Like many people my age I have a bucket list of things that I’d like to do before I die. It’s a list that has changed over time. Most of my bucket list items are travel related and I am realistic enough to know that there are places that I’d like to have visited when I was younger but which I might not be able to manage or even enjoy as much today because they have changed, and I have changed. I’d love to travel to different parts of Australia as a “Grey Nomad” in a caravan or camper, but I realised long ago that it would be impractical for David and I to attempt it. He would have found living in such a confined area physically uncomfortable. I can’t drive so that’s one of those things that is just never going to happen. I do still want to travel on the Indian Pacific train from Perth to Sydney and I will make that happen in a year or two.
I’ve been fortunate though. I’ve already done some of the things that I wanted to do when I was younger. I’ve seen The Great Wall of China and I’ve travelled on one of the world’s longest train journeys. I’ve been to England, Scotland and Wales although sadly not Ireland. I’ve been on two cruises, to New Zealand and Singapore and later this year I’ll be ticking off a bucket list item when I cruise to New Zealand again to visit the South Island. I am looking forward to the trip because apart from cruising Milford and Dusky Sounds I will be travelling on two trains, one from Picton to Blenheim and on the Taeiri Gorge Railway that starts from Dunedin.
I’m not sad that I will never see India or Africa now. I wanted to when I was younger but now I think that I would find them too hot. The Singapore trip taught me that I don’t do well in the tropics. I won’t even go to mainland Australia in summer. I hope that I will get to do one last big overseas trip though. Next year I will be entitled to the age pension and at that time I plan to access my superannuation account. I could have done that before this, but I wanted to hang on to it because I think I’ll need that money to live on eventually. However, I don’t want to spend it all on boring things so I’m thinking about what the bucket list trip should be.
As much as I would love to go to the UK again or Canada and the USA I think that I will choose Europe. I don’t think that the USA will be a healthy place to visit in 2024 unfortunately.
One of the things I’ve always wanted to do in Europe is travel on trains and see some of the most scenic places. As a young girl I used to read stories set in Switzerland and Germany so those are two countries I’d love to visit as well as the Netherlands. I’ve read so much about the Gotthard Pass, the Glacier Express and the Bernina Express that I would love to experience them for myself.
I also love the idea of a Rhine cruise so I’m wondering if I can combine the two ideas either cruising from Amsterdam to Basel or Zurich and catching the train back or vice versa. I have been doing some research and I think that I could manage it and am not too old to travel solo. I don’t plan on backpacking and staying in hostels. That’s another thing I don’t think I would enjoy anymore. I loved staying in hostels when David and I went to the UK but now I like my own bathroom and a bit of privacy.
There is another place that I’d like to visit too. Norway. I’d love to see the Aurora Borealis which would involve travelling in winter when it would be very, very cold. Norway is a beautiful country at any time of year though. I’d love to cruise the fjords and see “The Troll Road” but to see the Aurora Borealis would be amazing. It would be nice to visit Sweden and Denmark too but I would have to choose between doing that and doing the winter trip as I think it would be too expensive to do both.
It is possible to see the Aurora Australis in Tasmania although getting to a viewing place without a car is a challenge. That is also one of my bucket list items.
So my bucket list is giving me a lot to think about and research before I make a decision and commit myself to a specific journey.
Europe is definitely a better place to visit. It’s a small area that easy to travel by train. The Scandinavian area is gorgeous. Up north in Canada, plenty of dancing lights in the sky. Happy trails.
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i know that you can also see the northern lights in Canada and I think Alaska too but I’ve always wanted to visit the Scandinavian countries so it would be the best of both worlds. If I had deeper pockets both Canada and Alaska would be on my bucket list too.
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