Travel Bucket List

I turned 50 last year, and I've been thinking about what I want to do with the second half of my life. I figure I have 3 or 4 more good decades on this planet… and that's not that much if you think about it.

One of the things I love the most in life, right up there with food, is travel. Other than doing charity work and continuing to write (my blog, and eventually, books), travel is how I want to spend my time as much as possible.

So I wanted to write out my travel bucket list so I can check it off as I visit various places. One thing I've learned about setting goals… if you don't write them down, you never get around to making them happen.

I hope this bucket list inspires you to plan some trips and gives you some ideas.

Travel Bucket List

Travel Bucket List

These are not organized in order of the places I want to go, but rather, by continent then country, then city. And I lumped all the tropical vacations together.

I don't have all of the places I have visited on this list but I will update it later. There are some great cities I've been to and some I've lived in that I need to add (like Austin and San Antonio, Texas, for example.)

I'll update this list as I check off the places I go. I'll link to the blog posts I write… I linked to the ones I have written so far below. Make sure you bookmark this post so you can check back.

Asia

China

Visited? Not yet

travel bucket list

I almost went to China a couple years ago when I was considering doing an Amazon reselling business. I decided not to do that so I didn't go. I would still like to go to China, though because I love the food and I think it would be a fascinating place to visit.

Japan

Visited? Not yet

travel bucket list

I have never been to Japan but it is on my top 10 list. I actually studied Japanese in college.

travel bucket list

I would like to visit Tokyo, of course, and some of the other big cities, but I'd also like to go to the countryside and visit the shrines and spas. I really want to bring my daughter with me.

India

Visited? Not yet

travel bucket list

Definitely want to go. My mother-in-law, who has traveled extensively (probably more than anyone I know) says this was her favorite trip she ever took.

Thailand

Visited? Not yet

travel bucket list

Really love Thai food and I've heard great things about Thailand.

South Korea

Visited? Not yet

travel bucket list

I love Korean food. My husband has been doing business in Korea so maybe I'll get an opportunity soon.

South America

Brazil

Visited? Yes, once
Want to Go Back? Yes
Cities to Visit: Rio de Janeiro, Buzios
Cities I Want to Visit: Rio de Janeiro
Things to Do: Beaches, sightseeing
Food & Drink: Every morning we had a buffet of tropical fruits, cheeses and lunchmeats and bread. The food is fantastic in Brazil — especially seafood and steak. You also have to try the caipirinha cocktail.

travel bucket list

My husband I spent a week in Brazil a few years ago. The beaches are beautiful, the food is great, and the people are lovely.

We stayed in Rio de Janeiro and spent a few nights in Buzios, which is a small, quiet town a few hours away.

travel bucket list

Our very favorite thing to see was Christ the Redeemer (and this is before we were Christian). I highly recommend it — absolutely breathtaking at the top.

Europe

Czech Republic

Visited? Yes, once
Want to Go Back? Yes
Cities Visited: Český Krumlov, Prague
Cities I Want to Visit: Český Krumlov, Prague
Things to Do: Tour cathedrals, wander down cobblestone streets
Food & Drink: I can't really tell you what the best food is in the Czech Republic because when I went there I was in college and a vegetarian. I need to go back and eat all the meat! The beer is fantastic though, I can tell you that.

travel bucket list

I went to the Czech Republic in my 20s and it is one of my favorite places in the world. Prague is so unbelievably beautiful. I am told this is what Germany looked like before it was bombed so badly in WW2 and replaced with all the ugly communist buildings.

travel bucket list

Český Krumlov (above) was one of the most stunningly gorgeous places I have ever seen. It's a medieval walled town with a castle and cobblestone streets. I've never seen anything like it in my life. It's like getting transported to a story book. I'm definitely going to plan a trip back there.

England

Visited? Yes, twice
Want to Go Back? Yes, hopefully soon!
Cities Visited: London, Bath, Wells, Chipping Campden
Cities I Want to Visit: Manchester, York, Stratford-upon-Avon (Shakespeare's birthplace)
Things to Do: Go on London Walks (the best!), the theater, cathedrals, pubs, museums.
Food & Drink: Beer, pub food, bangers & mash, fish and chips, seafood.

travel bucket list

England is one of my very favorite countries in the world.

If you go to London, you must go on the London Walks — these are truly fantastic. I learned more in a few hours than I did on the rest of the trip. I also saw Les Miserables which was amazing.

