Why Everybody Should Create A Travel Bucket List

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Have you created your travel bucket list? For all we know, you may have already ticked off half of the things on your list already, but if you haven’t made one yet, perhaps now is the time you did.

Why?

Here are some good reasons if you need convincing.

  1. Life is too short

Sorry to put a downer on things, but it would be a shame to miss out on the many opportunities and sights that await you in the world. We aren’t necessarily talking about getting on a plane, either, as there may be travel spots you haven’t visited in your own country. Why stay at home and have the same experiences day in and day out, when you could experience something new and exciting away from the norm. A bucket list is about making a plan, setting yourself goals; those things you want to see and do before you are longer in a position to do so.

 

  1. You will see more of the world

The world is just begging to be explored, and there are so many incredible places to visit. Whether you wander around Europe or explore the heart of Asia, you will see sights you have never witnessed before, eat foods you have never tried before, and meet people that you would otherwise never have the opportunity to meet. In short, you will experience new ways of life, and as a result, you will benefit your life by broadening your horizons in the many places available for you to visit.

 

  1. You can step out of your comfort zone

There are bound to be things you have always wanted to do but were a little bit afraid of doing them. By travelling outside of your comfort zone, you can push yourself into doing something new. You can still stay in a fancy hotel if you don’t want to give up all of your home comforts – you will fall in love with this art deco hotel, for example, – but at least you will be somewhere different, outside of your usual limits, with opportunities that will make you feel as if you have achieved something. It’s about taking risks, and you will only regret not taking them later on in life when you’re no longer able to travel.

 

  1. You will benefit from new experiences

A travel bucket list has two purposes. It’s about visiting places you have never been too before, and it’s about gaining new experiences when you’re at your chosen destination. You can hike through new terrains, try foods you have never tasted, take part in activities that you have only dreamed of previously, and test your limits in so many new ways. Consider these travel bucket list experiences, for example, and allow yourself the opportunity to try any that take your fancy.

And so…

If you haven’t made your travel bucket list yet, then perhaps now is the time to do so. This time next year you could be swimming with the dolphins, climbing through Aztec Ruins, or eating a barbecue down under. You could be doing any number of things, but the first step is in putting pen to paper after doing a little bit of brainstorming and dreaming about the things you would like to see and do. We wish you many happy travels. Thanks for reading.

 

Plane view

Make the most of a trip to Mexico

Mexico can have a reputation for being unsafe in some places, but it’s still an extremely popular travel destination. As well as receiving plenty of visitors from the US and its other neighbours, people from all over the world come to enjoy Mexico. Beach resorts are particularly popular, and places like Cancun, Cozumel and Tulum see lots of action. If you’re thinking of taking a trip to Mexico, a bit of planning can go a long way to help you make the most of your time there. There’s lots to see and do, so start thinking about how you want to experience the country.

Learn Some of the Language.

Being fluent in Spanish certainly isn’t necessary if you want to visit Mexico. You can get by with English but, as in any country, the locals will appreciate it if you make an effort. Knowing at least some basic phrases can get you far. Even if it doesn’t help you to understand people more, it can make the locals like you more! Look for the best online Spanish course for your needs if you want to learn. Learning online is a good idea if you want to fit your learning around a busy schedule. You can study when and where you want. But try to get some real-world practice too if you can.

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Credit: Max Pixel

Know How to Stay Safe

Mexico’s reputation for being unsafe isn’t exactly fair. While there are certainly some regions that you wouldn’t want to visit, most tourists are likely to be perfectly safe. Any area that sees a lot of tourism, such as beach resorts, major cities and historical sites, is likely to be safe for you. However, you still need to be careful, just like you do in any other travel destination. Take the usual precautions that you would while travelling to keep you and your possessions safe. One thing you might want to be particularly careful of is taxi scams.

Decide How Much You Want to Spend

Many people will tell you that Mexico is very cheap and you can make your budget go far. While you can find some bargains, you might also discover that locations popular with tourists aren’t always so cheap. If you want to choose a more affordable location, you will generally find that places on the Pacific coast are more affordable than those in the east of Mexico.

