Wanderlist

wan·der·list /ˈwändərˌlist/ (noun)

What a Type A personality creates to cope with a severe case of wanderlust.

There is nowhere that I would not want to go on this earth (though unfortunately with certain places and the issues there, I wouldn’t be foolish enough to go – you know who you are and I hope you get your act together soon!).  Actually even if I have been somewhere, I will want to go back because there is always something I would do again and there’s something that I wasn’t able to do last time…even in my home state, I still have so much to experience!  I will be continually adding things on this list, because that’s the thing about wanderlust – there is no cure and I am perfectly okay with that!  (The only time you will ever hear me say that I am fine with not completing a list…)

BEFORE I DIE, I WANT TO…

LIVE A BEAUTIFUL LIFE

TRAVEL THE WORLD – SEE, EAT, EXPERIENCE IT ALL

Go on Jeopardy ~ make it a true Daily Double Please Alex ~ and leave a Champion

Travel to 100 countries (50 so far..)

Experience old Havana ~ the colorful buildings, old cars, maybe even smoke a Cuban cigar or two

Visit Anne Frank house, bike the Van Gogh ‘Starry night’ inspired path in the Netherlands (have been to the country but would love to do these two things!)

Not fall into the gates of hell AKA Turkmenistan’s Darvaza Crater

Find my way on the Road to Damascus (literally and figuratively)

See all New 7 Wonders of the World ~ so far ~ I’ve seen Great Wall of China, China; Machu Picchu, Peru; Petra, Jordan; Colosseum, Rome, Italy

Attend a Euro Cup and/or World Cup match in person

Do my best Dian Fossey impression and track gorillas in Rwanda

Eat pistachios and pomegranates in Persia hopefully both in Iran and Afghanistan

Ski in the Southern Hemisphere

Reflect at Salar de Uyuni (have been to the Salt Flats but want to come back during rainy season for the mirror effect)

Stay in Hobbiton (maybe feel like everything is finally the perfect size for me)

Spin prayer wheels in Lhasa, Tibet

Hike the waterfalls in Iceland

Learn to shoot

See blue whales in an environmentally friendly way off the shores of Sri Lanka

Snorkel/dive the Great Barrier Reef

See the cheery blossoms blooming in Kyoto

Taste a Malbec in Mendoza and dance the tango in Buenos Aires, Argentina (again, I have been to the country but would love to do these two things!)

Take a river safari on the Okavango Delta

Witness lava pouring into the sea from Kīlauea Volcano, Hawaiʻi

Enjoy an amazing meal at Noma before it closes!

Yoga session in India and/or with Tara Stiles

Stay in one of those overwater bungalows in Tahiti or Bora Bora

Drive extremely fast on the autobahn (preferably a high performance vehicle)

See the white marble of the Taj Mahal sparkle at dawn

Experience the midnight sun

Take a decent picture of the Milky Way

Climb Mount Fuji

Try to figure out how the moai statues were created/moved on Rapa Nui (Easter Island) or at least see them up close and personal

Take a decent star trail photo

Sail through Mandalay, Burma

Visit Patagonia and see a glacier (Perito Moreno and more in Argentina) and hike (Torres del Paine)

Learn to rally car drive

Go to the Amazon

Skydive or bungee jump

Witness the Auroras (Australis and/or borealis!

Visit all seven continents

GO AHEAD AND CHECK THESE OFF THE WANDERLIST

Danced all over the world (probably a lot of photographic evidence out there)

Put into practice all the training I’ve had in water fights to celebrate Songkran; while bathing a bull elephant ~he rolled onto the lower part of my leg and later fell off a motor bike and miraculously remain unharmed in both instances; drank so much coffee and ate so much food, visited the Thai Grand Canyon, became part of my own girly biker gang in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Went on a 3 day tour and discovered that Salar de Uyuni would be my less favorite part, had the most incredible experience of being in natural hot springs stargazing and watch the full moon rise, discovered that others were wrong and I really enjoyed Lake Titicaca, watched Cholita wrestling in La Paz, Bolivia

Seen the romance alive and well and attended a jubilee Papal mass in Rome; hiked, ate and wandered through Cinque Terre; window shopped in Milan; took a gondola ride in Venice and watched glass blowing in Murano; explored the art in Florence; drove down the Almafi Coast; discovered the gritty charm of Naples, explored Herculeum, Vesuvius and Pompeii; consumed multiple times my weight in gelato and just ate and drank well in Italy

First solo trip was also first to South America (go big or go home!, then have been on longer distance and time ones since)

Was adopted by my Chilean parents and found a second home in Santiago, Chile

Found a microbrewery and a winery, discovered the hospitality of the locals, beared witness for people by listening to their stories, learned that travel isn’t always pretty and can be emotionally and intellectually challenging/draining and can force us to reevaluate beliefs/ideals/ourselves in the most fundamental ways in Palestine

Conquered a fear and became open water scuba certified (Koh Tao, Thailand)

Continued my journey of growth ~ and celebrated my birthday by doing my first solo road trip: drove straight through the night to watch the sun rise at the Grand Canyon; hiked Zion, Canyonlands and Arches National Parks, Antelope Canyon, and Horseshoe Bend

Discovered that Bali magic was real after all and learned how to live in and savor the present and start to live a life where I wasn’t afraid to go all in without regrets because every moment was worth it…even the pain.

