When it comes to what’s on a bucket list I would imagine some folks are more adventurous than others; like wanting to sky dive in the Swiss Alps or climb Mt. Everest, the highest peak in the Himalayas, but then again a lot of people just want to go somewhere they’ve never been before. That pretty much sums up my bucket list.
In doing my curating for this blog I happened upon an article by Travel & Leisure about the most visited tourism sites in the world, so I thought I would compare their list of 52 popular tourist sites with my list. Much to my amazement, it appears I’ve done that, been there, a lot!
New York City was ranked #1, and although I did not see Central park (ranked #2), attend a Broadway show or see Times Square; during my two brief trips to the Big Apple I did stretch my neck upward in seeking out as many iconic structures in the New York City skyline as I could. I was in awe of the Twin Towers, Empire State Building and other historic skyscrapers, and well remember the excitement I felt in experiencing such a vibrant city with its crescendo of honking horns and a myriad of voices adding to the overall din. Perhaps not a complete bucket list accomplishment, but close enough. Have you been to NYC?
I missed seeing #3, Washington, D.C.’s Union Station, but was fortunate enough to tour our nations’ capital and visit #30 National Air and Space Museum, #34 Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and #36, the Lincoln Memorial: sites that many, especially Americans, would like to visit. I still get goose bumps, and feel a sense of pride when I think of the history of our country through so many historic buildings and places in Washington, D.C. This a major bucket list must see!
I now realize how fortunate I have been since I have traveled to and experienced 39 of the 52 most popular tourist attractions featured. I won and lost in Las Vegas (#4), felt the mist from Niagara Falls (#5); experienced the delights like a child when visiting #8 (Disneyworld Magic Kingdom), #9 (Disneyland Park Anaheim), #16 (Epcot) and #48 (Sea World in Orlando). It appears that Mickey Mouse and entourage are doing well where tourism is concerned.
Historical architecture has always held a fascination for me, so seeing the stately buildings in old town Boston (#7) Faneuil Hall, the Notre Dame Cathedral (#13), Sacré Coeur Basilica (#18), Musée du Louvre (#29), all of which are in Paris, and (#39) the Palace of Versailles France, plus the Eiffel Tower (#35) is a dream come true. I put the Louvre back into my bucket list though, because it would take me the rest of my lifetime to truly see all the masterpieces it houses.
So many sites, so much history . . . it’s hard to pick a favorite, but as I look back over my bucket list of places I have visited in America and abroad, I believe the allure of the blue mist that shrouds the Smoky Mountains (#25/Great Smoky Mountains National Park) and its breathtaking natural beauty puts it at the top of the list for me. Nothing is man made here. It is simply nature’s way of painting a Monet landscape, conducting a Brahms lullaby of whispers throughout the forest of trees, and ending the day in silence that is golden. No matter the amount of times I have travelled through the Smoky Mountains, its beauty has been awe inspiring.
Even if you are unable to visit these sites; how about the treasures in your own town, the wonders in your own state, the awe in nature’s beauty surrounding you?
However, if you want to feel an adrenalin rush by climbing high up to meet the clouds, or charging along a white-water hair-raising gorge, or riding high on a 30 foot swell in Hawaii’s north shore, or doing some hell biking on some pretty challenging terrain, or doing a little downhill in places like interior British Columbia with its thousands of acres of skiable area, or simply running a marathon, then check out National Geographic’s Ultimate 2013 Bucket List
To learn more about the list of 52, visit http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/worlds-most-visited-tourist-attractions/51 or http://adventure.nationalgeographic.com/adventure/trips/bucket-list/2013/climb-a-challenging-mountain/