19 Travel Goals to Accomplish Before 35

to do listBack in June, as I was reflecting on another birthday, I looked at a very, very old version of my website and spotted a list of travel goals I’d written. I’d forgotten about that list. As I made changes to the site, I moved the list around, eventually removed it, put it back, and then put it aside for later use. But like so many lists I write, I had forgotten it in the dust bin of my mind.

But seeing that list again made me think about how five years ago I had all these lofty travel goals — and they sort of sputtered out. To be fair, I’ve done some amazing things in the last five years (Galapagos Islands? Check! La Tomatina? Check! Learn to scuba dive? Check! Oktoberfest? Double steins of beer? Double check!) but seeing all those uncompleted goals made me a little sad.

Now, I hate bucket lists – as if there’s some set number of activities to enjoy in the world in order to die happy. I think that’s crap. Life changes and so do your goals and desires. The bucket list you write when you’re 20 is not the same one you write at 40. If I wrote a bucket list 10 years ago, it wouldn’t include 90% of the things I’ve done with my life.

But as I reflect on that long lost list, I think after five years, it’s time for a new list. Mostly because I love lists (I make at least one a day) but also because it would be good to collect and refocus my thoughts.

As a nomad, there’s nowhere in the world I don’t want to see at some point, but there are definite things I want to do and places I want to see sooner rather than later.

So instead of writing a bucket list, I’m writing my travel priorities for the next three years in order to better focus and have some goals to strive for.

Safari in East Africa
safari in africa
This is one of the things I want most in the world, but I’m only going to make this trek with someone else. As I discovered in Africa, such beauty is best not seen alone and a long safari around the region will be on hold until I find someone to go with.

Hike the Inca Trail
Machu Picchu, Peru
I can barely hike up my stairs without getting winded (I need to follow more of Steve’s advice!) but the thought of hiking this ancient path, setting sight on Machu Picchu, and wondering how the hell they managed to build a city on a mountain top (and maybe even getting photobombed by a llama) is too appealing to pass up.

See the World Cup
the world cup
I’m a huge soccer fan and the World Cup just seems like a crazy party you can’t miss. I got into the sport when I began traveling around the world and knowing Latin America’s love obsession with the sport, I can only imagine how great it will be next year. Brazil 2014, here I come!

Spend 4 -5 months backpacking South America – I’ll be tying my World Cup goal into what will be my next major trip. I don’t like piecemeal travel and I’d rather explore this entire region in one go, so despite my attempts at slowing down and becoming more settled, New York City will take a brief backseat to South America next spring while I roam the continent.

See Antarctica
Penguins, glaciers, and whales, oh my!

Spend a month living in the Seychelles
the seychelles is my paradise
These islands are what my version of heaven would look like, so why not spend a cold winter month there soaking in the sun? Sounds perfectly fine to me.

Climb to Everest base camp – Given my general out of shapeness, this is going to be a real challenge, but one I will prepare for and embrace.

Sail along the Amazon and explore the heart of the rainforest – Because ever since I saw photos of this river, I’ve felt the need to satiate my inner Indiana Jones and explore this vast, wild, sometimes uncharted, out of the way region.

See the Northern Lights
the northern lights in iceland
Because it’s too beautiful to pass up!

Take the Trans-Siberian Railway – I’ve always dreamed of this long train journey and my desire has only increased since Katie wrote about her trip. This long, rustic train ride also appeals to me because in the age of the Internet, travel has gotten too easy and there’s no Internet here to rely on. It’s just you and your travel skills.

Cruise around the Pacific IslandsBecause Torre made me jealous and I think it would be pretty fun to pretend I’m Robinson Crusoe. Sailing the islands is difficult to accomplish, but nothing worthwhile is ever easy.

Spend a week in Borobudur trying to figure out the meaning of life
Borobudur base reliefs
Borobudur is a Buddhist temple in Indonesia whose winding walkway is lined with reliefs of Buddhist teachings. The higher up you get, the harder the reliefs become. Monks were supposed to figure out the meaning of each relief before moving on. When you’ve made it to the top, you’ve unlocked all the Buddha’s teachings. That’s a challenge I accept.

Walk the Camino de Santiago – Can I walk across Spain? I don’t know, but it will be fun to try. I’ve heard so many good stories about this trip that even if I only make it halfway, I think I’ll enjoy it.

