TourRadar Experts Share Their Travel Goals

There was once a man who travelled from Puglia in Italy and over the oceans with a starter for sourdough bread. A starter or sourdough culture is a precious ingredient that allows bakers to leaven bread without yeast as well as impart a feisty tart flavour to their loaves. More importantly, if nurtured correctly, the starter can be kept alive infinitely. Some sourdough cultures have been handed down from one generation to the next and have travelled across continents. This Puglian starter was passed onto the son, who then transformed it with local ingredients found in the new land. The sourdough culture entered a new chapter of its voyage in a bakery next door to me.

Someday I’d like to learn how to make an actual living breathing sourdough culture and take it with me on a journey to a valley in northern Pakistan, probably Shigar; there’s a glamping site called Khanabadosh Baithak where I want to stay. The plan is to spend the summer baking bread for the guests, hiking the mountain trails of my homeland and picking apricots and mulberries in the nearby orchards.

Travel aspirations come to us in strange ways. Sometimes they are driven by a whim, other times they are inspired by the beauty or wonder of a country, but more often than not, they are fuelled by a desire to experience something that is an extension of who we are. The flavours we crave, the thrills we seek, or the life-enriching memories we long to make. To travel is to bear witness to something outside of us while exploring our internal landscape and deriving meaning from the world. In light of that, the experts at TourRadar share their travel goals for 2019 and onwards with you.

two people sit back and relax looking out at a valley in northern Pakistan

Shigar Valley in northern Pakistan | ⓒ Baneen Mirza/Khanabadosh Baithak

Seeing as many countries as your age

“My travel goals for 2019 are to see 25 countries before turning 25. Right now I’ve visited 20 countries, but if I were in Europe seeing another five countries would be much easier because flights are so much cheaper and you can take weekend trips. I still think I can do it though. Last year I managed to visit five beautiful countries; I booked a month-long southeast Asia loop with TourRadar that took me to Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand.

It would be brilliant if the next five destinations I see are in South America. Nothing is set in stone but being able to visit Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Peru would be a dream come true. So, maybe I’ll look into booking another multi-day tour to five countries! I hoped one of the countries I saw before turning 25 would be Antartica. It’s a huge bucket list destination, and I want to go there before turning 30.” – Darshna Nemane, Toronto 

Sanctuary of Las Lajas, Ipiales, Colombia - a Gothic church with a bridge leading up to it is surrounded by rolling green hills

Las Lajas Sanctuary in Colombia is a basilica church and popular pilgrimage location | ⓒ Diego Deslo/WikiCommons

Hiking all over Norway

“The first hike that made me want to go to Norway was the Trolltunga Trail. It’s demanding, but the trail has lots of epic scenery that makes it worth it. After this, I started looking into other trails in the country and have been lusting after Norway ever since. I got into hiking out west in Canada where I lived in Banff for about two years. When you experience a country through its trails and paths on your own two feet, you get to see it in a completely different way. Rio de Janeiro is great for hiking, and I loved Colombia for the same reason too. Hiking is one of my favourite things to do in South America. Everywhere I go is for the trails and the food, and Norway is fantastic for both.” – Katie Stanwyck, Toronto 

Enriching the lives of my children with travel 

“While I don’t have any specific destinations in mind, there is something I’d like to do for my daughters. Growing up, I was privileged to have visited and lived in many countries and saw different cultures first-hand. Those experiences shaped who I am today, so I’ve set myself a goal to do the same for my daughters. I want them to be exposed to a variety of geographic regions, including vegetation, cultures, lifestyles, and so on from a young age. Having said that, I wouldn’t mind going to Brazil, for the amazing kitesurfing scene they have there.” – Michael Pötscher, Vienna 

Kitesurfing practice on the beach in Aquiraz, Brazil

Kitesurfing practice on the beach in Aquiraz, Brazil | ⓒ Ronald Morais/WikiCommons

Going back to a place you love 

“My travel goal is to go back to a place I’ve already visited to explore new things a second time around and discover a different side of it. One place I want to go back to is Basque Country in Spain. I loved the food and architecture in San Sebastian especially. The last time I was there, there wasn’t enough time to visit as many villages on the coast or try all the dishes I wanted to. What struck me most about Basque Country is that even though it’s a region between Spain and France, it has a strong identity that cannot be defined as Spanish or French.” – Agostino Bertolin, Vienna

a car drives along the coast where a solitary white house sits on top of a cliff

The Flysch route along the coast of Basque Country | ⓒ Kiosco/Pixabay

Mountain biking and drinking wine across the world

“I enjoy cross-country cycling and endurance mountain biking. Every year I do a twenty-four-hour race here in Austrailia, so I would love to do some more of these events overseas. Right now New Zealand, USA and the Andes are all places I would like to visit with my mountain bike, of course, it doesn’t hurt that all three of these destinations are renowned for their excellent wine as well! I started thinking about the Andes after meeting a crazy guy from Chile on my travels. He told me that the mountainous region is epic for mountain biking, it’s all I have to go on but I’m going to take his word for it.