Basked in the beauty of Prague, had friends (who I had met in Peru) who demonstrated their hospitality to not only allowing me to stay at their place but took me to do the most Czech thing ~ camp and canoe with their friends, Czech Republic

Had high tea, shopped at Harrods and Selfridges, seen the crown jewels at the Tower of London, seen some of the most important manuscripts/books to the Western world at the British Library, discovered my appreciation and love for street art in London, UK

Climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, experienced sunrise on the roof of Africa, and saw the snows before they disappeared forever

Had such an amazing time interspersed with some of the strangest moments in Budapest, Hungary

Explored amazing museums (Smithsonian-Washington D.C. USA; Field Musuem of Natural History & Museum of Science and Industry-Chicago; Shanghai Museum-Shanghai, China; V&A Musuem-London, UK; ; Jordan Museum; Istanbul Archeology Museum-Turkey; Museum of Broken Relationships-Zagreb, Croatia)

Awed by the beauty of the Khmer temples, saw the sun rise over Angkor Wat, enjoyed some delicious Cambodian food in Siem Reap

Blown over by the enormity, richness and beauty of Keukenhof, taken a picture without anyone in it on the I amsterdam sign, met my soul twin, took a lovely canal cruise, enjoyed the walkable, bikeable, cosmopolitan Amsterdam, in the Netherlands

Not only partied in Cartagena but am taught how to Latin dance by a group of Chileans celebrating a bachelor party in Colombia

Learned how to snorkel (and then have snorkeled in the Bahamas, Hawai’i, Colombia, Galápagos, Red Sea)

Discovered the charm and unique character of the Balkans countries and learned that rakija might mean regret ~ Serbia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia, Albania

Saw Roman ruins and discovered coolest bookshop/bar in Amman, hiked in Dana Reserve and spied black irises (the national flower), floated in the Dead Sea and applied its mud, , ran up and down the sand dunes and witnessed some of the prettiest sunrises and sunsets in Wadi Rum, snorkeled in the Red Sea and stunned by the beauty and enormity of Petra in Jordan

Ate amazing French pastries and bread, visited Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower in Paris

Wined and dined my way through the city, joined a gay pride parade, read at one of their many open air libraries, enjoyed free outdoor performances in Ljubljana, saw how postcard perfect Lake Bled was in person in Slovenia

Learned that I am not a muggle (or at least was able to experience the world of Harry Potter ~ Got on Platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross Station, took the Hogwarts Express, bought a wand at Ollivanders in Diagon Alley and drank some butterbeer in Hogmeade  and dueled my nephew)

Greeted the day at Macchu Picchu (though technically the sun had already risen an hour earlier at 5 am) and stood awestruck by this beautiful Incan creation set in a spectacular locale and unexpectedly fell in love with Cusco, discovered the amazing food scene in Lima and had lovely friends show me around Lima, Peru

Wandered the Old City and the various quarters of Jerusalem, Israel

Fell in love with the Atacama Desert with its colorful lagoons and mountains, the flamingos, vicuñas, llamas, the interesting formations and geysers, the gorgeous sunrises/sunsets and of course the stargazing, Chile

Hot air balloon rides over Bagan, Burma and Cappadocia, Turkey

Danced in San Marco’s square, saw glass blown on Murano, stood on the Rialto bridge, ate delicious pasta and even more divine gelato with my at the time 5 and 7 year old cousins and carried the lesson to never lose my child like wonder and happiness

Been amazed at the similarities between Hpa An, Burma and Guilin, China with the limestone formations, the picturesque rice paddies, caves but especially how the people of the respective countries would get this starry gaze when I mention the place and extol it’s beauty to me

Was completely underwhelmed at Mitad del Mundo, Ecuador where I was in the Northern and Southern Hemisphere simultaneously

Drank and ate my way through New Orleans (can never have enough beignets) and discovered the amazing local, independent shops in NOLA

Gazed upon some of the world’s most famous art (the Louvre-Paris, France; Tate & Tate Modern-London, UK; Smithsonian-Washington D.C., USA; Museo del Prado-Madrid, Spain; Van Gogh, Rijksmuseum, MOCO-Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Galleria dell’Accademia-Florence, Italy; Vatican Museums)

Watch the sun set then stargazed atop Mauna Kea ~ was amazed by the vastness of the universe and this cool laser pointer they use at the visitor center to show the stars/constellations

Found a city that was reinventing itself in the same way I was and really started to understand how your past does not have to define who you are today and will be tomorrow in Medellin, Colombia

Slid down the Great Wall of China after a huge snowstorm (and wondered how the guards were able to maintain their balance so long ago and I am in modern day sneakers…)

Swam with dolphins in the Bahamas (and finding out that dolphins are like dogs and kids and really love me…)

Gazed in awe at the attention to detail of the Terra Cotta Warriors in Xian ~ each face was crafted to be unique and is said to be based on someone living at the time in China

Saw up close what Darwin was talking about on the Galapagos Islands…giant tortoises, blue footed boobies, Darwin finches, Galápagos penguins and so much more
Found and consumed Starbucks in the Forbidden City (and was amazed by the craftsmanship and ingenuity of that place – and the Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven in Beijing)

Saw up close the Big Five (and many, many more animals) on safari in Tanzania

Fell madly, deeply in love with Turkey ~ hot air balloon ride, underground tunnel & cave exploration in Cappadocia; walking over the unique landscape in Pamukkale; admired the glory and the wonder of the Roman Empire and the ruins still standing in Ephesus and Pamukkale, swam in the lovely warm waters in Izmir, and oh there was Istanbul, of course with the Grand bazaar, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque but also side streets and the Bosphorus strait and those crazy blue waters with a sunset & evening cruise

I would have never known about the Santa Fe Opera if a good customer hadn’t told me about it and it was a wonderful experience.  Best way to describe it – world class production in an amazing setting (outdoor venue similar to Red Rocks!) So what do you think I should be adding to the list?!?!

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