It’s 7:30am and I’m sitting on faux animal fur in my favorite independent coffee shop for my once-a-week infusion. Wooden planked table stretches before me, foamy chai latte steams while infusing the air with a strong scent of cinnamon. Obscure alt/indy/dream pop music plays from the overhead speaker, and I realize how blessed I am.

Wanderlust is such a fantastic word and—if you don’t already know—means ‘a strong, innate desire to drive or travel about.’

Lately, I’ve been thinking about how great life really is. I know there is a grammar rule that states you should not end a sentence with a verb, but too bad. We are free to pursue our passions and, for the most part, explore them void of persecution. Typically, we do not have to worry about radicals kicking in our front door, being dragged from our homes for our faith, or fear bombs falling on our cities of steel and glass. It is within this cloud of comfort that we are afforded the luxury of dreaming. For it is in dreaming that we find hope which is the antithesis of fear.

With that sentiment, I introduce my Lifetime Bucket List: Travel Destinations.

  • Visit all 50 states
    • Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, (District of Columbia)
  • Visit Venice, Italy. Ride a gondola, wander aimlessly through neighborhood passageways, find a terrific hidden bistro, drink authentic lattes.
  • Visit Egypt. Tour everything: pyramids, Valley of the Kings, museums
  • Visit Paris, France. Kiss my wife at the top of Eiffel Tower
  • Live on an island, any island, for a month to see what it’s like
  • Attend a lantern festival and release one into the night sky
  • Visit all 59 US National Parks
    • Acadia, American Samoa, Arches, Badlands, Big Bend, Biscayne, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Carlsbad Caverns, Channel Islands, Congaree, Crater Lake, Cuyahoga Valley, Death Valley, Denali, Dry Tortugas, Everglades, Gates of the Arctic, Glacier, Glacier Bay, Grand Canyon, Grand Teton, Great Basin, Great Sand Dunes, Great Smokey Mountains, Guadalupe Mountains, Haleakala, Hawaii Volcanoes, Hot Springs, Isle Royale, Joshua Tree, Katmai, Kenai Fjords, Kings Canyon, Kobuk Valley, Lake Clark, Lassen Volcanic, Mammoth Cave, Mesa Verde, Mount Rainer, North Cascades, Olympic, Petrified Forest, Pinnacles, Redwood, Rocky Mountain, Saguaro, Sequoia, Shenandoah, Theodore Roosevelt, Virgin Islands, Voageurs, Wind Cave, Wragell-St. Elais, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Zion
  • Visit those crazy glass igloos and watch the northern lights
  • Go on a road trip with my dad
  • Drive entire length of US Rt. 66
  • Hike to bottom of Grand Canyon, stay in Phantom Ranch
  • Swim in Havasupai Falls, Grand Canyon
  • Take a Recreational Vehicle trip
  • Canoe float with overnight stay
  • Climb a volcano
  • Hike to Machu Picchu
  • Visit Easter Island
  • Drive the length of the Pacific Coast Highway
  • Live in a foreign country, long enough to experience the culture
  • Drive across the country in a classic VW Beetle
  • Ride in helicopter
  • Go on a cruise
  • Walk across Ireland
  • Backpack tour of Europe
  • Visit Hawaii
  • Sleep in crazy cool places
    • Underwater hotel
    • Teepee
    • Treehouse
    • Over water bungalow
    • Castle
    • Lighthouse
    • Desert island with no one else but my wife
  • Tandem bike ride
  • Take a long distance train ride

Most of these ideas will never come to fruition, and that’s just fine with me. I think that it is more important to hold on to a thread of hope, of dreaming, of planning. While doing so, I’ll simply enjoy my chai latte and listen to some obscure music that I’ve never heard until today.