Getty Images/LOOK
By Travel + Leisure
August 28, 2015

Travel + Leisure staffers share the once-in-a-lifetime experiences at the top of their travel bucket lists.


Visiting Family in Norway

Shaun Egan—Getty Images/AWL Images RM

“Norway has been on my list for years now. I want to visit my family and take advantage of all the natural beauty Norway has to offer: hiking, kayaking, and biking my way through the fjords, and quaint villages.” —Erin Fagerland, Online Photo Coordinator


Discovering Marrakesh

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“I’m always intrigued by places that are hidden and take a bit of effort to discover, so Marrakesh, with its private courtyards, secret gardens, and out-of-the-way shops is very appealing to me. I want to stay at a small riad like El Fenn, where life revolves around the courtyard, though I would certainly want to have a drink at La Mamounia—Marrakesh’s grand dame that has drawn Hollywood royalty for a century. I’d visit Jemaa el-Fna and the medina with its food stalls, spice shops, and artisans, sample sweetened mint tea, and buy a set of Moroccan tea glasses to bring home. I’d spend an afternoon at the Jardin Majorelle, which Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé saved from destruction and transformed into an oasis full of plants and a vibrant blue villa. I also love Moroccan cuisine, so I’d never tire of the mezze, tagines, and other delicacies.” —Laura Itzkowitz, Research Assistant


Lapland in Winter

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“At the top of my bucket list is a trans-national winter journey through Lapland, taking in the snowy wonderland of a landscape, seeing the Northern Lights, and immersing myself in Sami culture.” —Nathan Lump, Editor


Frida Kahlo’s Mexico City

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“There are a few reasons why Mexico City is on my bucket list: there’s tons to see, do, and eat; and it’s relatively inexpensive and easy to get to. My dream itinerary includes walking around the markets, visiting the world famous Museo Nacional de Arte, and dining at all three of the restaurants on the San Pellegrino top 50 list. There’s also an incredible amount of activities just outside the city: I’d love to take a day trip to Teotihuacan to see the ancient pyramids, wander around Frida Kahlo’s house and admire her art collection, and hire a boat to tour the Xochimilco Canals—apparently you can take beers out with you, and for lunch, little rafts float nearby, preparing homemade tacos.” —Stephanie Wu, Senior Editor


Photographing the Darkness of the Sahara Desert

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“I’d say roughly 80 percent of the items on my bucket list are travel-related. I feel like I add new items to the list every week, but one of the most recent additions is to camp out in the Sahara Desert on one of the darkest nights of the year. I want to take photographs of the endlessly brilliant, starry sky contrasting against the sand dunes and then wake up with the sunrise the next morning.” —Danica Jorge, Digital Photo Editor


The Cannes Film Festival

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“Other people can take their hikes to see the Northern Lights—I’m doing a different type of stargazing. A trip to the Cannes Film Festival, with sing-songy French to tickle my ears and Mediterranean sunshine to brighten my face, has always seemed to me the epitome of luxury travel: Beautiful, powerful people? Check. Breathtaking scenery? Check. A sneak-peak at the world’s best films? Check. Glamorous parties, luxury yachts, and first-class food and drink? Check, check, and check. Of course the one check I don’t have is the one to pay for any of this, but hey, it’s fun to dream.” —Chris Abell, Digital Producer


Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp in Thailand

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“For an elephant lover like myself, there’s no place more fascinating than the Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp in Chiang Rai, Thailand. The property serves as a village for mahouts, or dedicated elephant trainers, who work with rescued elephants and study their behavior. The 25 resident elephants are integrated into every component of your stay: they greet you upon arrival, assist you in elephant yoga classes, and are your partners in crime for sunset treks overlooking the Mekong. And when you need a break from wildlife (never!), day trips to Myanmar or Laos are a breeze—that is, if you’re not lured into the traditional Thai spa instead.” —Nikki Ekstein, Associate Editor


Madagascar’s Avenue of the Baobabs

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“I spend most of my time in cities when I travel; there’s convenience in density. But traveling to the more remote corners of the globe is why I got into this business. You test your patience and skill, navigating from one obscure area to the next, and there’s a satisfaction in knowing that you’re experiencing something so different from your norm. The serenity of looming, cartoon-like trees in the midst of sea breezes and dirt roads make visiting the Avenue of the Baobabs in rural Madagascar a dream for me. It’s always been the place that I envisioned I’d travel to when I was older after seeing it in a childhood storybook. Eventually I will get there.” —Sean Flynn, Digital Producer


Time-Traveling in North Korea

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Forget Cuba and its vintage cars; for a real time-travel experience—to the glorious 1970s no less—I want to go to North Korea. Ideally, I’d fly into Pyongyang from Beijing on a Soviet-era Air Koryo jet, see the sights of the capital on a guided tour that includes a ride on one of the world’s deepest subway systems, and catch an awe-inspiring and uniquely North Korean cultural performance, be it the Arirang Mass Games, some of the world’s most musically-gifted toddlers, or the Kim Jong-un created girl group, Moranbong Band!” —Derek Eng, Designer


Hiking and Camping in Zion National Park

Getty Images/Brand X

“My most satisfying vacations are the ones when I get outdoors and off the grid, and the photos and first-person accounts of Zion National Park make me really want to go. Echo Canyon, Angels Landing, the Emerald Pools; they look so stunning in photos. I can only imagine that they are even more astounding in person. The challenge of the logistics and effort required by a hiking and camping trip focus attention and take the mind away from habitual thought patterns—for a real getaway.” —Laura Teusink, Managing Editor

Read the original list HERE. This article originally appeared on Travel + Leisure.

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