Blog Words : Alastair Humphreys | 07 March

The 10 best places I have never been to

List blogs are generally an excuse for the author to show off about something or other... Not this one

Today I am writing more of a wish list or a To Do list: the places that I have not been to but which I really, really want to get to one day. We all have those exotic places we yearn for, our own personal Timbuktus. Here are mine:

1. The Australian Outback

Inspired by John Muir's epic walk there and tantalising routes such as the Canning Stock Route, I am desperate for that red earth and vast skies.

2. The Empty Quarter

Another desert choice, but a very different desert. Spanning Yemen, Oman and Saudi Arabia, this is Thesiger's desert. A harsh, beautiful proving ground.

3. Antarctica

The only continent I have not visited. Pristine (except for the massive American base and gift shop at the South Pole). Increasing numbers of cruise ships and adventure tourists, plus now being able to look at Antarctica on Google Street View mean that I need to get there (and away from the crowded spots there) before my dream landscape fades to disillusionment in my mind.

4. Mali, and West Africa in general

I have spent a couple of years in Africa but virtually none of that has been in West Africa which is so different to the rest of the continent.

5. Iran

I spent 6 weeks once trying to persuade Iranian border officials to let me in. They declined. So this gracious, beautiful country with such a critical geopolitical role to play in the next few years remains on my wish list.

6. Afghanistan

Years ago I set off on a journey to Afghanistan. Before I reached the border 9/11 happened and the world changed. One day, one day...

7. Norway

I love mountains, rivers, and fjords. But I've never been to Norway. This must change! It's only a couple of hours away.

8. Easter Island

But only if I could arrive there by sailing boat. Flying to Easter Island seems to totally remove its aura of extraordinary isolation. The folly of man and thousands of miles of empty ocean all around.

9. The wide-open, empty parts of America

Kerouac and Steinbeck. Monument Valley dawns and deserted late-night roadside diners, stewed coffee and faded waitresses with life stories to tell.

10. Oh, I'd quite like to go to Timbuktu as well...