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My Bucket List

Everyone has a bucket list.  I know I do.  Well, at least everyone talks about their bucket list but I wonder how many people have actually written their bucket list.  I know I hadn’t until late last year.  Sick of talking about it I decided it was time to write it down.

To make it easier on myself I am reposting my bucket list.  It was originally here but given I’m going to continue to refer to it it’s best if it’s a post all on its own.  I’ve also updated it ticking New York for Christmas and Miami off the list.

1.  Machu Picchu, Peru

Ever since I climbed the Great Wall of China I’ve been drawn to the Natural Wonders of the World and Machu Picchu is on top of my bucket list by a long shot.  Now I just have to find time in the holiday calendar to lock it in.

2.  Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park—two of five amazing National Parks

It’s a case of careful what you say out loud with Utah being high on my bucket list of USA.  We were wine tasting in the Napa at the start of the year and a comment was made about drinking in Utah (being a Mormon state and all).  My comment was about not going to Utah so it didn’t matter.  I didn’t realise it had such incredibly beautiful landscape that I’m totally drawn to.

√3.  Miami, Florida.

Pink Flamingoes & Pink Champagne sounds more like a line from Hotel California but it screams Miami to me.  Except for the fact that Mr H has his own Don Johnson suit and the theme for his 40th was Miami Vice I had no real desire to head to Miami.  But lately it’s been sneaking its way into top of mind and I think I’m sold.  The home of art deco, great food, art and architecture Miami has made its way to my top 5.

South Beach

The Art Deco District in South Beach is sensory overload–especially if you love Art Deco

4.   Route 66 in Arizona

After seeing photos from a friend that recently rode a Harley down Route 66 I’m hooked.  Like a cross between a trip down memory lane and something out of the movies the scenery looks spectacular and it’s a part of pop culture I want to get on board.

5.   Boston
Everyone I know that’s been to Boston falls in love with it.  I’m completely drawn to the charm of Boston and can’t wait to check it out.  I just can’t decide between visiting a friend for Christmas or going in the summer.

While I’m in the ‘hood I’m pretty keen to drive around and see Cape Cod (I’ve already been and loved it) and Martha’s Vineyard and further afield in Massachusetts to connect with America’s history.  I think this part of America is worth exploring.

√6.   New York
When I first went to New York I hated it.  Then I went back for work and loved it.  Now the kids are keen to for a White Christmas.  Apparently there’s nothing like New York in the winter and especially around Christmas.  I’d love to make their dreams come true.  Just have to get around braving the cold first.

NYC for Xmas

There’s nothing quite like New York at Christmas time (even if it doesn’t snow)

7.   Seattle
I’m not really sure what the attraction is (apart from visiting a really good friend who lives there) but I’ve always been attracted to Seattle—a trip up the Space Needle and a visit of the Boeing Factory and it’s high on our list.  Sometimes you just want to visit somewhere just because.

8.   Washington DC
The nation’s capital.  I loved Washington DC when I first went and I’d love to take the kids—one of those must-do destinations.

9.   Niagara Falls
I’ve temporarily forgotten about Niagara Falls which is precisely why I decided it was time to get this bucket list down on paper.  Another natural wonder I think it’s a must-see.

10.  Alaska
I’d love to visit Alaska the problem is I don’t know how to tackle it.  There are many options to cruise to Alaska but given cruising isn’t our thing.  Either way I need to work out how to get us to see it.

11.   Chicago
My dream is to do a mother-son weekend in Chicago and do a Ferris Bueller tour of the city.  Wouldn’t that be fun?  Now I just have to convince my teenage son as somehow he doesn’t think it would be fun as I do.

12.   Texas
No real reason, just to see the big hair, big cars and guns!

13.   New Orleans
I’m torn as to whether I really want to do New Orleans—I think I want to, I used to think I wanted to but it’s not high enough on the list that I’ll make it here.  Also not the sort of place to go with kids—much more fun if I could leave them at home.  Let’s see how we go getting here but it’s on the list nonetheless.

14.  Southern States
I’ve been to Atlanta but I wouldn’t mind exploring some other Southern cities/states like Savannah and South Carolina.  There’s something quite intriguing about the South.

15.  Carribean
I thought I wanted to go here desperately but most of the resorts do nothing for me.  My re-thinking is if I’m going to do the Carribean I should sail around.  Just need to get hold of some of my fellow 90210ers bank accounts to do it the way I’d like to do it.

My further-afield bucket list

16.  Angkor Wat, Cambodia
We had a glorious trip planned here before we were due to leave Shanghai but we cancelled it instead going back to Wales to be with my Dad.  We were lucky we got to say good bye to him but the trip home ended up being a sad, sad time for me and we haven’t made it back to Angkor Wat yet.

