My Travel bucket list: Manatees swimming, Abu Simbel temple, Rome!

Whether you call it a bucket list, or travel bucket list, or things to do before I die; or if you simply call them dreams or goals: Everybody has one of those “lists,” either written on paper, on a computer, in their mind, or in their heart. My bucket list has always involved traveling, and so I have called it the travel bucket list (part 1!). It contains my written dreams and goals yet to accomplish. However, in the past few years, I’ve been lucky enough to cross some “items” out! And so here, for the first time ever, I make it openly public! Btw, all crossed-off items on this entry are clickable! So if you wish to hear more details and tales about each experience on this travel bucket list, click on any bullet point (opens in new window, btw)! Here they are, in no particular order:

* Visit Egypt and see all the Pharaonic temples, particularly Abu Simbel

travel bucket list, Abu Simbel temple

Egypt – check!

DONE! Some tough decisions, sacrifices and several drafts later, I won a $20,000-dollar scholarship to go live in Egypt for a year and study Arabic full time (2008-2009). It’s been, so far, one of the most challenging, yet most amazing experiences of my life. I learned so much not only about the world around me and Islam (at a particularly tough time), but also found myself there. Granted, the only thing planned about this was my dream of visiting Egypt ever since I first saw a picture of Nefertiti [CLS essay stuff here]. I prefer the modified package, though! *wink* =D

* Swim with Manatees

travel bucket list, swim with manatees

Swim with manatees – check!

You heard all about it the other day! This item was crossed off thanks to one of my best friends, Josh. We headed to Crystal River (Florida, USA), rented a boat, grabbed a map and went were they were! Gentle, adorable mammals who don’t mind being close to humans =)

* Swim with dolphins…and whale sharks and manta rays and seals and…

My list of swimming with marine creatures is so long that it could easily serve as my entire travel bucket list itself. While I could easily cross off dolphins by going to any aquarium it seems like these days, I do not want to condone keeping these creatures in captivity. Namely, I want to swim with them in the wild–wouldn’t that be more amazing anyway!? With the dolphins I plan to play with when I go back to Israel, as around Eilat there is a place where dolphins come and go as they wish and the love interacting with humans, called Dolphin Reef Eilat. As for whale sharks, I think I want to go far far away–like Palau or Indonesia =D for manta rays, I hear Manta Ray city in Grand Cayman is quite popular, but I may head to a different place where I could do it at a lower cost *wink* seals? Probably a good one to cross off while diving in Galápagos Islands. As for other creatures, I can’t think of all of them right now, but if you got some write them down in a comment because some might escape me!

travel bucket list, Old Jerusalem

The Holy lands: Check!

* Visit the Holy Land, Israel & Palestine

I know, disputed territories and decide what’s the actual “proper” name — I give the name to both and that’s it, people that want to fight can keep fighting if they want–I won’t! Anyhow, this item has been on my list ever since I first heard about Jesus and performed my very first prayers. Raised as a Catholic, but now a non-denominational Christian after some soul-searching, this is a special place for sure. In fact, no matter what religion you are or are not part of–Jerusalem and the Holy Land have a different vibe to it that makes it truly unique. Even if for history’s sake, these lands must be in several travel bucket lists I’m sure–and with a reason. I am so happy I was lucky enough to visit twice in 2009, and one of those times was during a special Muslim holiday, Eid el Adha. You may click here for details about my first trip or on the bullet point above to read about my experiences during both of my trips there on my Travel The Middle East website.

travel bucket list, Backstreet Boys cruise

Backstreet Boys? Check! Im in the white-and-blue dress!(click for full size)

* Meet the Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, and the Spice Girls

So you might be thinking, how is this possibly travel-related? Well, the way I met them! I went on a Backstreet Boys cruise. You heard right: A Backstreet Boys cruise. Not only did I meet all of them several times, but I also got called on stage during the beach party to limbo dance with them and had some, umm, intimate moments with one of the members, HOWIE! Yes, you can laugh and point at me and call me teenybopper all you want, because *makes Arnold Schwarzenegger accent* I don’t caaaare! lol. Unfortunately though, I haven’t met Ms Spears nor the Spice Girls; though I did go to a concert and see the Pop Princess pretty up close. Soooo, Spice reunion pending!

travel bucket list Colosseum, Rome

Rome – check!

* Visit Rome & as many parts of the ancient Roman empire as possible, sp Tunisia

I can’t begin to explain my obsessions with Rome. Just like the Egypt and its pharaohs, the Roman empire made its way into my heart at an early age as well. While the empire was huge, I at least have already made it to its center: Rome. Couldn’t have been any more exciting when I finally made it there! I traveled solo, as I usually do, and Couchsurfed for about 4 days. All in all, an unforgettable experience indeed =) still though, many other locales to go!

And that shall be it for my travel bucket list, part UNO! I think I’ll make it habitual and every Wednesday post will be about my travel bucket list. What do you think? =)

What’s on your travel bucket list? What have you crossed off already?

2 thoughts on “My Travel bucket list: Manatees swimming, Abu Simbel temple, Rome!

  1. Wow! It looks like you have had some amazing experiences! I am so jealous about you swimming with manatees, that would be spectacular!

  2. your list is great ..But my list is empty now still i didn’t explore my fav list .One more year to go and i ll start my travel .I have seen many traveler list everyone has Egypt and Rome in their list

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