See Petra, Jordan
petra jordan treasury
Ever since I saw Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade as a kid, I’ve always wanted to visit this historic site. Many of my friends have visited and come back with wonderful stories of not only Petra but of Jordan, too. I just have to remember that the cup can’t cross the seal or we’re all doomed (Indiana Jones reference).

Travel to the Arctic and see polar bears – I can’t see one pole without seeing the other. It’s only fair, right? Plus, I want to see these amazing animals before they go extinct.

Spend three months in India
taj mahal in india
Because it’s too big and interesting to spend any less time here. I just don’t feel a short trip would do the country justice.

Learn about wine in France
bermuda beaches and clear blue water
I’m a wino and it would be fascinating to learn about the complexities of what I’m drinking. Is that a hint of raspberry in there? Why yes, it is!

Sail around the Caribbean – Just call me Captain Nomadic Jack Sparrow.

Visit Morocco – This country has been on my must-see list for far too long. I love Moroccan food, the kasbahs seem amazing, and a camel ride in the desert is just what the doctor ordered.

Will I get to all of these by the time I’m 35? I don’t know. Maybe. Maybe not. But I plan to refer to this often as a way to check-in and keep myself on track. If I only accomplish these 19 things in the next three years, I will have done a lot, expanded the places I’ve seen in the world, and be one very, very happy nomad.

So here is to goals and making them happen!

  1. I’m heading off to Jordan next month. So far what I’ve learned is that to take GPS coordinates of places you might be going to as some off the beaten track places don’t tend to be marked, or google maps has the incorrect location. Entrance fee to Petra is extortionate, but then again, you only live once. At least you can make up the money in cheap accommodation in some parts of the country.

    • Pamm


      The entrance fee also includes a guide and it is completely worth it even if you have a lousy guide. It is beyond fantastic. I drove (by myself) all over Jordan and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I will have to admit that having no signs at all was a bit unnerving, but this was a fantastic trip.

    • I absolutely loved Jordan. Not only was Petra breathtaking but the people were so cool! Spend as much time as you can talking with locals. I also highly recommend spending a night in Wadi Rum.

    • Frank

      I’ve been to Jordan multiple times in the past 2 years for my job. Petra entrance fees cost 50 JD, or $70 US. This sounds like a lot of money, but it will cost more to drive to Petra from Amman, unless you ride a group bus there. A guide is an extra expense, but can be well worth the cost, especially if you don’t have in-depth knowledge of what awaits you on this lengthy journey from the Treasury to the Monastery. BTW, bring comfortable shoes, sunscreen, a hat, plenty of water (you can also buy water and snacks from vendors along the way), and wear loose, cool (hot weather) clothes. And be prepared for a long hike of at least 3-4 hours for the couple of miles. It’s not the distance horizontally that’s the killer, but that vertically up the stone and rock-covered hills!

    • NomadicMatt

      Great discussion here! The fee may be “high” but some things are worth the price. Like you said, you only live once and you do get good value for the ticket price! Have a great time and send back photos!

  2. Great list, Matt! I’ve got some of those on my 30 things in my 30’s list, too – see the northern lights, walk the Camino, and sail in the Caribbean. Of course, it made me want to add Antarctica and the Seychelles, too! Looking forward to learning from you if you cross these goals off your list before me!

  3. Liz

    Travel priorities are a nicer way of doing things than bucket lists, and they still satisfy the list-making addiction that is inherent in most bloggers 😉 Imagine spending a month at a vineyard in France, assisting with production, improving your French, etc. I think I will add this to one of my travel priorities!

  4. Awesome list, Matt! It sparked more wanderlust in me. My friend is in the Peace Corps in Tanzania, so an African safari is on my wishlist for next year, as is the World Cup. I agree this world party combined with the beauty of Brazil sounds like a great adventure. Good luck!

  5. Great list Matt! One of the places on your list is also in mine, next year I plan to hike the Inca trail Machu Picchu. I started working out recently just for this upcoming trip, I might do the 4 day hike (can’t last more than that).

