I’ve yet to purchase Frommer’s 500 Places to See Before They Disappear, but it’s definitely on my list. There are so many places that I want to go with my kids. I might as well start with those that may not be around too much longer, right? Here are six places on my short list right now:
1. Glacier National Park (Montana). I traveled to Glacier National Park with a few girlfriends after I graduated from college. One word: amazing. Apparently, there once were 150 glaciers (hence the name, Glacier National Park) and now there are around 25. Worse, the glaciers may all be gone by 2030.
2. Venice (Italy). In the last 100 years, Venice has sunk around eight inches, so eventually the entire city will be underwater. I traveled to Venice maybe 15 years ago for a few days. It really is a city like none other and one that must be seen through the eyes of children.
3. Great Barrier Reef (Australia). Time is running out for the Great Barrier Reef. In fact, by 2030, 60 percent of the reef is expected to be gone due to climate change, and by that point, the damage may be irreversible. What took thousands of years for nature to create could be gone in our lifetime.
4. Patagonia (Argentina / Chile). Just like Glacier National Park, rising temperatures (and declining precipitation) in the Patagonia region are causing glaciers to disappear, altering the landscape of the region. In fact, many glacier lakes in Patagonia have already vanished.
5. The Dead Sea (Jordan / Israel). Pay a visit to the Dead Sea and you’ll find that hotels and resorts that were once on the coast now sit a mile away from the sea. No, they didn’t pick up and move. The Dead Sea has retreated at an alarming rate, so now the hotels are nowhere near the water. And, the Dead Sea continues to evaporate.
6. Easter Island (Chile). Located just off the coast of Chile, Easter Island is well-known for its monolithic statues. Maybe too well-known. Tourism numbers have grown so much that limits may need to be placed on the number of visitors to the island. Pay a visit now while you are able to get there freely.
Photo Credits: Loco Steve (Glacier National Park), Trish Hartmann (Venice), University of Denver (Great Barrier Reef), World Resources Institute (Chile), israeltourism (Dead Sea), Nicholas de Camaret (Easter Island)