Jun 262011

I know that bucket list is an overused term these days, but I did not know what else to call it.

I have been fortunate enough to be able to take decent vacations in the last 5-7 or so.  My wife and I have gotten in a bit of a rut though between Walt Disney World and cruising.  So, I am rethinking our vacation strategies.  We have been taking approximately two moderate type vacations per year. I am thinking towards one “staycation” and one big vacation.

Both my wife and I have spent some time (before we met) in Western Europe.  I was fortunate to spend a semester in England and was able to visit Wales, Ireland, Scotland, France, and Italy.  That was 15 years ago.  Getting old stinks. So, here is my list of things I would like to see.  Some may be more realistic than others at this time in my life both in cost and time.

  • Galapagos Islands – Thinking of taking a Celebrity cruise on the Xpedition.  It is a 100 passenger cruise ship.  It is all inclusive.  Considering our last cruise ship had 6200 passengers, it would be quite a change.
  • Machu Pichu – It is possible to wrap this in with a Galapagos Islands tour.  However, that may be too much for me at this time.  I would also like to see some of the lesser known ancient cities that are away from the tourists.
  • The Great Pyramids and cruise the Nile – I think that this one will have to wait with the unrest in the Middle East currently.
  • The Great Wall of China – I would also try to tie in a cruise down the Yangtze river.
  • River cruise through Europe – I would love to do a barge, but that is way out of my price range.  I would like to see part of Eastern Europe and Germany.
  • Grand Canyon – I have flown over it and visited some minor canyons as well as Monument Valley.  I would really love to white water raft it.
  • New Zealand – The Lord of the Rings movies really showcased some beautiful scenery.
  • The French Polynesian – Whether it is a small cruise ship or just doing a little island hopping, I do not think it matters.
  • Angkor Wat – Looks pretty amazing.  I would try to tie this in with other Eastern items such as Thailand.
  • India and the Taj Mahal – It would be pretty hard to go to India and not see the Taj Mahal while there.
  • The Panama Canal – This one is relatively easy to do.  I am just fascinated by the idea of the engineering of it.

So what say you?  What is on your list to see and do? What else should I add?

Ultimately, I am a bargain shopper.  So, I will go where I can get a great deal.  However, I am certainly expanding my horizons in the future.  Of course, if I win the lottery than I will hit all of the above plus more.


  11 Responses to “Travel Bucket List”

Comments (11)
  1. Oopss… Forgot an important one. An African Safari.

  2. Alaska and Hawaii so I can say I’ve been to all 50 states. Maybe the pyramids if it ever settles down over there. Beyond that I’d love to start touring the tropical islands of the pacific.

    • We had plans to go to Alaska this fall and ended up cancelling them. I would still love to go there as well.

  3. wow…Your list is pretty hard not to copy/paste Zeus

    New Zealand has been the very top of my list for 20 years.

    You’ve already been most of the places that are on my ‘realistic’ to go to list.

    My Aunt and Uncle have been all over the world in style…one of their favorite places is Tahiti…i picture the corona commercials…doesn’t sound/look bad. Is that the French Poly?

    The Alaskan cruises get a lot of attention…might do that with mom/dad sometime soon….they have a big anniversary coming.

  4. Antarctica would be another location to see.

  5. Great post, zeus.

    I’ve had New Zealand at the top of my list for a very long time, and Australia’s up there too. For awhile, I hoarded frequent flier miles with the intention of visiting NZ, but United decided to make NZ one of the only global destinations ineligible for reward travel. Otoh, Australia’s still on the list, so I could take a month or two and make a combo trip of the two. Flights from Australia to NZ would still be vastly less expensive than from the US to NZ.

    One of my big regrets in recent years has been my lack of travel. If I play my cards right, a post-graduate job should give me enough security to do a lot more globetrotting. I’ve never even been to Asia, for example. And my European travels have been pretty minimal overall – just Spain, Andorra, Belgium, and Germany.

    I also think in terms of backcountry trips I want to do. There’s not much of that in Europe, but there are countless amazing backcountry possibilities in Asia, Australia, and NZ. Africa, too. Another thing that NZ can offer is some of the best whitewater rafting in the world.

    If you want to raft the Grand Canyon, keep in mind that waiting lists can be long. The inexpensive way to do it is find people with a private permit rather than a concessionaire permit, but that can mean a wait of several years (or even more). The full-on guided trips are more readily available but vastly more expensive. Just do a search for private permits and see what you learn – the option may or may not work for you. (It might require knowing people with gear and know-how, for example.)

    One trip that I’ve had in the back of my mind for a few years is closer to home — a multi-week or month-long canoe trip from Canada down to Lake Superior, following the historical route of the French fur traders with the North West Company. My interest in that has recently been renewed, as I’ve read about the market battle between the NWC and the Hudson’s Bay Company from a perspective of economic history. It’s capitalism! 😉

    The big barrier for me is available time. I can’t convince myself to spend money on trips like this if I only have a week available. Sooner or later I’ll either have to clear more time, or decide to stop letting the perfect be the enemy of the good. (Had to try and match your “bucket list” cliche!)

    • Time is a big deal. I have a decent amount of vacation, but my wife does not. So, we are usually planning around 5 business days off.

      That is the other reason why I am planning to do staycations. Or find something local and take a day or two off and do something we have not done before.

  6. Also – I recently saw this 2008 article along the lines of your post (while I was reading another Smithsonian piece on the physics of cheating in baseball 😉 ):

  7. Coca Canyon in Peru may be interesting to check out sometime. It is apparently twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, but the walls are not as steep.

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