Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

What’s On Your Travel Bucket List?

My Instagram feed these last couple weeks has been filled with photos of other people’s fantastic-looking vacation photos: Iceland, Tuscany, Israel, Barcelona, London, Vancouver. I’m on vacation, too, but nowhere exotic (visiting my parents in Springfield, Mo.). I enjoyed our long weekend trip to Charleston, SC., but I’m looking forward to traveling internationally again, hopefully some time soon (it’s been five years since I left the country). Prior to having kids, Drew and I were lucky enough to get to do some great traveling, both internationally and domestically (that’s me in Beijing in 2008 in the picture above). My favorite place was probably Paris, and I’d be happy to go back any time. But I’d also love to hit some places on my bucket list: New Zealand; anywhere and everywhere in South America; South Africa; and maybe Iceland now that I’ve seen gorgeous photos from my friends’ trip there last week (they did a road trip around the country in a rented campervan on a popular route called the Ring Road).

What’s on your travel bucket list? What’s been your favorite place you’ve traveled to? Are you hitting any cool places this summer?

52 comments… add one
  • avatar

    bondgirl July 11, 2017, 12:11 pm

    South Africa! I’d loooooove to do the cage diving with the great white sharks!

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    ktfran July 11, 2017, 12:47 pm

    Fun post! This year, I’ve already been to New Orleans for the first time. I’m going to Lisbon and the Azores for my honeymoon. While in the Azores, we’ll be paddleboarding on volcanic lakes. WOOHOO! And I’m going to Hawaii over Thanksgiving.

    Bucketlist…
    New Zealand. That’s probably where I’ll take the fiance for his 40th in five years because that’s on the top of his list. I think I want my 40th to happen in Africa. That could change.

    Columbia is also high on the list. As is Germany because I’m 100% German and want to check out the country of my heritage. I’ve had strangers ask, without knowing my last name, if I’m of German descent. Crazy! I’m not a cruise person, but I’d be ok with a river cruise there. I want to go to Croatia and the fiance wants to go to Greece.

    Locally, as in the states, I want to go to Yellowstone in the winter. I want to go to Maine. And I also want to go to Boston and either Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket.

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    • Lianne

      Lianne July 11, 2017, 2:14 pm

      Martha’s Vineyard all the way!!!

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    Bree July 11, 2017, 12:54 pm

    I was finally able to cross New Zealand off my bucket list this year. It was even more beautiful than I could have imagined! The main highlights of our trip were Hobbitton (a must-see for Lord of the rings and Hobbit fans), Waitomo glow worm caves, and the incredible scenery of the South Island. We did two weeks but could’ve easily spent a third week there.

    Other bucket list places I haven’t been to yet are Iceland, South Africa, and Antarctica.

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  • bittergaymark

    Bittergaymark July 11, 2017, 1:01 pm

    Africa. Egypt. Tunesia, Morocco. (Too dicey to go there now.)

    Macchu Picchu / Chile / Easter Island (my next trip. happening within the next year.)

    Columbia.
    Brazil.

    Fiji.
    Tahiti.
    Borneo.

    Cambodia.
    Return to Thailand. Bali.

    Iceland

    Scandinavia

    Greece. (Reprise.)

    Ridiculous Round the World Cruise. (90, 120 or more days…)

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  • avatar

    Ashley July 11, 2017, 1:25 pm

    My friend recently went to Iceland and same thing, super jealous looks like a gorgeous country. For my own part, I really want to go through the UK. Also some beach locale like Fiji or the Maldives…before they go under. I’m going to Seattle and possibly Vancouver in August. I live in Texas and forget its so easy to just pop over to other states…or countries.

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    • avatar

      Daisy July 13, 2017, 7:36 am

      We went to the Maldives for our honeymoon, using the justification that they won’t be around much longer! It is absolutely unbelievably spectacular — worth it 100%, although no other beach will ever seem that nice again afterward!

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  • avatar

    K July 11, 2017, 2:11 pm

    Next month we’re going to Oregon and Washington. My boyfriend just tested positive for Lyme disease and he’s been having some complications due to that, so fingers crossed he’ll be feeling well by the time we leave. We’re going to Mt. Rainier National Park, which I’ve been to and loved, as well as to Crater Lake National Park, wine tasting in the Willamette Valley, and the Oregon coast.

    My bucket list includes Alaska, Hawaii, Thailand, the Greek Islands, Australia/New Zealand, and Iceland. And Antarctica, but that’s so expensive that it’ll probably never happen.

