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  • Lauren Taylor

Wonders Of Travel.

It was almost 2 millenniums ago when travel became popular. Luckily for the Ancient Greeks they were the first people to kick off globe-trotting. There are thousands of documents of their extraordinary travels still surviving to this day, telling the crazy tales of their travels, the bucket lists of places they dreamed of discovering, and the places they never did, the rain forests, the deserts, the gardens, the fields, the forests. They were first tourists to see the beauty of countries other than their own, lands like The Mediterranean in its purest and most tropical state, Urbanized and Untouched Egypt, the Purest Persia ever seen and even Beautiful Babylon with its gardens and walled cities, the Greeks understood what travel meant, how we travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us, so that we don't just exist, we live and we love and we laugh and we enjoy, Although they didn't have Instagram, Facebook or YouTube to document it on, and they definitely didn't have a blog to boast about it. And now, 2000 years later, we are going on our own adventures, writing our own stories, finding our own paths, discovering ourselves as a new race entirely, selfie-sticks, GoPros, Social Media and all, and so I say blame it on the Greeks, because maybe if they hadn't of been Wanderlust, neither would've I. But at the same time, who wouldn't want to see the world? Not me.

Yellowstone National Park is arguably the most beautiful place on earth, and although it isn't the cheapest place to visit for a long nor short stay, it is truly mesmerizing and that is why it is at the top of my list. It is perfect for aspiring photographers, and even with just an iPhone camera, you can take some of Instagram's best #natureshots! There is so much to do in the park, even if exploring the worlds most enchanting and extraordinarily photogenic forests, mountains, rivers and caves isn't for you, with woodland treetop and high rope trails complete with zip-lines, natural hot springs and spa facilities as well as amazing food places and take-outs, you simply cannot say that Yellowstone doesn't have a little something for everyone, kayaking the clear, blue waters of Jackson Lake or biking the back trails behind the third largest hot spring in the world, Grand Prismatic just sounds absolutely awesome. The fact that it was the world's first national park still amazes me; It is untouched, with very little intentional human intervention since it was named a preservation site, it is honestly one of the planet's few true natural treasures, and it will remain one for as long as the park stays in its natural state. Anyone with the remotest interest in travel will want to go to Yellowstone.

The further north you get, the better and more intense the Northern Lights get. Countries like Greenland, Iceland, Russia and Alaska are just a few places where you can see the northern lights, which means that there is almost definitely something for everyone, as there is such a broad range of places you can visit to see the grand phenomenon. For those who love fashion and shopping, I would recommend visiting Stockholm, Sweden, before moving further north to view the lights themselves, as it is rare that the lights can be seen from as far down as Stockholm. The Mall of Scandinavia is one of the most popular malls in Sweden, with over 200 individual shops over all, plus 22 restaurants and a 15 screen multiplex cinema, featuring films in multiple languages, with the first purpose-built commercial IMAX theatre in the Nordic region. To make this a worthwhile trip, I would book flights and a hotel for a weekend in Stockholm, and then a transfer flight to Narvik, where the lights are commonly seen in winter months. For those who love sports, in particular skiing, I would recommend going to Finland. Finnish Lapland allows you to see the spectacular Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) for almost 200 days of the year. What makes this holiday so good for sports and inparticular ski enthusiasts is that the best chance to see the lights involve going out of the town on a snowshoeing tour, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling or dog-sledding in order to view the darkest sky, for the best view of the lights. Canada is also an amazing place to view the Northern Lights. Yukon is the perfect place for families with teenagers to visit as it has a number of tours available showing off not only the Northern Lights, but also the Takhini Hot Springs and spa facilities, its amazing and once in a life time dog-sledding and snowmobiling experiences, the Yukon Wildlife Preserve and many other amazing elements of the Canadian state.

Boarding the Trans-Siberian Railway Line isn't everyone's cup of tea by any means, and like how many people detest cruises, many would also hate the idea of being cooped up in a train carriage, however unlike cruises, the Trans-Siberian railway is definitely not for first time travelers. Your life temporarily becomes nothing more than 130 consecutive hours, about 7620 kilometers, stuck in a small bedroom, a few corridors and whatever lies the other side a scarily thin window pane, whether it be desert or tundra, lakes or forests, cold and lonely towns or crazy and bustling cities. And although that sounds scary and boring, when that whistle blows, the doors close, the brakes hiss, the wheels of the historic steam train begin to roll out of that station powered by nothing more than the pistons that have made the journey so many times before, you know the ultimate adventure has begun. 

Route 66 is often known as the Mother Road. It is the longest street in the whole of the USA, starting in Chicago, Illinois, northeast of the United States and ends on the shores of the Pacific Ocean in Santa Monica, California, in the suburb of Los Angeles, south-west of the country. Quite often it is said that it takes 2 weeks to complete Route 66 the traditional way, starting in the north-east and ending in the south-west, however to take in all the cities and environments properly i would recommend taking a whole month to slowly visit every town and learn about the local's lives, traditions, likes and dislikes, etc. The easiest way to complete route 66 is by car, however for comfort i would recommend hiring a Camper in order to cut the costs of hiring hotels in each place you stop by, it would also make night driving easier, as if you get too tired to continue driving, all you have to do is park up and sleep, not having to worry how far the next city is or whether it will have a hotel with vacancies. 

"Stretching over 2000km along the eastern coast of Australia, the Great Barrier is a mind-blowing natural wonder." says LonelyPlanet's Regis St. Louis. The great barrier reef is a world heritage-listed natural wonder that can even be seen from space as an extraordinary ribbon of blues and greens, it is a ridiculously large constellation of star like islands and reefs, all on our own planet. If you want to brag that you learned to dive on the world’s most famous reef, dive company 'cruise Whitsundays' does an amazing job of ferrying divers, snorkellers and day-trippers to a pontoon anchored alongside a coral wall, allowing you to enjoy the millions of species that call it home away from other groups and tourists. Although The Great Barrier Reef seems a perfect oasis away from the chaos of life on land, the paradise that it once was is no more as it was declared dead at the age of 25 million years by by leading environmental writer Rowan Jacobsen in 2015 whene he wrote: “The Great Barrier Reef of Australia passed away in 2016 after a long illness. It was 25 million years old." in an 'obituary' published online.