Welcome here again!
Today’s post is actually an interactive planning that we can do together. So please grab a piece of paper, or if you have a bucket list already, it is even better and let’s decide together our next destination.
Why do you need an ultimate bucket list and how should you write it?
Bucket list ideas
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Before planning, here comes a short story – as always.
I have faced a very interesting situation lately: I’m free and location independent and – what is more – lucky enough to go anywhere I wish.
So I know I’m incredibly fortunate: just came back from Corfu, Greece and will go to Tenerife, Spain in a week, but then? I got lost among the range of opportunities that just opened up for me. Really. I couldn’t decide where to go next. I would never have thought before how hard it is to pick my next destination.
(Damn it, Girl, why do you make a mountain out of a molehill?! I hope it will be your biggest problem ever. XOXO your inner voice)
I’ve already planned and organized dozens of trips, but every single time when I went somewhere it was for a reason that was determined by other people or circumstances and not by me. I mean I either had to work there or it was a family vacation and we made this decision together or it was a sudden idea because the plane ticket was insanely cheap – 30 EUR for a return ticket for two from Hungary to Brussels: What an odd bit of luck! -, but I’ve never ever had to decide where I should travel.
Please imagine me – if you don’t know how I look, here’s a really nice photo of me – sitting, gazing at the map, and feeling so stupid because I can’t figure out where I should go. I kept this position for roughly a half an hour, then a thought came to light as a lightning strike:
Great! I just took a quick look at it and picked one item that I wanted the most: New Zealand!
Hurray! I’m going to New Zealand to see a whale!
So make a guess: am I going to New Zealand or not?
Once I’m sure I will. But not now because practicality butted in. So where am I going?
It’s not your fault if you can’t find any similarity between New Zealand and Albania. There aren’t too many. Or maybe none is more precise.
Let me explain. I will show you how I picked where I should go next by writing the whole process of mine with every single detail. I think – I hope – it’ll help you to chose your next destination where you go by reading this post and applying the following steps, so make it an interactive planning process… kind of… just let’s do it together.
The easiest and funniest part of this process! I think I’ve already written pretty much everything on how you can get inspiration, so please read my ‘Why do you need an ultimate bucket list and how should you write it?‘ post and come back then (or check my Instagram feed – and follow me as well 😛 – Thank you <3).
a.k.a. why I skipped my dream place, New Zealand at this time.
Now we have a huge list so we know exactly what kind of destinations are on the list where we can choose from – it’s actually the same as my bucket list, so it involves more than a hundred items.
Let’s reduce it by considering some factors that we shouldn’t ignore.
Budget – How much money do you have for travelling?
Money can determine almost everything around your trip. Your travel budget consists of two components: how much money you have now, and how much money you can save until the time you travel. As always when we’re talking about money, I’d like to say again: Try to be super realistic and keep your feet on the ground.
If you know how much money you have for travelling, try to figure out how you’d like to spend it. Wanna spend more in one place and stay longer or wanna travel to more countries and spend less in one place.
Also you should decide whether you want to work during your trip or not. If you do because you’d like to keep travelling as a lifestyle, please find some tips in another post of mine at the link below.
Well, this was the point where I had to rule out New Zealand from my list. And not only New Zealand but also Australia, North America, some countries in Asia and some countries in Europe.
It’s sad, but sometimes brain has an unequivocal win over heart and wishes.
I dropped out every single place that is more expensive than my home country. I know there is a way of travelling on a super tight budget, but for the time being I have to work on my business as hard as I’m doing it right now, I want to make sure that I have a quiet and separated place for work at any time. It gives me a more secure feeling and contributes to avoid any unnecessary concerns.
Maybe it’s just an illusion because I know I can work amongst pretty much every kind of conditions as long as I can be online, but since it can keep me calm – and it can – I’ll keep this idea.
Time – How much time do you have for travelling?
