Desert - Egypt - Travel photography by © Lola Akinmade Åkerström
I’ve been wanting to participate in OneBrownGirl’s Traveling Brown Girls Blog Carnival for the longest time. It’s a fantastic support network for fellow travel bloggers of color and a fun platform for sharing and promoting each other’s work. The last few months have had me digging out of emails, work deadlines, projects, and other commitments with travels thrown in there. Finally, the air is clearing up a bit.

I love this carnival’s theme hosted by BrownGirlsFly.

As travelers, our “I wanna go there!” list never ends. It seems the last destination we explored wasn’t enough. We want to see the next place. To top the last experience.

To go, go, go, and see, see, see.

Why I love this theme of places I haven’t been and why is because it’s forcing me to explain why I want to go to a place. Not to just check it off some arbitrary list but what about the place draws and pulls me towards it?

Why do I want to invest in that place?

Here are just five places I want to explore and get beneath.

Mongolia

Mongolia fascinates me in so many ways. From nomadic lifestyles and other cultural traditions to just how photogenic native Mongolians are. Those beautiful high cheekbones. As a photographer who is primarily drawn to people and environmental portraits, I would love to spend at least two weeks there learning what I can absorb about the culture, getting to know people deeper, and hopefully coming away with some memorable portraits.

Mozambique

Mozambique is one of those countries that was always fun to pronounce as a teenager. What started as a “funny-sounding” name turned into a mild obsession. Of all the countries in Africa, Mozambique (and Namibia!) keeps pulling me to it. Its natural resources, national parks, game reserves, proximity to crisp clean waters of the Indian Ocean. While I’m more a mountain person than I am a beach person, I can imagine myself lounging for hours on one of its many beaches eating freshly caught and grilled fish made by local fishermen. Spend hours talking to them, learning about their lives, maybe taking some memorable photos.

Malaysia

Southeast Asian cuisine is my kryptonite. I don’t know what it is about the combination of sweet basil and chili or coriander and garlic that just turns me into goo. The country used to be an historic spice route and so with Malaysia, I definitely want to explore it by eating my way through the entire country. Its multi-ethnic cuisine inspired by Thai, Chinese, Indian, and other Southeast Asian flavors means it is richly complex, diverse, and decadent.

Montenegro

UPDATE – I explored Montenegro in 2013 and even had a photo essay about it in National Geographic Traveller.

My draw to the Balkans seems merely superficial. I’ve yet to see a bad landscape picture from the region and as a photographer, I want to explore it through my lens. More importantly, talk about a richly complex and dark history with bright glimmers of hope and that ever enduring story of survival. I do have friends mostly from Croatia and parts of the former Yugoslavia, and their personal stories and family histories intrigue me. After following Grantourismo Travels’ excellent dispatches from Kotor, Montenegro, there’s something resilient yet delicate (in a good way) about that country and I want to experience it myself.

Madagascar

Those who know me well know that I’m not the biggest fan of lemurs. Yes, those furry creatures with yellow bug-eyes that hop along on two feet. Click on the link and you’ll understand why they’re not my cup of tea.

I’d love to go to Madagascar to confront my fears once and for all.

What are some places you’re aching to explore? Please share below. It’s also coincidental that all my countries begin with the letter “M”.


Check out other travel lists in our carnival

Blog:  Brown Girls Fly (Chelle and Crystal)
Twitter:  @BrownGirlsFly
Carnival Post:  5 Places we have never been and why we must go 

 

Blog:  One Brown Girl  (Tracey Friley)
Twitter:  @OneBrownGirl
Carnival Post:   Five Places Calling My Name

 

Blog:  Lola Akinmade (Lola Akinmade-Åkerström)
Twitter:  @LolaAkinmade
Carnival Post:   Five Places I’ve Never Been (And Why I Want To Go)

 

Blog:  Mom’s Guide To Travel   (Tawanna Browne Smith)
Twitter:  @WorldTravelMom
Carnival Post:   Travel Bucket List: 5 Places I’ve Never Been And Would Like To Go

 

Blog:  Inside Journeys  (Marcia M)
Twitter:  @InsideJourneys
Carnival Post:   5 Places I’ve Never Been (And Why I Want To Go)

 

Blog:  Me & My Passport (Natalie)
Twitter:  @me_n_mypassport
Carnival Post:  
5 Places I’ve Never Been (And Why I Want To Go)

 

Blog:  A Day In Your Shoes (Lisa Lightner)
Twitter:  @LisaLightnerLL
Carnival Post:  Our Travel Bucket List – Traveling With A Child With Special Needs

 

Blog:  Traveling Latina (Ana Serafin)
Twitter:  @travelinglatina
Carnival Post:  5 Places I’ve Never Been (And Why I Want To Go)

 

Blog:  Globetrotting Mama (Heather Greenwood Davis)
Twitter:  @GreenwoodDavis
Carnival Post:  5 Places I’ve Never Been (And Want To Go To Now)

 

Blog:  Travel With Eva (Eva Jordan-Johnson)
Twitter:  @TravelWithEva
Carnival Post:  5 Places I’ve Never Been (And Why I Want To Go)

 

Blog:  The Ski Chi Travel Guide 2 (Janice Temple)
Twitter:  @skychi_travels
Carnival Post:  5 Places I’ve Never Been (And Why I Want To Go)

 

Blog:  This Diva Travels (Aliah)
Twitter:  @ThisDivaTravels
Carnival Post:  I Want To Go To There: 5 Places I’ve Never Been (And Why I HAVE To Go)

 

Blog:  Robins Have Wings (Robin Bennefield)
Twitter:  @RobinsHaveWings
Carnival Post:  5 Places On My Travel Bucket List … For Now

 

Blog:  Oneika The Traveller (Oneika Raymond)
Twitter:  @oneikatraveller
Carnival Post:  5 Places I’ve Never Been (And Why I Want To Go)

 

Blog:  Wonderlusting (Lynda Daboh)
Twitter:  @LyndaDaboh
Carnival Post:  Travel: 5 Places I’ve Never Been (And Why I Want To Go)

 

Blog:  Girl Gone Travel(Carol Cain)
Twitter:  @CarolACain
Carnival Post:  Oh, The Places I Should Go!

 

Blog:  Mo Travels (Monique Rubin)
Twitter:  @Monique_Rubin
Carnival Post:  5 Places On My Travel Bucketlist

 

Blog:  Absolute Travel Addict (April D. Thompson)
Twitter:  @AbsoluteADT
Carnival Post:  Five Destinations On My Travel Bucket List