In honor of the summer travel season, I thought I would share my travel wish list. It was my wish list that I started when I thought I would never fly on a plane and I wouldn’t travel more than four or five hours from my home. I was an avid reader who loved learning about the places that appeared in the stories.
My very first travel wish was to see the Taj Mahal in India. I saw pictures in the Weekly Reader we got in school, and I remember thinking it was beautiful and majestic. I knew nothing more about it, but in my nine-year-old mind wanderlust was planted. I knew that one day I had to see it. I have read more about the Taj Mahal over the years learning its culture and history. I’ve known people who have traveled throughout India and have included a stop there. I’ve loved hearing their stories and interpretations; however, it hasn’t cured my curiosity to seek out this breathtaking wonder.
Another early travel wish was to go to Hershey, PA home of the delicious chocolate treats that we all love and adore. (Ok, maybe that’s me about the love and adore!) We grew up with the Hershey track meet every summer. There was a local meet where you competed against other kids your age. If you won in your event, you could go to the state Hershey track meet. If you won your category at the state meet, you won a trip to Hershey, PA. I know, I know there is a lot of “ifs” I just wrote in there. Especially, me, winning an event at a track meet! Once again, my 9-year-old brain didn’t see it that way. It saw Wow! A trip to Hershey, Pennsylvania. I’m sure there was a lot of fine print in all of that or maybe my parents didn’t want to be bothered to drive all over the state of South Dakota in the sweltering summer heat. In 2010, this trip was marked off my bucket list, and I didn’t even have to participate in a track meet to go this time. We hopped on a plane and made our way to Hershey, PA. If you haven’t been there, the town itself smells like chocolate!
This really wasn’t a travel wish, but more of a When I grow, I’m gonna live there type of a dream. I was deathly afraid of the midwest tornado season as a young child. The season seemed to grow longer with more devastating storms with each passing year. I was 8-years-old when I decided that when I grow up, I was moving to New Mexico because they don’t have tornadoes there. Easy peasy, just step away from the tornado season not knowing anything about the weather cycle in the southwest. When I learned that New Zealand does not have snakes I seriously contemplated moving there as well so no one would have ever had to know about my irrational fear of them. I’m still living in the Midwest. I’m not deathly afraid of tornado season anymore, but I still don’t like it. I still have irrational fears over snakes, and I scream and/or cry and have a panic attack if I have to encounter one.
Watching the 1988 summer Olympics from the comfort of my living room sparked a life-long interest in all things Olympics. I remember watching Janet Evans swim the long-distance races fascinated by her strength and ability to distance herself from her competitors. Then watching the 1992 winter Olympics where Kristi Yamaguchi won the gold medal in women’s figure skating was mesmerizing. A few years prior, I had begged to go ice skating for my birthday. It was a take your breath away a cold afternoon when my parents relented and said “Ok!” to my birthday request. My best friend and I trudged to the warming house to rent our skates. We managed to get skates on our feet, and we clumsily made our way to the ice. It was not easy. It was not fun. I learned my lesson to leave the figure skating to those who know what they are doing. My love the Olympics has not faded though. In our house, we watch religiously. Our TV tuned to NBC to catch the latest competition. Even the 2018 winter Olympics, we got caught up in the American curling gold medal run. Someday, I will be at the Olympic games to watch it unfold right before my eyes.
Did you have the notion or idea that a cruise ship would be a romantic way to travel? Or was that just me and my nine-year-old brain again. Maybe just me. I read a mystery book that took place on a cruise ship, and I was intrigued by it so much. The story made it seem so luxurious. I’m sure, if you aren’t traveling with a brood of children, a cruise ship can be romantic for you and your partner. Our family has been on numerous cruises together. It is great fun! A week of no cleaning, no cooking, no running just being together! We have seen some fantastic sights and done some amazing things thanks to being on the cruise. We have seen an animal sanctuary in Belize. We brought school supplies to very thankful teachers and students in Honduras. We have held monkeys. We have seen some beautiful coral reef and its inhabitants. For me, after a long fun day, there is nothing better to sit on the balcony listening to the ocean and listening to my boys talk about all the great things they saw during that day.
One place, I did not know that I would fall in love with and it would be added to my travel bucket list was the island of Curacao. On our last cruise, that was one of our stops. Curacao is a Lesser Antilles island located in the southern Caribbean with Dutch roots. The European architecture is beautiful. It boasts bright colors of pink, yellow, blues, and greens. The iconic colorful Handelskade backdrop is picturesque. It is so much fun to see and be a part of that you can feel the vibe of live and let live alive all around the island. I hope to travel back to the island of Curacao and travel the island more to take in more of their stunning beaches and culture.
What is on your travel wish list or bucket list? How long ago did you make your list? Let me know in the comments.
All my best to you,