Oh The Places I’ll Go


Traveling is my #2 “thing” in life (behind cooking/eating, natch. ;) ) It’s what keeps me going.


The thought of my next big adventure – what I want to see, learn and experience next – is sometimes all I can think about!


No less than five times a week I’ll turn to Ben and say,

“Babe, can we go to ______ someday?”

(The “blank” being the latest locale I’ve got my heart set on seeing.)

“Uh-huh!” he’s learned to reply, less I give him the “Noooo, whyyy????” if he says otherwise. ;)

Well the list is getting long, my friends. So long that I thought I’d better document it before I forget one single place that I’ve thought, at one time or another, was important to see.

Then I thought maybe I’d share it with you. Maybe we have similar travel interests and goals. Maybe you’ve been to some of the places on my list and can fill me in on what to expect. The list is not by any means inclusive or closed, but it’s what I’ve got right now. And so…

My Life’s Wanderlist

(in alphabetical order because I’m crazy like that.)

Bali, Indonesia

I’ve got the eat taken care of – now all I need is the pray and love (in Indonesia!) to experience.


Bangkok & Phuket Thailand

I can’t imagine a world more vastly different than my own, but I love being challenged and immersed in the unfamiliar.


And my friend went to Phuket for her honeymoon and saw baby elephants on the beach. Ummm, yes please.

Phuket(source 1, source 2)

Cannon Beach, Oregon

Once of my Dad’s most favorite places in the US.


Castle Tour of Europe

I will never forget the castles I toured when I went to Germany in my teens. The sheer size of these hand-made masterpieces is incredible!


Charleston, South Carolina

My Dad lent me Charles Kuralt’s America book when Ben and I went to New Orleans a few years ago, in which Charles describes some of the most memorable places he’s been to around the country. In addition to NOLA, Charleston and it’s blooming azaleas in the spring was included. Boy I’d sure love to see those someday!


Ziplining in Costa Rica

I zip lined once in Puerta Vallarta, but I’m pretty sure I wasn’t harnessed or strapped in correctly…eeks. I’d like to do it right in the canopy of Costa Rica.



Less touristy than it’s European coastal-city counterparts. Mmmm. :)


Dubai, UAE

I just really need to see this for myself. Plus I feel like it might rain gold coins there, or something.



I’ve had a life-long fascination with Egypt and its pyramids, tombs, mummies and ancient structures. I would be crushed if I never got to see it in person.


Lake Louise, Banff, Canada

I learned of Lake Louise’s existence from one of the first food blogs I ever started reading and have been obsessed with getting there ever since.


Machu Picchu, Peru

Brilliant, ancient civilizations freak. me. out. but I still want to see this craziness.



‘Nuff said.



The colors! The sights! The sounds!


New England in the Fall

It has been a dream of mine for the last 5 years to take an autumn foliage tour down the east coast.


New Zealand

Ok, really lame, but I saw a few episode’s of America’s Next Top Model taped in NZ and it was breathtaking. I really want to sail there!

MV Milford Wanderer & Mitre Peak, Milford Sound, Fiordland National Park, South Island, New Zealand(source)

Niagara Falls

Every North American needs to see this at some point in their life, no?


Northern Lights in Alaska

I think a cruise to Alaska would be incredible too.


Paris, France

I have recently become obsessed with spending inordinate amounts of time sitting at a Parisian cafe sipping cappuccinos. I think I could stay here a month.


Petra, Jordan

If it came down to seeing either Petra or Egypt, I’d pick Petra – which is really saying something. A city carved out of the rock? It blows my mind!

Petra (source)

Provence, France

I want to spin in fields of lavender then ride a cruiser bike to a crumbling farm house and sip red wine.


Kiss the Blarney Stone, Cork, Ireland

Just…need to.


Safari in Kenya, Africa

I think this would be the coolest thing in the entire world. Knowing that I could actually be eaten by a lion is both terrifying and thrilling at the same time. Mostly terrifying though. But I still want to do it.


Sahara Dessert

I know – crazy. I just feel like I want to go for like 5 minutes.


