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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

My Travel Bucket List

I kind of hate the term “bucket list”, since it’s a little morbid. I’d prefer to call this my Travel Life List, because I like to live life to the fullest and travel certainly helps me do that. I know I probably won’t get to everything on my list, but that’s okay. In my next life, I’ll work towards the ones I didn’t cross off. Yes, I totally believe that’s how it works and we learn each time we come around. Here’s a short list of places I want to visit and some of the things I want to do there.

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Greece & Malta
If you’ve ever seen a picture of the gorgeous Greek seaside, you won’t wonder why this is on my list, or really anyone’s list. Between the Mediterranean, the food and the people, this is really quite high up on my Life List. And since Malta is, literally, right there, there’s no reason to skip it. I blame old World’s Strongest Man competitions for making me drool over this destination. It’s small, it’s beautiful and it invokes a little bit of Greek heaven. I guess I better get to work on the elliptical, so my legs can handle the millions of steps I'll have to climb on my trip.

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How am I ever going to test out my Spanish if I don’t go anywhere that speaks it? That can’t be the only excuse to visit Spain though. The buildings, the history, the landscape. I just want to wander the villages and eat tapas my whole vacation.

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This is the ultimate budget travel destination on my list. Once you fly there, everything is quite affordable, plus it’s not like your typical European destination. I want to visit Cappadocia and sleep in a cave hotel and go on a hot air balloon ride and take a ride on a yacht. I mean, don’t all those things sound just the coolest? Everywhere else this would cost a fortune, but not in Turkey!

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I adore London, but I acknowledge that there’s so much more outside the city too. We almost made it to Stonehenge on our last visit, but a freak hurricane (I wish I was kidding) hit too close to the city and messed up the trains. Coupled with an unfortunate life choice of one who ruined everyone’s commute by jumping on the underground tracks, there was no way we could get to the station to catch our bus. Ah well, next time we’ll get there, along with Bath and the Cotswolds.

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Drive around Ireland
I don’t know why I think this is a good idea, but the lush green hills of Ireland and the fact that you may just have to stop and wait for animals to cross the road before you can continue on your way just sounds very appealing to me. I also feel like the laid back feel of the whole country will make for an incredibly relaxing trip.

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Tokyo Disneyland
Ah yes, Tokyo itself sounds really amazing, and I’m going to make it there one day, but one of the attractions I am dying to see is the Japanese version of my favorite theme park. It’s so different, yet I know it will probably still feel like home, but probably with more politeness. How can this not be on my list? Also, is it weird that I kind of want to spend a night in a capsule hotel? Yes? Okay then.

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Australia & New Zealand
I know these aren’t the same, but when I go to one, I’m going to the other. If I’m spending $2,000 per person on airfare, I’m probably only going to do it once. I feel like a three-week trip is in order here and will give us almost enough time to see the most important points of our must list. I want to see the desert, the amazing animals and giant spiders (hopefully from a very far distance), the cities of Melbourne and Sydney and try Vegemite (or not), then see both sheep and the high-rise buildings of Auckland.

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French Riviera
As much more as I still have to see of Paris, I also want to spend some time on the beaches of France, sipping aromatic coffee and viewing some of the rolling countryside. I feel like I’m going to do a great job learning my French and this is going to be a crazy awesome and beautiful trip.

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Panama Canal Cruise
I’m not even sure why I want to do this, except paying just $500 for a two-week cruise sounds like a giant bargain to me. Plus, I really know nothing about the Panama Canal except that the views are amazing and it’s used for imports and exports. Can I use my Spanish here?

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Galapagos Islands
We’ve been to Ecuador before, but we went the complete opposite route of the Galapagos. We stayed in Quito, visited the cloud forest and enjoyed a trip to Otavalo with its lively markets, historical buildings and food, glorious food. We also spent a lot of time getting lost. A trip to the Galapagos, while allowing us to view unique animals up close, will also cut down on the chances of getting lost for hours at a time – unless it doesn’t, in which case, we might be doing it wrong.

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The Mall of America
Maybe this is a dumb thing to put on a list, but I can’t help but want to see a place where you can spend over a week in a mall and never see everything there is available. Between shops, theme parks, entertainment, dining options and people watching, the only thing really missing is fresh air and sunshine. This is the kind of vacation where you take a day trip just to go outside.

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Oh man. Can I even tell you how much I want to sit in a geothermal spring and eat cod that was cooked by the same thing that heated the water? Why does that sound so intriguing to me? I don’t know, but the fact that the people of Iceland also believe in elves and I can see the Northern Lights there, I’m willing to try to figure out how to pronounce some of their gigantic words and also eat some gross fish dishes at unreasonable prices.

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Tour castles in Scotland
Not that there isn’t fabulous other things to see in Scotland, but I’ve been corrupted by Harry Potter’s Hogwarts and all the stunning photos of the tons of castles in Europe and the UK, so there’s no way I’m headed to Scotland without traveling the Highlands and visiting at least a handful of crumbling castles. It sounds like a brilliant way to spend a week or two of life.

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Castle Neuschwanstein in Bavaria, Germany
Yes, I’m going to head to Berlin and maybe get on the Autobahn and stuff myself with red cabbage and see Checkpoint Charlie in person, but if I miss out on seeing the historic Castle Neuschwanstein – the inspiration for Cinderella’s Castle – then my trip to Germany is a fail.

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Am I one of those weird people that love Dracula? Yes, I am, but doesn’t Romania just sound exotic? I want to see the home of Vlad the Impaler, catch sight of some wild bears and just immerse myself in a culture that is so far removed from what I’m used to that it will be a true travel adventure.

Okay, so this is hardly my whole Life List. I also want to go on African Safari, eat pasta in Italy and watch the fisherman bring in their hauls in Maine, but not everything can fit in one blog post and my list is forever evolving. I know you have a bucket or life list of your own. What are some of the things and places that will help complete your travel adventures?

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