When planning vacations in the past and in the future, I have been compelled to visit certain places before I miss the chance or before the destination changes drastically. We are constantly reminded of the impacts of climate change and there is evidence that certain destinations are on the brink of being changed forever. Whether the predictions come true, there are certain destinations where it isn’t worth taking any chances.
While visiting Cancun, I experienced a missed opportunity for the first time that I was aware of. On our tour of the Chichen Itza, our tour guide reminisced about the times when tourists were permitted to climb the pyramid and actually enter the pyramid. There are many amazing opportunities that disappear for various reasons. For this reason, I like to consider what opportunities might be missed if we wait too long to travel.
The following destinations are high on our lists of places to visit before they are fundamentally changed.
This one is a bit of a cheat since we have already been here, however, Italy was high on my list of destinations because it is an opportunity that might be missed in my lifetime. Venice is slowly sinking and if visiting during a wet time of year, you may find yourself wading to see the sites. For parts of the year wooden boardwalks are installed to allow traffic to move throughout the city without wading in knee deep water.
There are many issues affecting the Taj Mahal from pollution to bug poo (seriously!). There is a lot of speculation about how much longer this palace will be open to the public. There are even those that believe that if there is not more done to protect it, it should be demolished. Consider a trip in the coming years if you don’t want to miss the opportunity to enter the palace.
Antarctica has risen on our list of destinations that we would like to visit, and that was before considering the impacts of climate change. In order to get to Antarctica, you need to take a multi day cruise on a ship. For me, part of the appeal to the ship ride would be watching the gigantic ice bergs as the boat navigates the water. For this reason, I would like to go right at the end of winter (November in the Southern hemisphere). This is when the icebergs will be their largest and most plentiful. However, as winters become milder, the icebergs will become smaller. Hopefully we can do this one soonish!
Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is a sensitive ecosystem that is impacted by pollution and climate change. As temperatures rise, coral bleaching destroys the reef. Since 2016, half of the Great Barrier Reef has been lost to coral bleaching. There is still a large area to explore but I’d rather not risk missing this opportunity.
We are currently in the midst of planning a trip with some friends (though it may not happen for over a year). One of the destinations that is high on the list is to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. We may want to make it happen however as the picturesque snow found at its top is declining. Warmer temperatures have decreased the snow pack thus changing the experience.
This is a gloomy topic and it is important to remember that not all change is bad. New destinations pop up all the time but if you have an experience on your bucket list, make sure you get to it in time as it may not last as long as you.
So far we have crossed only one of these locations off our list, hopefully we will be visiting the others before it is too late.