Recently, I received my passport and card for a wedding in Cancun. I've never been out of the country, but I have always dreamed of travelling. My long-term goal has always been to travel and take photos for National Geographic or Time Magazine. I have always wanted to put myself on the front lines of hot, on-going situations like Syria or helping refugees in Jordan or Africa. Similar to James Nachtwey, I want my images to bear witness and make a difference.
Where have you always dreamed of visiting? What is your top 10 on the map? Here's mine!
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I have always wanted to visit the extremes of the world. What I mean by that is, I want to visit the three most extreme weather conditions - the Saharan desert, one of the driest and hottest areas on Earth. It stretches almost three THOUSAND miles across several countries in Africa. Fun fact: It is more than 16 times larger than France!
The Amazon is one of the most wet and humid areas, and is the largest rainforest on Earth. Did you know that tropical rainforests only cover six percent of the Earth's surface? Home to more than half the world's total plant and animal species, read more about the Amazon here.
A "no brainer." Antarctica is the southernmost continent and is the coldest place on Earth. The lowest temperature is recorded at minus 133.6 degrees Fahrenheit, brrr! If I ever get the chace to visit Antarctica, I will most definitely need a few suitcases for all of my layers and camera gear.
I have an obsession with accents. I don't know if I need any other reason than that to visit England, but if you think so, here's a few more: Doctor Who, Sherlock, BBC in general and did you know England is the most populated country in the United Kingdom?
As a huge fan of hiking and mountains (my parents grew up in Upstate New York, so many summers were spent in the Adirondack Mountains), Alaska has always had a certain appeal to it. Not to mention, one of my high school classmates went, and she came back with some AMAZING photographs!
Honestly, I am not entirely sure what draws me to Australia. Maybe it's because of the Crocodile Hunter and his family 's efforts in conservation and wildlife rescue, or maybe because it is home to the Great Barrier Reef. Did you know it is the largest eco-system in the world? Apparently, Australia is also known for its wine.
Might be able to kill two birds with one stone if I visit Morocco. Morocco is home to a large portion of the Saharan desert! Not to mention its culture is rich with history and tradition and the city in the photo here, Chefchaouen, is definitely on my list to visit. Known as "a blue dream" or "little blue city." While small, the city is known to be authentic and is a great spot for hikers! Check out these photos by Cora Carroll.
I really think the most appealing part of Egypt is its history and ancient architecture. Egypt is home to one of the world's oldest civilizations. Did you know that it was the Egyptians who invented the calendar as we know it today!?
s∙y∙r∙i∙a.... or the Middle East
Unfortunately due to the current hostile situation that is ongoing in Syria, U.S. citizens are not advised to travel here. With that being said, I have always wanted to go there or really any Middle Eastern country (Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkey, Jordan, Iran, etc.) I stumbled upon a guide for travelling in Syria. It seems like you have to travel on a tour, but it might be worth it some day!
Photo by un-perfekt on Pixaby
If you've never traveled before, or you are weary about traveling abroad, check out this list of Travel Tips I came across.. There are more than 60 tips for those who are a little less travel savvy. And don't worry if that's you! I am included in that category as well. I have barely flown on my own, and honestly, I prefer driving or traveling by train, but with my passport opening all the doors to the different locations I have always dreamed of, I have a few things I need to learn.
My biggest takeaways from this article were:
Tip 14 - Make Extra Copies of Your Passport and Important Documents, one of my friends, Cora Carroll (who also runs a very successful wedding photography business and has traveled to more than 30 countries with a program called Semester at Sea, she's also the gal I mentioned earlier who had some beautiful photos in Morocco) recently informed me of this tip. If you happen to accidentally lose your identification and tools to leave the country, an extra copy that is tucked away in your hotel or luggage is a great way to get ease of access. Nomadic Matt suggests that you e-mail a copy to yourself as well! Never thought of that.
Tip 25 - I like his little side note, "Never eat anywhere the menu is in like six languages! That means the restaurant is just for tourists." Find somewhere authentic and unique rather than being stuffed in a corner of a busy touristy restaurant.
Tip 43 - Get vaccinated. Enough said.