It will probably take you more than 100 rebirths to complete discovering India alone. There are so much cultural richness and diversity in our country. The variety of cuisines, language, and landscape that makes India the perfect sojourn destination. Then, of course, you have many places around the world that you have to see before your tired old bones force you to stop. If you are a bohemian soul and have an incredible thirst for adventure then there are several places you can travel to. Take as many road trips and treks as possible while you are young, as the journey is as important as reaching the destination. The little memories and picture postcard locales will stay in your memory.
So here are the top 10 places you must visit before you plan to settle down in your retirement cottage amongst the blue misty mountains-
1 Dzukou Valley, Nagaland
You have to visit the place to believe how beautiful nature can be. It is 25 kilometers away from Kohima. You can take a road trip to the base camp from where the trek begins. If you are new to trekking then this is the best place to start your first camping adventure. Here you can admire the beautiful Rhododendrons and Lilies during the blossoming season and spend some quiet time by the brook while you admire the play of light and shadow on the green mountains.
2Ziro, Arunachal Pradesh
Ziro is best known for the country’s biggest annual outdoor music festival that attracts musicians all over the world. Apart from that, Ziro has been one of the World Heritage sites in India and a home to the Apatani tribe. It is the best place to experience tribal life first hand. The shutterbugs will have a gala time capturing the scenic wonder that is Ziro.
Mount Kailash is not just a mountain in the Himalayas of Tibet but a legend. It is a mountain where it is believed the Gods reside and no man has been able to climb its steep summit. It is as invincible as Mount Olympus, standing as a test of time. It is a journey of self-discovery as you take the parikrama on foot around the mountain of the Gods. Bet, you will not come back the same person!
5Key Monastery, Spiti Valley
Spiti Valley bears a resemblance with Ladakh as both are desert mountain valley surrounded by barren mountains. Soak in the beauty of the raw power of nature while you are at Spiti Valley. A visit to the Key Monastery is a must as it will help you to calm your tired nerves and relax your mind. History buffs can admire the 14th century architecture with pronounced Chinese influence. A sign that our neighbor is not far off! The fluttering of prayer flags in the silence is a sign of peace here.
6The Great Wall of China
The awe-inspiring Great Wall of China that was built by Emperor Qin Shi Huang to protect his empire from foreign incursions, now it has become the epitome of China’s rich history. It is a day-long trek that requires a lot of energy, but you must visit this huge man-made structure before you grow old. This World Heritage site stands on the mountain ridge and offers a panoramic view that will make you gasp in wonder.
7Angkor Wat, Cambodia
It is a feeling of Deja Vu that you get as you visit all the temples at Cambodia. In the land of King Yasovarman, you will find rich references of the Mahabharata and Ramayana inscribed on the walls of the temples. Cambodia is where myths come alive. Don’t miss the sunrise over the pinnacles of Angkor Wat, it is an unforgettable moment. There is so much to discover here that you can’t really cover Cambodia at a single go. This place will beckon you again and again. It is a paradise for history buffs and party animals as well.
9Inca Trail in Machu Picchu, Peru
The mystery surrounding the Inca ruins makes Machu Picchu so alluring. The Inca trail begins at Peru and ends at Machu Picchu. It takes trekkers four to five days to complete the entire journey. Located in the Andes mountain, most of the trail is the original Inca construction. While crossing the mountain passes and overlapping trekking routes you will experience different climatic environments like cloud forest and Alpine Tundra. You will pass through tunnels, settlements which has a generous smattering of the historical ruins. The journey will end at the Sun Gate. It is a first-hand history and geography lesson packed in one go!
Here you have to climb at the height of nearly 4,200 meters (13,800 feet). It is best you take this journey while your bones are still strong.
10The Great Blue Hole, Belize
The Great Blue Hole at Belize was made famous by Jacques Cousteau as one of the top five scuba diving sites in the world. He brought his ship, Calypso to measure its depth. This giant submarine sinkhole is 407ft. deep and is located off the coast of Belize. This circular formation took place millions of years ago when sea levels were quite low. UNESCO has declared it as a World Heritage site and the great Blue Hole is a part of Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System. One must see this natural wonder with their own eyes!
11The Northern Lights at Iceland
Aurora Borealis is Nature’s own laser show and unlike Icelanders, you have to be really lucky to witness it. Your luck really depends on the unpredictable weather and solar phenomena. Though you can see the Northern lights from Norway, Finland, Northern Canada, and Alaska Iceland is the perfect destination to see this rare phenomena. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity!
Pamukkale or “Cotton Castle” in Turkish is a formation made of travertine or a sedimentary rock which is deposited by water from the hot springs. The snowy white terraces and pools will remind you of the Bollywood song ‘Kaise Bataye Kyun Tujhko Chahe’. This love song fits with the surreal and stark beauty of this untapped locale. There is so much to explore here as well- the Roman ruins, museum and thermal springs.
Add these places to your bucket list and you will find that you have a lot of stories to tell to your grandchildren!