I was emailing with a friend the other day, and I mentioned how jealous I am of her upcoming trip to Japan because that has always been at the top of my travel wish list for me. I come from a family that loves to travel and am lucky enough to be married a wonderful man who has the travel bug as much as I do. My parents have several shelves of travel guides back at home, and whenever I got bored, I loved reading their books and planning out dream vacations in my head. While I have been fortunate enough to travel to so many places, there are a few that I have not yet been to that are on my "I need to see them before I die." Here they are in a somewhat random order.
I love everything about Japanese culture. The art. The food. The gorgeous kimonos. The architecture. The food. The Cherry Blossoms. The fans. Origami. All of it. Since I was about 10 years old, it has been my dream to go see Japan and experience it for myself. I have yet to make that dream a reality. But I'm working on it. It is my not so secret wish for TLS to get stationed there after Germany.
I grew up with greek mythology. I used to have a book of Greek Myths and art that I loved. I would read it over and over cover to cover nonstop. Until the covers fell off. They fascinated me so much. No Cinderella here- I read Greek myths every night before bed. By the time I was in the fourth grade, I had read both the Odyssey and the Illiad. Growing up attending the Metropolitan Museum of Art every Saturday afternoon, the Greek and Roman galleries were always my favorite. Whenever I travel and go to a new museum for the first time, the first thing I do is go check out the Greek and Roman art wing if there is one. Greek culture fascinates me. I even took a year of Greek in high school. I always knew that I had to go to Greece at least once to see the ruins and visit all of the places that inspired some of my favorite childhood stories and memories.
3) Walt Disney World
While my parents have done well for themselves and live an incredibly comfortable life now, for my family this was not always the case. I grew up with not much money and because my mother wanted to only send me to private schools, even with scholarships this tied up a lot of my parents' (at the time) small incomes. Things like vacations were just not in the books for us. I wanted to so badly to go to Disney World but we just could not afford it. By the time my parents had started earning more money and could afford to go on vacations, my mother's reasoning was "well you're not a little kid any more" and so they didn't want to go to Disney. They have taken me on plenty of incredible vacations and I've loved every minute of them. I've been to half of Europe but have yet to get a hug from Mickey Mouse. It is my adult dream to change that. TLS talked about taking me there when we're back in the States. Until then however, we may have to cheat and go to Euro Disney.
A pair of Mickey Mouse ears with my name on them has been perpetually on my wishlist for I don't even know how long now. A sorority sister sent me bride and groom Mickey Mouse ears and TLS and I wore them at our rehearsal dinner. Loved them.
My parents love Thailand. While they are not big on repeat vacations (unless it's a beach/relax type of vacation), they have been there at least three times. If not more. They have yet to take me with them. Sniff. They literally have several albums worth of pictures from their trips at home. They always talk about what an amazing time they had on their trips there and how they can't wait to go back. They were at one point seriously considering buying a Villa in Thailand to retire at. (I think they still might be.) My mother literally cried when she heard on the news about the monsoon. I really want to go visit it and experience all of the things that they have first hand. (Have I also mentioned how much I really love Thai food? A LOT.)
My father is a Travel Channel geek. (Have I mentioned that my parents travel a lot?) When Dubai was first being built up, I sat there and watched all of the programs on tv about it with him that talked about the construction of the Burj al Arab and the islands. All I could think to myself was that it was the most incredible thing that I had ever seen in my life and "I have got to go there sometime." I loved watching the Amazing Race episodes that were filmed there. About 5 years ago, I decided to look up how much it costs to stay in the Burj al Arab for a week. It's not pretty. You need a loan to stay there. A big one. Thankfully, there are a lot more wallet-friendly hotels there. And it just looks so fun! I really hope that we are able to go.
And have I mentioned that there's a Shake Shack there?
I can pretty much recite every single line in that movie to you in my sleep. Don't ask me how many times I've seen that movie because I can't count that high. I even saw the Broadway revival of it in middle school with my mother. Like pretty much every other girl out there, it's a goal of mine to go and visit all of the places that were in the Sound of Music and take a picture of me running down and twirling down the Alps. I suggested to TLS that we do that as our holiday card picture this year. He's not as crazy about the idea as I am. I'm still working on it.
Unlike every other place on this list, I actually have been to Austria. When I was a freshman in high school, I went on a trip to Munich, Vienna, Budapest, and Prague. I loved Vienna. I did. But come on now. Where were the alps, where were the 7 children dressed in identical sailor uniforms, and where were the nuns? Salzburg is officially on my bucket list. And has been since I first saw that movie way back when. (True story: when an Army ranger friend of mine tried to describe his job to me he said "name World War II movies you've seen" and I replied "The Sound of Music." He laughed. I was serious.)
I don't know why, but growing up, I had this image of Ireland as being this beautiful country that was literally nothing but fields that stretched on to eternity. I loved playing frisbee with my parents in the park and told them that they had to take me to Ireland so we could have a real game of frisbee in a field there. My mother didn't really understand this. Oh well. I was determined to make it happen some day.
That day is almost here. A friend of mine who is about to move to Korea for a year decided to do one last trip before she leaves. She chose Dublin. And yours truly is going with her on a girls' trip. I could not be more excited! We are only going for almost exactly 48 hours, so I am certain that I won't see anything like the picture above, and we might not get to do too much outside of the Guinness storehouse, a bus tour, and a cathedral, but I am still over the moon excited!
I have been making my travel wish list since I was about 5 years old and it feels so great to be able to cross another item off it.
Bonus points: Ireland will be another place that I have traveled to before my parents have.
I've shown you mine now show me yours. What is your travel wish list? What are the places you absolutely have to see before you die?