My Vacation Bucket List
Before I leave this earth, there are just a few places I need to see. I am seriously overdue for a vacation and find myself daydreaming often. So in no particular order, here are the places I need to go during my lifetime to satisfy my wanderlust.
The Maldives: I've heard it described as nature's sunken garden. I can admit that I don't know much about the place other than that it is stunning, serene, remote, and other-worldly. I can definitely see myself lounging on white sand beaches doing nothing for hours. Spend an hour or so exploring the underwater world and introducing myself to forms of sea life I've never seen? Count me in! Sure, it's one of those places that takes plentiful financial resources just to reach, but hey - the opportunity to view a real life paradise on this side of life? I'm down for that!
Tour France while eating croissants and french fries and drinking champagne: I've spent a fair amount of time in France. During college I spent a fabulous summer studying French art and history in and just outside of Paris. At the time I realized it was remarkable, but I don't think I had the life experience to truly appreciate it. Having gone back to fill in certain gaps since then, I think I have a good feel for France's history and culture. Having said that, I definitely think I've earned a trip of indulgence to savor ALL the yumminess of the country. Calories be damned! Imagine beginning in Paris and traveling to the Bordeaux or Champagne regions all in the name of eating and drinking? Ready to go? Me too! I found this tour that peaked my interest.
Camping in the Grand Canyon: People say that what you see on TV pales in comparison to experiencing the Grand Canyon live and in color. A post-card a minute, my understanding is that each view is more breathtaking than the last. I'd love to see both the sunrise and sunset in the Grand Canyon from a campsite. I can imagine feeling so small against the backdrop of this national treasure while simultaneously tapping into the biggest parts of yourself while soaking in the peace and serenity of the space.
Bali: I didn't even know about Bali until Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love came out. And I don't think it even made real sense to me until I saw the movie (even if they may not have filmed the Bali scenes in actual Bali). Regardless of the superficial basis for my obsession with this place, I want to go. I want to sleep in an open-air bungalow and allow the sweat beads to dance on my brow while tapping into my chakra. I want to take yoga classes all day and then wander around the towns to meet locals who dabble in hand crafted goods and spiritual readings. Who is coming with me?
Spending a month or so in Africa: This one needs no real explanation. The concept of visiting The Motherland is something so amazing to just think about as an African American woman who can trace her roots to the continent. I imagine I would take at least a month traveling from this coast to that, making sure to stop at Gorée Island in Senegal to honor my heritage, taking in the splendor of Victoria Falls in Zambia and Zimbabwe, exploring the plains during a Kenyan safari, and checking out the dunes in Morocco. I expect that this will be a life-changing trip and one that I would take my time to appreciate.
Driving Route 66: I have always romanticized taking road trips, and there is no other one like the full Chicago to Los Angeles trek down the historic Route 66. Taking my time to stop in off-the-beaten-path towns and hear war stories from other travelers in dim bars and motels along the way, this trip is certainly on the top of my list.
Spending a month in Italy: Italy is my favorite foreign country to visit. Even though I've spent a good deal of time there, I would travel by rail and car to every possible city and town from Palermo all the way north to Venice. Some of my favorite memories were made in Italy - namely in Florence savoring fresh handmade pasta and on the Amalfi Coast enjoying one jaw-dropping vista after another while drinking limoncello. I would take my time in each spot, tasting every type of pasta and every flavor of gelato while practicing my Italian with locals. I'm sure I would come home having learned how to get the perfect texture for risotto, perfected my Italian accent and carrying a little extra (but happy) weight!