I came across the track I want to do in the USA thanks to a friend. I’ve been trying to convince this mate to get into mountain biking. One day, after seeing an incredible photo of a mountain biking trail, my friend said: ‘If you can find that trail, I’ll go mountain biking with you.’ Challenge accepted! I Googled and Googled, and eventually discovered the photo in the archives of a now-defunct mountain biking magazine. It turned out to be a famous trail in the USA called 24 hours in the Old Pueblo, so that’s why I want to go there.” – Brendan Roberts, Brisbane

A lake in a park surrounded by mesmerising greenery and beautiful shades of green

Colours of Patagonia in Torres del Paine, Chile | ⓒ Douglas Scortegagna/Flickr

Living the dream: ditching it all to go travelling

“My absolute dream would be to ditch everything and explore South America for half a year or so. From checking out some iconic places like Machu Picchu or the Amazon to hiking along Patagonia’s trails. On the way there though, I’d love to stop over in Toronto to visit the North American TourRadar team, but also to finally eat some proper Canadian poutine.”– Christian Horlberger, Vienna 

Iceberg hunting in Greenland

“There are few places in the world that look as breathtaking and picture-perfect as Greenland. After everything I’ve seen of Greenland in travel magazines and on Instagram, the rolling green hills and adorable brightly coloured houses, this country has been the top spot on the list of destinations I must visit for a while. There was an article earlier this year where an iceberg just rocked up and blocked someone’s morning view over the ocean. What’s not to love about that?” – Charlotte Legoe, Brisbane

An iceberg in Greenland sits below the mist

Natural wonders in Greenland | ⓒ Alexandra Rose/Unsplash

Reconnecting with roots

“I’m hoping to go to Italy. I want to reconnect with my maternal side of the family and learn more about my Italian roots. I love photography and plan on recreating all of my Mom’s old pictures in Florence. Also, after watching the movie Call Me By Your Name, I’ve been captivated by the northern Italian town of Crema. My days will be spent eating all the pizza and wandering all the cobbled streets.” – Sama Abdi, Toronto

Florence’s iconic skyline | ⓒ Ali Nuredini/Unsplash

Waking up somewhere new every day

“I love to sail and have been doing it all my life. My dream is to go island hopping around Greece on a sailboat. Everything I’ve seen and heard about the country makes me want to experience it in person. I can only imagine what it must be like to see pristine white Santorini at sunset. Apart from the views, I’d love to set sail in Greece to sleep under the stars each night and wake up somewhere new each day.”  Julianne MacDonald, Toronto

An orange sky at sunset over the white city of Santorini

A magical sunset in Santorini | ⓒ Tom Grimbert/Unsplash

Encountering an ancient civilization

“I grew up seeing photos and hearing about Easter Island, a remote volcanic island in Polynesia. The sheer thought of experiencing the anthropological beauty, history and ancient civilization of a place in the middle of nowhere holds a lot of weight for me. To see something like that with my own eyes would be incredible. A few years ago I was travelling around Peru and actually could have visited had I just realised how close it was to me!”– Roy Reif, Toronto

Exploring my backyard

“Of course, travelling abroad is fantastic, but there is something special about experiencing different cultures, eating different food and meeting new people in your own backyard. It has given me a better understanding and appreciation of my own country’s diversity and history, which I can sometimes take for granted. Every U.S. region is so different, and I don’t even have to hop on a plane to visit a lot of them. I have no excuse.

A few years ago I moved from the west coast of the United States (San Francisco) to the East Coast of the United States (New York City) and, naturally, I decided to drive the whole way with my then girlfriend (who is now my wife). Ever since then I have become kind of obsessed with eventually visiting all 50 states in the United States. During that road trip I was able to knock a lot of middle America off my list, and this year, we ventured across New England, visiting Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. I only have nine states left, but a few of them are tough ones (geographically speaking) like Alaska, Hawaii and Washington. My travel goals for 2019 are to knock two or three more off my list. 50 states before turning 50, sounds cute, but I think I can do it before I turn 40.” – Cameron Papp, New York

birds-eye view of Haiku Stairs (Escaleras al Cielo), Kaneohe, United States

Haiku Stairs, Hawaii, United States | ⓒ Chad Greiter/Unsplash

What are your travel goals for 2019 and the days to come? Share them with us in the comments!