People ask me a lot of questions about travel which is fine, that’s my job. However, many of the questions are somewhat repetitive. Strike that, most of them are repetitive. I don’t mind though, most folks are curious about the same things hence the friendly interrogations. I thought I’d take just one of those queries though and expand it into a post all about my bucket list. For a long time I hated the term bucket list. I thought it was too self-limiting since, at least in theory, I want to go anywhere I haven’t been before. But, the simple fact is that there are indeed certain places and activities around the world that I want to experience more than others and so I have, grudgingly, accepted the necessity of an informal bucket list that is always changing. Today I want to share some of those top highlights, places and activities I certainly would love to try before shuffling off this mortal coil.
I love expeditionary trips, whether it’s to Antarctica, the Galapagos or some other far-flung place. I enjoy feeling like a real explorer and not just a tourist and while I’ve gotten close, a true expedition to the Arctic is high on my to-do list. There are many different ways to reach the Arctic through a few different countries, but no matter how I get up there I’d love to spend a couple of weeks exploring this hard to reach part of the world.
Australia is probably my favorite country and although I haven’t been back in a few years, the memories created there are still as vibrant as ever. While I’d love to see even more of the states and territories I have visited, there is one still unknown to me – Tasmania. Home to devils and incredible landscapes, the stories and photos I’ve seen have made this one of my top travel wish list items.
More of the South Pacific
Visiting the South Pacific two years ago was the culmination of a lifetime of dreaming. Of course though, and predictably, it simply whetted my proverbial appetite making me yearn to see even more. Whether it’s US possessions like Guam and Samoa, or the tiny islands dotting the mighty ocean, I would love to venture forth and see what wonders they have to offer.
Doing Another Epic US Road Trip
Last year was the culmination of years of planning as I finally drove the entirety of Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica, California. It was a dream journey for me and I loved every second of the nearly 2-weeks it took for me to venture across the country. I thought that my road trip wanderlust would be sated, but it wasn’t. No, instead I yearn to tackle another road trip across the country, although I’m not quite sure which one to pick. There are a number of epic drives that cross the US and, to be honest, all look like a lot of fun. Sure they’re great ways to see the beauty of the country but, more importantly, the drives are the only way to really understand my fellow citizens and what makes them tick.
While I recognize that this is a fairly broad statement, I always love visiting Asia and would love to explore spots that I haven’t yet visited. Whether that means steamy Southeast Asia or the Former Soviet Republics of Central Asia, they’re all spots I love to explore. Of particular interest is a country I can’t believe I still haven’t been to yet, Vietnam. Long off limits for Americans, those days are now long gone and it has become one of the most popular spots to visit in Southeast Asia. With a lot to offer from the mountains to the beaches and rich city experiences, I understand why it’s so popular even if I haven’t been there yet. Who knows, maybe this is the year I correct that oversight?
Visit New To Me Parts of Europe
I always enjoying visiting Europe but, especially in recent years, I tend to go back to the same places. There’s nothing wrong with that, but there are still some countries left for me to see and I’d love to experience them. Switzerland, Portugal and Eastern Europe have all largely eluded me and I think it’s time to correct that.
While on a tour of the National Air & Space Museum I learned a very important fact: There exists a Space Camp for adults. Growing up in the ‘80s, I remember very well the slightly hokey and fairly awful movie “Space Camp” and wanting more than anything to spend a week enjoying this incredible experience. My parents would have none of it though and I passed through into adulthood without ever having visited and I frankly forgot all about it. But then the tour guide mentioned that adults can go to Space Camp too and I was immediately thrust back to the ‘80s and the wide-eyed dreams of a youngster. I don’t know what’s involved, how much it is or anything really, but attending Space Camp has now very quickly made it to the top of my American travel bucket list.
Trek with Gorillas
I love wildlife, which means I also appreciate conservation which makes animal experiences a tricky thing. Some should always be avoided but others, like safari, are fantastic if done responsibly. One in particular has piqued my interest, observing the mighty gorilla in the wild. There are a few different spots in Africa where this can be done and, as long as the experience is conducted responsibly, it’s an experience I’d very much like to undertake.
This is just a small portion of my travel bucket list, what’s on yours?