We all like to spend time pouring over pictures of far-flung destinations we’d like to visit; often we might add them to a bucket list of places we want to see. I don’t know how many times I’ve looked at a distant corner of the world, however, thought how much I’d love to go there, and then forgotten to note it down.

My places to see before I die by Russell Bowes

Link to my passport page here

HomeAway.co.uk has thankfully come to the rescue, and launched a new site where you can input your age, country and interests to get a tailored list of destinations to visit. Like me, you can visit the new Places to see before your die site, where you can make your own online ‘passport’ and then be whisked across the years and continents to see your top holiday spots to visit at different ages. Below I’ve picked my favourite five, and share why I’d like to see each of them.

Carcassonne in 2043 when I will be 61

My places to see before I die by Russell Bowes

As I will say of Matera, I’m fascinated by history and this French town dates back to the 5th century, having been founded by the Visigoths, eventual breakers of the Roman Empire. The great towers and castles you see today don’t quite date back then – most coming from the medieval period – but what appeals to me the most about Carcassonne is the Cassoulet. Carcassonne is one of the ‘hometowns’ of this traditional French dish. It has been one of my favourites for years and to taste it in the original setting, prepared in an authentic way, would the treat of a lifetime.

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Basilicata, Matera in 2033 when I will be 51

My places to see before I die by Russell Bowes

I love visiting ancient sites; places where you can step back in time, and in a very real way, walk into a place as it was, in part, hundreds or thousands of years ago. Indeed trips to both Rome and Athens have been past travel highlights. I’d love to visit Matera to see the fascinating cave dwellings and rupestrian churches, some of which date back to Palaeolithic times. The town has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site (always a big draw for me), due to the age and complexity of the surviving cave houses. I think in an Italian summer, it would be quite lovely to wander in and out of the cool stone buildings, drinking in the history.

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Pompeii in 2046 when I will be 64

My places to see before I die by Russell Bowes

I have always been fascinated by history, the ancient world and sites of historical and cultural importance, and I would love to return to Italy to visit one of the best preserved ancient cities, Pompeii. Frozen in time as it was one night almost 2,000 years ago, I think it would be a fascinating, if eerie place to visit. Pompeii is home to wonderfully preserved artefacts, and anyone with even a passing interest in history should find it an incredible destination: you can see sights such as the best preserved amphitheatre in Italy, built just a year before disaster struck.

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Rio de Janeiro in 2049 when I am 67

My places to see before I die by Russell Bowes

I’ve been watching the rise of Brazil and Rio de Janeiro over the past few years, and by the time I make it here in 2049, I’m betting that Rio will be even more of a dynamic, evolving and world-class city than it is now. Back in university I studied South American literature, and to see where much of it came from would be amazing. I’d have to make time to visit the stunning beach, play volleyball (if I’m still able to!) and dance the night away, of course, in what I think will long be be the world’s greatest party, the Carnival. At 67, I think there will be enough life left in me!

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Rothenburg ob der Tauber in 2055 when I will be 73

My places to see before I die by Russell Bowes

By the time I’m 73, I reckon I might just think about slowing down (well, a little maybe!). One of the places I’d want to visit at this time (if not before) is Rothenburg ob der Tauber, a perfectly preserved example of a medieval German town. Inside the well-preserved town walls lies the town square, market place and town hall; wonderful architectural remnants. Rothenburg ob der Tauber will, I’m sure, offer the chance to step back in time and relax whilst strolling through a forgotten world.

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By Russell Bowes