My places to see before I die – by Heather (with a little help from HomeAway)

One of my favourite games is to dream of the places that I might travel to, the things I could see, imagining the pleasure of sharing the experience with friends and family. Let’s face it, at this time of year when the days can be dark and cold, we could all use a little escapism, to imagine ourselves in a place with blue skies and sunshine or at least one that has new and fascinating possibilities. HomeAway have come up with a clever game to help with the daydreaming in a Places to see before you die micro-site which allows you to plug in your interests and see what places you could visit at each age of your life.

To give it a try, I put in my age and location, then selected some of the things that I enjoy such as culture, gastro, activity. To be honest I love doing a whole range of things depending on where I am and who I’m with, but the things I didn’t bother to tick were clubbing (I leave that to my kids), shopping (although I love searching out local crafts), beach (love walking along them but not so good at relaxing) and romantic (although I enjoy spending time travelling with my husband).

Heather's passport from HomeAway

Here’s the link to my passport page

I was impressed to discover that I would be travelling until I’m 82, and why not? My parents are in their late 70s and are always off somewhere interesting, and they were the ones that gave me the travel bug from our family camping trips around Europe. Here are  the HomeAway Places to see before you die recommendation for me and what I thought of them.

When I’m 56 I should visit the Dead Sea in Israel/Jordan

Dead Sea in Israel Photo: HomeAway.co.uk

The Dead Sea in Israel or Jordan

The Suggestion: Bordering Jordan to the east and Israel to the west, the Dead Sea is a unique body of water that lies 423 metres below sea level. That alone ought to make the Dead Sea an intriguing proposition, but its peculiarities don’t just end there. With a salinity level of 33%, the Dead Sea is one of the saltiest bodies of water in the world

My Thoughts: Israel and Jordan are both on my bucket list, ever since I spent a week in Lebanon a few years ago. I know that in the Middle East the hospitality is boundless, the people incredibly welcoming, the culture rich and the landscapes varied. I suspect that rather than spending much time drifting around in the Dead Sea, I’d have a quick dip and then get my hiking boots on to explore some of the desert and mountain landscapes of this part of the world.

When I am 61 I should visit Meteora in Greece

Meteora in Northern Greece Photo: HomeAway.co.uk

Meteora in Northern Greece

The Suggestion: Situated in Thessaly, central Greece, Meteora is one of the world’s more unusual destinations. Famed for the ancient monasteries which sit perched atop its cloud-topping rock towers, it’s a fantastic spot for those seeking a rural retreat in the mountains; and those looking to discover some of Greece’s finest natural landmarks.

My Thoughts: My sister lives on the Greek island of Zakynthos, where I visit her each year. Many years ago, when we were en route to her wedding to her Greek husband, my younger sister and I took a detour through northern Greece. I do believe that we may have visited Meteora or at least some of the rocky peaks and villages of this area, although I know that in some of them women are not allowed. I’d be very happy to go back, perhaps in the spring or autumn and link up with my Greek sister for a stay in the mountains.

When I’m 67 I’ll be visiting Socotra Island, Yemen

Socotra Island in Yemen Photo: HomeAway.co.uk

Socotra Island in Yemen

The Suggestion: Made up of four islands in the Indian Ocean, Socotra is an amazing archipelago; an area of isolated, alien landscapes. Famed for its plant life, a third of which can be found nowhere else on earth, its main island Socotra sits amidst three smaller and stranger isles; Samhah, Darsa and Abd al Kuri.

My Thoughts: Yemen is also a place that’s on my list to visit at some point and hopefully by the time I’m 67, some of the political volatility in this part of the world will have calmed down. I’ve heard that Socotra is one of the safest areas of Yemen to visit and I was fascinated to read what my friend Anil from Foxnomad had to say; It’s sort of like evolution got bored with the rest of the planet and decided to drop acid while creating the four-island archipelago. However I probably won’t wait until I’m 67 as my spirit of adventure may be waning a little by then.

When I’m 70 I should visit Sapporo, Japan

Sapporo in Japan Photo: HomeAway.co.uk

Sapporo in Japan

The Suggestion: Japan’s city of Sapporo is famed for a number of things. It boasts the country’s oldest beer (Sapporo Draft has been around since 1876), it’s the capital of Hokkaido (where the indigenous Ainu people are now settled), and it’s home to the Sapporo Snow Festival, which takes place every frost-laden February. Hats and scarves at the ready!

My Thoughts: This is one suggestion that I’m not really sure about. Although in a detatched way I find Japanese culture fascinating, it’s not a destinations that would be top of my list. The thought of discovering the country’s oldest beer is not especially enticing, although I can see my husband knocking back a few pints, and I’m afraid that I can happily miss out on frost-laden February, as I am more of a sunflower, gravitating towards warmth and sunshine when I travel.

When I’m 82 I should visit Jerusalem, Israel

Jerusalem in Israel Photo: HomeAway.co.uk

Jerusalem in Israel

The Suggestion: Not only is it the capital city of Israel, but one of the most important holy cities to the religions of Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Brimming with historical sites, it’s one of the oldest cities in the world, and known as the ‘City of Gold’ in Hebrew. When you’re looking for a destination where glistening skyscrapers sit aside first century dwellings, head for Jerusalem.