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    • MaterialsGirl

      MaterialsGirl July 11, 2017, 2:36 pm

      I’m so sorry about the Lyme disease diagnosis but glad he’s been officially diagnosed and hopefully on a good treatment path! Gotta be EXTRA careful this year. It’s so bad out there for it.

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    • avatar

      Bondgirl July 11, 2017, 4:00 pm

      You will LOVE Crater Lake. I snowshoed there a few months back and it was one of my most amazing experiences ever.

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    • Moneypenny

      Moneypenny July 11, 2017, 4:34 pm

      I second Crater Lake- it’s beautiful! I have visited both in summer and in early spring (when it was still covered in snow) and it’s gorgeous.

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      K July 12, 2017, 9:23 am

      I’m very excited about Crater Lake! We’re going to take the boat out to Wizard Island and hike to the top.

      Thanks @MaterialsGirl, it’s scary how bad this year has been for ticks. I found two on me so far this year after hikes (crawling, they hadn’t bitten me) and I had not found any on me in the past couple of years. We spend a lot of time outdoors so we try to be diligent about checking, but unfortunately one must’ve gotten him.

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  • Lianne

    Lianne July 11, 2017, 2:25 pm

    Love this topic. Lianne-before-kid loved to travel and feel like I never will again. I am sure that’s not true, but feels that way while in it. My best friend lives in Amsterdam, so I’ve spent a lot of time there, and been fortunate enough to visit other places in Europe, like Paris, Rome, Frankfurt, and Sardinia while visiting him. I also have the good fortune of having a friend whose parents have a beautiful home in northern Italy on Lago di Garda and got to spend time there and visited Verona and Venice. I love Italy and there are still several places there on my bucket list – Tuscany & Florence, Cinque Terre, and the Amalfi coast.

    I also did an awesome backpacking trip with a friend when I was in my mid-twenties. We did Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, and Seville in Spain ; Lagos (in the Algarve) and Lisbon in Portugal. We’re both of Portuguese decent, so that was a super cool trip. I’d love to go back to Portugal some day. Other areas of Europe I’d like to get to visit include Greece, England, Ireland, and the Bordeaux region of France, to name a few.

    I’ve been to Buenos Aires, which was so much fun and bustling. I’d go to other countries in South America, but none in particular are on my bucket list.

    Within the US, I’d love to go to New Orleans, the Grand Canyon, and Hawaii.

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    • bittergaymark

      Bittergaymark July 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

      I did Barcelona, Seville, and Lagos when I backpacked all through Europe. Fun times!!

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      • Lianne

        Lianne July 12, 2017, 9:48 am

        How funny! When did you do that? My trip was in July of 06.

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    Kate July 11, 2017, 2:33 pm

    Definitely Scotland. I don’t know why I’ve never been there. On my dad’s side they know the Highland clan we belonged to and a lot of history. I was going to go with my parents this past spring but I got laid off and didn’t want to spend lavishly. I hope next year! Going to my great-aunt’s memorial service last summer and seeing the history book they put together about her (she went to Scotland when she was quite elderly) inspired me.

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  • MaterialsGirl

    MaterialsGirl July 11, 2017, 2:38 pm

    Argentina is going to be our 5 year I think..
    I was hoping to go to Munich for Oktoberfest before i have to be in Switzerland for work.. not sure it’s going to happen because of other work travel though. We are booking hawaii for a trip in December. I’m excited to go out west a little, i’m actually on a flight to SLC right now for work!
    Really want to do washington and oregon and vancouver. My youngest brother just moved to portland so hopefully i can visit that part of hte country piece by piece.
    Would love to do New Zealand and Australia. South Africa.. and Thailand!

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  • avatar

    LisforLeslie July 11, 2017, 3:14 pm

    I have some free time coming up and was thinking either Iceland or somewhere in the Midwest to see the upcoming solar eclipse. I wonder if Iceland will be a good spot – I could kill two birds with one stone.

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      ktfran July 11, 2017, 3:22 pm

      I know where it’s suppose to hit in southern IL… hotels are already booked. My fiance looked because he’s geeking out over it. Like, if the post office would have had the new solar eclipse stamps in when I bought, those would have gone on our wedding invites.

      I know St. Louis still had some rooms, but it’s on the very edge.

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        va-in-ny July 12, 2017, 8:39 am

        Off topic, but our wedding invitations had moon stamps on them!

        I went into the post office thinking that I’d have the opportunity to pick something really unique for our invitations, but because of the weight of them, my only option was the Full Moon stamp.