Go Beyond the Beaches

 

Mexico has some incredible beaches that can offer you a fantastic stay. However, there’s more to Mexico than just the beaches. There’s a lot more to see, from mountains to plenty of culture in the cities. If you’re going for a beach trip, that’s fine. But if you don’t want to spend all your time on the beach, you can explore further afield. Consider taking a road trip or joining a tour so that you can see more of the country.

Mexico has a lot to offer travellers of all types. If you want to have a memorable trip, keep your mind open about where to go and what to do.

The Cloisters

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The MET Cloisters

The Cloisters are a treasure of New York City. A medieval castle, with the most beautiful grounds, stunning architecture,  and glorious artifacts in the galleries and chapel. The Cloisters are an extension of the MET – the Metropolitan museum of art. The location is in the charming and peaceful Fort Tyron park, in the Washington Heights neighborhood of upper Manhattan.

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A mini getaway

A  visit to the Cloisters, almost seems like a mini getaway from the chaos of Manhattan. You don’t even feel like you are in New York City! The peace and quiet makes a visit to this unique museum so calming and relaxing.  You feel as though you have stepped back in time, and the location makes it so much more charming. As the scenery is stunning.

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What to see

The grounds of the Cloisters are so charming, and a favorite of mine is to visit the gardens. With multiple gardens on offer no trip would be complete without exploring at least one.

Cloister gardens

  • The Cuxa Cloister
  • Saint Guilhem
  • Boonefont
  • Trie

The Cloisters contains an impressive selection of chapels and halls, all with stunning architecture and art work.

Halls and Chapels

  • Gothic chapel
  • Fuentiduena chapel
  • Langon chapel
  • Romanesquet hall

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Views of the Hudson

A highlight of the Cloisters is the view of the gorgeous Hudson river. After exploring the exhibits and gardens, head to the balcony to take in these sights. These sights will also include the George Washington bridge and views of New Jersey. I have visited the Cloisters multiple times and the prettiest time to visit is during the fall to see the gorgeous fall colors along the Hudson.

Hudson river

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Fort Tyron park

Before or after exploring the cloisters, I would recommend walking through the absolutely beautiful Fort Tyron park. Considered to be one of the city’s most beautiful outdoor pieces of art.

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Getting to the Cloisters

Located in Northern Manhattan, you can take the A subway (Blue express line) uptown to the 190th street subway station. From the station you can either follow the signs to the museum, by walking through the stunning Fort Tyron park. Or take the M4 bus to Margaret Corbin Dr/Cloisters museum.

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Brooklyn bike tour

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Get up and ride

Explore New York City by bike, with your guide as a local New Yorker. Get up and ride is rated as New York’s number 1 biking tour company! So I was honored to be asked to join and review one of their tours. The company did not disappoint. I love the concept of get up and ride – allowing visitors (or locals) to bike around the city in small groups and learn about the area from a New Yorker. Not only do you get to bike around, your guide will also highlight interesting facts about the area, and take you to their favorite coffee and food places! You definitely learn a lot, experience the real New York and have fun while doing it!

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Bike tours

Get up and ride offer three tours:

1. The central park and more bike tour

On this tour, your guide will take you around central park and through the upper west and upper east side of Manhattan.

2. The lower Manhattan bike tour

This bike tour will take you around the charming greenwich village, the trendy lower east side and Chinatown.

3. The Brooklyn water front tour

Ride through the hipster neighbor of Williamsburg, then onto the stunning Brooklyn water front.

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The Brooklyn waterfront bike tour

It was hard to decide which bike tour I would like to attend, in the end I decided to go on the bike tour in my neighborhood-  I live in Williamsburg. I thought this would be a nice way to explore my surroundings via bike and as I have already biked around Central park and the west side of Manhattan numerous times I thought the Brooklyn tour would be best.

And it was amazing! Even though I live here, I still learnt a lot from our friendly and engaging tour guide. We met at the get up and ride bike store in Williamsburg, here we were fitted with our bikes and set up our walkie talkies – this would be the way our tour guide could communicate with us during the ride. It was a nice small group, with four people from Germany, a lady from California, the tour guide and the two of us. A small group allowed for a more intimate and fulfilling tour.