  6. Ivan Teixeira

    Matt, I’m from Fortaleza, one of the Brazil World Cup 2014 host cities. Me and my wife love traveling and I am huge fan of your blog, so If you really ever come to my city during the world cup next year, please contact me. Me and my wife will be glad to be your guide for a few days. We are also going to most of the games in our city, but the best matches tickets will be hard to get, so if you are really planning on going you should go to Fifa site right now and make a reservation for your tickets.

    Really hope to see you around next year !

  7. Dani

    I think it’s great to have these lists as inspiration for your goals, and yours are sounding pretty epic! The thing I don’t like about using the term “bucket list” is I feel like it focuses on getting things done before you die (a bit morbid) rather than living life to the fullest.

    Something I’ve enjoyed in terms of travel ideas is pinning great photos of destinations. It has actually helped me out lately trying to decide where to go next… I go onto my Pinterest and if the photo still creates excitement, then it’s an option.

  8. Machu Picchu, the Northern Lights, and Petra are on my list as well. I hope you accomplish as many of these as you can in 3 years! Even if you don’t, no worries, they’re not going anywhere. Well, except maybe a few of the animals in the Arctic. Yikes.

    Happy travels :)

  9. If I got these accomplished, I would certainly die happy! South America is the one item I have done on the list and believe me, you’re in for a treat!

  10. I think we share a lot of similar places still to see, like Antarctica, East Africa, Everest Base Camp, Morocco, and the Trans Siberian Railway.

    I better see Medellin and Colombia on your South America itinerary!

    I’d also highly recommend San Pedro de Atacama in northern Chile and the Bolivian Salt Flats.

  11. S

    Combine Morocco and Spain! Its only a short ferry ride away (30 mins or less).

    Funny we have very similar travel goals- would love to go to the Antarctic but can only go during the S/A summer so will have to save it for a few years time. Northern Lights I’m dying to see in Iceland too!

  12. Hey man! A bucket list might be better than you think and for the same reason you mentioned. It’s a snapshot of a moment you were daydreaming about goals. Getting caught up in wonderlust… writing awesome chapters of your future. who doesnèt have a smile on their face while writing one? Sometimes it doesn’t get any clearer in life. I like hearing someones ambitions to enjoy life in contrast to negative people who criticize.

    Heck, I’m writing this comment from Russia and I know I’ve always wanted to stand in red square and learn their perspective on WW2. Which I’ve now done. Just my humble opinion…

    and disclaimer: I don’t have a bucket list, lol

  13. Great list! most of which are also on my “bucket list” I couldn’t agree more with what you said at the begining. I personally find I have a million – zillion places I want to go to but there are probably so many that I forget half of them and end up doing other awesome things! for this reason I couldnt agree more with bucket lists

  14. Laura

    The Inca Trail is such an amazing experience, it more than makes up for the difficulty of getting up Dead Women’s Pass, even if you’re not in the greatest shape. I hiked it this year for my 30th birthday, and spending the day of my birthday at Machu Picchu was almost a let-down after how amazing the previous three days had been.
    After the Inca trail, my own list of travel goals before I’m 35 has had quite a few treks added to it…planning to do Mt. Kinabalu next year!

  15. Great list, Matt. A lot of these are on my list too. Off to Jordan in October and planning to go to the World Cup next summer. Hopefully I’ll see you there!

  16. Adding a lot of these to my lists, although I’m unsure about the timeline. I’m definitely with you on exploring the Amazon! It’s something I’ve dreamt about but sadly, have done little to no research about.

  17. Beverly

    I can tell you all are young and I think it’s wonderful that you all are getting to travel while you’re young. My late husband and I didn’t get started traveling until we were almost 50, but we went to many places and went as often as we could. We always wanted to go to Machu Picchu but never made it and now I don’t really think I could physically do it. It isn’t my age that’s stopping me, it’s bad knees! I don’t think I have a “bucket llist” but there are still places I’d like to see. My gentleman friend and I are going to Italy in September for 3 weeks, which is something I always wanted to do. My point is just that if you don’t get it all done by the time you’re 35, you still have many more years after that to travel and experience new things. Life is not over at 35! Happy traveling!

    • NomadicMatt

      I totally agree but I’m just giving myself the 35 deadline as a way to focus. I probably won’t get to half of these things by then but it’s fun to have goals!