As for me: a lifetime – or the duration until my savings last, which means I have time for travelling for roughly a year (if I don’t work at all). But I don’t want to plan the whole year, only the next destination so it’s not much of a help, my list is totally the same as it was at the previous point.
But in general, as for most people, you do not have too much time to travel. So maybe you know exactly how much time you have: a few days, or a few weeks, maybe months? Whatever it is, it will help you to reduce your list for a few items.
Next one actually belongs to the topic: how to plan your trip, and not to how to pick a destination, but please consider this suggestion at this stage. When you know how much time you have, try to use this time properly and try to get the most out of it, but please avoid putting yourself under the pressure of time and cluttering up your planning list with too much stuff. Take your time, be flexible and go with the flow.
Seriously, don’t rush it, countries don’t go anywhere! 😉
Now we can actually start to filter our list.
Travel or holiday
They are actually not the same. When you are on a holiday, you can only chill out, enjoy yourself, the country and everything around you. It’s absolutely about recharging yourself.
When you have to work while you are travelling, it’s not a holiday. Although it depends how much time you have to spend with working, if it’s more than 2-3 hours a day, it’s not a holiday – in my opinion.
I’ll have to manage my businesses while I’m on the road and it’ll be about 20 hours a week – at least, but it will likely be more. It’ll determine some things, for example, I’ll have to be available online and because of skype meetings I need a good wifi connection. It’s very annoying if you have to repeat every single thing at least twice because of your online availability is not stable. You can find out how is the wifi connection in a country by using Nomad List.
Useful tip: do not try to mix them up, especially when you are travelling with a companion. I tried it in three different ways, but it always ended up with disappointment. And it’s bound to happen.
- scenario: you are working while the other person is taking a rest -> you can’t take your rest so you’ll be tired.
- scenario: they are waiting for you and doing exactly nothing while you are working -> they’ll feel it as wasting their time.
- scenario: they are doing something fun and organizing a program without you because you have to work -> you’ll be disappointed because you missed that activity.
What are you up to?
It is the time to decide what kind of activities you are looking for. So, what kind of adventures do you want to have? Do you want to have a holiday when you’re shopping all day, or just chilling on the beach, or wanna have your craziest and most adventurous trip you’ve ever had? Your choice will determine the ideal characteristic of your next destination.
Although I really like big city life, visiting museums and wander around popular tourist attractions, this time I’d prefer to be somewhere in a silent place, where I can be mainly alone and where easily access nature and it’d be also amazing if this place was near the sea or the ocean – I could go climbing, diving and hiking. So I can reduce my list by throwing out some big cities such as London or Saint Petersburg and can also remove countries which have not sea or ocean.
If you are not sure about what kind of activities you can do in a place, you can check them by using TripAdvisor. I always use it to get to know more about a country or a city. It has a huge database. Really useful.
Other things that also help you to find the best place
Visa – it will definitely determine whether you can go to a country or not. Although I’ve never ever heard from anyone that they couldn’t get their visa, it’s not surefire to get it, so it’s better to settle this one, before you book anything.
Time zones – in general, it is not an issue for everyone, but now I have a big project with a very new client, and I should be accessible online and also by phone most of the time, hence I try to avoid being in a very different time zone. So my list is getting tighter again by removing these areas: Asia, South- and Central America, Africa.
I couldn’t find any other reason why I cannot travel elsewhere from my list, but you might find. Jump back on nomadlist.com, where you can check what kind of filters they have which you can sort by countries. Just an idea, but it may help.
Almost ready – hold on!
The final list
After considering everything here it is the list of the 6 places that I still have. Try to reduce your list up to 10 items.
- Crete Island, Greece
- The Azores, Portugal
So why did I finally vote for Albania? Although each of these places meets all my requirements and I really want to visit all of them once, I find Albania the most interesting, the most affordable and it was the country which could impress me the most when I read about it and saw some photos of it.
Maybe my brain has some small victories, but my heart makes the final decision.
I hope you can also figure out your next stop.
If you have anything else that you feel useful regarding picking the ideal destination, just let us know in the comment section below.