Many of us who make travel our vocation find that it is also our avocation. Indeed, our infactuation with travel often leads us into the jobs we hold, at least the lucky ones. We have a passion for travel and thus always have a bucket list of new (or repeat) destinations we want to explore. Here’s my short list:
1) Cappadocia, Turkey – An ancient, unique, and spectaular landscape of volcanic fairy chimney rocks and the caves below them. Early Christians hid from their Roman persecutors there and developed frescoed underground cities. I’d like to take a baloon ride over the lunar expanse to see the majesty from the air, tour the underground world of the caves, and then spend a night or two in one of the luxurious cave hotels. Seeing the whirling durvishes dance would be icing on the cake.
2) Jukkasvärvi, Sweden – The original Ice Hotel is now in it’s 20th season. Built anew each November-December out of ice and snow, it accepts guests from December through April when the hotel starts to melt! Walls, furniture, sculpture and art, even drinking glasses in the ice bar are all made of ice. Inside temperatures stay between -5º and – 8º C and you sleep on a bed of ice topped with reindeer skins, cozy in a thermal sleeping bag. While there, I want to try my hand at dog sledding and ice sculpting, take a snow mobile tour, and since it is above the Arctic Circle, I will have a good chance of seeing the Northern Lights. I could check off several of my top 100 activities in one unique trip!
3) Argentina – I have a secret lust for Tango. Well, not so secret to the folks who have witnessed my less than graceful attempts. I have long dreamt of dancing at an impromptu milonga with the elegant and poised locals and I hope when the day comes, I don’t spoil the magic! I’d like to start in Buenos Aires, but don’t want to miss the thundering Iguazu Falls, the romanticized pampas plains gauchos, or rugged Patagonia. There’s so much to see and do, I’ll need a couple weeks… or maybe a couple trips?
4) Italy – I love everything Italian: the people, the food, the art, the lifestyle. I’ve been to Italy multiple times and never tire of it. Each part of the country has unique charms from the twisting maze of canals in Venice to the rolling hill country of Tuscany. The Lake District in the north is peaceful and relaxing, while nearby Milan is very sophisticated and cosmopolitan. The antiquities of Rome, the Vatican, and Pompei continue to astound me. The scenic Cinque Terre and the Almalfi Coast take my breath away every time. I love truffle hunting and vineyard visits in Tuscany and let’s not forget the amazing art in Florence. Sicily has it’s own proud character… I can go on and on. Yes, I think I’ll keep Italy on my short list permanently!
So, my priority travel wish list has three new destinations and one tried and true. Will I make all of them this year? Probably not, but I can always keep them on the list. Undoubtedly, I will add to the list. The only thing I can be absolutely certain about is that no matter how long or often I travel, I will always have a list of more places I want to visit. That never quenched thirst for more is what “passion for travel” is all about.