Scotland

Visited? Once, in my late 20s
Want to Go Back? Yes
Cities Visited: Edinburgh, Loch Lomond, and some tiny towns I can't remember
Cities I Want to Visit: I want to spend more time in the small towns and in the Scottish Isles
Things to Do: I went on a fantastic walking tour in Edinburgh. Loved the pubs and the small towns.
Food & Drink: Beer, Scottish whisky, seafood, pub food — especially haggis, neeps and tatties, scones and clotted cream.

travel bucket list

Scotland is fantastic! I loved visiting Edinburgh… but even more than that, I loved the small towns.

We rented a car and drove until the roads got so narrow that we literally could not drive because the sheep and cows were blocking our path. It's fun to go out at night to the pubs and taste different whiskies and sing the old songs with the locals.

travel bucket list

I really want to go back to take Ollie on the steam train.

France

Visited? Twice
Want to Go Back? Yes
Cities Visited: Paris
Cities I Want to Visit: Paris, and also Versailles, Bordeaux, Lourdes, Marseille, Nice, Avignon, Dijon (in the Burgundy region), Châlons-en-Champagne, Strasbourg.
Things to Do: Eat, obviously, and drink a lot of wine. Go to museums, visit cathedrals, take pictures, and then eat some more and drink more wine.
Food & Drink: Where do I begin? Cheese, wine, bread, seafood, escargot, pate and foie gras. So much good food. I eat croissants and baguettes in the morning at different boulangeries (I try to visit the presidential award winners). Go to a pâtissière and get an éclair… or even better, a Chocolate Religieuse. And be sure to try some crème brûlée for dessert.

travel bucket list

I've only been to Paris twice in my life. How is this possible?

travel bucket list

I love Paris but I am looking forward to going to many more cities in France. Maybe rent a car or take the train and stay in airbnbs. The food and wines and cheeses are different in every region.

travel bucket list

I was raised Catholic and recently came back to the Catholic church after being away for 40 years… so I'm really looking forward to touring the cathedrals in France.

Germany

Visited? Once
Want to Go Back? Yes, I plan to go again soon
Cities Visited: Mönchengladbach, Essen, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Bonn, Aachen.
Cities I Want to Visit: Munich, Stuttgart, Nuremberg, Dresden, Berlin.
Things to Do: I really want to go on a river boat tour with my daughter, Kate.
Food & Drink: Beer, sausages (wurst), spätzle, sauerbraten, schnitzel.

travel bucket list

I went to Germany when I was in college — I spent about a month there visiting friends. My daughter and I are learning German (we are taking private lessons).

We are planning a trip soon on a German river cruise. It's been really fun taking language lessons with Kate, so I look forward to traveling together.

Greece

Visited? Not yet

travel bucket list
I really want to go to Greece — the food, the views, the beaches!

Ireland

Visited? Not yet

travel bucket list

I don't know how I haven't been to Ireland yet. Very excited to plan a trip there and tour the cathedrals and go to the pubs.

Italy

Visited? Once
Want to Go Back? Yes
Cities Visited: Florence, Rome, Montepulciano (in Tuscany).
Cities I Want to Visit: Want to go back to Rome and also spend more time in Rome and Tuscany. Also want to go to Venice and Cinqe Terre.
Things to Do: The Vatican, Roman cathedral and Roman ruins, the Venice canals, truffle hunting, wine tasting.
Food & Drink: Food and wine in Italy is on par with France — the absolute best in the world. Pasta, pizza, gelato, truffles, cappuccino.

travel bucket list

I adore Italy. I don't care about seeing everywhere in the world, but Italy is one of those places (like France) I could go back every single year and never ever get tired of it.

travel bucket list

I only went once but I need to go back, and soon. I want to spend a lot more time in Rome and also Tuscany, and visit Venice and the Cinque Terre.

The Netherlands

Visited? Yes, twice
Want to Go Back? Yes, I would love to own or rent a home on the canal in Amsterdam and have this be a home base for European travels
Cities Visited: Amsterdam, Leiden, Hilversum (we have friends there), The Hague, Scheveningen, Arnhem.
Cities I Want to Visit: Want to go back to Amsterdam, and would also love to visit the tulip farms and some other small towns.
Things to Do: Ride a boat on the canals, go for a bike tour, visit farmer's markets, visit the Dutch cheese shop, eat herring on the street, hang out in cafes, the Picasso museum, the Anne Frank house.
Food & Drink: Belgian beer, seafood, traditional Dutch food, Dutch cheese, stroopwafels, raw herring, Indonesian rijsttafel, Genever.

travel bucket list

Amsterdam is my husband's “second home” and he loves to go there. I love it, too! The food is delicious and the people and lovely.

travel bucket list

I can see renting a summer home there or even buying property — a house on the canal.