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Williamsburg

So the start of our tour began in my neighborhood of Williamsburg, a hip neighborhood which has a great nightlife scene, with plenty of rooftop bars and live music venues, trendy cafes, chic boutiques, the cutest coffee shops and vibrant street art. We rode through the streets and the gorgeous McCarren park, stopping to see some of the oldest street art in the area, then at one of my favorite coffee shops “Devocion” here we stopped to rest, enjoy each others company and drink a delicious coffee in a beautiful setting.

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Brooklyn navy yard

After our coffee, we continued on our bike tour. From Williamsburg we headed to the Brooklyn navy yard. The navy yard was once a ship yard and is now an industrial park with a mission to “demonstrate how modern manufacturing can thrive in urban America”. A highlight of our visit to the navy yard was our tour of the Brooklyn Grange – a world leading rooftop farm with a sustainability center. Here, they design, build and offer landscape services for gardens, farms and green spaces in NYC. As I work within the sustainability and conservation field, I was so excited that this stop was on our tour. The rooftop farm is very impressive, and the views of Brooklyn and Manhattan make it even more impressive! Our guide also pointed out that the navy yard also has a rooftop vineyard, which is now on my list to visit.

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DUMBO – Down under the Manhattan bridge

After the Navy yard we continued on, riding through the gorgeous Vinegar hill with cobble stone streets before stopping in the trendy neighborhood of DUMBO. The neighborhood of DUMBO is now one of the most expensive areas in NYC – once an old industrial area, the warehouses have been transformed into high end boutiques and pricey restaurants. Plus the area is now known as the tech hub of Brooklyn, with many tech companies moving in. DUMBO is also one of my favorite neighborhoods because of the stunning views of the Manhattan skyline and it’s access to the Brooklyn bridge park.  After learning about DUMBO we rode through the Brooklyn bridge park absorbing the cool breeze from the east river and taking in the iconic Manhattan skyline.

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DUMBO

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Brooklyn Heights

We continued riding through the stunning Brooklyn bridge park to the charming neighborhood of Brooklyn Heights. Brooklyn heights is an affluent residential neighborhood with the most gorgeous brownstones. The Brooklyn heights promenade is also amazing, with great views of Manhattan and the statue of Liberty. We stopped for a slice of coal oven pizza at table 87 – so delicious. Next it was time to ride back to Williamsburg, we rode through the Brooklyn bridge park and continued on the greenway trail to return to the store.

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Overall I was extremely satisfying with this tour. Biking is a great way to explore an area, and I loved how Get up and ride go above and beyond, their guides are very knowledgeable and friendly and I love how they  added in coffee shops, food places, and interesting places to stop at. I would  recommend them to anyone visiting (or living) in New York City.  Check out there website here for more information.

 

 

Brooklyn bridge park

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Brooklyn’s waterfront

The Brooklyn bridge park is a true gem of New York City. With a charming atmosphere and stunning views of the Manhattan skyline. The Park represents a reconstruction of the post industrial waterfront, which goes from Atlantic avenue in the South (the Columbia heights neighborhood), under the gorgeous Brooklyn heights promenade, past the impressive Brooklyn bridge, to north of the Manhattan bridge, to the trendy neighborhood of DUMBO (Down under the Manhattan bridge).

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What to see and do

View the iconic Manhattan skyline

The view from the Brooklyn bridge park is one of my favorites places to observe the dramatic Manhattan skyline. On a clear summers day or during a sunset, the view is incredible.

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Bike Ride

Go riding through the lush green park, taking in the views with a cool breeze from the East river. An easy 1.3 mile ride from one of the park to the other.

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Wine and dine

Picnic

With plenty of green space and iconic views, the Brooklyn Bridge park provides a great opportunity to have a picnic and chill out.

Splurge at the River cafe

With a stunning setting, a romantic atmosphere and incredible views, the river cafe is the perfect place to dine on special occasion.

Buzz bar

A chill place to grab a drink and a quick bite to eat. With outdoor seating and live music events this is the perfect place to relax after exploring the Brooklyn Bridge park.

Brooklyn ice cream factory

Satisfy your sweet tooth at the famous Brooklyn ice cream factory. The lines do get long but the ice cream is truly delicious and satisfying on a hot summers day.

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Free events

Take advantage of the events  that the park puts on during the warmer months.

