Wednesday, January 8, 2014

An Ode to Travel: My Bucket List

Whenever I see a photo of a foreign place, or hear a story about someone's adventures, I am sent there in my imagination. The reality of the place doesn't cross my mind, but rather the idea of the place that draws my fascination and wanderlust in fast. I've always wanted to go. I want to see. I want to do.
I've been really fortunate and blessed in my life to have had opportunities and have taken advantage of them. I've studied abroad. I've been skydiving, twice. I've snorkeled on the Great Barrier Reef. I've climbed and summited a couple of mountains in the Northwest. I've stood underneath the ancient acropolis and parthenon in Greece. I've drank Guiness in Ireland, on St.Patrick's Day. I've eaten the pink cotton candy in Mexico. Sunk my toes into the muddy Colorado river. Drank wine on the Amalfi coast in Italy. Felt the frigid waves of the Atlantic crash across my legs on a beach in Portugal. Rafted down the Snake. Wandered around joyfully lost in Venice. Paid too much for a taxi ride in London. Swam with dolphins. Kayaked in the ocean. Skied down the slopes in Canada. Listened to orcas breathe in Alaska. Touched the bean in Chicago. Stood in four states at once. And I love it all. So many good memories. So many experiences.
And at the risk of sounding discontent with my life...there is more. A whole, huge, exciting world left to discover. Why travel? Because the world is there. Somewhere out there is an amazing world full of fascinating places, people, and experiences.We are all different, and yet all the same. I keep thinking that someday I will be able to visit and do the rest of the things on my list, but somedays tend to turn into todays, and before we know it more time has passed us by.

I know we are in the raisin' babies season of life right now, and taking off on a whim to trek through the Annapurna mountains in Nepal isn't exactly very practical or responsible. I am content being home, with my family, but oh I am so excited for when our kid(s) are older and we can go on adventures together. We could easily decide to wait until we're retired to do most of these things, but life is worth so much more than work, money, and responsibilities.

In no special order, here is my ever-changing and growing travel bucket list. Maybe I won't ever make it to any of them, maybe some, maybe all. But I'll be dreaming about all of them.

1. Take a photo in the Tunnel of Love in Ukraine.
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2. Spend a month sailing around the San Juan islands.
3. Spend the night in a glass igloo and watch the Northern Lights in Finland.
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4. I'm kind of up in the air on this one, but the Devil's Pool at the top of Victoria Falls on Zambia's border with Zimbabwe. When I first saw the photos they made me sick. Then I couldn't stop looking. Doing this seems rather moronic, but I'm strangely intrigued. 
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5. Stand under the Eiffel Tower in Paris, at nighttime. 
6. Eat my way through Amsterdam. 
7. See the Blue Footed Booby in the Galapagos Islands.
8. Travel the Andaman Sea between Krabi and Phuket. 
9. Cruise down the Rhine River. 
10. Soak in the Blue Lagoon, in Iceland. 
11.Take a camel safari in Egypt.
12.See Mount Everest with my own eyes by taking a trek up the Khumbu Valley to the 18,000' Kala Pattar.
13. Explore the lakes, and medieval castles around Germany's deep south.
14. Take a cruise to the Antarctic Peninsula.
16. Spend a couple of lazy weeks enjoying a Tuscany summer.
17. Climb to the summit of Mount Nimbus, on the Via ferrata in Canada. 
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18. Budapest
19. Ride an Icelandic pony, in Iceland.
20. Bruges, Belgium
21. Annecy, France 
22. Spend the night in a tree house (in my home state, even!)
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23. Drive the Atlantic road in Norway. 
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24. Cave of Melody, in Scotland. 
25. Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon Iceland
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26. Ubud, Bali
27. Return to Ireland and take a driving tour around the country, stopping along the way as it suits us.

“Travel, like the world, is a series of hills and valleys. Be fanatically positive and militantly optimistic. If something’s not to your liking, change your liking. Travel can make you a happier American, as well as a citizen of the world. Our Earth is home to six and a half billion equally precious people. Thoughtful travel engages us with the world. By broadening perspectives, travel teaches new ways to measure quality of life. Globetrotting destroys ethnocentricity, helping us understand and appreciate other cultures. Rather than fear the diversity on this planet, celebrate it. Among your most prized souvenirs will be the strands of different cultures you choose to knit into your own character.” -Rick Steves

What would you add to this list!? Where have you been? Where are you going?
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21 comments:

  1. Kelli K (Pretty Prairie)January 8, 2014 at 7:16 AM

    Oh my (this comment may be really long!)! I have had travel on the brain lately and you just reignited my spark for all the places I want to go (many of which are on your list!). The Atlantic Ocean Road and Pulpit Rock in Norway are on my list as well as Iceland. So much of Europe I have yet to explore but we are kinda lucky as Matt's family is in Germany so we travel there a lot and many times we add another destination to our trip. We have been to Berlin, spent a week at a cabin on the northwest coast of Denmark (gorgeous!) and seen much of northern Germany. We are headed there again at the end of February and plan to visit Dresden or Cologne. Next would be Munich and southern Germany or a weekend in Paris. We have been on safari in Kenya and sat on the beaches of Zanzibar, Tanzania (for our honeymoon!). Myself I have been to London & Scotland. We also want experience all that North America has to offer too - we hope to take a family roadtrip to Yellowstone when Greta is a bit bigger and we would love to drive along the pacific coast from Vancouver to California. Last but not least Alaska is near the top of our list too! I could go on about traveling to the south to eat peaches in Georgia and walk the streets of Nashville but this post is already far too long! With this polar vortex we are experiencing right now (-42 Celsius this morning) I will now probably spend the day dreaming away of far off warm place!

