There are destinations in this beautiful world that are disappearing right in front of our eyes. So, before you miss one more thing consider making your own bucket list with help from Erin Holmes of Explore With Erin, who has traveled across 76 countries in search of the departing wonders.
After the loss of the famous Azure Window in Malta last year, I decided to make a bucket list of all the disappearing destinations and places I needed to see before they completely vanish. As I make my way around this beautiful world, I’ve been crossing them off one by one. But, there are so many more to go. And it seems every year the list gets bigger.
Thinking of doing the same? Then let me get you off to a head start with my disappearing destinations checklist below.
Great Barrier Reef
When: Some scientists say that it could be dead within the next 40 years, taking a momentous amount of sea life with it.
I’ve always wanted to go and this year I was so happy to have this disappearing destination crossed off my list with a visit in August. The only reef you can see from space is suffering from rising ocean temperatures, water pollution, and fishing. All of these things are causing erosion to the largest coral reef in the world.
Dive it, snorkel it, see it!
Where: Israel and Jordan
When: Without a solution, the Dead Sea could dry up within the next 40 years.
Fifty years ago, the border countries began diverting water from the Dead Sea, sinking it by about three feet per year. When I visited you could see the original lifeguard stands, miles from the sea. It was so sad.
Don’t miss your chance to float in the Dead Sea.
Where: Agra, India
When: It is being urged to close within the next five years.
Built in the 17th century, this monumental mausoleum is eroding. Air pollution, shoddy restoration, population explosion, and some three million visitors a year have been impacting the once elaborate and beautiful UNESCO site.
Suggestions have been to close it and renovate it. Which could take who knows how long?
City of Venice
Where: Venice, Italy
When: A recent climate change study has warned that Venice will be underwater by 2100 if the acceleration of global warming is not curbed.
A romantic floating city often seen in movies and travel guides across the globe. And yet the water canals of Italy’s Venice may soon sink just like the Titanic. Building foundations are being compromised and it seems the whole city is sinking. Don’t delay, hop in a gondola today.
Easter Island’s History
It’s Easter Island’s fading culture that may be its demise. The remote island has a small population of 5,000, of which fewer than half are Rapa Nui (the indigenous people of the island). There is some worry that the tourism influx may cause a movement to limit the numbers. So be aware you soon may need a permit to see the islands’ giant heads.
When: A while yet
It may be a while yet, but according to NASA, Antarctica is thawing. Restrictions are already in place to help stop the thawing. For instance, cruise ships with more than 500 passengers are no longer allowed to sail the straits.
When: At anytime
I have ticked this disappearing destination off my bucket list, but I would love to go again. This spectacular rock city is on the watch list of the World Monuments Fund which notes that it faces both natural and human threats. E.g. Earthquakes, mass tourism, and flash floods.
The mass tourism headed to the ancient Incan City is having a harmful impact on this site. Disrespectful tourists are climbing over fragile ruins, meaning the city may crumble under our very feet. Visit, but stick to the footpath!
Glacier National Park
Where: United States of America, Montana
When: By 2030
Scientists believe these glaciers may disappear in the next few decades since it’s already visible how much has receded from climate change. With no cure on the horizon, you need to get to this park fast.
Where: United States of America, Florida
The Everglades is half the size it use to be, which is why it’s been added to our disappearing destinations list. Urban development, intensive agricultural farming, and water diversion have already damaged this natural beauty. Go now. Just be wary of the alligators. They may have decreased in number, but there are still plenty.
Where: United States of America
When: A while yet
Much like Antarctica, Alaska is warming more than twice as quickly as the rest of the country, jeopardizing its famous glaciers and frozen tundras. The rising sea levels are also eroding the ground, so go explore this wilderness.
The Amazon Rainforest is located in 9 different countries, but the majority of it is located in Brazil. The rest of it can be found in Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana. Deforestation continues to destroy the world’s biggest forest. It’s believed that if trends continue, more than a quarter of the region will soon be tree-less.
When: 100 years
100 years may sound like a lot, but that’s only one lifetime. So, if paradise is on your list of things to do, it’s time to book it. 1,190 islands sit five feet above sea level and as a result of climate change, those sea levels are rising. Which means these pristine beaches and luxury resorts may all soon be under water.
Pollution, climate change, even cats and dogs (an introduced species) may see this volcanic archipelago lose its incredible and famous wildlife. Sea lions, iguanas, giant tortoises, penguins—don’t miss them.
When: Sometime in the future
This famous mountain, like most glaciers around the world, is being affected by global warming. If you want to climb this snow-capped mountain, than you’d better consider starting that training soon.
Erin Bender of Explore With Erin is an official Travelocity Gnational Gnomad. Gnational Gnomads is an exclusive group of high-profile travel and lifestyle experts who offer tips and inspiration on behalf of Travelocity.
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