17.  Africa on Safari & Victoria Falls
Continuing my affinity with the natural wonders of the world I can think of no better holiday than glamping on Safari.  Victoria Falls has captivated us so this is high on our list.

18.  Greece
Our Australian friends from LA are moving to Greece next month and we’re dying to go and visit them.  It’s fortunate I’m yet to hit Greece because it’s always best to visit a place when locals can show you around.

19.  Champagne (in France not bathe in a sea of Champagne)
I think this is pretty self-explanatory!

20.  Northern Lights (from Sweden)
One of those natural phenomena’s that need to be seen to be believed.

21.  Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Absolutely.

22.  Marrakech, Morocco
The colours, food and markets … love to visit Morocco.

23.  Dead Sea and Egypt
This is on my daughter’s wishlist but I agree.  And, I’ve always wanted to cruise the Nile and see the Pyramids in Egypt.

24.  India
I’d live there given half a chance.  Mr H on the other hand doesn’t want a bar of it.  I’d still like to visit and see the Tag Mahal for myself.

25.  Ayer’s Rock/Uluru
It’s not really at the bottom of the list but realistically it’ll take a while for us to see this natural wonder in our own backyard, a sad indictment that when it’s in your own backyard you never really get around to seeing it.

Tick: Places I can proudly say I’ve ticked off my list

1.   Paris

Paris was my first bucket-list place before I even knew what a bucket list was.  It remains my favourite city in the whole wide world.

2.   Copenhagen

I never thought I’d make it to this part of Europe until a friend suggested we go to visit them a few summers (July not December) ago.  The flight we needed to take would take us to Copenhagen before we caught a train across to Sweden.  My dream became a reality. Copenhagen gave Paris a run for its money in the favourite city stakes.

3.   Stockholm

My daughter had the biggest meltdown of all times in Stockholm and the restaurant I wanted to go to was closed for summer when we went but I still absolutely loved Stockholm.  I’m so grateful we got to visit and enjoy this amazingly stylish city.

4.   Climb the Great Wall of China

Another pinch me moment when, for my 40th birthday, I climbed the Great Wall of China with two friends.  Visiting China was never something I thought I would do let alone live there.  This is a must-do.  (But set your expectations: there are hundreds doing the same thing and there are hawkers as you set off and as you return.)  It remains one of the best things I’ve ever done.

5.   Palawan, the Philippines

One of our families’ favourite holiday destinations.  Each time we visit another resort we compare it to El Nido in Palawan and it’s pretty hard to reach the standard, beauty and hospitality of this part of the world.  Can’t wait to go back.

6.   Lijiang

Gourmet Traveller did a piece on this amazingly idyllic and beautiful town 10 months before we made our way there.  With high expectations it still managed to exceed them.  This is one beautiful town.  The stop at Stone Wall City and the trip up to Shangri-la breathtaking.  One of our best China holidays.  I’m so glad we went when we did too: ahead of the tourist pack.

7.   Harbin, China

What was supposed to be the most amazing experience of our lives was possibly the worst holiday.  Ever.  Really.  Ever.  An ice town with snow and ice sculptures 30 storeys high Harbin is one of those “only in China” experiences.  The ice festival is positively beautiful and should seriously be a natural/manmade (you know what I mean?!) wonder of the world.  But it lacks the American packaging–that white box–to turn the experience from awe inspiring to the happiest place on earth.

Harbin

One of the amazing snow sculptures on show at Harbin, China

8.   London

With a Welsh dad I’ve been lucky enough to visit London many times.  I have always loved it–from a little girl to a young adult to a mother–and I’ll keep wanting to go back to get my London fix.

9.   The Grand Canyon

I’d always loved the thought of the Grand Canyon but just never imagined us going simply because it wasn’t high enough on the list.  So to take a helicopter from Las Vegas (another place I never thought I’d get to) and land there was one of those pinch me moments.  I don’t think I’m quite done though: I think I still want to drive out to the South Rim and admire its sheer magnitude.  This is covered in my driving Route 66 bucket list item.

10.   Yosemite National Park

The blog post says it all.  Lucky people.

Places that weren’t on my bucket list that I just fell in love with

1.   Shanghai

I didn’t want to live in Shanghai; why couldn’t it be Singapore or Hong Kong?  Why China?  Because it was meant to be.  Shanghai is Hong Kong on steroids with some of the best restaurants in the world, great Clubs, fabulous shopping and a history and culture that’s truly fascinating.  What an amazing time and how super lucky we were to live here.

2.   Hong Kong

My logic?  Why do you need to visit Hong Kong (a city that wants to be New York or London) when you can have the real thing?  I couldn’t be more wrong.  Hong Kong has its own beat and it’s a good one.  The food is amazing!

What’s on your bucket list?  Love some extra inspiration from you.  Share with me on Facebook or here in the comments section.

Happy travelling!

xx It Started in LA xx

 

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