466240817My travel bucket list just got really long because I stole my friend’s and added a few of my own to it. Just this past winter, I was on a women’s ski trip and met a new friend from Toronto. We were talking about travels and she told me she had a travel bucket list. I loved that she had it on her iPhone. I asked if she minded sharing it with me and so she did.

When I took a look at her list I realized I wanted to go to almost all the places she had on her list. I couldn’t believe, I had never been to most of them. I thought I was well traveled. That list combined with my own gave me a jolt because…

I’m actually not sure I can get to all the places on it in my lifetime.

Since I’m a firm believer in anything you set your mind to – you can pretty much accomplish – the reality that there’s more places to go on my new list than time available was hard to digest. TIME is the biggest obstacle to tackling this bucket list because I don’t see my husband and I taking more than one big trip a year. With more than 30 places on the list, I’m just not sure I’m going to get to check off all the must-sees and dos before the gong rings.

Travel budgeting is a cruel reality – my travel fantasies can be pricey. I would love to say that “Lonely Planet” is my guidebook, but I’m not a dollar a day traveller. My husband and I like a nice hotel that feels authentic, small and comfortable and we especially prefer a boutique style. Whether it’s a bike trip, hiking, kayaking or cat skiing adventure, a clean fresh bed at the end of an adventurous day in a place with comfort and character is preferred. Hiking biking, ski or history guides to take us beyond the obvious and eating quality local food all adds up to a big price tag for a 10 days to 2 weeks on the road so that certainly limits the number of trips we are able to take.

And last, what gets in the way is the stress of planning. I’m not an enthusiastic trip researcher. Booking flights is my husband’s domain (thank goodness), finding great inns or hotels are supposed to be my bailiwick. Obstacles abound in the planning process and clearing the calendars from the get go is always a challenge.

The bottom line — traveling takes effort, time and money and unless you’re really motivated, staying home or falling back on a repetitive vacation routine can easily be the go-to plan.

I have however developed a process for my trip planning. Whenever I think about hitting a new city I send out an email to my most well traveled friends – asking where to stay. – Where to eat – top sights to see.

Next, I put the list of recommendations in my trusty Notes App on my iPhone under “vacations.”

Then I put in some intense googling research and immerse myself in the destination. Once completely overwhelmed (which doesn’t take too long), I call American Express concierge service and let them do the bookings.

My husband and I recently put together a fabulous itinerary for Amsterdam all through American Express Travel services buttressed by recommendations from my well-traveled friend Susan. Unfortunately we had to cancel 3 days before due to family stuff – we couldn’t believe we were only charged $18 each.

So, as we sit and look at the year ahead we need to figure out which trip t opick from our newly expanded fantastic travel bucket list. This is the kind of stress we embrace (#travelbrats)

  1. Tulips in Amsterdam in April
  2. Iceland for a long weekend
  3. Fjords of Scandinavia
  4. Golfing in Scotland
  5. Biking in Ireland
  6. Family Safari in Africa during migration season
  7. Heli skiing (I think)
  8. Skiing with friends in Europe
  9. Tango in Argentina
  10. Ski Patagonia
  11. Climb up to Machu Pichu
  12. Hiking in Bhutan and Nepal
  13. Ashram in India
  14. Namibia and the Red Dunes
  15. Angkor Watt, Cambodia & Vietnam
  16. Yoga Retreat in Bali
  17. See the Seychelle Islands
  18. Galapagos with kids
  19. Salmon Fishing in Alaska by Sea Plane
  20. White water rafting on Colorado
  21. Climb to bottom of Grand Canyon
  22. New Zealand – a few weeks of biking and hiking
  23. Australia’s opera house for a live performance
  24. Biking in Moab
  25. Back country hut to hut skiing on The Haute Route in Switzerland
  26. Biking and Kayaking the San Juan Islands
  27. Visiting the Pyramids in Egypt
  28. Island hopping via sailboat in the Greek Islands
  29. Dude ranch in Montana
  30. Sail the coast of Maine and hike Acadia

What’s on your travel bucket list? Feel free to steal from mine – after all don’t we get our best ideas from putting our heads together?





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