A Road Less Traveled: A Bucket List

Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.
::Dalai Lama::


As I get older my itch to travel and see the world grows and grows.   I contribute this a little bit to my friends who’s travel itch started long before mine.  Hearing stories of all the places they’ve explored gets me curious about all the places I’ll never see if I don’t make an effort to do so.

I’ve grown up in the suburbs of the Twin Cities my entire life – never getting out except for my 4 year stint at college a couple hours south of “home”.  I’ve traveled a little to various states for vacations [Arizona, Nevada, New York, Mississippi, Florida, Washington DC ] and a couple locations for work [California, Maryland] but I’ve never taken the chance to really explore these places.  More often than not my time is spent relaxing rather than taking in what each location has to offer.  And as each birthday passes by I realize I want to explore more.  See more.  Experience more.

I have many items on my bucket list and traveling more is one of them.  But I’m a list-maker and saying I want to “travel the world” isn’t enough – I need a vision, direction.  Which is why I put together a list of the places I want to explore – in Minnesota, nationally and internationally.  It’s a big world out there and this girl needs to know where she’s headed.

Places to Explore in Minnesota

Yes, I’ve grown up in this state my entire life but never have I had a chance to take in its beauty entirely.  Known for being the Land of 10,000 Lakes, I’ve explored maybe 10.  Bordering up to the biggest of the Great Lakes, I’ve only let my feet hit those waters a few times [but I’ve dipped those same toes in the Mississippi River plenty of times].  Minnesota is a beautiful state to explore for nature lovers and I’ve realized that as I get older I appreciate it a little more.  So here are some of the locations I’d like to get to know a little better:

  • Duluth
    • We just touched the surface of all Duluth has to offer when we went up there for a week on our minimoon.  Taking in the breweries, Gooseberry Falls and Split Rock Lighthouse, it was a great week to see some of the fabulous features this part of Minnesota has to offer.  Lake Superior is amazing, breath-taking at times, and I had a great time exploring the handful of places we were able to hit.  There is still plenty left to see so I think another trip next summer is definitely in order
      • Left on my list: Canal Park, Oberg Mountain Loop, Skyline Parkway, Chester Park, Split Rock Falls
  • The Boundary Waters
    • Water amazes me and the photos I’ve seen of the Boundary Waters are impressive.  I’d love to spend some time camping and taking in all the awesome scenery.

Places to Explore in the United States

As you can see above, I haven’t even hit the tip of the iceberg when it comes to exploring all this country has to offer.  There are so many beautiful places to see and take in.  My choices weren’t just based on nature, but based on learning how different the regions are – growing up in Minnesota definitely isn’t like growing up in New York City, San Diego or Montana.  My travel list isn’t just about nature and scenery, it’s about the experience, too.

  • Boston
  • Hawaii
  • Denver
  • Anchorage
  • New York City [I’ve actually been here but my trip was short and I’d love to see the millions of sites this city has to offer]
  • Phoenix [again, I’ve been here, too, but it was when I was still in high school and I stayed with my grandparents.  Arizona seems like an awesome place to explore and I want to see more!]
  • San Francisco
  • Seattle
  • Washington DC [I think I could cross this off with a short weekend trip since I have explored a bit when I was in college.  I’d love to see this in the spring and would need to bring my camera!]
  • Portland
  • New Orleans
  • San Antonio
  • Maine [I know this doesn’t fit into the ‘city’ category… I just want to explore the whole Maine coast!]
  • Savannah
  • Nashville [I spent roughly 3 hours here last year when we dropped my brother off at the airport.  I need more time to take in the city and the music!]
  • Napa
  • Yellowstone
  • Laguna Beach/Orange County
  • Myrtle Beach
  • Virgin Islands

Places to Explore Internationally

Not as long of a list, but still growing, is my international travel list.  Most of these locations are exotic because as I mentioned before, I’m a sucker for water.  I’m also intrigued by the history and the scenery of some of the places and would love to spend days just taking thousands of photos.

  • Fiji
  • Australia/New Zealand
  • Greece
  • Italy
  • Paris
  • Barcelona
  • Prague
  • Vancouver
  • Toronto
  • Montreal
  • Costa Rica
  • Maldives
  • Cape Town

I’m going to take the Dalai Lama’s advice and try to travel someplace I’ve never been once a year… or at least a place that’s on my travel bucket list.  This year’s location will probably be New York to visit my cousin before she graduates from school.  Not necessarily somewhere I’ve never been, but I’ll definitely visit places I’ve never seen.

Have you put together a travel bucket list?  I’d love to hear about all the places you want to go explore!




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: