I turn 40 today. Though I can’t complain about the places I’ve been or the way life has panned out, there are still quite a few things out there in this big bad world that I’d love to see and do.
The one thing you can’t always buy is time and who knows how much is left.
Must-Do Travel List
1. Beijing: Born in Hong Kong, my daughter considers herself Chinese and wants to walk on the Great Wall. We’ll do it on April 4, 2014. I’ve done it already, but this will (hopefully) be extra cool.
2. Paris: Right now, I’m not sure how much she’ll dig my version of Paris, but I have often joked with my husband about renting an apartment there for the summer when she’s old enough to appreciate it (translation: shop0. We’ll take her shortly, but on more of a croissant, little bit of Louvre and Disneyland Paris (ugh) trip.
3. London: We lived here for two years and I’m ready to go back for a visit as a family.
4. Chengdu: This ranks as one of my favorite trips of all time. I got to hold and play with baby pandas and it’s such a joy to see them so playful in large groups. I want my daughter to experience this, plus we both love Szechuan food and the Animals Asia Moon Bear Rescue Centre is there, too.
5. Chiang Mai: We’re booking Four Seasons Tented Camp, Golden Triangle as soon as my daughter is 12 (minimum age). One can’t put a price tag on elephant snuggles.
6. Shanghai: We land on March 29. I am hoping that jet lag won’t get in the way of bouncing between yummy dumplings, skyscraper observation decks and the Bund.
7. Hangzhou: A UNESCO site, the West Lake area has always intrigued me. It’s the capital of lonjing tea so we’re scheduled to tour plantations, row on the lake and even see a Chinese doctor.
8. Venice Simplon-Orient-Express: We never got around to this when living in London. The 3-night journey is the perfect amount of train time for us (one night on the train with the rest in Hotel Cipriani).
9. Texas: I want to eat big ol’ Texas BBQ in anywhere Texas outside the airport.
10. Borneo: We have friends in Kota Kinabalu so this is doable in the near future, thankfully. Love the food. Love orangutans.
11. Hong Kong: We go pretty much every year but I have a dream of renting the same apartment we lived in at Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong for a month when my daughter is old enough to think it’s cool.
12. Angkor Wat: Never made it to Cambodia when living in Hong Kong which is a shame.
The “I’d Like To” Travel List
13. Harbin: The ice city looks cool. But that’s about all there is to do there, I think.
14. See the Northern Lights: Self-explanatory. I don’t even care where I see them but hope that my photography skills are improved by then.
15. Iceland: Ice hotel? Maybe.
16. Yellowstone: To date, we haven’t toured many National Parks, but it’s time to start.
17. Eat a real cronut in NYC: I ate my first croissant-donut at Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong. Is it like the real thing? I’d love to know.
18. Argentina: This involves lots of Malbec, obviously.
19. Kyoto: I’d like to go during cherry blossom season and stay in a ryokan.
20. Chicago: Would love to eat pizza and hot dogs outside of the airport for once.
21. Milan: My friends in London would buy their summer wardrobes here. I never did it, but it’s a concept my husband has joked about for years. So, I must do it, obviously.
22. Mumbai: It’s low on the list, but I’m curious to see India.
24. The Farm at San Benito: This is a luxe destination spa in the Philippines. I was set to go but then got pregnant and violently ill with morning sickness so had to cancel the trip.
25. Self-guided eating tour of NYC.
26. Bora Bora: In an overwater hut, of course.
27. Dubai: Would love to stay in the Burj or some other crazy hotel.
29. Take a photography class: I have never prioritized this, but want to actually learn how to get the DSLR off auto.
30. TBL3 at George’s: Book this table at George’s at the Cove for a multi-course culinary experience of a lifetime.
31. Cal-A-Vie: I have a thing for ritzy destination spas. Luckily this one doesn’t require airfare since it’s in Vista.
32. Kayak La Jolla Caves
33. Ice skate at the Hotel Del
34. Guadalupe Valley: Wine tour south of the border!
35. Staycation at La Valencia
36. The Marine Room: Grunion Run happy hour is an awesome concept.
37. Afternoon tea in San Diego: Check out every place in town that serves a proper afternoon tea (in progress).
38. Find a decent nasi goreng or learn how to make it. This would so make my entire family happy. Where is the Malaysian/Indonesian food in San Diego?
39. Local wine tour: There are plenty of great wineries in San Diego, not Temecula.
Will I get it all done? Of course not. But it helps to lay it all out on paper (or the web). My list is much shorter than I thought it would be and I find comfort in that, actually.
So, what’s on your bucket list?