My Travel Wish List

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travel-wishlist_gratisogrpahy

I have been fortunate enough to have visited many places on my travel wish list. Switzerland? Done. New York City? Been there, want to go back. Bruges? You bet! Scotland and Germany? Yes, and multiple times, too.

You’ll notice that most of those places have been on the European continent. While I still have places in Europe I want to visit, I am branching out and, er, lengthening the size of my list. It’s a list that I never stop adding to, but I am determined to visit all of the places on it one day (I say that a lot…“one day”). Below, I have compiled just eight of those places I want to see and experience…one day.

1- Japan

If you asked me what my trip of a lifetime would be, my answer would be Japan. I have wanted to travel to Japan since I was 9-years old. My grandparents were billets for two Japanese students and they both liked hanging out with me because, well, I was a kid and I think I was less intimidating to practice their English with. Or maybe they just thought I was cool and super interesting 😉

Kazuko and Koniko were polite, kind and fun and they taught me origami and told me all sorts of things about their home country. As a kid, I was fascinated and that fascination continued into my teen years and adulthood. To be honest, a trip to Japan has been long overdue. I made it a goal to visit before I was 30. That didn’t happen. But, little by little, I am convincing the huz that it’s a place worth going to.

Now, I say “convince” because Japan freaks him out a little bit—mostly the obvious bit of, “Help, I don’t speak Japanese!” Well, neither do I and, yes, that freaks me out a little bit, too. But, we have been to non-English speaking places plenty of times and have made it in and out alive and well, so I think we can tackle Japan. It’s a completely different animal, yes, but one that I feel I have mentally prepped for over many years.

Where would I want to go? Well, the Hokkaido region interests me a lot and, of course, so does Kyoto and Tokyo. I would like to visit Hiroshima. Heck, I would even be tempted by one of the two Disney parks (I’m the worst). I really have no idea if I would ever go back to Japan, so I would want to take in as much of the country as I could. I feel a trip is brewing, but I can’t say when for sure it’ll happen. But, it definitely will.

photo credit: kinpi3 Jingu-Koji, Atsuta-ku, Nagoya via photopin (license)

2- Jungfrau, Switzerland

Why, yes, I have already been to Switzerland, but, by golly, do I want to go back. I first visited in 2008. We spent a few hours in Lucerne before bussing off to Engelberg for the remainder of the stay. I remember feeling super safe wandering the streets alone at 9pm and also pondering buying a Swiss Army knife (I didn’t…I should have).

I really fell in love with the country. Maybe it was because I was feeling a bit homesick and was really jonesing for mountains, but the landscapes are goregous and, man oh man, everything is just perfect and beautiful. It’s really expensive there, though, which is the main drawback, but I just know that I will have to save my money hard should I ever return! Sorry…WHEN I return.

The huz loves railways and steam engines, so when he read up on the Jungfrau railway—which runs to Jungfraujoch station, the highest in Europe—he was like, “We need to go to there.” Hey, if it’s in Switzerland and in and around mountains, count me in. I don’t think we’ll have the time to do it this year, but it’s going to happen sooner than later, I hope! I miss you, Switzerland.

photo credit: Matts__Pics The Three Sisters via photopin (license)

3- Iceland

All right, I really have no idea how I have never been to Iceland. Seriously…how?! I watch a lot of travel and food programs, and every time there’s an Iceland feature it just makes me want to go there even more. What a funky, beautiful and unique place. Well, that’s the vibe I get from it. I need to go and confirm this to be true!

Again, I have been told that it is expensive there, but I think even my cheapass self would say, “To heck with it!” and just throw my hard earned cash into all sorts of things. Some of my friends have been talking about going there together, renting a car and driving around the entire country. Why the heck not? It’s a dang island!

Adding further fuel to the fire was this amazing video shot by one of my favourite videographers on YouTube (he mostly does nerdy videos, so if that’s not your thing then just check out the very few travel vids he’s put out). It showcases Iceland in the summer, which is probably when I would prefer to visit—because I’m a wimp.

Iceland, I have my eye on you. I hope to be among your nutty Viking brethren soon!

photo credit: Robert Schöller Svartifoss – closeup via photopin (license)

4- San Francisco

I used to live a 2.5 hour plane ride from California (the southern bit if you want to be specific). I have been to the state many times, but mostly to visit a, um, well-known theme park.

Yes, I’ve been to Anaheim and San Diego a fair few times, but I have never visited a California city to simply enjoy the city. I’ve also never been to Northern California. San Francisco is one of those places where I’m in no rush to visit, but would really like to get there at some point.

