Top Ten Travel Wishlist

Let's start off my travel blog with some goals - here are the ten places I'd most like to visit within my lifetime, as of this Saturday afternoon:

image by ayman_ay17

I'm almost scared to type this, as if it will slip away or self-destruct as soon as the words are saved to this blog.  But I've bought my airfare for Egypt!  My former roommate, Kate, is currently working there, so (our mutual friend and roommate) Lis and I hatched a plot to go and visit her over spring break.  It's a trip I've dreamed about since the age of seven, when I wanted to be an Egyptologist.  I always figured it was something that would happen "later", especially after the Arab Spring.  Instead, we're making plans for Cairo, Giza, and Luxor, and I am simply too excited to write any more.

image by beckstei

This is the trip I've actually been saving up for over the past three years, and I feel a little guilty that my Egypt trip will take away from what I should have been able to save for Brazil.  But this trip would cover two travel wishes.  The first is to attend a World Cup, and where better to do so than Brazil, especially seeing that the next two cups will be held in Russia and Qatar.  The second is to see Brazil itself.  My father's family lived in Rio for several years when he was a child, and I've always been intrigued by it - souvenirs, old pictures and postcards, and stories from my father and aunts.

image by Douglas Griffin

I've had my Scotland trip planned out for years now, but other trips keep pre-empting it for various reasons.  I'd start in Edinburgh, and do a northerly loop, up to Inverness and across to the Isle of Skye, before heading down toward Glasgow.  Aside from the gorgeous scenery, Scotland holds an interest for me for personal reasons as well.  I was seriously into genealogy a few years back, and while my family is as boring, WASPy American as they come, my most recent (1830s) immigrant ancestors were from Scotland. I've tracked down a cemetery where a few of their family members are supposedly buried and would love to get a chance to see it myself.

image by F H Mira

This is a fairly recent wish, inspired by Pinterest.  I found myself drawn to the gorgeous light in pictures of Portugal (given, all Pinterest travel shots glow with "magic hour" lighting, and the help of expensive lenses and photoshop).  My parents spent part of their honeymoon there and loved it - it was more remote, and at the time, cheaper than Spain.  Its size would make it easy to travel in about three weeks, and the different regions look like they'd provide enough variety to keep you enchanted at every turn.

image by marcp_dmoz

I actually have three separate trips I'd love to take in Spain - a week in Madrid, with small side trips, two weeks in Northern Spain, and two weeks in Southern Spain.  My parents have done all three at this point - thirty years apart - and all look interesting.  As a fan of Real Madrid, I'd also love to get the chance to see my team play in their own stadium, the Santiago Bernabeu.  And while I'd avoid Camp Nou, I would quite like to see Gaudi's Barcelona.

image by Andras Jancsik

Southern Italy
Of course, I'd love to go back, but I've seen a good deal of Northern Italy.  Aside from spending a long weekend in Florence, to give the Uffizi the attention it deserves, or a trip up to Milan and the Lakes, I'd love to concentrate on the Amalfi coast next time I visit.  Positano is a place I've wanted to visit ever since repeatedly watching seeing 'Only You' as a teen.  I'd probably spend more time in Rome as well (though I've been twice, there's a ton of things I missed), but those amazing views of the Tyrrhenian are something I definitely want to experience in this lifetime.

image by Apel.les

Greece and Turkey
I would love to take a week or so to travel around Greece (see Athens, Cape Sounion, Delphi, Meteora), then set off on a cruise of the Greek Islands.  The ideal would be to cover a bit of Turkey as well while cruising - Ephesus, Troy, and Istanbul, specifically.

image by paul bica

New Zealand
This is a trip I actually had the opportunity to take and couldn't.  Aforementioned Kate is an Aussie who married her Kiwi partner, Simon, in New Zealand this past January.  In hindsight, it wouldn't have worked out - at the time I had no money, by January I had a job and no leave.  But it's a place I've wanted to visit since watching 'Lord of the Rings', plus every person I've talked to who has been there raves about it.  A week for the northern island and two for the southern would be perfect.

image by Carmelo Aquilina

Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia is another relatively recent addition to the list.  While part of me thinks India (the Taj Mahal!) or Sri Lanka (I could stay with my aunt's family) would make more sense, the beaches, sights, and low cost of Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos make them really appealing.  I'd love to take six weeks to backpack around.  Angkor Wat has been a place I've wanted to see since it featured on the GeoSafari games that were in every early 90s classroom (I was ace at that game, and Oregon Trail). 

image by gigilivorno

All 50 States
Currently, I'm at 38 of 50 on my list of states visited.  And while traveling to be able to say you did something is a dumb reason to travel, I would like to complete my list.  I figure it will take me about six trips to do the remaining states justice - naturally, Alaska and Hawaii are full trips in themselves.  My brother currently lives in Oregon, a place I'd love to visit.  Everything else will be tricky - I'm thinking a major midwest roadtrip would knock off the Dakotas, Nebraska, and Kansas (maybe even New Mexico).  I'd pop over into Wyoming and Colorado as well, to get to see parts of those states which I have yet to visit.  Idaho will be the toughest, I have a feeling.

There are others, of course, like India, Eastern Europe, the south of France, and Peru.  But I think ten is a good place to start.


  1. Going to the 2014 World Cup was on my Bucket List, too! Actually, seeing three World Cup tournaments in my lifetime is the overall goal. I was inspired to do this after meeting a 60-year-old Vietnam War vet I met in Belize years ago who went to three himself (mainly in the 1960s & 1970s when it was a bit more affordable).

    Anyway, one World Cup down and two more to go! Crossing my fingers that the United States gets to host the 2026 World Cup to help make my goal a bit easier to achieve.


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