// Dream Travel Destination...

This whole Big Blog Exchange competition has really got me thinking. Thinking about travel, culture, and where my dream destination would be, along with plenty of other scenarios that make my brain spin. While I know the BBX winners don't get to choose where they're sent to, I still couldn't help but narrow down my top choices (emphasis on the #1 though). There are so many wonderful things to see out there, but without a doubt, if I were given the opportunity to pick, I think I'd choose South Africa. 

I'll admit my reasonings are incredibly selfish and super transparent... I'd love to visit Cape Town, then ride over to False Bay and see Great White Sharks breeching from the water. This is the only place in the world they do it. South Africa has been high on my list of dream trips, but considering this competition and everything involved, it really made itself apparent to me just how big of a deal it'd be to witness. Of course my dream in life is to free dive with a Great White, but I'd certainly want plenty (many!) of cage diving experiences under my belt first. South Africa would be the prime place to do it, too! I'd also jump at the chance if I were visiting the coast of Australia. Two truly wonderful places  to experience white sharks in their natural environment.
Can you imagine being THIS CLOSE to a Great White?!
Dream. Come. True!
Once I thought of this, I immediately started watching YouTube videos of cage diving and white shark breeching. There are no words to even describe how much I love white sharks. Seriously. Planned parties for the premier of Shark Week? I'm your girl! I do wish I had discovered my adoration for them earlier so I could have gone to school for marine biology (It's never too late!). Shark conservation is so so important. So many people have an unnecessary fear of them and all it takes is proper education. With that being said, if I had the opportunity to cage dive with Great Whites, I'd want to make sure the company hosting the dive was ethical and responsible in it's practice. (For instance: No chumming or using live bait to draw in the sharks) Even though I wouldn't be free diving, it would still be a dream come true! One of the most amazing dreams, at that!

I don't even know what I would do with myself if I had the chance to experience white sharks at Seal Island, South Africa. I know the opportunity doesn't expire with the contest, but it certainly gets me amped at all of the possibilities out there.
In addition to South Africa, I'd also love to visit somewhere in Asia. The culture is so vastly different than here in America. Or maybe somewhere in the tropics, with lush jungle and a white coastline? Just dreaming here! To be honest, the trip in itself (regardless of the destination) would be a once in a lifetime opportunity, so I hope the lucky winners soak up every bit of it!

Putting sharks and sand aside for a moment, just thinking about the opportunity in general is pretty mind boggling. 16 bloggers from around the world will trade countries, cultures and blogs for 10 days. You could be introduced to a new blogger here on LCH -- maybe a travel expert, or food writer, or a lifestyle blogger from the farthest end of the globe. You'd get to read about his/her experience in America, and then see how I handled life in a foreign land. I'd love especially to see how women are treated and the daily roles they play in society. Maybe the chosen country has a female president or leader, who knows! Being able to experience the cuisine, entertainment, fashion and everyday lifestyle of someone so far away... it just sounds so cool! 

I know I've asked y'all to vote for me on multiple occasions (thank you to everyone who has! It means so much to me!), but don't be fooled into thinking the winners will be the 16 bloggers with the most votes! Votes certainly help, but at the end of the contest, BBX will choose the 16 bloggers who participate based on their Motivation (in the entry form!) and the content of their blogs. With that being said, it's not too late to enter! I seriously think all of you interested should give it a go! What do you have to lose?! Even though I'd love to win, I'd love for one of my readers to experience it, even if I couldn't! I think the unique perspectives will really make this worth watching.
Even if you don't choose to enter yourself, pop on over and read the Motivations of the other entrants. Maybe you'll find someone who really resonates with you. You can browse by region, or using the search box. You're welcome to vote for as many people as you want, but only one vote per candidate per email address. Each entry also has a link to his/her blog, too! There are loads of travel blogs out there so if you're looking to learn more about various parts of the globe, definitely give those a gander. (Tip: use Chrome as your browser and it'll translate the blogs into English for you!)

Even though I'm not primarily a travel blog, I think I could bring a unique perspective to the city/country I experienced. There are so many huge factors that play into culture and society. I'd be so incredibly honored (and stoked!) to share that here on LCH.