Santorini, Greece

I sort of feel like I’m cheating on Praiano by wanting to go to Santorini, but I’ve always wanted to go, and cough I was really jealous that Lena from the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants got to spend an entire summer there cough.


Savannah, Georgia

I want to hunt down Paula Deen and make her feed me macaroni and cheese.



I blame House Hunters International for my recent obsession with Seychelles. I feel like they’ve taped 10 episodes on this tiny island off the eastern coast of Africa in the last year. Stunning natural beauty!


Taj Mahal, Agra, India

The sheer size and meaning of this monument is something that has always intrigued me.


La Tomatina Festival, Bunol, Spain

My inner type A is petrified of the mess, but my inner wild child is winning out. :)

Spain Tomatina Food Fight(source)

Tuscany, Italy

I want to explore every inch of Italy – including the picturesque wine country that reminds me of A Walk in the Clouds. I know – wrong country, but same cozy, romantic feeling!


Venice, Italy

I am literally waiting on pins and needles for the moment I arrive in Venice. I hope to the high Heavens that it hasn’t sunk by the time I get there!



Just feeling like I really need to see this place.


Yosemite National Park, California

North America has some of the most breathtaking scenery and landscape in the world. I’d love to check out what Yosemite has to offer!



Clear water. Dolphins. Hammocks. Sign me up.


Zion National Park, Utah

The beauty of this place absolutely blows my mind – and it’s just a few states away!


Now all I have to do is convince Ben that taking a year off to travel the world is a good idea…

Raise your hand if you’re with me! ;)


Where do we overlap on My Life’s Wanderlist? What’s on yours?

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  1. Liz 08.11.2011

    I’ve done the cruise to Alaska.. It was fabulous. Do you have any ideas for a romantic weekend in the midwest? I’m looking for something for next fall for our 5th anniversary. We are just in Dubuque, so close to you! Oh and has to be driving distance. Dh won’t fly.

    • Lisa S 08.11.2011

      Try Door County, Wisconsin. We make a yearly trip! Yes, it can be touristy, but there’s so much to do and see to not feel like that.

      • Sara 08.11.2011

        Yes, Door County is fabulous! I have been there almost every year with my family and my (now) husband. We love it! We actually just got back a week ago.

        • Morgan 08.11.2011

          I like Bayfield, WI even better – it’s like a tiny Cape Cod in the Northwoods.

  2. Lauren 08.11.2011

    Wish you were adding Philadelphia, PA to that list. :( I’ll miss you this year at the HLS.

  3. Kim 08.11.2011

    One of my favorite posts! You will want to LIVE in Paris…it’s amazing. Morocco and the Sahara Desert were so unbelievably eye opening for me. You must go to Fez! Top contenders on my current travel list=Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, (all of South America), South Africa, and Thailand….ahhh, to dream.

  4. Machelle 08.11.2011

    i’ve always wanted to see the Grand Canyon. i want to ride a mule down, spend the night, maybe a little mild white water rafting,maybe camp another night, ride the mule back up outa there. it’s so close and yet i’ve never seen any part of it. if Ben doesn’t want to ride shotgun to these destinations you so desire….sign me up! =)

  5. Amanda 08.11.2011

    I live just hours from Lake Louise and it is one of my favorite places, in any season. The fresh mountain air really is something else. If you’re into skiing or snowboarding, Lake Louise won’t disappoint!

  6. nicole 08.11.2011

    If you’re going to Petra, you have to go to Syria on the way… incredible things- especially Crac de Chevalier (spelling?) It’s the most well preserved Crusaider castle in the world… on a fabulous mountain, near the sea. Palmyra.. fantastic… Damascus is also a great place to go to the markets and see all there is to see. And.. lots of great food to be had!

  7. anna 08.11.2011

    I went on a family vacation to Zion National Park when I was 14 and I would love to go back! We did lots of hiking and driving around. It’s gorgeous.

