I love to travel. The restraints of time, money, job, and responsibility don’t allow me to vacation as much as I’d like but I am seeking to change that. There is nothing more exciting that picking an amazing spot, booking that flight, loading up all your baggage, and jetting off somewhere. I love the opportunity to see somewhere I’ve never seen, meet people I’ve never met, and experience a different place or a different culture. Those are memories that we carry with us all of our lives. Like most people, I have a bucket list. However, my list is not things I want to do, (you would NEVER catch me bunging jumping or setting foot in a hot air balloon) it is all places I want to go. It’s places I want to take my kids and experience with them. In the end, it is not the “stuff” that we have that is important, it is the things we have experienced and the memories we carry in our minds and hearts.
I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Paris many, many years ago and fell in love with every, single part of it. The architecture, the history, the cafes, the museums, unlike any other city, Paris doesn’t just become a part of your memories, it becomes a part of your soul. I have never met anyone who has been there that is not dying to go back. I want to do all of the “typical tourist” things again like the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Picasso Museum, and Notre Dame but it is the simpler things that I’m dying to do when I finally make it back. The last time I was there, a man playing acoustic guitar was sitting on the steps of Montmartre singing “Bye Bye Miss America Pie”. A group of about 75 people had formed around him and everyone had joined in. That is the Paris I want to see when I finally make it back.
I became interested in the history of my family several years ago and can trace my roots back several hundred years. It was then that I decided I wanted to see as many of the places in which my family originated as I possibly could. One of those places is Thurgau, Switzerland. Located in the far northeast corner of Switzerland, every picture I have ever seen looks like the quintessential Swiss town with mountain views and lakeside chalets. It doesn’t hurt that it is best known for producing apples and pears, which I love. A vacation spent in a rental chalet in those beautiful mountains is definitely at the top of my Bucket List.
Edinburgh, Scotland is another vacation destination for me because of my family history. My many times great grandfather was a minister at Greys Friars Church in Edinburgh and Scotland has such a deep, diverse history. Aside from wanting to experience where much of my family came from, Scotland is a beautiful country. The rolling hills, cliffs overlooking the ocean, the greenery – it is somewhere I must travel.
Two of my many times great grandfathers packed up their families and left Ireland to escape the Potato Famine. While they left for America from Fermanagh in Northern Ireland, it is believed the families originated in the eastern part of Ireland. My desire to visit Dublin has nothing to do with a desire to visit the Guiness Storehouse or go to a tasting at Jamison Whiskey (not that I would skip either place though). I am truly more interested in seeing the architecture, the churches, and Trinity College. But more than anything, I want my kids to see where they came from. I want them to experience their roots and heritage.
Kingdom of Bhutan
I do not think that the Kingdom of Bhutan is on most people’s travel radar and that is sad. Just look at any pictures of this amazing place and how could you not want to go there? While holding the sad distinction of being one of the poorest countries in the world, it is no doubt one of the most beautiful. This little Tibetan country is nestled in the eastern end of the Himalayan Mountains is south Asia and there are few places in the world that have more breathtaking views. While the location makes getting there difficult, the scenery and warm, generous spirit of the people would definitely make it worth it.
This may seem like an odd choice since all of my previous places are a little more glamorous or exotic. But I absolutely love Colorado. If I had the means and opportunity, I would pack up everything I own and move there tomorrow. It has stunning mountain views, temperate climate, and some of the nicest people I have ever met. While I have been to Denver and many of the surrounding cities, I have never been to Durango and desperately want to go. This picturesque town nestled in the Rocky Mountains and located more in the center of the state has milder winters than the more popular Colorado destinations of Denver, Vail, and Aspen. It is also not a big tourist attraction, which appeals to me very much. If I am going on vacation, I want to blend in and just experience the beauty of the place. I am also much more of a mountain person than a beach person and prefer cooler to colder temperatures, that is why Durango is definitely on my list.