Having just returned to the depths of the UK winter after spending months travelling two of my favourite tropical destinations Sri Lanka and Thailand, I’m feeling the cold. It was a huge shock to the system coming back to the UK and having to deal with not only the weather but what feels like the eternal darkness after living in the tropical sunshine of Australia for the last few years. According to the Met Office, this week is predicted to be the coldest one all winter, and after the car doors were fused closed by the cold on Monday morning, I’m inclined to agree. Naturally, once the excitement of Christmas wore off and we trudged into January – the longest month of my life – I started getting antsy. Dreaming of sunshine and beaches, of long-haul flights and tropical sunsets, of spicy foods and stunning temples. I’ll be posting soon about my plans for the next year of travel but sadly I can tell you it won’t be including any tropical beaches – I’m trying something new. It’s a big sacrifice, but one that I’m keen to make for the time being – but it won’t stop me daydreaming of paradise.

Which tropical locations are on my bucket list for 2018?

Maldives

I don’t think there are many people out there who haven’t caught themselves lusting after those pristine white beaches and crystal clear waters thanks to the endless bloggers and Instagrammers who have found themselves on the island over the last year. What you guys might not know is that I was actually supposed to go there back in December with my boyfriend, we had planned to travel there after a month in Sri Lanka after I had read it was possible to travel there on a budget. Sadly, bad weather and storm season meant that we changed our plans and traveled instead of sunny Thailand, but it has only made my need to go to the Maldives even greater!

Pic by Ugur Ozden

Costa Rica

This has always been a dream destination for me, the combination of beautiful beaches and lush jungle, plus some incredible wildlife spotting opportunities, really do make it a paradise for me. My dream is to go there for a month to travel the country, trek through the jungle and perhaps even volunteer at one of the sanctuaries that works to protect orangutans. Seeing these creatures in the wild would just be the ultimate for me.

Pic by Kansasphoto

Cuba

Cuba has always seemed to have such a wonderful charm of years gone by and I love that it really seems a place like no other. I really want the opportunity to visit before that charm is replaced with commercialization and loses it’s uniqueness.

Pic by Pedro Szekely

The Philippines

Another one that has been on my bucket list for a long time and previously I had dreamed of travelling there after I finished my time in Australia, but one dream overtook another and I ended up ticking Sri Lanka off my list instead. No complaints there, but The Philippines is still definitely on my must-see list. I’m thinking a month filled with hidden waterfalls, endless beaches and lots of relaxing.

Pic by Ray in Manila

Jamaica

I’m thinking lots of rum cocktails and some delicious jerk-spiced food, I love exploring other cultures and I feel like Jamaica seems a particularly vibrant place with plenty of good nightlife. Boston Bay seems the perfect place to head for excellent street food and live music.

Pic by Ricardo’s Photography

Fiji

One of the places I probably should have ticked off when I was over in Australia, but it can be a bit pricey and I was pretty busy exploring Australia! It’s definitely one to tick off according to friends who have been – the ultimate paradise and lots of islands to explore.

Pic by Ron Cogswell

The Bahamas

You can swim with pigs here. That is all.

Pic by Mouzo_

French Polynesia

Tahiti, Bora Bora, Mo’orea, Taha’a, the list goes on for these gorgeous tropical islands. I love the fact that these are such far off locations and not as many people get the chance to visit. While Asia, Africa and central/South America are much more easily reached, I know barely anyone personally who has been to these islands. It seems like they’re just waiting to be explored and I would love to share them with all of you.

Pic by Jon Rawlinson

Borneo

There’s something about Borneo that just sounds so wild and untamed. Instead of the beautiful pristine islands you might find in the Pacific, I’m thinking it might be time for an adventure to the deepest jungles and wildest landscapes. Plus, I believe they have orangutans here too and I don’t think I could ever have enough of these beautiful creatures.

Pic by Joe Hunt

If you’re planning a tropical escape this year, or this post has just got you a bit excited about beaches and pina coladas, then check out Destination2 for some more travel inspo.

Tell me – what are your ultimate tropical bucket list destinations? Where would be an absolute dream for you to visit? Where was the last place you ticked off your bucket list?