    I went to Costa Rica in college and it was SO. MUCH. FUN. We flew into San Jose and met up with our tour guide who took us hiking through the rainforest, to some cute little lodges in the cloud forest, hiking at Arenal volcano, to a coffee plantation, zip lining, white water rafting, to hot springs, to lots of cute little shops and restaurants, to an open air market, and finally to a beautiful all-inclusive resort on a black sand beach which was must needed after all the action-packed days prior to that. We flew back from Liberia. Let me know if you want to know anything else! I think it was ~$1500 for the whole trip which included credit for two classes, but we got group rates on everything there.

  8. Ann 08.11.2011

    I’ve been reading your blog for awhile now and have never commented, (I’m kinda shy :)) but I had to on this one! Our travel lists are almost identical- Long story, but I was looking at and researching a human rights internship in Bali today (too expensive though) :( BUT I studied abroad in Cairo, Egypt last year and it was the most amazing time of my life- Morocco is next on my list, and I visited Petra, Jordan as well (no words can explain!!) and have camped out in the Sahara Desert. Dubai is also very high on my list- as well as most everything else you mentioned. and just FYI- i have a degree in International Affairs, with a focus on Middle East studies, hence why those cities are high on my list and my obsession with travel! If you’re interested, or ever have a couple minutes, this is the link to the blog I kept while I was in Egypt-http://www.travelpod.com/members/acroyse04 It was my first time traveling out of the US so it was rather adventurous! I hope you get to cross some of those countries off of your list soon :) Also, I love your blog! (longestcommentever)

  9. Oh what I cool list. I would love to do any or all. I love the castles of Europe are just one thing. (BTW kissing the Blarney Stone is actually in a castle of Europe LOL)
    I grew up in Ireland but was never in Blarney. People who know me do not believe this they say I go ON an ON

  10. What a fabulous list of places to visit! I’ve never even heard of some of them – umm where have the Maldives been all my life?! A lady at the winery we visited last weekend was telling us about Seychelles (random) and how gorgeous it was there, and I told her I only knew from what I had seen on House Hunters haha. Before that I had never even heard of the place but would go there any day!! There are many places on your list that I would love to visit too – oh if only time and money were endless, right? ;)

  11. Jill 08.11.2011

    I love seeing other people’s travel list! To add to yours: Kauai, HI (a desert, tropical forst, and mountain, all on one tiny island), ANYWHERE in coastal Maine (I love Ogunquit!), Sedona, AZ (red red rocks, peaceful, calm, full of spa resorts!). I 100% agree with PARIS. I’m dying to go. dying. Indonesia looks AMAZE. I’ve heard really awesome things about Barcelona too. Where the heck is Zanzibar?! Googling it now. :)

  12. Oooh I love this post! Food+Traveling have tied for first place in my heart, haha i love them too much to choose a favorite!
    I just finished up a post on Santorini today :)
    One of my brothers and my sister absolutely loved Croatia. They’ve been to several countries (in Morocco now!), but Croatia definitely tops their lists! My dad LOVES Egypt, and my Grandma feels the same way about Alaska! You have a great list going here girl :D I’ve always wanted to go to New England and Ireland..hopefully one day!

  13. Dee 08.11.2011

    Oh, awesome, awesome, awesome! I love lists! Especially life lists. :)

  14. Heather C 08.11.2011

    i LOVE this list!
    Our lists definitely cross over several times but most especially for Egypt. Both my husband & I have had this huge draw to that country & I’m willing to go tomorrow even with the current state of Cairo in particular!

    Travel is why I became a travel agent! :) I’ve been to a nice number of the places on your list, but would return to most in a heartbeat too!

  15. Jenna 08.11.2011

    I’d like to start off by saying not only do I love the idea of making this list and posting it, but I LOVE that you alphabetized it!! I’m so anal like that, too!!

    In your castle tour you must see the Windsor Castle. I toured that in 2004 and it was amazing…the detail, the ceilings, the history. A definite must!!

  16. Dream Mom 08.11.2011

    Oh, such amazing photos! Love your list! First would be Bora, Bora. Next, I’d love to visit all of the great flower and water gardens of the world. I love formal gardens and beautiful architecture. Thailand always intrigued me as does Dubai, UAE. Paris for sure. I’d also love more adventure type trips. The one thing I do fear however is traveling over water. It wouldn’t stop me but I can’t stand to think about it.