  18. Bucket List? Travel Priorities? They’re one in the same. You haven’t put anything on your travel priorities list that you couldn’t have put on your bucket list. And in fact, some of the things you noted on your travel priority list are or were on my bucket list (accomplished now). And yes, I have a bucket list. And I find having one makes me more selective about my travel & it makes my trips more meaningful, but then, I’m a lot more serious about my list than most people. It’s not solely travel-related, and it’s not totally self-centered. For example, I have a category where I actually “Pay it Forward” & note things I’ve always wanted to do for other people (ex. help build a Habitat for Humanity House & anonymously pay someone’s bill in a restaurant). Bottom line – don’t get caught up in meaningless semantics. The key is to have life and/or travel goals and diligently work to achieve them. What you call the list is not important. It’s what you do with the list that’s important.

    • NomadicMatt

      Whenever I hear the term “bucket list,” I think of people who create lists of things to do before they die. I don’t like that. It may be semantics but, for me, having travel goals is better than having bucket lists. However, that being said, I completely agree with the last line in your comment.

  19. Michael Quinn

    Love the list Matt…quit my job in NY last week and getting ready to head in October do 4 from the list…
    Inca Trail / World Cup / South America backpacking / Caribbean cruise…likely run out of money before Antartica sadly.

  20. Awesome list! Pretty stoked that a bunch of them are on my own hit list for next year, including extended travels throughout South America, the Inca Trail, the Amazon, the World Cup, and India!

  21. Matt, it’s great to see your enthusiasm for the world, and seeing as much of it as you can. At my stage (a couple of decades on) I’ve decided that there are places I won’t mind if I never see, and that I prefer to go to places where I can follow my interests. Mind you, it’s good to be flexible about that too. A friend told me that Turkey was the best country she’d ever been to. I’d never ever considered going there, but did, had a wonderful time and made friends with a group of inveterate travellers whose travels I can enjoy vicariously during my non-travelling times.

  22. Lisa H

    Matt, you’re awesome. I’ve been travelling around Scandinavia over the past month and have checked out your blog along the way when there’s free wifi (woo, thanks Swebus!). Safe to say I always feel a bit more encouraged and ready to push forward. So thanks man! No doubt you’ll accomplish all your travel goals and have more advice to share for us in the future!

    Ps, Petra is pretty darn cool. It’s a fascinating piece of history.

  23. Bob

    This is almost my dream list! We have a lot of similar dreams.

    – Marocco
    – India
    – Safari
    – Inca Trail
    – Seychellen
    – Northern lights
    – Petra

    And now that you mentioned it, I totally want to visit Indonesia and learn Buddha’s wisdoms. X

  24. Ju

    As many have said before me, most of the items in your list are also in mine!
    Glad to know you’ll be coming to Souh America next year, I hope we can have a few beers when you get to Buenos Aires.

  25. Heather

    I just got back from hiking the Inca trail. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done. MP is gorgeous and wonderful, but my favorites were actually the ruins we saw along the trail. It seemed more special since so few people actually see them.

    Just plan in advance because the trail permits book quickly. And go in dry season. I can’t imagine navigating those steep steps and worn stones in pouring rain. Wayki Trek was wonderful to us–you can stay with the porters in their village the night before–the very best experience of my Peru trip. I wasn’t in super great shape but if you go slow, you’ll make it just fine. :) Bon voyage!

    And safari in Africa–it’s like living in National Geographic. No words, no pictures will ever explain what it’s like to look a lion in the eye (from the safety of your jeep).

    • NomadicMatt

      I did a safari in southern Africa last year for three weeks it was amazing. I totally agree – there’s nothing like it.

  26. kevinn g

    competitive lists- it’s good to have goals the boring part is the travel bores who brag & get all competitive- “I’ve been to more cool places than you have, thus I am a cooler person :)

  27. Lise

    Let me know if you need a couch surfing host in Alaska. I live in Fairbanks where you have a 90% chance of seeing the Northern Lights if you stay a week between Nov-Mar (at least according to our tourist bureau).

  28. Helga

    You don’t have to go to the Arctic to find polar bears! I think its bigger chance of spotting them if you go to Iceland or Svalbard (Norwegian island). Plus the northern light there is marvelous (Like the rest of northern Scandinavia..especially Northern Norway… :P)

  29. Michelle

    I couldn’t agree more with other posters on Petra, Jordan and Wadi Rum. While you are in the area, don’t miss Turkey too. Amazing history, wonderful beaches, very hospitable locals.

