We may have traveled to over 50 countries each (and over 40 with our child) but that has not cured our insatiable wanderlust. We knew our 9 months of nonstop travel would have to end, yet even while on the road, we were always planning for our next big adventure, saving our list of places we wanted to visit onto our phones. Our list has grown since we have returned home. Some would call it a Bucket List.
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Are you surprised we still have a Bucket List? We bet you’re asking “where in the world” haven’t they been that they want to see? Here’s what’s next on our to-do list:
Touring the Amazing Scenery of Iceland
We had a chance to visit Iceland but we were only there for a short time and visited the Golden Circle and the Blue Lagoon. The glimpse we got was so great we want to revisit and see even more of the country, including Ring Road, which travels 828 miles around Iceland to see all of the towns, cities and sites of the entire island. It is said we need to do a full week to do this route, and we’ll see fjords, islands, glaciers, waterfalls and hot springs. Can you imagine scuba diving in the Silfra fissure between the North American and Eurasian continents or seeing glaciers like the Vatnajokull Glacier while driving along Ring Road? There aren’t many places on earth to see sights like these, so sign us up!
Exploring Historical Egypt
AJ has always wanted to visit Egypt, as it is an anchor of civilization and holds the Pyramids, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. We originally had Egypt on our initial sabbatical itinerary but removed it because we were worried about our security. We wished we hadn’t been so afraid and had visited, so now it’s back on our list and we won’t make the same mistake again.
Drinking Our Way Across Northern Spain
One of our favorite countries is Spain as it is not only one of the most friendly toward children but the food, the sites, the ambience? We loved it! We explored Barcelona and much of Southern Spain, so now we want to return to visit the north — the Basque country, the beaches, and especially the fantastic wineries. (This area is renowned for its vineyards, especially in La Rioja!)
Delving Deeper Into China
Our travels to China included Beijing, Shanghai and the Great Wall of China. We discovered such a unique culture and the most fantastic foods that we want to return and see even more. On one food tour we did in China, we sampled foods from all over the country, which piqued our interest in visiting Central and Western China. We would love to visit Xi’an and see the Terra Cotta soldiers and pagodas, Chengdu’s giant pandas, and the remote western territories of Xinjiang, Gansu and even into Tibet. (Plus, we can’t wait to eat some of the fantastic foods again!)
Sampling the Exotic in Southeast Asia
In our explorations of Asia, we didn’t visit Angkor Wat in Cambodia, where one of the largest religious monuments in the world, Siem Reap, can be seen. We would love to see Ha Long Bay in Vietnam, which is dotted with small islands and caves — a cruise there looks amazing. We’d also love to see North Vietnam, Laos, and have more time in Bangkok — such an energetic city! (Plus, we totally fell for Asian cuisine during our visit and we can’t wait to devour more outrageously delicious meals!)
Bopping Around Brazil
One of the biggest countries in the world, we missed this on our first world tour. We want to see Rio de Janeiro and Copacabana Beach and the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue. We want to see the cosmopolitan capital city of Sao Paulo; make our way down the world’s largest river, the Amazon; and see Iguazu Falls from the Brazilian side. Dropping 275 feet, the falls are larger than Niagara Falls and are actually made up of 257 individual falls. How we have missed this country and its natural wonders for so long boggles our minds! We’ll make up for it soon!
Adventure Across the Amalfi Coast
We visited the Amalfi Coast during a cruise stop, having only one day to visit Positano and the coastline. It was so beautiful that we know we simply must go back and spend at least a week there. To rent a boat, perhaps, or hop on a ferry and visit the island of Capri, see Amalfi’s Cathedral, to sample Amalfi lemons in our food (and limencello), and to drive once again along the corkscrew cliffside roads.
Trek Through the Baltic States
We were so surprised with Tallinn, Estonia’s beauty that we want to return to the Baltic States. Tallinn is one of our 3 most unexpectedly awesome cities and if it can be filled with so much variety, we cannot wait to discover more of what Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have to offer, from medieval Old Towns to romantic seaside villages like Jurmala and from dramatic national parks like Gauja and all of the places not written about in travel guides as much as places like Italy and France, we want to explore the lesser explored.
Turning Croatia Inside Out
Speaking of Croatia, we loved Zagreb when we spent a few days in the country on the Adriatic Sea. We want to return to visit Split, Dubrovnik and other areas of this beautiful country. Of course, Game of Thrones filming in Dubrovnik has made this port town a hot spot, but Split — the second largest city in the country — is not as frequented as it should be. From Roman palaces to beaches along glass-like water, from our research, we have been missing out!
Traversing Ancient Incan Sites in Peru
Like many, our Bucket List includes visiting Machu Picchu and Cusco, the cultural capital of Peru. The ancient Incan citadel of Machu Picchu doesn’t have to be visited with a hike; families can visit with tour groups and luxury train rides from Cusco, so we want to take Aarav and explore the entire area together. We did get to visit Lima while on our trip, but we can’t wait to explore ancient Peru.
Trekking Around Australia
Most people who visit Australia only visit Sydney and the Great Barrier Reef. Guilty! After seeing how cool these places are, we want to return and go deep into the Australian Outback and the desert-like interior, as well as visit Melbourne. While Sydney may be the glitz and glamour of the island, we’ve heard Melbourne is more hip with an Austin, Texas-vibe. Considering we love Austin, we are positive we’ll love Melbourne, too.
Travel to Eastern Europe
So many travelers (us included) visit Western Europe and pass up Eastern Europe’s nations. We loved the countries we visited in Eastern Europe so far and feel they are highly underrated. To see the castles of Romania, try the home-cooked comfort foods of Bulgaria and see historic World War II places in Poland is just the next logical step.
Our travel “to do” list is actually larger than 12, but these are the places we’re already starting to gather information and research for our next big family trip. What do you think? Where should we go next? What are your must-visit destinations?