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  2. You must do the glass igloo in Finland! Although I never stayed in the igloo I froze my booty off multiple times while living there and watching the northern lights! It is one of the most amazing things I have seen!

    Xo, Brooke

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  3. Wow! You've done a lot of really amazing things already! I would love to try all of those things, plus the ones you've already done. What an amazing travel bucket list! I am definitely going to have to borrow a lot of these :D Thanks for sharing!!

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  4. I am guessing the tree house is in Oregon and if so I am a fellow Oregionan as well! I just heard about the tree houses you can stay in and am bummed I missed the chance last summer when I was down at the Oregon Caves, next time for sure! I so vote yes come to Iceland, my Icelandic travel bucket list is ever growing but the ponies here are so cute! Also Tuscany was my favorite part of Italy, I do hope you get to spend a few lazy weeks drinking wine and enjoying the beautiful views. Such a great list of places to visit, I am very intrigued by this waterfall image as well now!

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  5. B.Brittain-MarshallJanuary 8, 2014 at 6:43 PM

    Reading this has made me itch to travel! I am actually about to be planning a trip to Italy and I am excited - it is on my bucket list. Visiting via #WinedDown Wednesday (I'm # 81).

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  6. Yes, yes, and yes. All of these! I am blessed to be living in France right now and experiencing another culture but there are so many places I want to see! I think there's a saying "the world is a book, if you don't travel, you're only reading one page!"

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  7. #28- tea in PEI with Hannah!! ;) it's an experience I'm telling you!
    But for real, I love all of these. Like you I have been so very fortunate to travel so many different places and see so much of the world but I want MORE!!! I'm greedy for it but it will have to wait for babies and finances and many things to happen first :)

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  8. The cabin in Denmark sounds amazing!! I might have to pick your brain about that! How did you like Scotland? My husband and I planned to travel there three years ago and it fell through. Oh yes, I should have also added the Southern U.S....I would love to visit Georgia or Louisiana!

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  9. Really!? I'm so happy to hear that! I've never seen the Northern Lights and it is definitely something I'm so looking forward to (maybe in a warm and toasty igloo?) Ha!

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  10. Of course! Beware...it's addicting! :) I could probably add so much more to this list!!

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  11. Actually the tree house is in WA, but so close! :) I love Oregon, too! Where in Oregon did you grow up? We were in Tuscany for one day (in Sienna) but I could have stayed there forever I think. I would love to rent a villa with my family sometime and just eat and live.


    Okay if I come to Iceland I am hitting you up, lady! I have always wanted to visit...and the airlines offers free stopovers I noticed!

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  12. Hey there! I know it...writing it was even worse...I wanted to pack my bags and go somewhere! Let me know about your trip to Italy! We spent two weeks there (Venice, Sienna, Rome, and the Amalfi coast) so I can help you out if you need anything! I'm following you on bloglovin' now. :)

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  13. It might have been one of the photos you posted of Annecy that motivated me to add that to my list! :) France looks like a beautiful and historically rich country...how lucky you to get to live there for a while! Do you get to travel around the country much?

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  14. Oh my gosh, how could I forget PEI!! Yes, #28 needs to be moved to #1! Sometimes I feel guilty for feeling discontent with how blessed we are to live and call this place home...but the world is so huge and we are but a speck. I want to experience it all! :) Even more so now that we have Ben because I want him to see it too.

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  15. Oh okay close by then, I am from Eugene, OR :) Yes def if your heading over to Iceland or have any questions feel free to message me! The stopover offer is a great deal I def recommend taking advantage of it:)

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  16. Love this!! We have some places on our bucket list for our time here in Korea. I can't wait to get planning and get out!

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  17. Let me know when you are ready to travel to country #6, that is where I was born! And I went to high school in country #20! I loved growing up overseas. I had so many wonderful opportunities that I never really took for granted. Your post is giving me the travel bug again. I too am looking forward to when the kids are a little bit older. I cannot wait to take them to all of my favorite places and explore new ones together. Happy travels...whenever they may be!

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  18. I can imagine! We haven't done too much traveling but the little bit we've done I've LOVED. We hope to one day buy an RV and travel all over the U.S. then make our way to Europe!

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  19. Kelli K (Pretty Prairie)January 10, 2014 at 11:36 AM

    Yes, the cabin in Denmark was amazing, there are little fishing villages along the coast where you can rent cabins - we were in Lønstrup. Being from the Prairies I loved hearing the waves crash while we sat having morning coffee, then strolling on the beach I found the foggy days were even lovey! I did Scotland during highschool and loved it - but would love to go back and experience it as an adult I'd do Scotland, Ireland and Wales -- that's too bad the plans fell through for you!!

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  20. Korea looks like so much fun! I'm glad you are enjoying living there so far...I'm so jealous of how kid friendly they are! In the US it seems like people glare at you when you have kids!

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  21. You went to school in Belgium!? How neat! We have a good friend who lives there and are hoping to visit him soon!

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