Antarctica[/caption] Watching the wildebeest great migration in the Maasai Mara gave wings to my ‘Wander-list’ and a new Attenborough-esque adventure to cross the Northwest Passage, with the beluga whale migration into Hudson Bay headlining the parade. Perched high on a snowy cliff marvelling at the sheer expanse of Antarctica (the pinnacle seventh continent moment), a whim to conquer the North Pole was born, thus adding Svalbard and Franz Josef Land to the arctic daydreams. Watching brown bears fishing for salmon in Alaska arouse a necessary visit to their special brothers, the (Kermode) white spirit bears of British Columbia, Canada, and a seaplane flight to a remote fly-in fishing lodge for nothing but wilderness and luxury. And, a recent adventure visiting the cheeky monkeys of the Amazon jungle has me craving a rainforest safari to visit the elusive Ugandan gorillas. My ‘Wander-list’ grows and evolves at a speed that exceeds a traditional calendar year, but while it’s important to keep dreaming and plotting, it’s essential to keep doing also – 2018 and beyond is full of adventures patiently awaiting their tick. [caption id="attachment_12909" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Cheeky monkey of the Amazon jungle[/caption] I have just returned this month from a winter jaunt exploring the luxury mountain and lakeside lodges of the Rockies and Monashee Mountains in Canada, with the past week in Iceland touring the Blue Lagoon, Húsafell, South Coast and Golden Circle. The remote Tibet-bordering Yunnan province of southwestern China beckons in April, where elusive Shangrila and the ancient Tea Horse Road trading route lead to vibrant minority groups and fascinating culture. In the European spring we’ll sip our way through the vineyards of Italy’s ‘Prosecco Road’, Veneto and sail quietly down the island-dotted Dalmatian coastline of Croatia by luxury private yacht. August brings us to the edge of the Earth in the far Atlantic provinces of Canada, where Newfoundland and Labrador greet us with viking heritage and abundant wildlife, and a stay in a working lighthouse on ‘Iceberg Alley’. Canada’s foodie island, Prince Edward Island, and the Niagara wine region deliver a burst of flavour as we taste our way through craft breweries, vineyards and a traditional lobster boil on the beach. [caption id="attachment_12910" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Jacinta in Aspen[/caption] In October, we return to captivating Vietnam and Cambodia for a cultural cruise and foodie experience. And 2019 and 2020 are already pencilled in to see some amazing sights and encounters that will no doubt include food, wine, culture and wildlife. Whether you’re a nomad, soft adventurer, cruise enthusiast, skier, wine aficionado, history buff or simply love to relax and have everything taken care of, anything you can dream is worthy of a ‘Wander-list’. Scribble a few, ‘If money was no object’, dream destinations in an ‘I wish’ column; toss a dart at a world map for some alluring wildcards; scour Instagram for those wanderlust moments; and don’t forget to include your own backyard – Australia is full of Wander-list-worthy excursions.
Small Group Journeys is a collection of bespoke worldwide adventures, cruises and tours designed and escorted by Jacinta Blundell. Follow Jacinta in Profile each month as she takes you beyond the tourist trail. Make an appointment to see one of helloworld travel’s specialists today or visit smallgroupjourneys.com