Travel Bucket List to see Emperor Penguins in Antarctica

5 Awe-Inspiring Travel Bucket List Destinations for 2020

Looking for epic travel experiences for your bucket list?  Look no further than these exciting adventures, gorgeous destinations and essential sights!  

There are endless places to visit in our world and you don’t want to miss out on your most desired destinations!

If you need to fire up your wanderlust, check out these inspiring travel quotes!

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Travel Bucket List

I’ve always had a vague notion of where I’d really like to go, based on what I’ve read or seen in the media or heard friends talk about.  I’ve been lucky enough to be able to cross a few places off my travel bucket list in the last 10 years.  Favourite destinations have included  Beijing, Denmark, London and Rome.  Those were amazing experiences that I’ll definitely want to repeat.

Beijing, Denmark, London and Rome had been on the travel bucket list so long I hadn’t really given serious thought to the rest of the list until recently.  Faced with the prospect of A LOT  more time to travel soon (I see you 2020!) I began to daydream about exotic destinations and far-flung locales.  Get your packing list ready and let’s go!

Make sure you check out how to get pampered in a premium lounge before you fly!

#1 on the Travel Bucket list – Scotland

My NEED to visit Scotland began in earnest when I began reading the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon way back in the 80’s.  I wanted to see those highland mists and hear that wonderful Glaswegian accent for myself, not to mention the brawny Scots men in kilts!  Now that I’ve got my own brawny Scot, I just need to convince him to wear a kilt ?.

Travel Bucket List item - seeing men in Kilts in Scotland

I’m beyond excited to be visiting Scotland in 2019! We’re still working on our plans, but our visit will definitely include a visit to Shetland, Glasgow and Edinburgh as well as visits with family.  I can’t wait to visit one of my travel bucket list destinations!  It may not be as warm and sunny as Mexico but it has so many other charms!

Katja has great tips on visiting Edinburgh with kids!

I’ll be checking Travelling King’s recommendations for Edinburgh hotels when we go!

#2 on the Travel Bucket List – Paris

Even I’m surprised that I’ve never been to Paris.  It seems so neglectful of me to have ignored it for so long that I’m putting it at number two on the travel bucket list.  

Where to even begin with Paris?  I’m sure no needs convincing that it’s one of the premiere cities in the world.  I’ve recently been even more inspired by reading accounts like Julianne’s at Pints, Pounds & Pate’s posts on her visit to Paris. It has convinced me that we’ll need to stop in Paris on our European trip in 2019.

For even more beautiful cities in Europe, check out Diana’s comprehensive post about the most beautiful cities to visit in Europe.

Update:  We had such a great time on our first trip to Paris!  Check out my recommendations for a great way to see the sights in Paris.

Travel Bucket List - seeing Paris at night

#3 on the Travel Bucket List – Norway

Are you surprised to see Norway at number 3 on my travel bucket list?  As a fan of all things Nordic, wanting to visit Norway is a natural for me.   My interest was heightened after reading Michael Booth’s The Almost Nearly Perfect People, wherein he described Norway in glowing albeit slightly tongue in cheek terms.

What fascinates me about Norway are the unexpected things about it.  For example, it has the second-highest GDP per capita among European countries and the sixth in the world.  It is also the second-wealthiest country in the world, and its standard of living is among the highest.   All this prosperity is still relatively new for Norway, originating from the vast petroleum reserves found in the North Sea in the late 60s.  I’d really love to experience Norway in all its Nordic splendor.  Oslo, Norway is also a very healthy city with many amenities for healthy travelers.

Cycling in Norway is one the best things to do while you’re visiting!

Bucket List Travel - Norway
Trondheim, Norway

Norway is also visually spectacular.  Need I say more?

I learned the essential things to consider when visiting Norway – very interesting!

Bucket List Travel  - Fjords in Norway
Norwegian Fjord

Christina has a great post on cruising the fjords of Norway.

#4 on the Travel Bucket List – Antarctica

I’m really going to have to save my pennies for this destination as Antarctica isn’t a trip you can book for a casual week-long getaway ?.  This travel bucket list destination requires preparation, planning and probably some seasickness tablets! A friend of mine (Hi Nora!) visited Antarctica recently, and came back with glowing reviews.

Cruising is the most popular way to visit Antarctica, usually on smaller ships out of Argentina.  Antarctica cruises usually visit the Falkland Islands as well other small islands en route like the South Georgia and Sandwich Islands.

To be totally honest, I have only one reason I want to go to Antarctica.

Emperior penguins in Antarctica - an item on my travel bucket list

Emperor penguins!

Did you know they can be four and a half feet tall?  OMG!  I know I won’t be able to touch them, but I really really really want to.  Emperor penguins have fascinated me ever since I found out how big they get and how complex their social systems are.   Did you know that male emperor penguins are the only bird species that produce a sort of “milk” to feed its young?  A gland in his esophagus produces the “milk”!

Although going to Antarctic would no doubt result in massive jet lag, it’s still really high on my travel bucket list!

Is Canada on your travel bucket list?  Check out Liliane’s excellent Canadian travel bucket list!

Travel Bucket List to see Emperor Penguins in Antarctica

#5 on the Travel Bucket List – New Orleans

This destination is a long-time resident of my travel bucket list.  It may have started after I saw The Big Easy and wanted to experience some of that New Orleans jazz and zydeco music and have some delicious Cajun food.  I may also have been influenced by Anne Rice’s description of the Garden District in the Vampire Chronicles novels.  Either way,  New Orleans definitely has a place on my travel bucket list.  Check out Michelle’s great post about movies that inspire you to travel!

I’ve always been drawn to the idea that New Orleans doesn’t feel like an American city.  I’m told it feels more like a European city.  I want to experience what that feels like.  The best time to visit may be during the famous Mardi Gras celebrations; I want to get me some of those beads 😉

Check out Patti’s article for more great USA bucket list destinations!

Travel Bucket List - seeing Mardi Gras in New Orleans


See how these travel influencers make time for travel in their lives! And make sure your passport is up to date before you finalize your plans!

What are your top 5 travel bucket list destinations?

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What are your top bucket list destinations? My wanderlust covers the USA, Europe and beyond! Some of my ideas might surprise you!

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4 thoughts on “5 Awe-Inspiring Travel Bucket List Destinations for 2020

  1. I love this list! We just did Paris two years ago–I honestly thought that it was going to be cliche. I was worried that I wasn’t going to like it. That was definitely not the case! I loved the icons, sitting in the gardens, eating international food, and just exploring the city. Everything was beautiful, the people were friendly, and I can’t wait to return one day. Plus, the architecture like Notre Dame is stellar.

    I’d love to go to Scotland too. We were just talking about trying Scotch there and seeing all of the castles.

    1. I’m so glad to hear that Paris isn’t just cliches! It’s so iconic that one might almost expect it to be. I can’t wait to visit! I’m very excited to go to Scotland this year!

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