10 Dream Destinations

Travel is a way of life. 

The journey – not the destination, is what matters. And as an Army Wife, travel is my constant companion, and Travel in Style is my motto. I’ve seen places in India that civilians might not have heard of! I am the kind that can pack not just a vacation suitcase, but an entire house in record time. Luckily, I am also the Army Wife who enjoys the travel. The fun of planning, the anticipation of waiting, the excitement while packing, the thrill of the journey and the incredible feel of just being on the road, in transit, is incomparable!

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And though I have a Travel Bucket List – like everyone else – which has about a million and twenty seven places on it, this post is about my 10 absolute favorites! Which wasn’t easy, okay? I started with 35 HAVE TO GO TO dream destinations and thought – nay, who wants to read about 35 places in one damn post? Then I made it a 30 point list, but my ever-so-supporting husband was like – really? 30 places for one Top List post? Are You Sure honey? So then I toughed it up like a true Army Wife and brutally cut down my list to 10. 

Heartbreaking, I know! But hey, this blog isn’t going anywhere and neither am I going to stop writing (you’re welcome!) so we can do the remaining places in some other post, okay? Okay great. let get on with it! *Drum Roll*


Stop them drums please, mister. I’ve got something to explain.

So. Before I start my list of 10 Dream Destinations, I want to say that I am nothing if not theme oriented. It’s silly, really, but I give themes to everything in life. So when I made this list, Theme Based Selection automatically became it’s wire frame. So instead of the done-to-death (by me, obviously) lists of places like a glossy tourism catalog – I am going to share an entirely personal, theme based Travel Bucket List with you. Genius, no? Yay, me! 

Totally kidding, by the way. Yay, Travel is more like it! 
So here we go Go GO!

My Top 10 Dream Destinations

1. One For the Cliches of Travel: Santorini, Greece. 

I know, I know, everyone and their families want to go to Santorini and to say that Santorini is your dream destination is like saying Sachin Tendulkar is your favorite cricketer – obvious and predictable. And I am okay with that because hey, who doesn’t spend long minutes staring at those white walls and blue doors, and the green-blue water that can be reached by tiny, adorable stairs with walls on each side – on the internet and not dream of being there in person? I know, no one! Santorini is one of the Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea, and last year my sister spent a fortnight there. After seeing her pictures, it automatically became my dream destination numero uno. I want to eat at every tiny restaurant there, walk every winding street till my feet ache and I also want to swim in that magical looking water! 

Travel Destinations 2015 Santorini
The charming stairs, white walls, blue doors. Enchanting!

Travel Santorini Blog 2015 best travel blog
This is a church, and one has to swim to reach it. I think it’s magical!
Source: My sister

2. One For the love of Offbeat: Ghangaria, Valley of Flowers. 

Nestled in the upper expansions of Bhyundar Ganga in the far interior of Garhwal Himalayas, the valley of Flowers is an international attraction. The Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the Biosphere is part of the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves. Declared a National Park in 1982,  the valley covers an area of around 87.5 sq. kms and is at 6750 m above the sea level. The Valley is is renowned for its meadows of endemic alpine flowers and outstanding natural beauty, and legends have it that the valley often makes appearances in the epics of the Ramayana and Mahabharat – exciting! The bloom in the valley starts immediately after the melting of snow, but the peak blooming period is from mid July to mid August. Almost 300 species of wild flowers bloom here unhindered by mankind. Some years back, camping in the valley was banned, hence making Ghangaria it’s base. My dream is to stay at the quaint Himalayan Eco-Lodge here in Ghangaria, which boasts of a spectacular location in the valley and is an true offbeat destination for those who love to explore the great Indian outdoors. I want to go and stay at this lodge, and spend a few days exploring, walking and just being myself. Is it too much to ask? IS IT?

