Blog post

AliKats’ Bucket List Challenge – My ultimate to-do list!

March 4, 2020

We all have travel plans and dreams that we realistically might never achieve. There are a handful of countries that I’ve had on my must-see list for decades – yet the time has never been right. When AliKats’ Mountain Holidays recently got in touch to set me the challenge of creating my ultimate adventure bucket list it seemed the perfect time to get some of these dreams down on paper. The question is how many will ever become a reality?

The stunning AliKats Lodge in Summer

Anyone who regularly reads my blog will be aware that I’m a bit obsessed with mountains. Over the years I’ve lived in France and New Zealand for years at a time embracing mountain living and all it entails. As time has moved on my focus has shifted from mountains to parenting but their draw is still very much there. For this reason I’ve split my Bucket List into two – there’s my solo bucket list complied of the places I’ve dreamed of visiting since I started travelling; and there’s my family list made up of the places I’ve already explored but now dream of sharing.

Solo Adventures

Riding Powder in Hokkaido

I’ve always wanted to visit Japan. The people and the culture fascinate me. I met a lot of Japanese snowboarders when I lived in New Zealand and they were always polite, fun and up for a laugh. Japan as a whole is definitely on my bucket list, but if and when I visit I’ll be making a bee-line for the island of Hokkaido where the snow falls exceptionally deep and light creating some of the best powder-riding in the world.

Kayaking in Patagonia

I’m really intrigued by Patagonia. I love places off the beaten track with more wildlife than people and Patagonia certainly ticks that box. The region covers the southern tip of South America and is shared by both Chile and Argentina. The region is full of incredible landscape including glaciers, fjords, lakes, deserts and mountains – yet despite all it has to offer it is both sparsely populated and off the commercial travel trail. I’d love to kayak down Grey River surrounded by icebergs and towering mountains. As a keen glamper I’d obviously have to stay at one of the eco-lodges out there in a cool geodesic dome with jaw-dropping views across the surrounding landscape.

Heli-Boarding in Alaska

Yep, another cold destination! Alaska is another place I’ve heard so many incredible things about over the years of living in ski resorts. Almost like the Holy Grail of travel. Again it’s the vast remoteness of Alaska that appeals to me as much as it’s reputation. I’d stay in Valdez and fly up to the Thompson Pass where we’d get to ride deep and steep powder in the most stunning landscape. Maybe we’d fit in a quick ski-doo trip too? Why not?

Family Adventures

Learning to Ski in Alpe D’Huez

Alpe D’Huez holds a very special place in my heart. I spent two very happy ski seasons here making a number of life long friends along the way. I’m yet to take my family on their first ski trip – but with my children now at the grand ages of 4 and 10 we’re definitely ready. The resort has the nickname Ile au soliel (island in the sun) thanks to its guaranteed sunshine making it the perfect place for children to learn. Most of the nursery slopes are in resort meaning they’re easily accessible and more sheltered from extreme weather. The kids will start with lessons on the Marmotte and Berger slopes..but I’m certain they’ll pick it up fast so we can whiz around as a family in no time!

Yep – these guys are definitely ready!

Summer in the Alps

Despite spending years living in the Alps…only a couple of weeks of these were in the summer months. The Alps are an incredible playground for children in the summer. I’d love to take my family to Morzine to see what Alpine life at this time of year – a real Heidi experience. We’d spend days walking the mountain trails, ticking off wildlife and moutain flowers as we go. We’d spend our afternoons cooling off in Lake Montriond where the kids would splash about whilst Mum and Dad take it turns to indulge in a bit of kayaking or paddle-boarding. We’d also definitely have to try out the luge from the top of La Crusaz, how much fun does that look?

Image: Damian McArthur

Road Trip Around the South Island NZ

I dream of taking my children to New Zealand. I absolutely love it there. I spent nearly 2 years on the South Island in my twenties, I came close to staying forever but then I met my lovely husband! One day I will go back, family in tow and we’ll hit the road in a cool little camper-van. We’d head over Arthur’s Pass to the West Coast, we’d create crazy drift wood sculptures at Hokitika, we’ll climb the glacier at Franz Josef then paddle in the crystal clear Blue Pools near Haast. We’d squeal in delight as we run off the wharf into Lake Wanaka before heading over the Crown Range to Queenstown, we’ll camp at Glenorchy watching the stars as we talk until late and we’d play with the cheeky Kia parrots on the drive to Milford Sound. Days would spent exploring and evenings shared around a campfire telling stories and jokes and ultimately making memories that will last forever.

If you’re looking for inspiration for your next adventure why not check out The Girl Outdoors – author Sian Anna Lewis has created a brilliant collection of inspiring outdoor activities from wild camping to surfing and far beyond.

This post has been written as an entry for the AliKats’ Bucket List Challenge: Blogger Competition in conjunction with AliKats Mountain Holidays and The Girl Outdoors.

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