The BBX contest is open until April 15th (and I'll probably shamelessly beg for votes until then... I would just really love to participate!). If you're at all keen to the idea of seeing LCH abroad, you can pass a vote my way by clicking HERE! If you'd like to leave a link to your entry, please feel free to drop it in the comments! I'd be more than happy to vote for you!

If you were given the chance to pick anywhere in the world to spend 10 days and immerse yourself in the culture, where would you choose to go? Would you go somewhere in Europe, or somewhere a bit more off the radar like a country in middle Africa? Are there any specific sights or cultures you'd love to seek out and experience for yourself?

51 comments:

  1. I would love, love, LOVE to go to Ireland - but not the Dublin area where most people don't speak Gaelic and the original culture is diminishing - I would LOVE to spend ten days in the north-western tip of Ireland where the most Gaelic speaking people live, and the original culture is more visible. That's where Enya is from and Gaelic is actually her first language!

    I've been fascinated with the Galeic culture since I was in jr. high, and I would LOVE to get to experience it first hand. <3

    South America sounds like a really fun trip for you. I persona ally would not enjoy that. Lol. I have an ungrounded fear of deep water and large animals swimming under me. I saw a video once of a kayaker who witnessed two hump back whales coming out of the water and diving back in just a few feet from his kayak and I swear that if that had been I'd have started crying. I do t know why but that TERRIFIES me! O.O

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    1. I hope you get to visit Ireland some day, Katie!

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  2. my boyfriend lived in south africa for a while. i basically just feared for his life the entire time for good reason. however, there are a lot of awesome things about it that i'd want to see too! :)
    i have no idea where i'd go, but greece has always been in my mind as a must see
    kw ladies in navy

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    1. I have read how dangerous South Africa can be! Those sorts of things just blow my mind - how a country full of people can sometimes live in fear. I feel so lucky to have grown up in the US because of this.

      Some friends of mine went to Greece a few years ago and still talk about it til this day! Their pictures were beautiful!

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  3. Hey, I voted for you, I'd be so chuffed if you got the chance to go!! Seems like you're doing pretty well so far, and I don't think your motivation could be questioned! Good luck xxx

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  4. I love and adore sharks as well. I think growing up on the ocean and being there 24/7 helped with my admiration of them. I live for shark week! I remember being a little girl and watching with my best friend (who is still my best friend to this day and we still get excited to watch shark week). Love, love, love!

    Not too sure where I'd choose- there's so many awesome places! I get overwhelmed with the possibilities! Haha.

    Best of luck to you! :) Hope you win! :)

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    1. That makes me so happy to know someone shares a similar love! Thank you Alex!

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  5. For me, I'd say my dream travel destination would be to go on a whale watching tour in Alaska or Vancouver. Orcas are my absolute favorite, and would LOVE to see them in their natural habitat. Scuba diving to a coral reef would be a VERY close 2nd - I'd love to see a Zebra shark up close!

    I grew up wanting to be a marine biologist, so really any trip related to water and sea life is for me (no cruise ships - not with what's been going on recently).

    Also, I voted for you! Good luck!!

    - Rewynd
    Sea Rewynd Make

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    1. That's so awesome! I'd love to swim with a Zebra shark, too! I had a chance to hug (and kiss!) a nurse shark in Mexico on our honeymoon a few months ago. I want ot just add to the list haha!

      We snorkeled around a huge coral reef too. It was insanity! We've now decided we want all of our family vacations to revolve around snorkeling haha!

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  6. I got to spend a semester abroad in the Netherlands and saw a few different countries while I was over there, but I regret not going to Morocco one of my free weekends. What a beautiful place! So steeped with culture and different from small town Massachusetts - I think I was a bit scared I'd be overwhelmed, but now I just want to immerse myself in so many different cultures!
    -Annie

    http://majorshenanniegans.wordpress.com

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    1. I was able to visit the Netherlands on my Europe trip in 2008! It was so so gorgeous, you're right! So many beautiful sceneries. Amsterdam was quite the treat, too. We spent some time at a wooden shoe/cheese farm and it was so neat to see how they were all made!

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  7. I voted for you! I really, really hope you win because then I can live vicariously through you as this is one of my all time favorite dreams as well. Good luck Kaelah, you deserve to win!!

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    1. aw thank you sage! You are always so so kind!