The Himalayan Eco Lodges & Camps site in Ghangria, Valley of Flowers

3. One For the romantic soul in the house (him!): Paris. 

How can I not have Paris on the dream destination list? The husband is very keen on a romantic Paris trip for us and I think we will soon plan it. People are always telling us that Paris isn’t really that great, but I tell them that I’ll decide when I see it. Also, Audrey Hepburn said “Paris is always a good idea” and who can argue with that, hm? WHO? I might be underwhelmed by it, or it might blow my mind – either way, I want to be the one to decide that, not the general notion of people who have traveled far and wide. And even if Paris disappoints, it’s all about the journey, isn’t it? We have decided that we will not book a package for Paris, but just discover the place at our own pace, design our own itinerary and form our own views. I am especially excited about the Love Locks Bridge! They say – Write your and your love’s name on the lock and throw the key in the river. I am SO doing this! I also want to spend long hours at the Notre Dame Cathedral, visit the Louvre Museum and a selfie at the Eiffel Tower is almost mandatory touristy etiquette so we will obviously have to do that too. (I have my pose and camera angle all figured so no worries)

Pont des Arts Love Locks pedestrian bridge in Paris, walking distance from the Louvre. 

4. One For the Adventure lover (me!): Trek to Markha Valley, Ladakh. 

This is something I might do just this year – have spoken to the good guys at GIO Adventures and if all goes well, I will be going for the 9 day Moderate trek in August. Yay! The reason why this particular trek fascinates me to no end is because it has the option to climb two very high passes – Gandala la (4800 m) and Kongmaru La (5150 m) and for me, trekking is all about the thrill of reaching a peak and looking at the world from a new perspective. It give a high that is unmatched (pun intended). I am also a hardcore Himalayan addict, having done a few Himalayan treks in the past (Nagtibba, Har Ki Dun, Kedar Kantha etc) and so, the Markha Valley trek is my next goal. I’m working on my stamina because these climbs are steep, and though this trail is okay for first timers too, but acclimatization takes a day or two and one needs to work on the basic fitness in thin air conditions. Mighty exciting, right?

Markha Valley, Trekking In India
Markha Valley Trek

5. One For The Daughter (And Me. And Him.): Disney Land Theme Park, Lantau Island, Hong Kong. 

My 3 year old is in love with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and can sing the Hot Dog song for hours on a loop. Literally, on loop. If you’re a parent, you know what I’m talking about. So, this year I decided to put the Disney Land trip in my top ten because I am sure this is going to be a super fun trip. The reason I’ve chose Hong Kong over Florida, or any other Disney theme parks is because I also want to explore Hong Kong, you know, as an added advantage. This park was opened for visitors on 12 September 2005, and since then, has hosted over 25 million guests. It has 7 areas with rides, various shows, and the one we love – characters from all Disney Shows and Movies mingling with the guests and just generally being adorable. Imagine spotting Minnie Mouse on a path way and running over to give her a bear hug! Gauri, my daughter, will totally do this, I’m sure. She might also throw a fit and demand to bring Pluto home with us – but that’s something to be worried about later. For now, I am dreaming about the whole experience of fantasy and happiness. 

Disney World Hong Kong
“To all who come to this happy place, welcome!”

6. One For the Obsession with Ancient Ruins: Easter Island – Faces of Mystery. 

I cannot explain in words how much the giant mysterious statues, the history and the theories around Easter Island fascinate me. I know, I know that you are supposed to want to go to Machu Picchu in Peru, if you claim to be interested in ancient ruins, but if you want something that is surrounded with thick mystery, then head straight to Easter Islands to witness the sheer magic of these statues. Easter Island is a Chilean island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, at the southeastern most point of the Polynesian Triangle. Known for its 887 extant monumental statues, called “moai” which were carved from volcanic stone by the early Rapa Nui people, the various theories surrounding this island are amazing. There are no accurate answers as to who were these people, where did they appear from and why did they suddenly disappear! In 1995, UNESCO named Easter Island a World Heritage Site. The mystery that surrounds these relics is alluring, and oh, I just read that those mammoth statues have bodies too! Oh, the thrill! I HAVE to go here. At least once in my life!

Dream Travel Destinations 2015
The mysterious statues carved out of volcanic rocks, hundreds of years ago.

Travel Blogger India Best
The statues have bodies, not just heads! 

