Sunday, February 8, 2015

Top Travel Destinations for 2015 (M-U)

Royal Caribbean #whatsstoppingyoucampaign 2
By now you'll have gathered that my main New Year's resolution is to travel more (and to finally stop biting my nails, but that's not as fun to talk about) so, after dabbling a little last year, I'm excited to fully throw myself into travel blogging this year. Royal Caribbean recently got in touch about a survey they'd ran which found that most people's dream holidays would be to somewhere they've never been before, and I couldn't agree with this sentiment more. Last year - if you can stretch your mind back that far - I put together Part I of my travel wishlist for the upcoming year featuring places from all around the globe, and every single one was somewhere I've yet to visit. I had to split the wishlist into two parts because there were So. Many. (and this is me having narrowed it down as well), so today I present you with Part II, where I'm focusing on countries that fall between M-Z. 

Also, stay tuned, because at the end of the post there's a chance to win your dream holiday! If that's not incentive to read on then I don't know what is. Now, onto the juicy stuff....

Maldives Baros beach maldives baros Maldives sea stars Maldives vadho-island-sea-star02
I really could have focused on the Maldives for an entire post; it looks so tranquil and beautiful and, basically, just the ideal place to escape to. I can imagine just spending all day lazing about drinking fresh juice with a big plate of freshly grilled fish whilst someone wafts me with a palm leaf (last part optional), but what I'm really interested in seeing is the sea stars on Vaadhoo island (although I think you can see them elsewhere in the Maldives too), which is actually tiny bio-luminescent marine microbes washing up on the beach with the waves that appear like lots of little stars. It looks like one of those mad illusions that you'd see in a House of Fun, doesn't it? I feel like I'd definitely cry if I saw them in real life. I'd also like to take a trip to one of the hundreds of virgin islands when I'm out there to experience somewhere completely uninhabited by hoomans. Yes, I'd probably pretend I'm in Castaway for a bit. WILSOOOOONN.

Marrakech luxury hotel Morocco Chefchaouen Morocco chefchaouen Morocco market-Marrakech2
Just look at all that COLOUR. Morocco - specifically Marrakech in Morocco - is a place that's long been calling my name; I often sit and daydream (whilst staring out the window longingly - cue sad but inspirational music) about wandering through the maze of souks, food from the street markets in hand. And the food, oh the food. I've heard camel burger's a speciality, which I think would take some convincing, but I couldn't be more interested in getting stuck into a beautiful big tagine. Also on my list of things I'd love to do out there is wander through the blue streets of Chefchaouen (pictured above) and a visit to the Majorelle Gardens... I wouldn't say no to a stay at the beautiful El Fenn hotel or the Peacock Pavilions either. Me and my Mum were actually speaking about finally taking a trip out this year so fingers crossed!

New york snowy street New York at night New York. in winter
This one won't come as a surprise to anyone as I think I pine after New York at least once a week on Twitter. I'm thrown into a state of sadness and intense self-pity whenever it dawns on me that I still haven't been, and have briefly considered clawing people in the face when they tell me they've booked a trip over. Jealousy's a horrible thing. There's an ENDLESS list of things I'd like to do out there, including all the usual touristy things like Times Square, Statue of Liberty, the SATC tour, broadway, Central Park etcetera etcetera etcetera (read like the King from The King and I please) but mainly all I want to do is just go and BE in New York, wandering around taking it all in. I've got a little New York jar that I've been putting money in over the years so hopefully 2015 will be the year!

New Zealand landscape new-zealand
Two of our friends recently went travelling and described New Zealand as being really like Scotland landscape-wise, but with better weather, much like I'd imagine Canada to be. From what I've seen, it looks like it'd be an incredibly beautiful place to walk around and take in the scenery, stopping only to have a little read of a book and a juice - so PG - on the side of a lake. These are the kind of situations I imagine myself in on particularly grey and depressing days here. Again, cue the violins. Aside from turning my vague lakeside daydreams into reality, I'd also love to visit Tongariro National Park, the Waitomo caves (AKA the glowworm caves), Milford Sound (in both daylight and at sunset) and the Bay of Islands.

santorini-island-day-trip-in-heraklion-141676 Santorini cave hotel and infinity pool
Santorini's a place that's been on my to-visit list for as long as New York, I remember seeing a photo years ago that was much like the first image here and just falling in love with it. Even looking at this photo is making me feel oddly nostalgic. There are a number of places in Greece I'd like to visit, like Mykonos and Skiathos, but it's Santorini that's really got my heart. Royal Caribbean actually have a cruise that includes Santorini so I've made a mental note (with lots of hearts drawn round it) of it for the future.

Tahiti French Polynesia
Doesn't this look like paradise?! If I close my eyes and think of Heaven this is pretty much exactly what I get. I talked a little about Bora Bora in the first part of this post and basically I've discovered that I'd like to live my life flitting between each of the French Polynesian islands. Obviously first on my list is sleep in an overwater bungalow - JUST LOOK AT THEM. I've heard there's glass panels in the bottom of some so that you can watch the fish swim by, which would make up for years of fruitless glass-bottom boat tours where the most I've managed to spot is an old nappy bag tangled in some seaweed. You can also have your breakfast delivered straight to you door by canoe - someone delivering any form of food to me is a bit of a dream, but by canoe?! It's almost too much to handle. Speaking of food (when am I not), Tahiti's supposed to have a number of amazing traditional dishes, but the one I'd love to try most is the Poisson Cru, which is tuna marinated in lime juice and coconut milk. Oh Mumma. I'd also love to finally get over my fear over the ocean - damn you, Jaws - and get my snorkel-on in The Blue Lagoon.

So, there we go, that brings to a close the list of places on my travel bucketlist! And now onto the part you've all been waiting for - drrrrrumroll - as part of their #WhatsStoppingYou campaign, Royal Caribbean are currently running a competition with the grand prize of a holiday to a dream destination, so make sure and check that one out here! And, if you win, please take me in your luggage. Last but not least, is there anywhere in either Part I or Part II you think I've left out? Holla at me below if so, I'm always looking for places to add to this ever-growing travel bucketlist of mine.


Part II of my bucketlist is in collaboration with Royal Caribbean and their shamazing 'What's Stopping You' campaign. All images soured via  Pinterest, if any of these images belong to you please pop me over an e-mail so I can give individual credit!