From waterfront workouts, water sports (Kayaking, rowing ect), summer night movies, environmental volunteering days, and books under the bridge, the Brooklyn Bridge park offers something for everyone.

Check out their website for upcoming events – Brooklyn Bridge park website

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Visit the trendy neighborhood of DUMBO

Down under the Manhattan bridge. This area was once a ferry landing, and is characterized as 19th century industrial with warehouse buildings. With its Belgian block streets, the neighborhood definitely has a lot of charm and character. It has now been taken over by hipsters, and is one of New York’s trendiest neighborhoods, with plenty of places for weekend brunch, art events, photo shoots and is also considered to  be the tech hub of Brooklyn.

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DUMBO

Down under the Manhattan Bridge

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Take a photo under the Manhattan Bridge

Stop at the intersection of Water and Washington street to take this iconic photo. It is now one of the most famous Instagram photos of New York City. The view is pretty impressive, with the Manhattan bridge framing the Empire State building.

Water street

 

The Brooklyn bridge park and surrounding neighborhoods are a true jewel of the city that never sleeps. It is one of my favorite neighborhoods and I always enjoy strolling through this area. It has changed a lot and will continue to do so. This area of the city has so much to offer. I would recommend visiting.

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Brooklyn bridge park night views

 

 

Acadia National Park

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Maine

The breathtaking treasure of the north Atlantic coast, Acadia National Park is located in the state of Maine. Maine is the northeastern most U.S state, and is a part of the “New England” region. The state of Maine, is boarded by the state of New Hampshire to the west, the dramatic Atlantic ocean to the southeast and the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Quebec to the northeast and northwest. From its natural beauty, stunning views and friendly and welcoming locals, a trip to Maine is well worth it. And the magical Acadia National Park is the true gem of this charming state.

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Acadia National Park

Acadia National park is one of the oldest U.S National Parks, east of the Mississippi river! It was first established as a National Monument in July 1916, and was then changed to a National Park in 1919. The majority of the 49,052 acres of the park is located on Mount Desert Island, which is the largest Island of the coast of Maine, and is also the 6th largest island in contiguous U.S.

Acadia is the highest rocky headlands along of the Atlantic coastline of the U.S, and has a large abundance of biodiversity. Here you can explore a range of landscapes, from the rocky coastlines, to forests, ponds, marshlands, fields and mountains! A true nature lovers playground.

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Highlights and must sees

Bass Harbor head lighthouse

Visit the charming lighthouse, with views of the rocky coastline, and stay to watch a breathtaking sunset. There are also hiking options from here.

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Sand beach

A gorgeous beach that is nestled between granite mountains and rocky shores.

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Ocean trail

Walk from sand beach to otter cliff. An easy walk, with the most breathing views of the Atlantic ocean.

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Thunder hole

A natural rock inlet where you can see and hear the waves crash with a thunderous boom and high flying foam.

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Park loop road

27 miles long, this route connects the parks lakes, mountains, forests and rocky shores with many observation points along the way. A great introduction to seeing the beauty of Acadia.

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Cadillac mountain

Drive or hike the impressive Cadillac mountain. This gorgeous mountain sits at 1,5350 ft above sea level and provides stunning views of Acadia. The perfect place to watch the sunrise.

Bar harbor

A charming sea side town on Mount desert island, and is known as the gateway to Acadia. With charming boutiques and restaurants this is a popular town to visit when exploring Acadia.

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Acadia National park is a truly magnificent place. There is so much natural beauty and diversity to explore.  It is one of my favorite U.S national parks and a highlight from our travels in the United States. A true gem of the east coast.

 

St. George Island

St. George Island State Park

After camping in the beautiful mountains and national forests along the Blue Ridge Park (Blue Ridge Parkway , Great Smoky Mountains National Park) we were in search of some heat and sun. We Looked at the map, in search of our new destination that wouldn’t take us too far off the direction towards New Orleans. We found St. George Island, located off Florida’s gulf coast, perfect! We headed to St. George Island State Park to set up camp, the busiest camping site we had encountered so far on our trip. While it was a little warmer, the sun remained behind the clouds for our trip,but we could still enjoy the beauty of this island, after all, it ranks as one of the top beaches in the US!

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