  17. Cindee Ellenbarger 08.11.2011

    Yosemite is practically in my backyard and I just went last year (at the age of 38!) What was I thinking? Should have gone sooner. Have been 3 times since. So beautiful!
    I’ve been to Yellowstone so I should get some points for that :)
    It’s beautiful–come out and enjoy.

  18. Yosemite, New England in the Fall, and Charleston are wonderful. Yosemite is awe inspiring!!! I can not wait to go back.

  19. Mandy 08.11.2011

    That is one extensive list. I was super excited when I saw Peru on there. I went there 2 summers ago and I loved it. I’m definately going back. Unfortunately I didn’t even see Machu Picchu, but I did see hundreds and hundreds of penguins on a boat tour out of Paracas. You have to make Peru a top priority!

  20. Lauren 08.11.2011

    I was just in New Zealand for the past 6 months. SO. BEAUTIFUL.

  21. We have several destinations in common…Bali (a MUST), Yosemite (I’ve lived in California for like 18 years and STILL haven’t been), Zion, Vietnam, Phuket, Machu Picchu…shoot, I’d go to any of the places you have listed!!

    Although I didn’t realize it at the time, I was extremely fortunate to live in Fairbanks (Moose Creek and North Pole) Alaska for 5 years. We moved there the summer before my senior year of high school. THAT was tough…but I’ve seen the Northern Lights and many other amazing thing in Alaska (the Arctic Circle, Denali National Park, grizzly bears and 350 pund halibut).

    I would recommend Death Valley (in the late fall) as another domestic destination…it is stunning and can’t really be explained as it is more of an experience. It is my favorite place {so far}.

    Love the book America! My BF and I are hitting the road in the RV in 1 year and 4 months…permanently (or until we can’t stand each other anymore)…that book will be our guide!!

  22. I would love to go to all of the places on your list! I have been close to Machu Picchu when I went to Lima, Peru but did not go there. I absolutely loved Lima! It was an experience I will never forget! I will hopefully be in Savannah, GA in November for the Rock and Roll Half marathon. I will most definitely be looking for Paula while I am there!

  23. Molly 08.11.2011

    Holy perfect timing, IGE! My husband and I were just talking about all the worldly places we want to visit after he stumbled upon this list yesterday : http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/​2EiByU/www.pxleyes.com/blog/20​11/05/the-50-most-important-la​ndmarks-of-the-world/ . Between those 50 and your list, my dream list just got a little bit longer. Baby elephants, you say?? Better add Thailand! We are satisfying a little bit of our wanderlust by moving all over the US every three months as I work as a traveling physical therapist.. but we still call Iowa home! :)

  24. Brittnie 08.11.2011

    Love all of these beautiful pictures! I have been to Egypt and it was amazing. I actually rode a camel (um…a lot harder than it looks!) up to the pyramids. Totally awesome.

    I have also been on an African safari (in Uganda, East Africa) and it was AMAZING. What you said about getting eaten alive by a lion is true but AMAZING. This is one of my most favorite travel experiences to date. I got to ride on top of the jeeps and came SO CLOSE to elephants, lions, etc. Was actually scared at one point. CRAZY but again, AMAZING.

    Lake Louise/Banff Canada is also beautiful. I was lucky to travel there summer 2005 after I graduated from college. Go in the summer!! There is so much to do (fun active/outdoors activities) and it is breathtaking! Honestly this is probably my second favorite travel experience (second to the African safari).

    Love this list… I think I will start one of my own. Right. Now. :)

  25. jad18 08.11.2011

    Paris and venice are my two favorite cities, you gotta go to both. I really want to visit Australia, costa rica, anguilla, and ireland. In the US, I want to visit Hawaii, Sun Valley, Jackson Hole and Portland. So many places, so little time. At least we made it to Sedona and Grand Canyon this year which were two on my list before.

  26. Sara 08.11.2011

    To be honest? Paula’s mac & cheese is not all it’s cracked up to be. We were in Savannah just for one day, and wanted to eat at her restaurant. We ended up deciding to do a foodie tour, which stopped at Paula Deen’s. I tried the mac & cheese and was not impressed. But the foodie tour was AWESOME! We tried so many great hole-in-the-wall places.