    You now have motivation to work out. It definitely helps you clilmb all the stairs and hills you encounter when traveling.

    • sema

      Michelle is totallly right about Turkey .?stanbul , definitly must be on the list . Take a romantic journey by boat , sip a cup of strong tea or Turkish coffee watching the ferrries go by . Lost in Hagia Sophia or Topkap? Palace .However , There are many other cities in Turkey you should stop by and explore yourself through history , art and nature

  30. sarah

    Love seeing the Camino de Santiago on this list! I completed the trek from St Jean Pied de Port all the way to Finisterre, on the Atlantic (about 100km past Santiago) in 30 continuous days of walking last August. Hands down best experience of my life and the best way to travel – with new and old friends, a completely open schedule/timeline, good food, and amazing locals :)

    If you only have time for “half” I would recommend the second half – hiking in Galicia is some of the prettiest on the whole trail and the hike from Santiago on to Finisterre was the best part, in my opinion! Happy travels and let me know if you have any Camino questions! I’m hoping to do the Camino del Norte or part of the trail in France next summer as well…

  31. Fantastic list here.

    I think having a list in general is an excellent way to motivate oneself. It’s not always easy to hack through the tougher times of travelling (people forget that these moments exist) without having goals to follow.

    Bucket-lists all the way says I.

  32. Matt — I’ve been waiting for you to announce South America travel plans, and it looks like you will be able to combine a few things into that trip with the Inca Trail. The Inca Trail is an unforgettable experience, so much so that I returned a couple of months later to do a different trek to Machu Picchu.

    You will love it! Just climb the stairs a little more often in preparation.

  33. Douglas

    I’m a huge fan of soccer/football too, so I’ve made it a goal to attend at least one soccer match everywhere I go. Good luck with your list!

  34. Amanda

    Don’t worry about being in shape for Everest Base camp!!! It’s a relatively easy hike. Take your time to do other detours along the trail, they are much more beautiful than EBC. I was just going through my pictures today from my trip a few years ago….The only things I did to prepare was yoga to help focus on my breathing and spin class at the gym however I really don’t think I was in any good shape for it to make a difference. I want to go back sometime soon, the trip was one of my favourites. Be sure to spend a week or so in Kathmandu. It’s wonderful.

    • Amanda

      I should mention I took 18 days for EBC and also did a peak climb. Well worth it. The peak climb (Imje Tse) was very challenging, however there was a 75 year old man who did it, and beat me if I might add. Also, as the previous comments state, Jordan is great. I really enjoyed it there and the food is delicious. The mansaf was my favourite, but others I was with prefered the Maqluba.
      While you’re in Jordan, visit Israel. It’s RIGHT THERE. I loved it there and cannot wait to go back to experience more of the country. I also found that I really enjoyed Israeli wine as well…..

  35. You’ve just reminded me of my old dream to see the northern lights. I think this must be the most beautiful natural wonder. I really need to sit and write one of these, give me the motivation.

  36. This is a cool reflective post and a top list Matt. When I was 20 I didn’t really have a set list of things I wanted to see or do, life just sort of happened for me and I’ve done more than I thought I would or could have done. I’ve been to a few of the places on your list and totally recommend the Inca Trail and Antarctica (probably my 2 travel highlights so far). Those are just special places and you know it when you’re there. I’m really pleased and surprised to know you’re a football (soccer) fan!! I have just applied for World Cup tickets too as it’s on my “list” of things to do. So I’m planning on Brazil next summer and can’t wait. At the rate you do things, I’m sure you’ll have these ones ticked off fairly soon and get started on a new list. Safe travels. Jonny

  37. Martin

    Although I know this comment won’t please a lot of people, and granted, this is a phenomenal list of things to see. It is also very taxing on the earth to bring you to all these places.
    You should do a list of things to counter balance all the resources it takes for you to go around all these places!

    • NomadicMatt

      I lead a very green life but at the same time, I’m not going to stay in one place because airplanes use jet fuel. You definitely need to find a balance but there’s only so much one person can do, a lot of the change has to come at the policy level.

