My Nature-Inspired Travel Wish List

All the major publications are putting out lists of recommended places to visit next year and I figured Nature Traveler should also join in the fun. I’ve had an incredible year, visiting six new countries and checking off more states in my quest to get to all 50. Some recent highlights include Mississippi river cruising on the American Duchess, exploring Canada’s Paris of the Prairies, eating deliciously spicy food in Thailand, cruising the Norwegian fjords, canoeing in Molokai, visiting America’s Serengeti in Yellowstone, road tripping through Iceland (in the winter!), and castle hopping in Spain.

I have no idea what the new year will bring, but I am hoping to do a lot more traveling, and get even more assignments (especially in my dream publications). Here’s my nature inspired list of all the places I want to experience in the coming year.

1) Grand Canyon, Arizona

Grand Canyon
Visit @grandcanyonnps on Instagram

Every year I like to visit at least one National Park. In 2018, it was the mighty Yellowstone and two years before my husband and I road tripped through Utah’s National Parks. In 2019, we are headed to the Grand Canyon in the spring. I am ready to be awed by the grandest of America’s natural temples. (Fun Fact: There’s even a rock formation in the Canyon called the Vishnu Temple).

2) Baja California, Mexico

Visit @golapaz on Instagram

I really, really, really want to swim with whale sharks in the Sea of Cortez, considered the richest body of water in the entire world.  

3) Maritime Canada

Maritime Canada
Visit @newfoundlandlabrador on Instagram

Ever since my visit to Saskatoon last year, I’ve been itching to return to Canada. What better way than to see its easterly provinces of Quebec and Newfoundland & Labrador, which are abundant with natural wonders and wildlife. 

4) Patagonia, South America

Visit @torresdelpainenp on Instagram

Patagonia is the place to go for nature lovers. It boasts stunning vistas at every turn, towering snow covered mountains, and lakes in varying shades of blue, not to mention the adorable Magellanic penguins, guanacos, seals and sea lions.

5) Northern Territories, Australia

Visit @exploreuluru on Instagram

I was fortunate enough to spend three amazing weeks traveling all over Eastern Australia back in 2014. I can’t wait to return to the land Down Under to explore other parts. This time, I am keen on seeing the Northern Territories and the mystical Uluru.

6) Thailand

Visit @thailandinsider on Instagram

One can never get enough of Thailand. From its gilded temples and ancient ruins,  incredibly friendly people to breathtaking islands, the Land of Smiles is a gem worth visiting again and again. Personally, I’d go back just for the sizzling hot food…and the massages.

7) Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls
Visit @niagarafallsusa on Instagram

It’s one of the most beautiful natural wonders in North America and I have yet to see it. Given that I live in New York, I really don’t have an excuse. It’s time.

8) Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Visit @iamsterdam on Instagram

Ahh, the canals, the bikes, the architecture, the world class museums, the windmills— the 1,000 year old Dutch Capital has been calling my name for sometime now, and I am happy to have booked our flights for our European rail tour for September.  

9)  Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Bora Bora
Visit @visit_borabora on Instagram

I can’t remember how many years ago that I added this to my wishlist, and it still remains at the top. I can just picture myself snorkeling in the famous Bora Bora blue green lagoon surrounded by rays, colorful fish, and reef sharks.  

10) Switzerland


I’ve lived in the United States nearly 20 years, but I still watch and love Bollywood films. If there’s ever a constant in these movies, it’s the vivacious song-and-dance sequences set in exotic locales, especially the Swiss Alps. I’ve been wanting to visit this paradise since I first saw Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge.

Published by Lavanya

Lavanya Sunkara is a writer, animal lover, and globetrotter based in New York City. She has written for The New York Times, Fodor’s, Architectural Digest, Shermans Travel, The Dodo, and many more in a career spanning eight years. She covers travel, eco-lifestyle, culture, pets, and wildlife conservation.

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