Lets be honest it would not be a classic travel gap year if I didn’t have a bucket list would it? Everything from South East Asia is what I am looking forward to the most from my group tour and then everywhere from Australia and New Zealand are the places I am going to build my route around. I will be working at a camp, for Camp America, in upstate New York so these are the places that I want to visit on my time off.
Thailand – Chang Mai Elephant Sanctuary
To begin with this was actually something I was conscious of, as I don’t want to contribute to any kind of animal exploitation, but with further research I am so happy to see that this is an ethical sanctuary that puts the elephants first. We will help to feed, bathe and walk them (with strictly no riding) as they roam freely in their natural environment and for this reason, I cannot wait! Elephants have always fascinated me so the opportunity to get up-close with one is going to be incredible. I apologise in advance for the spam of elephant photos that is about to come your way!
Laos – Kuang Si Waterfalls in Laung Prabang
I would be lying if I said I knew anything about Laos and, if I am being honest, I probably wouldn’t be visiting it if my tour didn’t go there but having looked into it more then I can really see why they added it to the route. Something that is described to have a “fairy-tale feel” is the breath-taking Kaung Si Waterfall and anything that can be associated with a fairy-tale will of course spark my interest! There are also 33 temples in Laung Prabang that I cannot wait to explore and truly indulge myself into their rich spiritual culture.
Vietnam – Cu Chi tunnels in Ho Chi Min and the Hao Lo prison in Hanoi
With an A-Level in history under my belt, in which I did a module on the Vietnam War, I cannot wait to see the facts written in the text books come to life. The Cu Chi tunnels in Ho Chi Min, that were used to smuggle people and supplies during the Vietnam War, will be fascinating as well as the Hao Lo prison in Hanoi, where we will have a chance to learn about the history of communism in Vietnam.
Cambodia – S21 Prison in Phnom Penh and Angkor Wat
Another country with a rich and heart-breaking history is Cambodia. I think visiting the S21 prison in Phnom Penh and seeing the atrocious consequences of the Killing Fields will be an eye-opening and humbling experience. Unlike any of my other birthdays, which have mostly been spent hiding from the rain, for my 23rdbirthday I will be watching the sunrise over Angkor Wat! If that isn’t worthy of a spot on the bucket list then I don’t know what is!
Australia – Great Ocean Road and the Great Barrier Reef
This one, I will not lie, is mostly influenced by the photos I have seen on Instagram but I cannot wait to drive the Great Ocean Road! However thrilling sitting in traffic on the M25 is, I don’t think it will quite compare to the ocean views and open roads that Australia has to offer. I feel very lucky to be alive in a time when there are still living corals in the Great Barrier Reef so that is definitely something I want to see whilst we still have the chance.
New Zealand – Tongariro Crossing hike
I think if there is any place to go on a hike then it has to be New Zealand and I have heard that the Tongariro Crossing is the most popular of them all. The only problem being I can count the amount of times I have been to the gym this year on one hand. As a result, if this 12 mile hike turns out to be too much for me then I am sure I can find an equally picturesque but less strenuous alternative!
America – Salem, Boston
I have been lucky enough to visit New York twice in my life already so although I am excited to go back it is not at the top of my bucket list. Somewhere that is however is Boston and more specifically Salem. It wasn’t only the history we learnt in school that fascinated me; I have also always had a keen interest in conspiracy theories and the darker history of the world. I remember reading book after book on the Salem Witch Trials when I was younger so it is fair to say this has been on the list for a while.
Merry Christmas and happy travels!
I would be lying to you if I said I have never been lucky enough to go to Disney World but what I will say is I have never wanted to go back so much in my life. Last time I went I was around 9 years old and even though I enjoyed it I don’t feel like I got the fullest Disney experience out of it. I may have gained a slight obsession with Disneyland since then and through countless blogs and vlogs have realised that there are so many aspects to it other than just the rides and meet-and-greets (even though they are still just as important). Therefore in preparation for the next time I am lucky enough to visit I have put together a list of all the must do things when in Disneyworld…
- TAKE A PHOTO IN FRONT OF ONE OF THE ICONIC LANDMARKS Disneyworld is made up of 4 main parks (Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios) which are hard to do all in one day so wherever you are take a photo in front of one of the main landmarks like Cinderella’s castle or the tree of life
- MEET A DISNEY PRINCESS Whichever princess you have decided is your favourite (mine is Rapunzel) try and get a photo with them! If you’re not a princess person that don’t be put off just trade out princess for whoever your favourite character may be.
- GO TO A CHARACTER MEAL This one I realise is quite an expensive option and often has to be booked in advance but what better way to interact and take photos with your favourite characters than over a delicious meal! Personally I want to go to The Crystal Palace to have breakfast with Winnie the Pooh and friends.
- TRADE A PIN Now pin trading is something that I didn’t even know existed last time I went to the park and in a way I can see why as some pins reach up to $60 when bought in the park. It is still however something that I really want to take part in and I think will be a great memory so an insider tip I have learnt is to go to your local disney store and buy a few pins from there initially that are cheaper and you can then trade when you’re in the park with other visitors and park employees.
- WATCH A SHOW OR THE FIREWORKS I think this one may be the most important for me as Disney is renowned for putting on a good show. Some of the most highly recommended were the Welcome Show, Fantasmic and the fireworks at either Epcot or the Magic Kingdom.
- TRY SOME EXCLUSIVE DISNEY TREATS This one all depends on your taste but I have heard that a dole whip is something you have to try! If you want to stay closer to your comfort zone why not try a tasty treat in the shape of Mickey mouse like a waffle.
- WATCH A PARADE This one speaks for itself really but what better way to see all of your favourite characters than have them float past you to the beat of a good-old Disney tune.
- RIDE IT’S A SMALL WORLD This one may just be on here for nostalgic reasons as I remember dragging my Grandma repeatedly on this ride but I think it has just become a classic part of Disneyworld!
- WATCH A MOVIE UNDER THE STARS I was debating wether or not to put this one in as I don’t think it is considered as one of the must-dos in Disneyworld. BUT the key reason why I imagine you want to go to Disneyworld is because you fell in love with the Disney films so what better to remind you of that than to watch a classic under the stars in the place where all the magic really does come to life.
- TAKE A FUNNY PHOTO ON A RIDE Whether you’re a thrill seeker and wants to take on the mighty Space Mountain or battling it out on Buzz Lightyear be sure to pull a funny pose for the camera to keep as a memory of your time there.
One last suggestion I have (that isn’t really a thing to do but more a thing to get) is to invest in the memory maker, all of your photos throughout your time at the park will be sent to you digitally which means you can enjoy your time completely knowing that all of your photos are taken care of.
Although it may be impossible to do all of these things in one visit it just gives you more of a reason to go back when you can
Let me know if you would like another one of these for each of the other Disney Parks 🙂
Go and grab another cuppa on me, Em x
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