The list of places I want to go keeps growing, much like the list of books I want to read.  That said, here are some of the top contenders, in a very loose ranking.

Planned for 2019: Yellowstone, Iceland, Norway, Denmark

Tentatively Planned for 2020: Egypt, UAE, Atlanta, Bermuda, Quebec

Top Fifteen Travel Goals
  1. Trans Siberian Railway: For those of you who don’t know about the Trans Siberian Railway, it’s where you take a train from Beijing to Moscow (or vice versa), passing through Mongolia and a number of small Russian towns.  If you don’t get off the train, the journey would take about 7 days, but most people take closer to a month and take short stops along the way.  I really want to do it, since it seems like an amazing adventure.
  2. Easter Island: Being that this is a fairly remote island off the coast of Chile, it’s quite expensive and the logistics can be challenging.  But I think it would be amazing.
  3. Hong Kong: I wanted to make it here while I was in China, but alas.  Even the impressive Chinese rail system has limits to where you can get to over the course of two weeks.  Perhaps my next trip to East Asia can involve a stopover here!
  4. Machu Picchu: One of the wonders of the world, and one of my top priorities in South America.  I can’t imagine the work that went into building such a society on the top of a mountaintop, but I’d love to go experience it for myself!
  5. Southeast Asia: Another one of those regions that exploded into popularity is Southeast Asia.  I’d love to go to Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia, and check out the temples and natural beauty.  I had done some research into this and come up with an itinerary at one point, but I want to go with people for this one and getting synced on finances and schedules is surprisingly difficult as an adult.  I’ve also heard amazing things about Singapore, and although that isn’t traditionally lumped in with people backpacking through the region, I would love to check it out.
  6. Australia: I’ve met many Australians while traveling in Europe, and every time, I walk away excited to go there.  I’d love to see the Sydney Opera House in person, get close to the Great Barrier Reef, wander the streets of Melbourne, and see Ayers Rock.  Also, I want to go to some kind of animal sanctuary or something and get close to koalas and kangaroos and other Australia-specific adorable species.
  7. Ireland: This may be the only country of my ancestors that I haven’t visited yet.  My company has an office in Dublin, and every time I see pictures of the area, I’m excited to go visit.  From the Cliffs of Moher to the smaller towns off the beaten path, it looks stunning.
  8. Tibet: While I have a Chinese visa, I want to go see Tibet.  The Potala Palace in Lhasa, the stunning turquoise lakes, and visions of the Himalayas all sound magical.  I’d like to see Mount Everest at a safe and comfortable distance.
  9. New Zealand: For such a small country, New Zealand has an astounding amount of natural beauty.  I want to go to the glowworm caves and travel up and down the country, taking in mountains and lakes.  Like Australia, everyone I’ve ever met from New Zealand has made me want to visit even more.
  10. Austria: Technically I’ve been to Austria, in that I have spent about 3 hours wandering around a small village on the border of Germany.  My real goal, however, is to go to Salzburg, where I can live out my Sound of Music dreams by singing all of the songs and visiting the gardens around town.  Vienna looks lovely too.
  11. Petra: One of the world’s great wonders.  I want to visit and pretend that I’m a famous archeologist like Indiana Jones.  One of my old coworkers did her study abroad in Jordan and she raved about it.
  12. Galapagos Islands: Made famous by Charles Darwin, these islands have so much amazing nature.  They’re in my top list of places in South America for sure.  Other places on the South America list that didn’t make my top 15 are Argentina and the Bolivian salt flats.
  13. Chateaux of France: I’ve spent a lot of time in France, but I didn’t travel as much within France as I would have liked while I was there.  In particular, Chambord, Chenonceau, and Mont St. Michel have been on my list for a long time.  Next time I visit Paris, I will be taking some time to explore these gorgeous castles.
  14. Uzbekistan: A friend of mine from college is currently living in central Asia, which is putting it on my radar in a big way.  Of the “stans,” Uzbekistan is the one with the absolutely gorgeous mosaics, which puts it at the top of my list in this region.
  15. Namibia: Rounding out the list is another unusual pick.  It may be a bit of an odd choice, but I’ve seen so many incredible pictures of the Skeleton Coast and the beautiful contrast of the desert to seriously consider trying to make it here soon.  Besides, now that I’ve done the Disney version of a safari, I should probably try the real one, right?