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  8. My friend went to South Africa and her photos were so amazing - and hearing about her experiences! Crazy. I'd be really cool to get to go.

    Voted for you :D

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    1. Thank you Katherine! After seeing the incredible landscapes throughout the country, I can only imagine what her photos looked like!

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  9. LOVE this post - all the gorgeous pictures of great whites! I feel you, I definitely want to go somewhere and immerse myself in a culture. I went on a three month study abroad last semester (with Annie actually...hi Annie! :]) and it was awesome! However, I was often caught up with my own little group of American tourists so I couldn't really LIVE there. Anyway, cute post and can't wait to see the results!!!

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    1. You make such a great point - being surrounded by so many people in your own culture that you don't fully immerse yourself. I do regret not taking more "risks" (mainly of the culinary variety) when I traveled Europe. I was so stuck on Americanized cuisine I was afraid to try things

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  10. I've already voted for you, I truly hope you'll get to enter because I love how you write so it would be so awesome for me (and other readers) to see how you experience 'another life'. With that being said, I couldn't possibly choose. I want to see and experience so much of the world yet! Thailand is one of the countries I'm fascinated by most though. And also, I'm coming to the usa this summer! I've never been so far from home. I haven't even been to another continent so I'm superstoked! (I live in Belgium) I know you've lived in New York for an internship and I'll be going there too. I'd love if you could maybe share some tips with me. I made a blog post about it only yesterday! :) xo

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    1. Thank you Dorien! So so sweet! Mike and I would love to visit Thailand (I'd be embarrassed to admit how often we look up flight prices!). His brother lives in Taiwan so we'd love to make a little trip of it and see several countries.

      I had a chance to spend some time in Belgium a few years ago and I loved it! So so beautiful! I'd love to give you some of my favorite places in NYC! Please feel free to email me and I'll compile a list for you!

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  11. Definitely Africa and go on a safari, I love animals so somewhere that is totally exotic and non zoo like, out in the wild would be amazing. However, I also love penguins so would also love to go and visit them in the arctic.

    Ginger Pickle

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    1. Penguins are Mike's favorite animal so I'm sure he's right up there with ya! :D

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  12. WOAH that would be incredible!! Good luck with it allxx

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  13. Voted for ya babe. So close to jumping up to #4 already! Best of luck sharkie <3

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  14. Voted for ya. You're so close to jumping to #4! Good luck sharkie!

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  15. Yay from me, a Cape Town reader. It is beautiful here! (besides the sharks which are really not my thing :P )

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    1. So happy to have a South African as a reader! Thanks Robyn!

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  16. YAY from me, a Cape Town reader. It is amazing here, good luck & I hope you win!

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  17. I voted for you,best of luck! I'd love to visit Italy,Australia or Ireland one day- that would be amazing!

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  18. Good luck in the competition! It's really cool to see the motivation of other and the unique angles that all the participants come from.

    If you want help learning how to travel for cheap, let me know. My blog focuses on cheap travel tricks (how's $100 tickets to South Africa sound?), and I'd be more than happy to help you out and realize your travel dreams.

    www.extrapackofpeanuts.com

    Cheers,

    Trav

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  19. I'd choose Germany. It may not seem massively exciting for an English girl, as it's only a few hundred miles away, but I've never been before and I love the German language.

    Becky
    xx

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    1. There are so many wonderful things to see in Germany! Beer + food at the Hofbrahaus (it's incredible! So big!), shopping in Munich, wine country + cuckoo clocks in the Rhine Valley. I cherished my time in Germany. I'm certain you'd love it too!

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  20. I can't think of a dream destination...probably because I have too many! I just got back from a month on Europe and now I've had time to get over the 24 hours on a plane thing I wish I could go back! I would happily spend ten days in any of the countries I just visited. I guess the ultimate dream for me is Egypt-though I probably won't be able to go for a years, until they have their country sorted out again.

    I hope you are one of the bloggers chosen!

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    1. Egypt would be so so wonderful to see! What an exciting time - a month in Europe! I hope it was an amazing trip!

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  21. As a South African I feel a bit like I'm betraying my country when I say this, but I would never ever recommend going there. Especially Cape Town and Joburg. The country is so dangerous that honestly I would rather swim with the shark, I'd have a higher chance of survival. Of course, if you live there, you learn to get on with it but since we moved I've realised that living scared behind a huge wall is just no way of life at all.

