Continued from Part 1 which has the first 5 countries on my bucket list.
Why: Music and Culture, Home of legends, beautiful landscapes. (I can hardly think of a country that embodies confidence more than Jamaica does. Their love for THEIR kind of music, inspired by some of their cultures, has led to its international recognition.)
My budget: A whooping KES 255,000 (2,550 USD)
Where I’d visit:
- A downtown club, dressed like I’m about to shoot a video. I need to confirm that some of the videos I’ve seen online are actually real.
- Dunn’s River Falls- Because it’s a beautiful hike up a scenic river fall.
- Dolphin cove Ochorios- For all the water activities, snorkeling with sting rays, walks in the forest, and a drink by the sandy beach
- Bob Marley Museum. Really, any place with Bob Marley history would appeal to me. This would be accompanied with a tour of Kingston.
- Blue Mountains National park for an expert’s hike because my fitness levels will be 100% by the time I visit.
Why: Music and Culture, Architecture, Art, Landscapes
My budget: KES 190,000 (1,900 USD)
Where I’d visit:
- See an opera in Verona, from a grand amphitheatre that might be thousands of years
- Take a night ride on the vaporetto (water taxi) in Venice in the evening to explore Venice’s night.
- Rome-The Colosseum, Pantheon, The Vatican and Trevi Fountain are architectural marvels that I heard a lot while pursuing my architecture degree. Wouldn.t it be the ultimate day to walk in these ancient and magnificent architecture! I’d also check out Rome’s largest public park, Villa Borghese.
- Florence; Ufizi Gallery holding the works of legends like Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci
- Matera; the sassi which are prehistoric dwellings allegedly left behind by the first inhabitants of Italy
- Amalfi Coast to Capri by boat. The Amalfi Coast has a range of inhabited mountains directly opposed to the sea. It looks like Santorini of Greece which is another place I’d love to travel to. In Capri, I’d visit the blue Grotto (sea cave where Sunlight, passing through an underwater cavity and shining through the seawater, creates a beautiful blue reflection.
There’s so much more to Italy. I think less than a month, really, would be an injustice to the trip.
Why: Music and Culture, Slave trade history, Street festivals, Beautiful landscapes
My budget: KES 230,000 (2,300 USD)
Where I’d visit:
- Carnival celebrations, (and other street festival) to watch competing Samba dancers and join in one of the most exuberant street parties in the world. I’d also visit Baya because of a personal referral; known for lots of African culture and music.
- Lencois Maranhenses National Park to see sand dunes that fill with water lagoons around July.
- Pelourinho in Salvador-an ancient town where slaves were punished. It currently has colourful buildings and is known for vibrant street music. Salvador is also known as the the site of the first slave trade. I’d also leave the town and head to Chapada Diamantina to see cave complexes with clear blue see through water, cliffs that you , waterfalls and ponds. (Look up the pictures, it’s beautiful.)
- The Curitiba-Paranagua Train Ride (Serra Verde Express) is considered one of the most scenic train rides in Brazil: It cuts through the Atlantic rainforest, going through 14 tunnels and crossing 30 bridges on its 84 km route. This would be quite the adventure.
- The Amazon rain forests and river which is the largest in the world, in terms of volume.
- Art Museums of Sao Paulo for art pices from the Renaissance period through to contemporary art. The buildings housing some of these museums are also architectural marvels.
Why: Slave trade history, African crafts and fabric, Home of Kwame Nkrumah, Minerals (gold) haven, Shea butter
My budget: KES 155,000 (1,550 USD)
Where I’d visit:
- Accra; The National museum for Ghana’s history and art information, Makola market Accra cultural centre for traditional art and crafts.
- Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park which houses the Mausoleum where he was laid to rest. This would be to honour the late Nkrumah, whose ideals on a Pan-africanism I have come to greatly admire.
- Cape Coast Castle, built for the slave trade by different European powers. Tours take one through the dungeons and the ‘door of no return’. St George’s Castle which houses similar history would also be a point of interest.
- Lake Volta, largest man-made lake in the world for a boat ride.
- Kumasi: former capital of Ghana’s Ashanti Kingdom for the Ashanti’s Kente cloth, jewellery, wood-carved stools, and a visit to the Manhyia Palace Museum to see the current king.
- Nzulezu, a (tentative) UNESCO world heritage site, a historic town built over Lake Tadane on stilts.
- Ghana traditional festivals: Akwasidae (Ashanti Region) the Masquerading Festival and the Edina Bakatue Festivals(Central Region) and the Hogbetsotso (Volta Region)
Why: Ancient Civilisation, Indigenous culture, Religious history, Victory over colonial powers
My budget: KES 100,000 (1000 USD)
Where I’d visit: Ancient culture, language and civilisation
- Lalibela’s rock-hewn churches, believed to habe been built in the 12th century
- Omo Valley for indigenous, un-influenced culture.
- The Sof Omar Cave-most spectacular and extensive underground cave systems in the world and currently an Islamic shrine.
- Axum historical and archaeological sites for ancient civilisation history, Queen of Sheba’s palace ruins
- Danakil Depression-one of the hottest places on earth, covered by impressive expanses of yellow mounds of sulfur, salt and mineral deposits.
- Erta Ale Volcano; Because it looks like an evil piece of nature.
My budget criteria is based on the assumption that I’ll be hosted in these countries and my flight will be booked 3 months in advance. While these are the top 10, I would certainly love to visit Mali, Nigeria, Spain, Boswana, Namibia. South Africa for me is almost a spiritual location; the only reason it’s not included here is because I have been there. I would like to get to a point where I can do annual trips for choral (my favourite genre of music) music festivals.
Let me know your fantasy-travel locations.
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