Let’s talk travel goals and dream trips today. What types of trips do you like to take and what do you like to do? Do you find yourself always daydreaming about laying on a beach for a week and doing nothing? Are you into history and culture and dream of touring museums across Europe? Do you fantasize about going to New Zealand and participating in the many extreme sports? Or is your travel goal to backpack your way through Southeast Asia with no concrete plans other than to just have experience? Have you never even thought of it this way? If not, then I’m glad that I have piqued your interest. No desires are wrong, to each their own!
Over the next few years, I am seeking a mix of the above. For example, the photo on this post was from a trip earlier this year. I went to Napa Valley with a good friend and we wine tasted and ate to our heart’s content, I ran the Napa Valley marathon, and then we had a wine-tasting marathon the day and a half following. Then I spent a few days in San Francisco by myself, taking it easy, having early nights, dining solo, people watching, meeting up with some friends, talking to strangers, etc. I equally enjoyed time with friends and by myself, but they are truly different experiences that everyone should have.
The balance I strive for when planning annual vacations is to have an equal number of trips that are active and relaxed. Active for me usually means that I have signed up for a destination race, whether that is a full or half-marathon is dependent on the time of year and proximity to other races and events in my life (back home). In my recent trip to Iceland, not only was there a lot of city walking and a marathon, but there was hiking on my excursions. I probably actually had a calorie deficit on that trip. Next week I will tell you about my upcoming destination races and you will perhaps think that I’ve lost my mind.
For a relaxed vacation, I still maintain that walking is one of the best ways for the average person to see a city and get around inexpensively. Thus, there is still a lot of walking on my relaxed vacations. I’ve got to earn those local beer and cuisine vacation calories! To me, a relaxed vacation is going somewhere like Italy, where I can walk around the city, see the sights, visit museums, stop for an afternoon espresso, gelato, or wine, and just enjoy the local food and drink. Or it could be a trip to a tropical destination where I have no plans to do anything other than lay by the pool or beach for a few days and sip a reasonable number of umbrella drinks. Personally, I can only do that for a few days, because I get the urge to do something and I am fair-skinned!
One day I do plan to visit New Zealand and I have decided that might be the first place that I do something that can be considered an extreme sport. Bungee jumping anyone? When in Rome (or New Zealand) right? And as far as backpacking around without a plan, that isn’t exactly my style, but I could rough it/camp or trek through the jungle for a few days and would be willing to do so in Southeast Asia. Tomorrow I will talk about my extensive 40 before 40, naming where I’ve been and where I plan to go.
At the present, I have two dream destinations on my bucket list. These are separate from my bucket list of 40 before 40. I don’t consider these two places unattainable trips, I just know they will happen when the finances, planning, and timing match up. These two places are Antarctica and Easter Island. Everyone who enjoys traveling should have one or two destinations that seem a little crazy or out there and plan to make it happen.
I know I will get chill bumps and tear up when I set foot on the Antarctic continent - if the ride across the turbulent Drake Passage doesn’t make me pass out from fright. I know that it will seem surreal when I see the monolithic statues of Easter Island in person for the first time. I get teary-eyed when I see things in person that I’ve only seen in photos (looking at you, Eiffel Tower). For me, these are such pinch-me-is-this-real moments that I almost can’t believe they’re happening to me when I am experiencing them. I am forever grateful for the trips and opportunities that I’ve had in life that have allowed me to see 11/12 countries at age 34.
So, now you know I’m a big sap and that I have big travel plans for my life. I want to see the world and experience it all. I want to inspire others to dream big about travel like me.