        They ended up looking really cool, because they were round stamps, but with the ornate writing and the weight of them, it looked like everyone was initiated into the space program!

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    • avatar

      Kate July 11, 2017, 3:30 pm

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        LisforLeslie July 11, 2017, 5:40 pm

        Yeah I was thinking about St. Louis – I’ve never been there.

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        ktfran July 11, 2017, 6:29 pm

        Yeah, Carbondale was one if the places the fiancé checked a couple weeks ago. No hotels.

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      • veritek33

        veritek33 July 12, 2017, 9:26 am

        Missouri is a top spot to see it. My town is basically shutting down the day of the eclipse and downtown is going to be one big watch party.

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      K July 12, 2017, 9:31 am

      We’re going to watch the eclipse from Oregon while we’re there on vacation. We have Airbnbs booked for the two nights before the eclipse, which is risky because they could cancel on us, but we’ll sleep in the car if we have to! Also, solar eclipse stamps? That change to the moon when you put your finger on them??? Got to get me some of those! I see there are also National Park stamps still in stock, I bought a couple of sheets last year and will probably order some more. They’re beautiful.

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  • courtney89

    Courtney July 11, 2017, 3:34 pm

    I’ve been around the Southwest this summer (San Diego, LA, Las Vegas, Puerto Penasco in Mexico) and hoping to take 2 trips to places i haven’t been this fall- – – Seattle and Minneapolis.
    I love traveling and have been able to do alot of it and am enjoying it while i can!!!!!

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  • GertietheDino

    GertietheDino July 11, 2017, 4:17 pm

    I’d like to step foot on every continent. 2 down!

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  • Moneypenny

    Moneypenny July 11, 2017, 4:33 pm

    In the last few years I’ve mainly traveled the U.S. visiting friends in other states and going to a few conferences. (And in the process met up with a few DW’ers!)
    I’m hoping to finish some exams for my work (for licensure) next spring, and want to treat myself to a trip to Norway in time for the 17th of May (Constitution Day) and celebrate with a couple of friends who live there / travel around. And at the same time, head over to Denmark to travel around (see Copenhagen of course) and also visit the town where my great-grandfather was from on the island of Falster.

    My next big trip will be to go to Croatia, to visit where my grandfather and his family was from, and to travel the coast. I’d also love to visit Bosnia too. This has been my top trip for a long time, as I’ve wanted to explore my ancestry and also see the gorgeous places I’ve heard of in person!

    Other places I’m really interested in visiting: Montreal and Toronto, the Galapagos Islands, Buenos Aires, the Andes, Machu Picchu, and other places in South America! Also, Ireland. And the Northern Lights in Alaska.

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    dinoceros July 11, 2017, 5:36 pm

    I’ve been to parts of Europe, but mostly Scandinavia and northern Europe. So, I want to go to Eastern Europe, UK/Ireland, and southern Europe, like Italy and Greece. Also Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea. I think I’d really enjoy Israel (I have a lot of friends who went on birthright, so I get jealous!), but it would make me a little nervous. My cousin’s wife is from Costa Rica, and I’d love to see it.

    Nowhere exciting this summer. I went to visit some friends around the U.S., but I’m hoping to travel internationally next March.

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  • avatar

    Ange July 11, 2017, 6:39 pm

    Oh gosh so many places to choose. I’ve done Fiji, Thailand, Bali x 2, England, Wales, Spain and the US so I feel like a lot of Europe is still begging to be explored.
    My husband might be getting deployed next year so we would have a free holiday in Rome to look forward to in the middle of that, it’s not a bad trade off. If not I really want to see New Zealand. I don’t have much excuse to not go, it’s not like it’s a big flight or anything.

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  • avatar

    anonymousse July 11, 2017, 8:18 pm

    Right now, I am just LOVING exploring our new/old home in the PNW. We’ve been to the coast a few times, down to Portland, to Mt. Rainier and Mt. Baker. I love it here so much and I’m so happy. The only thing that could make this summer better is if the Trumps are in prison by the end of it. Sigh, a girl can dream.

    We’re hoping to plan world travels in a few years when the kids are a little bigger.

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  • avatar

    va-in-ny July 12, 2017, 8:54 am

    I’m so happy to see that Croatia is on so many people’s list. I went for my honeymoon last year and I could talk about it for hours. It was seriously the best and I think more people need to see the beauty of that country in person. (Just a note, Croatia is switching fully over to the Euro in 2019, so if you can get in while they’re still using the Kuna, it will be a lot cheaper!)

