I want to literally love you to the ends of this earth. I want to see the way your eyes light up on different continents and how slowly you run your fingers over foreign cloths and soil that smells new. I want to see you sleep at sea and run in waist high grass, listen to your laugh echo off the back side of a canyon. I want a whole list of firsts with you in tow – to follow you across deserts and seascapes, and eat fruits so ripe and get drunk in the afternoon and lie in the sun. I want to see the world but more importantly I want it to be a world with you undeniably in it.
A Lover’s Bucket List is an idyllic travel guide to the most inventive, exotic, and romantic destinations on earth – curated by two of our favorite romantics Madeline Relph and Jourden Bowen who have been roaming the globe hand in hand, delivering us drool-worthy images and endless inspiration.
1. Seychelles Islands
An archipelago in the Indian Ocean off the eastern coast of Africa of 115 crystalline islands. Seychelles Islands feels like make believe – quintessential white sandy beaches and waters so blue one cannot be sure where the ocean ends and the sky begins. Made of both granite and coral islands they host a vast tapestry of indigenous wildlife and are known for their world class scuba diving. Time slows and stills on these shores as one is given no choice but to lie back, relax, and enjoy the view. See their full story here.
2. Cappadocia, Turkey
Lonely Planet calls Cappadocia, a place of psychedelic daydreams. And it could not be more true. The warm rich colors and endless horizons are a home to some of the most fascinating natural wonders. In particular, and pictured here, are the Hoodoos, also called a fairy chimney, tent rock, or earth pyramid. The stone in this region is so soft it allows people carve homes right in the rock, resulting in underground and cave hotels. and hostels – a once in a lifetime kind of stay. One of the greatest ways to view the rippling hillsides of Cappadocia is a sunrise balloon ride miles above the sun kissed earth, there the region takes on an entirely new level of wonder.
3. An African Safari, Tanzania
Tanzania is arguably the very best country in Africa for Safaris and has been gaining a reputation for a must see in this lifetime. Animals which often live only in our imagination roam and run wild through endless miles of grassland. Book a travel safari that will take you romping across this country right alongside the cast of the Lion King. Stay for several days in a variety of accommodations from tent camping to luxury resorts. As a massive orange orb of sun sets over the land one cannot help but wonder, how did I get here?
4. Northern Territory, Australia.
Massive and relatively untouched, the Northern Territory of Australia is known as the “Real Outback,” with 52 national parks and endless array of wildlife and indigenous flora. Many of the iconic Australian landscapes are found in this area. One could explore this region endlessly, adventuring on week long guided treks across this diverse land. The Northern Territory is so large it encompasses two different climate zones from the desert to the tropical region bordering the Gulf of Carpentaria.
5. Lake Atitlán, Guatemala
Nestled in the Guatemalan Highlands of the Sierra Madre mountain range, Lake Atitlán is a massive caldera formed by an eruption some 84,000 years ago. The surrounding villages are heavily influenced by Mayan culture making it a rich, lovely, and welcoming place to pass your days. It has been called by many, the most beautiful lake in the world, and is the perfect backdrop for a weekend you will never forget.
6. Yucatán and Quinta Roo, Mexico
Making up the far reaches of the Yucatán peninsula, Quinta Roo and Yucatan, boast some of the most ideal stretches of coastline in Mexico. If the world famous coral reefs and miles of sugar sand beaches aren’t enough to make you smile, you can also venture south along the Caribbean coast line into expansive tropical forests and mangroves for days of dreamy activities. The area is rich in culture as one of the most fascinating places on earth to visit Mayan ruins. Yucatán is also home to party hot spot Cancun, which can be quite the time if you find yourself in the mood. However, if you’d like to get off the beaten path look for lodging in smaller beach towns along the way.
7. Camel trek in Sahara, Morocco
Morocco is a vibrant, colorful, and endlessly dynamic place at the edge of northern Africa. It holds one side of the Strait of Gibraltar on the Mediterranean Sea and also looks out over the Atlantic Ocean. A camel trek into the Sahara is a must in this region. It is an adventure one will never forget as the horizon shifts before you and the sky expands in every direction – sand dunes for miles on miles. There are countless tours leaving daily and year round, many offering tailor made trips to meet any desires of your choosing.
8. Rio Celeste, Costa Rica
Winding and tumbling through the Tenorio Volcano National Park in the thick forests of Costa Rica, the Rio Celeste river provides one of the richest color palates on our list. This river is a bright electric blue made of the mixing sulphur and calcium carbonate compounds found in these waters. The best access is an hour drive from the town of La Fortuna, and then an hour hike through the forest, to a cascading water fall and swimming hole. This hike is a veritable wonderland of exploration and natural life beneath a sea of green canopied trees.
9. Udaipur, India
Udaipur, India has been called the most romantic spot on the continent since 1892, and still holds true to the statement. Udaipur collects its magic from the centuries of lovers wandering these crooked colorful streets, mind-shaping temples and palaces, and the pristine mirror like reflection of lake Pichola. The best way to pass the days in this city is striking out on your own to find hidden gems still lurking in the less frequented corners. A boat ride on the lake is a must, the view from the water makes one understand just why Udaipur has been coveted for so very long.
10. Zanzibar Island
The beaches look as made up as the word sounds– fun and free and rolling off your tongue. Milky white sands curve for miles in the Indian Ocean, a unique low-lying coral atoll, a hop skip (35 km) from Tanzania. It may be reached by speed boat or short flights from the main land. There are a slew of places to stay accommodating almost any budget, from chic shacks to numerous luxury hotels to kick back in. One can wander for afternoons through the historic Stone Town, the remnants of when Zanzibar was the most prominent city in Africa. You could also explore mangrove forests by kayak, or track down the elusive red colobus monkey. The views, the water, the history, the life, this place is nothing short of magic.