  38. lisa corbett

    Oh…it was sad to see you mention the end of the polar bear in such a cavalier/accepting tone. It’s too early for me to go on but I wish we could just fly solar powered planes so we wouldn’t be contributing to the end of the animals we have on our “bucket list” How can we help instead of just see them before they’re dead? My will looks like a nature conservancy and defenders of wildlife dream sheet. Try to DO stuff if you’re going to see them, Matt, OK?

  39. What a list! I also dream with taking the trans-siberian railway. Since you´re planning to backpack to South America and if you decide to pass through Bolivia, please contact me by all means, I will be more than happy to help you, and be your guide specially if you pass through my city Cochabamba!!! I´m hoping to get the chance to meet you personally!

  40. Brian

    In South America – you must see: Iguazzu Falls, Machu Picchu trek, Bolivian Salt flats, Torres del Paine (Chile), Perito Moreno Glacier (Argentina), Monte Fitz Roy (Argentina), the Pantanal (animals), Amazon (through Brazil, Peru or Bolivia), the cheapest way (best way) to see Antarctica to show up in Ushuaia and book a last minute deal for a discounted rate. Don’t book ahead. There are always tours going. Don’t go too far south in their fall/winter.

    Because Columbia is so close and has cheap flights from/to the US, you could focus on Peru/Bolivia/Argentina/Chile/Brazil. A month a country is a good estimate and will leave you will enough exploration time (Brazil should take at least 3 months to see properly, focus on a region in one month)

    • NomadicMatt

      I’ve done a cruise. I like them because they are relaxing but you don’t get much meaningful time in each destination.

  41. Great post! Yes, goal lists should not be viewed as static. They should change as your life changes. We don’t particularly like the term “bucket-list” either but use the term merely out of convenience since it immediately is understood to mean a life goal list. We actually call this “My Experiences” on the Travel Goal Getter app which answers – what do you want to experience – enabling users to create multiple goal lists and checking them off when done. Breaking down your goals by time-frame to a three year window is a great strategy to stay focused as goal lists can become a burden if they get too long – many times lists inadvertently suffer from massive “creep” where they become too long, too involved, too unattainable. Keep your list short, time bound, and specific; you’ll have much more enjoyment and chance of sucessfully accomplishing your goals. Happy travels!

  42. Ryan

    Having done an East African safari, hiked the Inca Trail, seen Petra, been to Antarctica, been to Borobudur, seen the Northern Lights, and taken a boat up the Amazon River (among other typical “bucket list” items) already…. I’d say that you really need to experience Antarctica. Subtracting my first two trips overseas (Thailand/Cambodia and Peru/Easter Island), Antarctica is one of the top three places in the world that left the biggest impressions on me (the other two being Bhutan and North Korea).

    Despite having been to all of those “bucket list” places already…. somewhat pathetically, I’ve yet to backpack around Europe. That’s one for my bucket list.

  43. you always provoke me matt..! stupendous post..! have been to seychelles and even learned seychellois creole. India is also done..cheaper country and full of culture and festivals. Antarctica is bit impractical but yes next would be african safari for me.

  44. Great list. Have done some of them but Antarctica and polar bears are definitely on my list to do. The northern lights are definitely worth the effort, they are spectacular.

  45. Sara Nu

    Camino de Santiago is interesting also for me. I would try to do it soon, from french path maybe.
    Sara from Italy

  46. Hanna

    Hello Matt, I discovered your blog a few weeks ago and it’s become my favourite. I’m 21, about to start a pretty rigorous course (oh and broke lol) but I long to travel more than anything. Reading your blog really inspires me to save up, get out of my comfort zone and fulfil my travelling dreams.

  47. Instead of takinf the Trans-Siberian railway, I’d suggest to hitchhike Siberia. I just stumbled upon your blog, I didn’t explore it well yet, so don’t know how are you about hitchhiking. But I hitchhiked to Siberia in January 2009, about 7000km from Moscow and then back. The road trip gave me a better understanding of what Siberia and its people are.

  48. Matt,
    Great list and thank you for sharing! I am glad to see Machu Picchu and India on your list, two mystical places on this earth that we bring groups to for transformative travel experiences! Keep spreading the word of travel my friend!