My Blog Posts About the Netherlands:

Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2011
Hilversum, The Netherlands, 2011
Arnhem, Netherlands, 2011

Poland

Visited? Not yet

travel bucket list

I am half Polish and my husband is also half Polish (this means our kids are also half Polish). I love the Polish people and the food and am really looking forward to going.

My dad told me the town our family is from so I want to visit there, as well as the town my husband's side of the family is from.

Portugal

Visited? Yes
Want to Go Back? Yes
Cities Visited: Lisbon, Portimao, Evora
Cities I Want to Visit: I'd like to go back to Evora and visit Porto
Things to Do: Sightseeing, beaches, restaurants, eating and drinking
Food & Drink: Soups and stews, seafood, bacalhau (salted cod), good wine and cheese, and of course port wine.

travel bucket list

Portugal is very nice. We went for a week a few years ago. I thought I would love the Algarve (southern beach towns) the most but I actually really loved Evora the most. Lisbon is a little rough around the edges — it's pretty but there's a lot of poverty.

The food is excellent in Portugal, including excellent wine, cheese, bread and seafood, and it's a lot more affordable than France or Italy.

My Blog Posts About Portugal:

Portugal and Spain, 2012
Lisbon, Portugal, 2012
The Algarve, Portugal, 2012
Evora, Portugal, 2012 (Part 1)
Evora, Portugal, 2012 (Part 2)

Russia

Visited? Not yet

travel bucket list

Really want to see Russia — my husband is at least half Russian.

Spain

Visited? Yes, three times
Want to Go Back? Yes, it's one of my favorite countries
Cities Visited: Barcelona (twice), Seville
Cities I Want to Visit: Madrid, Cordoba, Malaga, Valencia, Andorra, San Sebastian, Toledo
Things to Do: Museums, shopping, tapas bars, beaches
Food & Drink: Paella, tapas, Tortilla Espanola, churros, gazpacho, Catalan food, seafood, Spanish cheeses and jamon (ham), Spanish wine.

travel bucket list

We love Spain. We went the year before last to Barcelona for a quick trip — that was my second time. We also went to Seville a few years ago — that was my favorite city. Just beautiful. Definitely need to go back!

My Blog Posts About Spain:

Portugal and Spain, 2010
Seville, Spain, 2012 (Part 1)
Seville, Spain, 2012 (Part 2)
Seville, Spain, 2012 (Part 3)
Barcelona, Spain, 2017

Switzerland

Visited? Not yet

travel bucket list

Really want to ski the Alps!

Wales

Visited? Once, in my late 20s
Want to Go Back? Maybe — but only after I go to Ireland
Cities Visited: Cardiff
Cities I Want to Visit: Maybe Swansea, and some smaller towns
Things to Do: The countryside is beautiful in Wales, and I love the pubs
Food & Drink: Beer, pub food, seafood

travel bucket list

Wales is really pretty. I'd love to go back but I need to get to Ireland first.

USA

Arizona

Visited? Several times
Want to Go Back? Yes
Cities Visited: Phoenix, Sedona
Cities I Want to Visit: I want to go back to the Grand Canyon
Things to Do: The Grand Canyon
Food & Drink: Good Mexican food.

travel bucket list

Really want to go back to the Grand Canyon. I only spent about 10 minutes there taking a quick look when I was in my 20s — need to to back and take the kids to see it.

Louisiana

Visited? Twice
Want to Go Back? Yes
Cities Visited: New Orleans
Cities I Want to Visit: New Orleans
Things to Do: Eat! Take the street car, see the French Quarter, eat beignets at Cafe du Monde.
Food & Drink: There are so many out-of-this-world restaurants in New Orleans. I ate at Bayona and had the Bananas Foster at Commander's Palace, which were both incredible. Beignets and chicory coffee, gumbo, etouffee, red beans and rice, muffalettas, crawfish and oysters, po-boys, pralines.

travel bucket list

New Orleans is a foodie's idea of heaven. I have only been twice but I really need to get back there.