    My list includes Iceland, Montreal, Banff National Park, Thailand and some South Pacific islands, South Africa, Italy (and I think I’d like to continue down the coast from Croatia and do Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, and Greece.

    I’ve never had New Zealand or Australia on my list, because I just couldn’t fathom the travel time to get there, but now I’m travelling to Asia a couple of times per year for work, and I think I’m going to take some vacation time after one of those trips and fly over there. 6 hours on a plane sounds a whole lot better than 24!

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  • Portia

    Portia July 12, 2017, 10:53 am

    I don’t know about bucket list, because I’ve hit basically everywhere I’ve wanted to go for a long time, but next on the international travel list is Chile, South Africa, Zambia (to see Victoria Falls), and Madagascar. At the moment, Bassanio wants to go to Ethiopia, Slovenia, Croatia, French Guiana, Suriname, and Bolivia, but he’s always adding more places.

    There’s also a bunch of places I’d like to go back to and see more – Australia, Iceland, Vietnam, Japan, and Portugal.

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    • Portia

      Portia July 12, 2017, 10:55 am

      Oh, and Wendy, how did you manage to get a picture in Beijing with those beautiful blue skies?? I was there for a month in summer 2008 and I think we had one day where we saw any sky, and even then there were plenty of clouds.

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  • avatar

    Vathena July 12, 2017, 11:08 am

    My daughter is four, and our family is scattered all over the country (we’re in the DC area, with immediate family members in Florida, Indiana, New Mexico, Colorado, and Oregon) so all of our vacation travel since 2012 has been for either family visits or weddings. We’re finally taking a non-family-obligation, driving-distance vacation next month, renting a beach house on Chincoteague Island with friends who also have small kids. I think next year we’ll have an opportunity to take the kid international, tagging along on one of my husband’s business trips. At the moment, that could be to London or Paris, or possibly Copenhagen or Brussels. We’ll see!

    Fortunately, most of the family live in pretty vacation-worthy spots. My in-laws have a beach condo in Florida. Two of my BILs and their families live in Boulder in houses with great guest spaces. We visited my mom in Albuquerque for the hot-air Balloon Fiesta last fall (if you haven’t been, it’s amazing and totally worth a spot on your bucket list! I’ve been 5-6 times now and I still love it. New Mexico is beautiful and there’s lots to do.) We’re going to try and get out to Oregon to visit my other BIL next year.

    ANNNDD then there’s my brother and his family, who live in a tiny town in northern Indiana, where people drive around with confederate flags on their pickups (apparently ignorant in more ways than one). They’re a 2.5+ hour drive from any large airport. We’re actually going to visit them this weekend. I’m excited to see them but not to spend the day flying and then driving for hours. It’s also a bit painful to have to spend over $1500 to visit them (and they have 2 kids under 4 and can’t afford to visit us). AND we’ll be seeing my Trump-voting narcissistic grandparents, who are estranged from my mom, but we maintain a polite-distance relationship. Sucking it up…

    Actual bucket list: Costa Rica, Argentina (South America recc: I LOVED Bolivia. So beautiful!), Ireland, Japan, back to Kenya/Tanzania to climb Kilimanjaro, Rome/Florence/Tuscany, Portugal.

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      Vathena July 12, 2017, 11:09 am

      Oh and I definitely want to do a Western US RV trip when my daughter is older. Zion, Arches, Moab, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, etc!

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      • Moneypenny

        Moneypenny July 12, 2017, 1:11 pm

        I recommend going to Canyonlands NP if you’re going to Arches. It’s also right near Moab and is amazing. Totally different canyons than the Grand Canyon and amazing scenery – plus less busy than other parks. (Totally do-able in a day or extended into a multiple day visit!)

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        Daisy July 13, 2017, 7:40 am

        Agree with Moneypenny about Canyonlands! It’s very close to Arches but it totally unique and definitely less crowded.

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      • avatar

        K July 13, 2017, 11:41 am

        Yes, Canyonlands was beautiful and basically nobody was there. Enjoy Chincoteague, I went there when I was 8 or 9 because I was obsessed with all of Marguerite Henry’s books (Misty of Chincoteague, Stormy: Misty’s Foal, etc.) And we were there for Pony Penning Day!

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      SpaceySteph July 12, 2017, 2:18 pm

      We’re in the same boat with family and friends everywhere. We are also lucky that most of our family live in places that are decent to visit. My in-laws live outside DC, so when the kid is a little older we’ll be able to take her to all the museums there which is cool.