  49. that’s a good list. :) i may take some of those to add to my own. i’m the same way. i make a list every day. i’ve only done one so far on that list.. hiking to machu picchu is incredible!

  50. Great list, we have knocked some of these off but still have a long way to go.
    We are heading to Iran in March and that is another thing we can take off our list.
    Antartica is high high up there as well :)

  51. Machu Picchu is the number one travel goal I’ve had since I was a kid. There was this poorly coded computer game for the Tandy 1000 where you had to explore certain areas of the world to get “treasure,” and Machu Picchu was one of them. It started with an actual photo of Machu Picchu before dropping you into a horrible looking green and purple mess where you had to jump over boulders and swing on vines until you reached the city. Hopefully the real experience is just like that!

  52. Andy

    Fantastic bucket list Matt. I am trying t plan to go to the world cup next year so fingers crossed. Plus I have been to some of the destinations above and I must say, are all awesome.

  53. Great goals! Right now our #1 travel goal is to go on an overland tour in Africa!! It looks like that may happen next spring. I have also always dreamed of visiting the Seychelles since I first learned of it as a teenager. It’s not cheap to get there, but one day we will!

  54. Kelly Spencer

    Nice! You are for sure going to have an Epic next few years! So many similar Goals! My dream was to Sail around the World then backpack where I couldn’t reach by boat. So i stumbled upon an Awesome industry where I get paid to Live my dream. I work on a Private Yacht as a Sailor/Stewardess which travels the world! Ticking boxes I never Imagined I would have the opportunity to experience. Currently Chilling with the Polar bears, Icebergs and Inuits in the Arctic Circle & most nights treated to the Northern Lights! Best thing about it is this is my Job to see these amazing places, I am saving for my future backpacking adventures! You should check it out! Next stop Canada – USA – Caribbean – Pacific! Keep Living the Dream!

  55. I just finished walking the Camino de Santiago last week. Most rewarding experience in my life. Saw so many things, met so many people. Its a definite must. Next stop Ibiza, then off to Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia.

  56. I think you’re right – that a bucket list can change over time. I’ve just recently made my first one and so far I’m happy with it. 😉
    It looks like we have some of the same things on our lists! I’m heading to South America with my boyfriend later this year and we’re sooo gonna see the World Cup! It’s going to be amazing. Sailing on the Amazon and walking to Machu Picchu is also on our list – maybe we’ll see you around! 😀

    Good luck!

  57. Isn’t it great to still be so passionate about your travels and be able to look forward to so many adventures! A sign of truly being alive :) That picture of the Seychelles is gorgeous and makes me want to be there right now (particularly since I am experiencing winter). You need to come to Australia Matt to experience great wine regions! (I’m a little biased..). I’m actually at one this weekend – the Coonawarra region in South Australia :)

  58. Anne-Marie

    My husband and I are going to the World Cup in Brazil, too! We’re (hopefully) going to a game in Rio, a game in Manaus, and then we’ll go to Iguazu and spend a couple days in Buenos Aires. We don’t have the luxury of spending a lot of time traveling, but we’re packing a lot into 12 days. I hope you have a blast! I know we will!


    I cannot even put into words my desire to actually see the spectacle. It’s on top of my ‘must-see before I die’ list.

    But yeah, I think I shouldn’t do lists anymore. Will just make it happen!

  60. Where can I find a full list of countries you’ve visited Matt? Surprised to see India here.. would’ve thought you’ve already been there done that.

    • NomadicMatt

      I know but it’s a big world and I’m still exploring it! There’s many, many more countries I haven’t seen than I have seen.

  61. Mack

    Great list of travel goals! I’ve been traveling the world since I was a teenager, I’ve visited 34 different countries, but the ONLY thing I’ve done from your list is riding camels through the Sahara in Morocco. I’ve lived for 3 months in Pakistan – is this close enough to India to count?

