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.
Up Next: Ireland, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Top Fifteen Travel Goals
- 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. It’s high up on my list!
- 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. And I think it would be amazing.
- Egypt: Who among us hasn’t gone through an Egypt phase? I desperately want to see the pyramids and the Nile and the massive temples all throughout the country.
- The Balkans: The Balkans is creeping up on my priority list, and one of the ones I’m most interested to see is Croatia. Dubrovnik, of course, is gorgeous. Everyone knows that after Game of Thrones. But there’s also Split and Zagreb and the national parks, and potentially island hopping if I don’t end up going in the dead of winter. Plus, the whole region has so many countries close by that I could easily visit Slovenia and Bosnia and maybe even Montenegro on the same trip.
- 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. Plus, everyone I’ve ever met from New Zealand has made me want to visit even more.
- Georgia: Not the U.S. state. No, we’re talking about the literal birthplace of wine, with villages dotted next to the mountains and ancient monasteries. This whole region is on my list.
- Cambodia & Vietnam: I still haven’t made it out to Southeast Asia, and I still very much want to. I want to go to an elephant rescue and see ancient temples and explore the new cultures. Cambodia has also had tragedy in its recent history, and I’m always fascinated to see how countries grapple with that – if I can find a good museum in Phnom Penh, I’ll be happy.
- Jordan: Obviously, I want to see Petra. I want to visit and pretend that I’m a famous archeologist like Indiana Jones, and then I want to see Wadi Rum and float in the Dead Sea. One of my former coworkers did her study abroad in Jordan and she raved about it.
- 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!
- Australia: I’ve met many Australians while traveling, 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.
- Argentina: The birthplace of the tango. World class wineries. Glaciers, penguins, and clear blue lakes in Patagonia. What’s not to love? Also, after Ecuador, I am convinced that South America is absolutely amazing.
- 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.
- Austria: Yeah, I’ve ~technically~ been here. I ate one pastry and walked around a town on the border of Germany for a few hours. But I want to sit in coffee shops in Vienna and recreate The Sound of Music in Salzburg and marvel at the Alps.
- Namibia: There are a lot of amazing countries in Africa that I want to visit, but Namibia captures the imagination in a way that few others do. The landscapes are utterly unique and I would love to explore this region.
- Greenland: I want to go dog sledding here, and ideally walk on a few more glaciers. We learned about Greenland when I was on study abroad, because they are still officially under Danish rule, but I want to see as much as I can of this remote territory.