I recently shared the first part of a list of countries to visit, at least, for me! Here is the rest of this list! (Again, there is no particular order, since the reasons these places interest me are so different…)
Without further ado, here’s the rest of my (current) countries bucket list! (I say “current” because that changes ALL. THE. TIME.)
A country with a very particular “shape”. Chile is over 4000 km long… but only 177 km wide in average! Wake up in the mountainous countryside and drive to the Pacific coast for lunch!
Lunar vibes of the Atacama desert in the North. Then rough, wild beauty of Patagonia at its extreme South. The country has so much to offer to travelers! Modern, bustling cities, quiet countryside, extreme landscapes, beaches, a diverse and rich gastronomy and an ever-growing wine production… There is something for everyone in Chile!
Thousands of kilometers away from its coast lies the mystical Easter Island. For centuries, the ton-heavy Moai sculptures have fascinated the world… and I am no exception!
Mali is probably the first Sub-Saharan African country I have heard of at a young age (along with Niger). My grandmother had a cousin who worked there as a nurse and who sent her letters and postcards with these colorful, awesome stamps that my grandma kept for me.
Timbuktu is one of the oldest African settlement to still be inhabited to this day. Because the city was a strategic trade post, commerce made it a cultural center and the cradle of an unprecedented history and heritage.
Picasso was apparently inspired by some Dogon art from Mali to paint some of his unique portraits…
Note: at the moment of publishing this blog post, the Government of Canada recommended to avoid all travels to Mali “due to the threat of terrorism and banditry”.
More precisely, the Canadian Great North. (There are a lot of cool places in my country, but the North has always been a true source of fascination…) Yep, I have an urge to visit a place in my own country!
Rough nature. Extreme weather. The Northern lights and the Midnight Sun. The impression of being so far from everything we know. But mostly, I want to know more about the Inuit culture. There is something remarkable about people who can manage the best out of some of the roughest places in the world. Can’t help but think there is something to learn and some growth to get from being in contact with Inuits for whom -30°C is just another typical winter day!
Welcome to the great spaces of the Mongolian deserts steppes, land of Genghis Khan! Where nomadic life is still a common lifestyle as soon as you get out of the major cities. It’s also the land of the Gobi Desert (where they found numerous dinosaurs fossils and remains). Never-ending spaces where locals ride horses and/or camels with their herds. Outside the big cities, it’s the sound and rhythm of these rough and untouched plains that dictates life.
Many inhabitants still live in traditional yurts (an elaborate round tent) and perform eagle-hunting. There’s plenty of room for everyone in Mongolia; it is one of the least dense countries on the Earth. (That sounds incredibly appealing once you went to India, haha!) Nicknamed “Land of the Blue Skies” for is mostly clear, sunny skies (about 250 days a year!), needless to say, you better no forget your shades if you plan on landing in Ulaanbaatar…
Vietnam is a well-known backpacker’s paradise and has been for many years. An exotic place that has affordable living cost and transportation all across the countries and amazing places to see and things to do. Wild animals and national parks are legions. From the mountainous North to the sunny, beachy South, there is something for everyone in this Southeast Asia country. It’s also an excellent gateway for further exploration to Laos, Thailand, and Cambodia, other well-known backpacker’s paradises.
So why prefer Vietnam to these other countries? For the FOOD! After over 17 years living in Montreal, I realize that pretty much every neighborhood has its very own delicious Vietnamese eatery. Isn’t it the logical next step? And it’s not rare to argue among friends about where the best Phở soup is served! And don’t get me started on Bánh mì sandwiches… The Vietnamese culture has an incredibly varied and develop gastronomy that can put many countries to shame.