I really do like California. It appeals more to me than, say, Florida. When I lived in BC, it really wasn’t a stretch to plan a trip and jet off. Now that I’m a teensy bit further away (there’s an understatement), getting there will be more of a challenge. However, I am planning to go back next year—um, to the aforementioned theme park. I don’t know if we’ll have time to visit San Francisco, but hey, now that I’ve just put that thought into my head it’s something to think about!

photo credit: davidyuweb A day in San Francisco via photopin (license)

5- Montreal

When people interested in travelling to Canada ask me where they should go, I genuinely struggle to answer. The main reason is because I haven’t seen a whole lot of my own country! I’ve flown into Toronto Pearson, but never went to the city itself. I have only been as far north as Prince George in British Columbia and the furthest east I’ve been is southern Ontario. Shameful.

I tend to say to people, “Look, I hear Montreal is really nice and definitely worth visiting”, but I don’t like making a recommendation when I haven’t experienced the thing or place for myself. Anyway, for that reason, and for the fact that I crave seeing more of Canada, I would like to visit Montreal. I would like to go to a French-speaking region of Canada and feel embarrassed by how little I remember the 8 years I spent studying the language. I would like to go to an area of Canada that is vastly different from what I know and yet still recognize it as my country—if that makes sense? I mean, there are different regions in England, each with their own culture, slang and sometimes language, but you still know that you’re very much in England.

But, mostly, I just want to go to Montreal because it looks so dang nice—in the summer. I’m not brave enough to tackle a true Canadian winter. I will take a hard pass on that.

Hey, West Coast Canadian family, let’s meet halfway in Montreal one day?? Just throwing that out there.

photo credit: AV Dezign | http://www.avdezign.ca Les Lignes et courbes du Parc Olympique / Olympic Park Lines and Curves via photopin (license)

6- Austin

A long time ago in a galaxy not unlike ours, my husband spent several weeks in Austin, Texas. He has fond memories of the place and often shares these with me, especially if I just so happen to be watching a show which features Austin. He will try to figure out what areas they’re in and if he went there himself.

To me, an outsider, Austin is Texas-style Portland. Or if Portland were in Texas? I don’t know, but it has a uniqueness and eccentricity that intrigues me. It is really the only city in Texas that makes me look forward to visiting. Also, bring on the Tex-Mex cuisine!

I have been to only a handful of states, so I would like to add a lot more to that list (oh no, another list!). Texas is on the large side and I honestly don’t know what else I would want to see and do if I ever get there, but Austin is high on the list and a good place to start, I think.

Now I just need to plan for the inevitable thwarting the huz from buying a 10-gallon hat. Yeah, I’m no fun 😛

photo credit: GlennPope City of Austin via photopin (license)

7- Atlantic Canada

As noted up there a little ways *points*, I haven’t seen a lot of my country. I mean, it’s unfair to be so hard on myself—Canada is huge and travelling within the country is expensive.

The “Atlantic side” of Canada is a region I have long wanted to visit. Back in the day, my family would watch Road to Avonlea every weekend. Like any good Canadian, I read Anne of Green Gables and watched the accompanying miniseries starring Megan Follows. So, I have a romanticized view of this part of Canada.

I haven’t really specified where I’d want to go. I’d be happy with Halifax, PEI, Newfoundland, New Brunswick; I have no specified places to see (well, I mentioned Halifax, so there’s that). I just want to GO there in the first place! Whatever we see and do would be an added bonus.

Hey West Coast Canadian family! Remember I offered to meet halfway in Montreal? Maybe we can extend that a little. Or split it into two separate trips! Ohh, the wheels are turning now…

photo credit: freestock.ca ♡ dare to share beauty PEI Beach Boardwalk – HDR via photopin (license)

8- New Zealand

I think this is another “dream destination”, mostly because this is another country that is a little more demanding to get to. Long haul flights to the max! Did I mention I don’t like flying all that much? Well, I won’t say it again because I need to talk about New Zealand!

I suppose I feel a kinship with Kiwis and I think that’s mostly because I also come from a country whose neighbour is far more populated and a lot more, um, boisterous? I think we both suffer from the, “Oh, are you from (names far more populated and boisterous country)?”

But yes, New Zealand, I am choosing you over the far more populated and boisterous country because, I don’t know, you just appeal! You’ve got natural beauty and a way of life that really appeals. Your people are friendly and there is no shortage of things to do. It seems like a place I could just go to without over planning and just enjoy myself.

Oh, and maybe I want to visit The Shire…maybe just once in my life do I want to feel like a hobbit.

photo credit: VernsPics Looking back on the Nuns Veil via photopin (license)

So yes, that’s the short version of my travel wish list. Now all I have to do now is magically come into a whole lot of money in order to check all these off in quick succession! Failing that, I will just have to be patient and save my hard earned cash.

I heartily accept that challenge.

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