in both I’d really like to go back. If I do St. Petersburg at Christmas, it means I’ll go to Tallinn which I am uber excited about!

      Let me come cry with you. I am poor.

  2. 6 February 2018 / 11:17 pm

    Seeing the northern lights is 100% on my bucket list. I adore astrophotography, so capturing that would be hands-down AMAZING. As for what’s else on my list, I’m actually about to tick one of them off later this year: Greece! I’m Greek, and my culture is super important to me, so I’m over the MOON to (finalllyyyyyyyy) be going there. (It’s also going to be amazing novel research for me, as a lot of my novels have at least something inspired by Greek culture/mythology.)
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    • Hannah Elizabeth
      14 February 2018 / 8:19 pm

      The Northern Lights make me want to get into photography just so I can be the best I can at taking photos! Greece though – wow! How great that you’ll be able to visit your heritage. That’s something special indeed.

  3. 9 February 2018 / 3:57 pm

    Ireland has always been on my bucket list and my partner and I are going there in June! I can’t wait! I’d also love to visit the Cornish coast and the Scottish Orkney Islands.

    • Hannah Elizabeth
      14 February 2018 / 8:18 pm

      How exciting that you’re going to Ireland in June!! That’s going to be amazing, I know it! The Cornish coast and the Orkneys are so, so beautiful, I hope you do make it one day!!

  4. 12 May 2018 / 8:40 pm

    Last year I made a dream UK and European holiday based around vampires, and I discovered there were even more amazing places out there because of it. So here’s a few interesting spots I’d love to go to:

    + Alnwick Castle – it’s one of Britain’s most iconic castles, was a filming location for the early Harry Potter movies (think the courtyard for flying lessons), and has a very famous poison garden that also became a setting/inspiration for some YA novels by Maryrose Wood.

    + Whitby, England – Dracula, enough said.

    + Peles and Bran Castles in Romania. Actually Romania is full of castles and I loved visiting castles when I was on holiday in Germany so more the merrier.

    + Sighișoara – it has a beautiful old walled town, is lovely and historic, and is the birthplace of Vlad Tepes. I do love old walled towns like it, as when I was in Germany I visited Rothenburg ob der Tauber, which is another beautiful walled medieval town that people should visit. It has a museum of medieval criminal justice which is fascinating (but was pitched to us as a “torture museum” – and yet most of my travel-mates decided to go to the doll museum instead? Because that’s less creepy!)
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