Thursday, February 7, 2013

A travel bucket list, of sorts

I have fallen in love with all things travel. I crave the excitement of selecting my next adventure. I relish in the ability to research, research, research, and ultimately choose my itinerary. I look forward to the looks of shock and awe I get from others when I tell them about all the things I've seen already or where I am off to next (not because I want them to be jealous, I just love sharing that side of me with others!)

I'm one of the least adventurous people I know. Skydiving, wind surfing, snowmobiling, or other outdoor adventure sports are just not for me. I also don't operate well without a very precise, defined plan in my day to day life.  Based on those two things, my passion for traveling comes as such a surprise to myself and many others. I guess I've learned that much like with life, you can't have it all 100% planned out. You can have goals, dreams, and an idea of what you want, but who knows what will send you on a detour and when? Same thing with traveling - you can plan and you can know exactly what you want to see, but ultimately there will be things that you miss, experiences that you didn't even know you wanted, and you learn something about yourself every. single. time.

My newest obsession is following travel blogs and travel Twitter accounts. I should stop, as it's only contributing to my wanderlust. But in my exploring, I found Adventurous Kate's problem with bucket lists.

I have zero problem with bucket lists (clearly). I've now made two 101 in 1001 lists. I like lists. And this one stood out to me as something that aligned so perfectly with my own dreams for traveling. So, here it is - 5-10 things that are my travel priorities. I will do ONE of these in the next 2 years.
  • Explore Napa Valley. I know, it's not international, but it's something that I really would like to see. I've heard so many stories about girls trips, romantic trips, and family vacations to this wonderful West Coast wine country, and I just know I have to see it, experience it, myself.  
  • Visit Antarctica. If I had a bucket list, the only thing on it would be to visit all 7 continents. Antarctica is the only one left. I don't think this is actually practical for the next 2 years, but it's certainly somewhere I plan to see in my lifetime.
  • Trans-Siberian Railway from St. Petersburg to Beijing.  A coworker shared the story of how she, her mother, and her sister spent 3 weeks on a train coursing through the Russian countryside, hopping on and off and exploring everything Russia had to offer.  As long as Rasputin doesn't interfere!
  • Spend a week on the beach somewhere other than the US. My international journeys have always included constant busy-ness and exploring new things, which I've enjoyed tremendously. I'm not much for bumming around on a beach. However, I think spending a week in a beach town in Europe (thinking Greece, Croatia, Spain!) would be such an exciting adventure. Meeting locals, sipping fabulous cocktails at 2pm, taking a catamaran for a spin, and lounging on a chaise reading a good book sounds like a perfect vacation. And maybe a week is too much, maybe I could tag 3-4 days onto another vacation to make this work.
  • Take an African Safari. No additional commentary necessary.
  • Share somewhere that I've already been with someone I love. Traveling has had such a meaningful impact on my life, both as a child and now as an adult. I've been all around the world but have shared those experiences with limited people (my family, my best female friend, and my best male friend). I'd really like to return to a place that I treasure and experience it all over again with someone special to me who has never been there. It's what my mom did after exploring Hong Kong - a few years later she honeymooned there, and in 1996 she took her in-laws and 2 small children to experience the country as she once had.
  • London, England and Paris, France. I’ve spent 8 hours in Paris and therefore seen the Eiffel Tower, but I’ve never been to London. I’d be thrilled to spend a week bouncing around both cities, especially now that the Olympics have passed. My family is considering a trip to France this fall, so maybe Paris will also land on our itinerary.
So there you have it - the list seems not too short but not excessively long, and certainly attainable. I have to keep reminding myself that the goal is to only get to ONE of these places in the next 730 days... but really I want to do it all, and do it all now. Patience is not my strongest suit.

What about you - would you want to explore any of these places? What would you choose instead? Please tell me - of course I need new places to add to my growing list of desirable locations.

    1 comment:

    1. I've got the travel itch pretty bad right now, too. But unlike me, you're actually going places! I'm jealous! There are a few places on that list I'm definitely interested in (the Trans-Siberian railroad, especially). Two more travel blogs for you: and