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: Portugal

Top Fifteen Travel Goals
  1. Egypt & Jordan: 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. I want to go over to Jordan so I can visit Petra and pretend I’m in an Indiana-Jones-style adventure, and then I want to see Wadi Rum and float in the Dead Sea. I haven’t been anywhere in the Middle East yet and this seems like the perfect place to start.
  2. Chile & 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. That said, I’ve been dreaming of it for years, and it would be a good region for my next foray into South America.
  3. 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, actually. I know Armenia is supposed to be beautiful as well and I definitely want to explore Baku in Azerbaijan.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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! There are lots of other amazing sites in Peru that I could do as part of such a trip.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Portugal: This is tentatively planned for Thanksgiving 2022. Lisbon is one of the cities I’m most excited to explore in Europe, and everyone I know who has visited has raved about it! Can’t wait to start planning my visit.
  14. South Korea: I visited Seoul on the way home from China in January 2019 and absolutely adored it. I would love to go explore beyond Seoul and spend a few more days in one of my favorite cities.
  15. Rwanda: This is one of the first places I want to see in Africa. I am fascinated by how countries deal with recent conflicts, so I want to go to some of the museums and monuments, and of course there’s gorilla trekking and the magnificent landscapes across the region.