7. One For The Love of Literature: John Keats Gravesite in Rome. 

I might be writing women’s fiction and humor, and I might have fallen in love with – and married, a soldier, but my first love is poetry and John Keats. I grew up loving his poems and his tragic life, and an early death only make him the best material for a teenage girl to crush on, right? Well, I still love his poems and his letters and the idea of John Keats – the poet who suffered for love (an Tuberculosis, but let’s not go there), that visiting his grave, and seeing the famous epitaph with my own eyes has been my dream for as long as I can remember. It might sound a little weird, I know, to be crossing oceans to see someone’s grave – but hey, it means something to me and I hope I can check it off my list soon. “Here lies One Whose Name was writ in Water.” OMG, how can anyone read this on his grave, and not be moved to tears! Oh, I love Keats. (Fun fact: In the same cemetery, resting with Keats, are Joseph Severn and Percy Shelley. Take about triple bonus.) And it’s Rome we’re talking about! So, who’s coming with me?

Dream Travel Destinations 2015
“Love is my religion–I could die for that” – John Keats, Letter to Fanny Brawne

8. One For The Hope of Being Awestruck: Face to face with the Coral Goddess in Bio-Rock, Pemuteran, Bali. 

I have been obsessed with this particular underwater destination for a few years now, and at the cost of sounding stupid, I’ve even dream about diving down the water to the statue of the Coral Goddess, which is ridiculous because I can’t even dive. But I will dive, or snorkel or whatever, when I’m there, because I feel a longing to experience the underwater Coral Goddess so strong, that I know I’m going to do whatever it takes. The site is the award winning Karang Lestari coral reef restoration project which uses the Bio-rock® method to enhance  coral growth and survival rates.‘The Coral Goddess’ sculpture was installed in n May 2nd 2011 and is designed by Celia Gregory. It takes inspiration from the local culture, and she is believe to have powers to protect the seas and those that live within it.  Just look at this enchanting picture and tell me, do you NOT want to go here? Hm? 


9. One For The Almost Mandatory Shopping Trip: New YorkAbu Dhabi. 

What can I say? I just want to make to most of our modest salaries while shopping and hey, a chance to see the UAE will always be welcomed because I’ve always been sort of fascinated with the idea of it. Also, SATC The Movie-2 really got me hooked on to the wonderful place – movie was (and it breaks my heart to say it because I heart Carrie) pretty blah, the setting was fantastic!  The one month long shopping festival that takes place usually in March every year, gets approximately 3 million shoppers each year. If you’re a woman, you know that is pretty exciting! It is a mix of fun, games, food and spectacular bargains form everything -clothes to jewelry. What’s not to love?

Shopping and good food in Abu Dhabi, SATC style.

10. One For the Love of Harry Potter:  The Warner Bros. Studio Tour in England.

Okay, so everyone knows I am an a out-of-the-closet and extremely proud fangirl, Hogwarts is my dream destination but alas, J.K.Rowling drew the line at 11 years so I will have to do with the famous and magical Harry Potter Tour. Now, there are quite a few Harry Potter tours, like the 9 3/4th platform tour, the Harry Potter London Bus tour, but this HERE is what I like the best. The tour is led by a guide who is fluent in magical dialect, or in other words – is an expert on all books, movies and Potter-Head Trivia. The corridors where house ghosts roamed, the dungeons and the Quiddich ground, Diagon Alley – everything is there to witness along with a ride on a broomstick and a glass of Butterbeer! I am sure this tour is going to be very exciting, and as long as we are wishing for things – can I also say that I wish to spend the evening with J.K.Rowling? Just checking.

J.K.Rowling at the Hogwarts Main Gate – a dream come true!

So this is my list. I hope I visit every item on this list and soon, and I hope you get to visit all the places on your travel list too. And I will now wrap this (super long) post with a quote by Lao Tzu (because I’m an Army Wife, Lao Tzu is a household name)

A Good Traveler Leaves No Tracks.

So travel more, travel wide, but be a responsible traveler and leave no trace. 
Happy globe trotting! 

Post Author: Aditi Mathur Kumar

Author. Traveller. Blogger. Talker. Eavesdropper.

2 thoughts on “10 Dream Destinations

  • amery

    (January 30, 2016 - 1:44 pm)

    I would say that content is really interested for me as well as it would be for other readers. I also had good time there and would love to make another tour during my new york to niagara falls bus tour.

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    (March 8, 2016 - 2:21 pm)

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