  27. Sheri 08.11.2011

    I live in Calgary which is only a couple hours away from Banff and Lake Louise. There is nothing like the Rocky Mountains and the fresh mountain air. If you have never been taking a trip here is a must and will not dissapoint :) The views are majestic and the towns are charming. Winter or summer you will have a good time.

    As for the rest of your list….you have a lot of places that are on my list that I want to see. Paris being one of them!

  28. sharon weaver 08.11.2011

    I ate at Paula’s place in Savanana and i liked her macaroni and cheese. I’ve since went to her web site and made it at home. It is different, lots of different cheese’s that you normally wouldn’t put in the dish. Try it at home and see how you feel about it.

  29. Amo 08.11.2011

    The baby elephants would love you! I am down for the fall foliage tour this year!! Girls trip?!? ;)

  30. Hwkichick 08.11.2011

    You forgot le mars Iowa ice cream capital of the world?!?!

  31. Wow! I only have like 5 places on my list, but you’ve inspired me to really look into other places I want to go. Tuscany and Barcelona are def at the top of my list.

  32. sheila 08.11.2011

    Maybe go to Italy with Alessandra on one of her cooking tours. http://tours.cookingwithalessandra.com/

  33. Jessica 08.11.2011

    My husband proposed to me on a sailboat in the Charleston harbor!!! The city is beautiful and very romantic! You should definitely visit someday!

  34. Emily 08.11.2011

    oh my gosh. my indecisiveness of where I want to travel the most has always been high, and you just made it ten times worse! all these places look SO awesome!!!!! eeeeeeep, i want to go to Paris! no, New Zealand. No, no it’s Tuscany.

  35. Kristie 08.11.2011

    I live in Charleston, SC, so I’m a bit spoiled by having such a beautiful, friendly city at my fingertips! And, Paula Dean’s restaurant doesn’t have anything on Charleston’s Cru Cafe’s mac and cheese – you’ll have to try it when you and Ben visit!

    I definitely have been bitten by the travel bug lately – Portugal this past June (amazing!!), London/Belgium/Amsterdam next week, and already booking 2 weeks in Tahiti and South Pacific next summer to celebrate my husband being done with school. Travel is so addictive, but so much fun!! Work hard, and play harder ;-)

    Love your blog!! I always look forward to reading it!

  36. Tessa 08.11.2011

    You can basically sign me up for all of you places, but I’d add Belize (been there but need to go back!) and Australia. I scuba and absolutely have to dive these spots!

  37. oooh i love it! i’ve been to Neuschwanstein in Germany and it is so fabulous. cold, but exquisite. and safari…yes, done that too, but in south africa. awesome experience!

  38. Rachel 08.11.2011

    I would go to any and all of those places on your list as well…I’d cross off kissing the Blarney Stone, though, as I’ve already done that. I’d love to visit Scotland, Australia (my best friend from high school emigrated there a couple years ago, so maybe a reunion of sorts is in my future!), anywhere in the Caribbean, South America…Heck, right now, I’d be happy just to visit the Badlands in western SoDak or parts of Wyoming & Montana! :)

  39. kelly 08.11.2011

    We are going to Cannon Beach this fall!

  40. LindsayH 08.11.2011

    We saw the Northern Lights from Ames one night 7 years ago during a crazy solar storm. They were amazing from here, it must be incredible to see them all the time.

  41. Erin 08.11.2011

    My husband and I road-tripped through New England last fall and I loved every minute of it. I’m dying to go back to Vermont, Massachusetts, and Maine and spend more time there. I would go back this fall in a heartbeat if I could! Otherwise, I’m one of those that wants to go to all 50 states and I’d love to see just about all of Canada as well.

  42. Stephanie 08.11.2011

    Savannah is absolutely fantastic! We went for a long weekend over our anniversary last year and had a blast! The food is AMAZING and you can walk around town with drinks in your hand. It makes for great pre and post dinner walks!