    However, I wouldn't mind going to Aus. Now we live in NZ, it's just a hop across the ditch so hopefully I'll be doing that soon. I think a visit during the winter would suit better, I might die in the summer heat.
    Sam x

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    1. Hi Samantha! Thank you so much for your comment. You raise such a valid point - I hate that so many citizens live in fear each and every day. I know the state of society isn't the best, but just imagine if we can all work toward a more peaceful world! A bit lofty, I know, but the first step is having the courage to explore and understand other cultures out there!

      I'd love to visit New Zealand. All of the photos I've seen are simply breathtaking! I do hope you get to Australia soon!

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  22. I've always wanted to go diving with sharks and see them up close in the wild. I didn't know that they actually breached, though! Amazing. One day I hope I get to see that for myself! This is a brilliant post and I hope you get picked!

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    1. Thank you Louise! You must look up "Air Jaws"! There have been several of them in consecutive years of Shark Week - I think you can find most of the footage on YouTube. You'd be so amazed :D

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  23. I already voted for you and I hope you get it!!! I also hope they see how passionate you are about sharks and make your dream come true! That'd be amazing!

    I can't really pick ONE place. I'd love to go to Thailand, Japan, Germany, Australia just to name ones off the top of my head. So many beautiful places, I want to visit them all!

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    1. Thank you so much, SE! You are so so kind! Wouldn't it be brilliant if we could just get a ticket around the world and come and go as we please?! Tis the dream! ;)

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  24. I used to live in Mossel Bay and we'd swim on the beach in full view of Seal Island. I have to say, after travelling all over the world, South Africa is the most beautiful place to me.

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  25. Oh my gosh a dive with a great white is on my bucket list! I found you through BBE, I'm a contestant too :) I voted for you as well! If I were to choose where to go though, I think somewhere exotic would be nice! Or maybe Germany, only because I've always been fascinated with WWII and the Third Reich. I'd love to go there and visit the famous places where it all happened and soak up the history. Maybe Amsterdam would be cool too, to visit Anne Frank's house :)

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  26. For ME personally, I would love to visit India or Egypt. I have always been intrigued by the culture, the food, how the architecture looks, holi, ancient artifacts and what not. Let's just say it all started with Aladdin!

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  27. I volunteered at an orphanage in Cape Town for a month and as a weekend side trip I went shark diving and it was AMAZING! Keep dreaming and planning because it is totally worth it! The politics of SA aside, I love that country! Shark conservastion is a HUGE deal and I am so glad you are raising awareness!!

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  28. I can't imagine being this close to a Great White! Never even been that close to a dolphin! I definitely want to go there and visit all these places while I'm traveling by bike. There's nothing I'd like to do more than this!

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  29. That would be so, so cool! Top of my list is Turkey. I want to see the Hagia Sophia so bad!

    http://lasaloperie.blogspot.com

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  30. I am a German living in Amsterdam, the Netherlands so I would rather love to see some other parts of the world than Europe (eventhough I haven't travelled Europe that much) but I'll go to Mexico in summer and I am superduper excited about it! My flatmate is Mexican, one of my best friends currently lives there for a year and my uncle and his family live there since more than 20 years now so I am more than stoked getting the chance to go there for almost 1 month this year! Also next year I will visit the USA which is a dream ever since.. :)

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  31. I'm a little spoiled as I am an American and I already live in New Zealand, and will be going over to Australia in May for 2 weeks... So yes, I am pretty much already living the dream.

    Speaking of sharks, a man was killed at an Auckland beach by a great white about a week or so ago here (the first fatal shark attack here in NZ in many years, but still freaky). So I'm not too keen to get up close with any sharks any time soon!

    http://mn2nz.wordpress.com

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  33. I would probably choose Sweden or Finland. There is something about nordic countries that just make me swoon. Between the beauty of everything and the culture, I would love to even spend a weekend in one of those places. I voted for you, good luck and I hope you get to go diving with the sharks! A dream of mine which I share with you. :)

    whyyesdeer.blogspot.com

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  34. Come to South Africa! Your blog is amazing and I would love to show you around!!!!

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HEY! Thanks for dropping by. xo KB