Occasionally my husband and I buy a lottery ticket, then we talk about living out our dreams stress-free and smile about all the what ifs.
Some of those aspirations are to:
build our ideal home on a waterfront property somewhere in Canada
- open a senior dog sanctuary similar to Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary in Tennessee
- have all the time in the world to work on our hobbies
- travel together
Seeing new parts of the world seems to be a common thing on people’s bucket lists, but maybe an explorative nature comes with the personality of someone who creates things like bucket lists.
Chris and I come from very different vacation backgrounds, but we generally have similar interests in destinations. Chris travels for work, but it isn’t the same as vacationing. He often visits places that aren’t exactly being raved about on a top ten guide, he’s currently in Guwahati, India. He also grew up travelling to parts of Europe to visit family whereas we drove 17-19 hours to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia to see grandparents and cousins. Chris’ total countries visited adds up to a number over 50 vs. my total of 3 (Canada, the United States, and our honeymoon destination in Spain). Although our travel experiences are very different, our destination dreams line up: explore together, have fun, and create lasting memories.
So where do I want to travel to?
Here are my current top 3 dream destinations:
Things to do: LOTR fan fun; visit the toothbrush fence; Zorbing
Things to consider: Flights are expensive; it takes a long time to get there; don’t rush
I have wanted to travel to New Zealand since The Lord of The Rings (LOTR): The Fellowship of the Ring was released in 2001. Amazingly, I had just started reading the series (my dad’s copies from the 1970s) when Peter Jackson announced the plans to the film the trilogy. I was over the moon excited to see the hobbits, wizards, dwarves, elves, and orcs come to life on screen (I definitely fell in love with Legolas immediately since he was basically a real-life Link from Zelda). Even at the young age of eleven I recognized the beauty of Middle Earth – the beauty of New Zealand. I can’t wait to see the rolling hills, snowy mountains, and the sheep that inhabit former hobbit homes in person someday.
When I met Chris, he introduced me to his favourite television program Flight of the Conchords. This comedy show only heightened my interest in all things New Zealand as the main characters hailed from the country and the show poked fun of New Zealand’s innocence with parodic posters. Chris has yet to travel there and we’d both love to take a looksee at the famous toothbrush fence in between LOTR/nature walks and other Wellywood adventures.
Trans-Siberian Railway (TSR)
Things to do: Enjoy the views; stop to smell the metaphorical Russian roses; make friends
Things to consider: Plan A LOT; get the right visas; do your homework; lack of privacy
This one is on the list largely for my husband, he has absolutely convinced me that this would be an amazing trip, but it is one that is a huge commitment. The Man in Seat 61 recently wrote a very detailed post about everything you need to know if you want to plan you TSR adventure – you should definitely check it out! You need to be prepared to sit a lot, to enjoy the view, and to pack light. Getting off the train is an important part to enjoying and actually experiencing the different places that you are passing, but there are periods of time where you may be on the train for up to 24 hours or more.
It’s not known for its romantic atmosphere, but more so for its accomplishment in going the distance – the Trans-Siberian Railway spans across ten time zones and continues through Russia, Mongolia, and China. This is an adventure for a low maintenance traveler looking to complete an impressive goal in life.
Things to do: Soak in the Blue Lagoon; walk in black sand; camp under the Northern Lights
Things to consider: Cheap flights, but expensive once there; cute hostels; time of the year
It is only within these last several years that Iceland has become a dream destination for me, Chris and I have been talking about going there for almost four years now. Chris has technically been to Iceland on a few separate occasions for work stopovers, but he really wants to take me there. He told me about the Blue Lagoon/natural hot springs that are said to be good for aches and pains, then Google did the rest of the convincing: Northern Lights, if you go at the right time of the year); black volcanic sand; Icelandic ponies; puffins; and towns that are fit to be picturesque jigsaw puzzles. The country’s natural beauty is of the same level as New Zealand, but it’s much closer to Canada which is a bonus in terms of flight costs and travel time.
If you’re a pop culture buff like me, then you’ll also love that many popular film and television productions have used the land for filming locations. The long list includes personal favourites of mine such as Star Wars: Rogue One and Game of Thrones. Attracting fantasy and science fiction genre productions is another of Iceland’s similarities to New Zealand, I believe that this is because their beauty is surreal and fanciful. I look forward to the day where we can live it up in Reykjavik before renting a vehicle and camping across the country (our almost honeymoon choice before we decided on Barcelona).
Where are some of the best places that you’ve travelled to? Where are some places that you want to go? Let me know some of your thoughts and maybe you’ll convince me to add it to my own travel-to-do list.