  62. Shally

    Heya Matt.. i love this list..
    One thing though..The Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) is way way more beautiful than the Everest Base Camp.. You see much more beautiful sites on the way..
    im not much of a climber either, but iv put ABC on my list for next year. that and hiking and mountain biking in Mustang (Nepal).

    hit me up when ur in Nepal :)

  63. Rochelle

    Hey Matt! What’s up? Are you planning on doing a tour in Peru? Because I would be interested. And walking in Santiago de Compostela is in my bucket list; hoping to read more about it soon and I am actually planning on doing the Pilgrimage. Your blog just gives me courage to try and explore the world on my own, maybe Spain or Peru first. Keep inspiring people Matt. You are a Godsend! 😀

  64. done some already and some will be done in the next months. Can’t wait for Amazon and I actually will be in S. America for the world cup this year )) gonna go crazy with Argentinians in their little bars of historic San Telmo. Have another 5 years to 35 … so I still have time… but then again, bucket list is not the way i prefer to live my life.

  65. ps – Morocco really should be on anyone’s list. I’ve lived there a month or so, traveled to it twice in the same year, ventured into Sahara twice, traveled by train and buses through the whole country and spend many nights in the dunes of Sahara with local Berber people .. Morocco is one of my favorite countries in the world. You gonna fall in love with it.

  66. hmmm this is awesome list, i also have a 100 of places in my wish list but no one in 100 places is Dubai and Tahiti, i think you should add one of these place in your list.

  67. senthilkumar

    Hi matt,
    Im an independent traveller from india and have been to most of the countries in south east asia. I love island hopping a lot and the one which i did in ELNIDO, philipines is the best.
    Hope u would have heard about ELNIDO & palawan and i really wish one day u visit there and im sure u will get mesmerized by the beauty of palawan especially el nido. soon expecting a writeup regarding philipines from you.


  68. Hey you didn’t go to the World Cup in Brazil? You missed out, it was one of the best experience in my life. I have done about half of your list: Borodubur is nice but one week is probably too long, the transsiberian is good, India is great, walking the camino de Santiago is a very good experience and backpacking in South America is awesome. And I definitely recommend sailing the Pacific islands and the Caribbean even more!
    But I have never been on a safari in Africa, so since you really wanna be with someone, you can take me anytime! :-)

  69. Eva

    Fun list! Camino de Santiago and Antarctica have finally made their way onto our short list, although we are well past 35. Awesome reminder why we travel.

    Be sure to have your onward ticket when you arrive in the Seychelles. Found out they are not keen on backpackers showing up without one. Not a big deal, but we were detained a few hours and they held our passports for a couple of weeks to make sure we planned in leaving.

    In the main islands, La Digue is the best. No cars except a couple taxis and little trucks for businesses. Everyone rides bikes and the locals are super nice. Stunningly beautiful.

  70. Dedrie

    Hey there! I’m curious…did you book a guided tour for your Morocco trip and if so with whom? I am planning to go this October. Would love your input!

  71. Hey there, Matt!

    That is such a great list. I’m a big fan of writing lists, especially about future trips. I’m only 21 so, as you said, I guess it will change in some years. However, it’s something that motivates me. Having in mind that someday I’ll travel the world makes me feel alive.

    I’ve already written a list on my own blog (some are similar to yours), but you gave me new ideas! For example: Antarctica, the Amazon, see polar bears, discover India… how awesome this world is!

    As I’m from Spain (¡Hola!) I encourange you to walk the Camino de Santiago :) I did part of it and it’s really worth it. Travelers love it (landscapes, paths, food, local people…) Also, I highly recommend you to come and see “Las Fallas” in Valencia (around March). Google it! 😉

    Finally, you should discover Barcelona as well (here’s my university). All my foreign friends are in love with this city. Beach, good weather, historical buildings and streets, mediterranean food, cool events, multicultural environment… Come and say hola!

    PS: It’d be fun to be your travel buddy in Africa, but I’m afraid I have to finish my degree first, haha.

  72. Daphne

    Matt, I love your website, but can you please refrain from putting 35 as the age limit for living life? As a woman I get that from magazines, fashion, TV, dating agencies, men, doctors and now you and it’s a bit like a punch in the stomach. I do hope to do many things before I die, including visiting Antarctica (which is I believe super expensive unless you’re a scientist who goes there for research), and I do hope it’s still ok to do them after my 36th birthday.
    With love, Daphne

  73. Great list and thank you for sharing! I am glad to see Machu Picchu and India on your list, two mystical places on this earth that we bring groups to for transformative travel experiences! Keep spreading the word of travel my friend!

Leave a Comment