  43. Morgan 08.11.2011

    What a great list – I, too, have many many places I’d love to visit. Hope I get to see even a fraction of them. I went to Greece last summer and spent nearly a week on Santorini. It’s stunning. I enjoyed the town of Oia more than the bigger town that has all the clubs and restaurants. What I liked even more though was Naxos, another island we spent some time on. The people were incredibly friendly, the scenery beautiful, and the gelato divine. I highly recommend it!

  44. Catherine 08.11.2011

    Love your list! The safari in Kenya is definitely at the top of my dream list, along with Bali. My husband and I are traveling to Dublin and Cork County in a couple of weeks and are super excited :) Best wishes for making it to all the awesome destinations!

  45. ahhhh loved this! DO THE SAFARI. i went on one in botswana and as we were driving around a turn laughing and talking, we suddenly came FACE TO FACE with a massive lion who just stood up and looked at us. our driver didnt move an inch, but very sternly warned us not to make a sound or move a muscle. terrifing and exhilarating all at the same time. i’ve also been to santorini, and let me tell you, every direction you turn looks just like a postcard. it is one of the most breathtaking places in the world. you should also add victoria falls to your list. cooler than niagara IMO, and you can even go bungee jumping! i knew i couldnt leave there without jumping and i dont regret it for a second. on my list is jordan, anywhere in south america, THAILAND, bali, egypt, colorado, seattle, texas, and back to south africa because it will always have my <3. GREAT post !

  46. Maddie 08.11.2011

    I simply adore this list! It really is fun to daydream about the places you want to go someday. Your whole list overlaps if I haven’t already been there yet :) Venice really is awesome, but if you go, make sure you go to the smaller islands around it, Murano and Lido. Murano has tons of glassblowers and cool shops, and Lido is such a cute little residential island. Rent a bike and cruise around the island and then eat some gelato after you’re done. Paris really is great, too. There is so much to do there. But bring some extra cash along because the food in the restaurants is outrageously expensive unless you get ham and cheese on a baguette for every meal, haha. There is a hole in the wall fondue place up by Sacre Couer that is super fun- You can write on the walls and drink wine out of baby bottles… because everyone secretly wants to do that, right? Anywho, I’ll stop rambling now and continue making my own travel list ;)

  47. Amanda 08.11.2011

    Hey Kristin – great post!!! We overlap in so many places…if you ever need a travel buddy, you know who to call haha!!

    Two notes – first, I live in New England so i can say first hand how GORGEOUS the autumn is down the “I-95 corridor”. Heck, we joke that we may actually WANT to drive the turnpike/I-95/Meritt just to see the beautiful trees!

    Second, I’ve spent some extensive time in Africa and can say that there are fewer places more beautiful than almost the entire continent. Although my time there has primarily been in the post-conflict regions in the East and Horn of Africa, I’ve taken a few “safaris” (some of them unofficial!), and its so incredible to see the wildlife and landscape! One tip is to make sure you research your safari provider very, very well. There are a lot of “reputable” tours available that actually allow poaching in their parks, or accept bribes from wealthy individuals to come shoot animals who have been tranquilized/incapacitated. Its awful, and not as uncommon as you’d think – even some national parks allow it to happen under the radar! Stick with true wildlife sanctuaries or orphanages and you should be on the right track, and Lonely Planet has some great recommendations!

    PS – The place that I go back to every night before I close my eyes is the Virunga National Park in DRC, where the mountain gorillas live. I cried when we finally saw them after our guide tracked them for 2 days – they are truly breathtaking.

  48. Kissing the Blarney Stone was one of my absolute fave experiences in life. :) Do it!!

  49. Lindsey 08.11.2011

    All those places look beautiful! My top ones I want to visit next are (not in any order): Montreal, New York City, and then in one big trip – Greece, Monaco and Italy.

  50. I am DYING to go on safari in Africa and then end the safari with a week in Zanzibar! Oh and honeymoon in the Maldives. I studied abroad in London in college and hit Italy, Paris, Prague, Germany, Austria, Scotland and Holland and I LOVED Europe!

    You have to come to Yosemite! It’s GORGEOUS! Half Dome is risky (I’m too scared of falling to my death), but Cloud’s Rest has the same views (if not better!) and much less risk! ;-)

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