When you are growing up you always see something in a movie, a film or a documentary and think 'I really want to travel to that place and see it or have that experience'. For example, some people fall in love with the Beatles and have to go to Abbey Road, others want to go to New York as their favourite TV show was based there, and another group of people forget that the Starship Enterprise is fictional and dream of going there. Personally, I have always wanted to go to Australia to swim with dolphins in the sea. Ever since I first saw them on TV they captivated me, swimming in groups and majestically jumping in and out of the water. I just remember thinking they look like they are having so much fun, I want to join in.
You won't be surprised to learn that as an avid animal lover growing up in my early teens, my bedroom was dolphin themed. I had dolphin pictures, statues, and even a huge dolphin jigsaw displayed in pride of place in the centre of the room. I have just always found dolphins to be such fascinating creatures as they are equally peaceful, yet intelligent. Plus biologically the fact that they are classed as mammals like humans have always been insane to me. Due to this, I have always wanted to swim with them and for it to be in Australia. The Australia part was because this was the early noughties and that was the only place that you could do it at the time. This was obviously an expensive and far-away dream, so I realised that if I was going to achieve it I needed to build up to it. To do this I created a travel wishlist of interesting places to want to see and experiences I wanted to have.
My travel wishlist is as follows:
- Go on holiday to a hot local country (Spain or Greece)
- Go to France (I mean it's the closest, so it can't be that difficult)
- Go to Amsterdam (for the scene)
- Visit multiple countries in one day
- Go to New York at Christmas (Rockefeller Tree anyone?)
- Visit Rome
- Drive down Route 66 in the US
- Hike the Grand Canyon
- Go to a Christmas Market abroad
- Swim with dolphins in Australia
Given the fact that I live in Europe, most of those were fairly easy to check off. I also went to Las Vegas in 2019, which allowed me to visit the Grand Canyon and drive down Route 66. However, swimming with dolphins in Australia has never quite happened. I swam with dolphins, in Malta in 2018 and have been to Sydney in Australia in 2019. However, the two together just never seemed to marry up. I finally booked my dream trip to Australia to swim with dolphins in May of 2020, but we all know what happened in 2020 causing that to be cancelled. At this point you may be thinking it is a childhood dream, surely at almost 30 years old you don't still want to complete the list. The answer to that is of course I do as I have dreamt of it for so long. The dream will finally become a reality in May as I have booked to visit Perth and swim with the dolphins. I will be thrilled to have finally completed my travel wishlist.
Completing my childhood wishlist is a bittersweet feeling, as it's a great achievement to have completed all of the experiences on the wishlist, but it does leave a big question mark around what is next. We live in a world where there is so much to see and do and so many experiences to have that it is difficult to prioritise and decide which makes your travel list, or even bucket list. For now, I think I shall live in the moment and enjoy my final wishlist experience. Maybe I'll create a new travel wish list for the future or maybe just a bucket list of wonders of the world to see. Whatever I do I'm excited about it, as the question on my mind is always what next?