My Thoughts: As a Catholic, I would love to visit the Holy Land, in fact I’m not quite sure why I haven’t already been as I enjoy connecting with my faith through pilgrimage travel. I’d love to experience at first hand the melting-pot of cultures and religions and to feel the history of the place, to walk where Jesus walked, and connect with what happened there centuries ago.

I’ve picked out the places I fancied most, but there were also some other suggestions that I might try in the future;

  • St Helena, the volcanic island in the Atlantic that I’ll be visiting when I’m 64
  • Rome, Italy I’ll be visiting when I’m 73
  • Vienna, Austria I’ll be visiting when I’m 76
  • Knossos, Greece I’ll be visiting when I’m 79

If you would like some inspiration for the places you could visit in the future, do check out the Places to die site from HomeAway.

More Travel Inspiration

A culinary tour of Israel
St Anthony’s monastery in Lebanon
More than Moussaka – some delicious Greek dishes to try

This article by Heather Cowper is originally published at Heatheronhertravels.com – Read the original article here

You’ll also find our sister blog with tips on how to build a successful travel blog at My Blogging Journey

Subscribe to Heatheronhertravels Don’t miss out – subscribe to Heather on her travels

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    November 22, 2013 at 9:43 am

    It is really great future plan of traveling in great place of the world

  • Reply
    November 22, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    I think you forgot and essential thing: “when I’m … years old I should BE HEALTHY”. It’s nice to dream, make lists and plans, but there is more to that, things beyond our control like disease. Sometimes we forget how fragile life can be. Making plans is like laughing in God’s face 🙂 (or in faith’s face, for those who are not religious). I wish you all the best through your travels, enjoy every minute of it, I wish you lots of health and good luck! have a wonderful day and 🙂

  • Reply
    November 22, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    Hi Heather!
    I think you forgot and essential thing: “when I’m … years old I should BE HEALTHY”. It’s nice to dream, make lists and plans, but there is more to that, things beyond our control like disease. Sometimes we forget how fragile life can be. Making plans is like laughing in God’s face 🙂 (or in faith’s face, for those who are not religious). I wish you all the best through your travels, enjoy every minute of it, I wish you lots of health and good luck! have a wonderful day and 🙂
    corina´s last blog post ..Valençay Castle on Loire Valley, France

    • Reply
      Heather Cowper
      November 22, 2013 at 2:19 pm

      @Corina I count agree more – of course we all hope to be healthy and be travelling for years to come. I take my example from my parents who are still enjoying their travels in their 70s . Of course if we are not blessed with good health then we will have other priorities, but we can still dream, read and get inspiration from the travels of others

  • Reply
    November 23, 2013 at 8:05 am

    The Dead Sea is fantastic to look at, lie in and live in hotels next to the water’s edge. Planes of tourists fly in from Russia etc directly to the Dead Sea, so every night there are night clubs and musical performances.

    Only one warning. The water is disappearing at an alarming rate. So do NOT wait until you are 82!
    Hels´s last blog post ..Cezanne and Zola’s favourite brasserie …in Aix

    • Reply
      Heather Cowper
      November 23, 2013 at 11:38 am

      @Hels Thanks – like so many places the photo promises an unspoiled natural beauty, while the reality is something different. I had no idea that the water is disappearing – something to do with climate change I suppose.

  • Reply
    Ian Smith
    November 24, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    I bought 1000 places to see before you die when it came out first. Trying hard to tick them off, but I fear as a 69 year old I may be on a loser here!! I did however love your idea of putting age next to places, that did intrigue me. I don’t just want to go and see places I really want to match them with events. For example being in Calcutta and going to see India play Pakistan at cricket, now that would be unbelievable. Perhaps the Trans Siberian Express in the dead of winter now that would be something else altogether.
    Very much enjoyed your article – thank you

    • Reply
      Heather Cowper
      November 24, 2013 at 10:18 pm

      @Ian I like the idea of using special events to make the trip even more special – I’m sure for my son it would be watching the big match in Barcelona, for me perhaps something different

  • Reply
    Ian Smith
    November 25, 2013 at 12:21 am

    It’s got me thinking too||
    Oyster festivals in Ireland, visiting all the Christmas markets in Germany, the Rio de Janeiro Carnival

    We should write a book!!
    Ian Smith´s last blog post ..5 Extraordinary Hotels In Italy

  • Reply
    Mark H
    November 26, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    What an interesting approach tying years to places. I hope that I am fit enough to explore Jerusalem at 82!!
    Mark H´s last blog post ..Five Unmissable Places to See on Your Italian Holidays

    • Reply
      Heather Cowper
      November 26, 2013 at 9:00 pm

      @Mark I’m also ever hopeful that I’ll be flying to Buenos Aires in my 80s to learn to dance a tango

    Leave a Reply

    CommentLuv badge