      My husband desperately wants to own an RV and do all kinds of RV road trips. I really hate to fly– not afraid of airplanes or anything, but the whole experience with TSA and boarding like a herd animal, and putting all your toiletries in tiny little bottles… I would love it if we could just load up an RV and go.

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      • avatar

        Vathena July 12, 2017, 3:40 pm

        My husband is the youngest of four boys – back in the 70s his parents got a motor home that they christened the “Freedom Machine” and drove all over the country for vacations. I’ve seen photos and they look like the Partridge Family! It’s pretty much the only affordable way to vacation with a family of six!

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    RedroverRedrover July 12, 2017, 11:21 am

    I think I mentioned this in another thread before, but what I’d really love to do is take the Orient Express across Europe. It’s pretty expensive though, even just for two, and now that we’ve got the two kids it’ll probably have to wait, because that’s not something kids will be into. And even when they’re teenagers, probably not. Maybe we can leave them with my parents. 🙂

    Other than that, Antarctica, Iceland, New Zealand are all places I’d love to see. And I want to go back to the Galapagos with the kids. We went before we had them, and it was amazing!

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      ktfran July 12, 2017, 12:49 pm

      I’m reading Murder on the Orient Express right now because a preview to the new movie intrigued me. Off topic. But whatevs. That would be cool!

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        RedRoverRedRover July 12, 2017, 2:19 pm

        I love that book so much! That’s what kind of started my interest in taking the trip. On top of which, ai love trains, and I love the history and romance of the OE itself, and to follow the route that was so mysterious and exotic for so many would just be amazing. Not to mention that it’s like, first-class white-glove service all the way. 🙂 Not that I *need* that or even always want it, but it’s sure nice once in awhile.

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        ktfran July 12, 2017, 3:56 pm

        I may have looked it up and added it to my travel bucket list. It looks truly amazing.

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        RedroverRedrover July 12, 2017, 6:28 pm

        This is the one I want to go on!

        https://www.belmond.com/venice-simplon-orient-express/journeys/4_169630?date=25%20Aug%202017&cabinsAdults=2

        But it’s like 45k Canadian for two people, not including flights. 🙁 So I guess it’ll have to wait. Maybe someday.

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        LisforLeslie July 12, 2017, 8:32 pm

        That is one pricey glass of welcome champagne.

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        ktfran July 13, 2017, 7:48 am

        Lol. I started looking it up yesterday and I want to go on that too! It looks amazing.

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  • lucia_la

    lucia_la July 12, 2017, 1:49 pm

    I just got back from Croatia and Montenegro, which were both amazing! My current travel goal is 30 by 30 (30 countries by age 30). I’m 27 and living in Central Europe (and on I think 24 so far) so I think I’ll get there. I also recently visited Bulgaria and Malta, so not doing so bad this year.

    For realistic bucket list, I’d say Romania, more Greek Islands, and taking my boyfriend to Italy (I have cousins there).
    Further afield would be Southeast Asia – Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia.
    Further, further afield – gotta get to Australia and New Zealand some day!

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  • mylaray

    Mylaray July 12, 2017, 4:55 pm

    Growing up, I spent every summer in Russia, so I have kept it a tradition with my husband to visit at least once a year. Another tradition we have is to go to a new country every year. This year, we have Denmark on the list, with some side trips most likely. We’re also planning an international trip over Thanksgiving, it was hard to say no to family this year, but I decided to be selfish one time and use the time we fortunately already have off then. There’s also a bit of domestic travel with friends all over and weddings so that’s also been fun to do

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    Daisy July 13, 2017, 7:44 am

    I’m late to the party but love seeing everybody’s bucket lists and getting travel ideas! Right now we are trying to decide whether to splurge and go on a safari in Kenya this fall. It’s something we’ve always wanted to do, and plane tickets from where we live aren’t so terribly expensive. I feel like I’m too old (and achey!) for straight up camping though, so we’d need to do at least a budget lodge and that can get pricey fast.

    Anyone here who’s been on safari (Kenya or elsewhere) and can over tips? We did a couple safaris during on honeymoon in Sri Lanka and that was incredible, so I can only imagine what east Africa will be like!

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  • avatar

    Stillrunning July 13, 2017, 10:34 pm

    My top wishes so far are to take a long, luxurious train ride across Europe, visit Prague, and see the Northern Lights.

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