A couple of weeks ago, RF and I were talking about the various places on our must-see list of travel destinations when we realized that we don’t actually have an official list!
“The list”, to which it is very loosely referred, waxes and wanes with the seasons…and pictures/stories of our friends’ travels posted on Instagram. Did you see AT’s pics of Patagonia? On the list. What about AJ’s experience in Reykjavik? Added. Hmm…RH told me about the toilets in Chengdu. Off the list. (That reminds me, I should write a post about my travel deal-breakers. Spoiler alert: bad toilets, or worse, no toilets? At the top. I don’t do camping.)
RF’s thought was that we should narrow our list down to three. That getting really focused about where we’d like to head next will help us make the trips. Fair point. Like most people, we’re pretty good about making things happen when we have clear-cut goals. So, we each set off to start with our Top 10. We agreed to work separately to start, so that we would feel free to get our true picks down on paper…the negotiating could come later.
I immediately sat down and got to work! In no particular order, this is…
- Paris + French Countryside
- Iceland Ring Route
- Tokyo/Kyoto, Japan
- New Zealand: North & South Island Road Trip
- Australia: Cairns to Melbourne + Tasmania
- Buenos Aires, Argentina/Montevideo, Uruguay
- Valparaiso, Chile
- Hawaii: Oahu/Kauai/Lahaina
- Bruges, Belgium
- Palawan, Philippines
- South Africa
- Faroe Islands
Heck yeah, I cheated! How can anyone narrow down their travel picks to just 10?? I think I did pretty darn well to keep it to 20…even if I had to group locations to make it happen.
I’m not sure why some places are so specific, like Valaparaiso and Bruges; whereas, other’s are more general, Ireland and Antarctica. The only place that landed on the list despite my having already been is Paris, but that’s because I’ve never been there with RF. To compensate, I positioned it as a portal to the French Countryside, a place where neither of us has travelled.
It turns out that a lot of destinations make for excellent road trips in my mind: Iceland and New Zealand? Admittedly, this is to take in as much of the country as possible, and they both have such incredibly diverse terrain.
It felt like certain places couldn’t be visited without the others. Like Thailand + Cambodia + Vietnam and Greece + Turkey + Croatia. I mean, if you make it to one, you might as well pop on over to the others, right? I’m still kicking myself that we didn’t manage to make it to Portugal while we were in Spain. So close!! And yet, so many cats already yowling, “No more driving!” So, I had to put it on the list, just because. Same with Morocco.
My mother was born in Hawaii while my grandfather was stationed there at the end of WWII. So, I can’t imagine going to the islands without stopping in Oahu. Of course, touristy Honolulu is hardly my dream Hawaiian vacation, so Kauai and Lahaina were added for the quieter side of island life. I should probably add Molokai, though I know that just one extra island is the most likely scenario.
Speaking of islands, they definitely dominate the list. What can I say? I love water. Islands are surrounded by it. Cuba is a must before it gets overdeveloped, so I’d probably move that closer to the top if this were in priority order. Palawan has been popping up on all sorts of travel sites lately. Looks like the Asian Caribbean. Sold! The Faroe Islands are more in line with my less tropical, more broody island preferences, like Ireland, Iceland, and New Zealand. I guess that if I *had* to whittle down the list, some of these could go. But…but…please don’t make me.
Given my toilet hangups, Japan seemed essential. Best toilets in the world – or, so I’ve heard. Mauritius, on the other hand, seems the most likely to be a fail on that front…but, lemurs! It’s possible that South Africa could have been lumped with Mauritius, along with Tanzania and Madagascar, but that just seems a little too brazen. Ha. Of course, I might need to squeeze them together because I forgot to add Patagonia. And Sweden. And…and… Whew, so hard.
Next week, I’ll let RF present his list…and then, the cutting begins! Oh boy. I have a feeling that this is going to get ugly. He has created his list, but I have no idea what’s on it. I’m so curious to know if there will be any crossover at all. I feel pretty confident that he’ll follow the rules and stick to 10, but we’ll see. Stay tuned…