Montana

Visited? Not yet

travel bucket list

I really want to visit Montana in the summertime — it looks so beautiful.

New York

Visited? Yes, several times. I lived in Nyack until age 7, and I lived in Manhattan in my 20s.
Want to Go Back? Yes
Cities Visited: New York City, Long Island, Nyack.
Cities I Want to Visit: I only ever go to NYC, and also Long Island and Nyack to visit family and friends.
Things to Do: Broadway shows, museums, shopping, the Empire State Building, Times Square, Central Park, FAO Schwartz and Rockefeller Plaza.
Food & Drink: Pizza, bagels, Italian food.

travel bucket list

New York is where I grew up for half my childhood, and where my husband grew up until he was in his 20s. We go back every year at least 1-2 times to visit family. I'm working on a post about our trips last year — check back soon.

My Blog Posts About New York:

New York, NY, 2008

California

Visited? Yes
Want to Go Back? Yes
Cities Visited: Los Angeles, Redondo Beach/Torrance (where I live now), San Francisco and the Bay Area, San Diego, Napa, Santa Barbara, Sacramento, San Jose, Tahoe, Fresno, Monterey, Carmel, Mendocino, Marin, Solvang, Ventura.
Cities I Want to Visit: I'd like to spend more time in the Gold Country and see some of the gold rush towns.
Things to Do: Beaches, sightseeing, whale and dolphin watching tours, surfing, bike riding and rollerblading, skiing and snowboarding.
Food & Drink: Pretty much everything you can imagine but especially good for Asian food — Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, dim sum — as well as Mexican food.

travel bucket list

I've lived in California since I was 18. I spent about 6 years in San Francisco and over 15 years in Los Angeles. What can I say? It's one of the greatest states in the nation. We have everything here, from snowy ski towns to beautiful beaches. And of course, great food.

Utah

Visited? Not yet

travel bucket list

I really want to go skiing in Deer Valley.

District of Columbia

Visited? Several times
Want to Go Back? Yes
Cities Visited: Washington, DC
Cities I Want to Visit: Washington, DC
Things to Do: Visit the White House, have a drink or dinner at the Trump Hotel (a hotbed of politicos at night — I saw Trey Gowdy there), the Lincoln Memorial, the Smithsonian, and I love CPAC in February.
Food & Drink: Lots of fabulous restaurants in DC! Check out my recent review of the Trump DC Restaurant.

travel bucket list

I love Washington D.C. I went one year to CPAC (a political conference) and would really like to go back for that.

I got to go this past year (2018) for the annual Monat conference and got to eat in some great restaurants. I will post about that trip soon — I'm working on it.

I would also like to take my kids to the White House and the Lincoln Memorial. My parents took us when we were kids and I remember how cool it was.

My Blog Posts About Washington, DC:

Restaurant Review: Trump Hotel Washington DC, 2018

Wyoming

Visited? Not yet

travel bucket list

Middle East

Israel

Visited? Not yet

travel bucket list

I would love to go on a tour with a Christian group.

Tropical Escapes

Bahamas

Visited? I went twice last year in 2018
Want to Go Back? Yes
Cities Visited: Nassau
Cities I Want to Visit: Nassau
Things to Do: Beaches, swim up pool bars
Food & Drink: Rum drinks, seafood, conch salad, rum cakes

travel bucket list

I ended up getting to go to the Bahamas twice last year. The first time was with my husband on his business trip in February… and then I won a trip with Monat and got to go back in November. I'll be posting a review about my trips and the hotel we stayed in — check back for an update.

Bermuda

Visited? I went for the first time last year in 2018
Want to Go Back? Yes
Cities Visited: All
Cities I Want to Visit: All
Things to Do: Beaches
Food & Drink: Rum drinks, seafood, rum cakes

travel bucket list

We took a cruise from New York to Bermuda last summer with my family. It was my first cruise and I wasn't sure whether I'd enjoy it (afraid maybe I'd be seasick, or the rooms would be too small) but it was a lot of fun. I'm working on a review of the cruise and will post soon.

Fiji

Visited? Not yet

travel bucket list

Hawaii

Visited? Yes, twice
Want to Go Back? Yes
Cities Visited: The Big Island and Maui
Cities I Want to Visit: Maui and Kauai
Things to Do: Beaches, pools, luaus, snorkeling.
Food & Drink: Mai tais and tropical drinks, seafood, Japanese breakfast, laulua pork, poke, macaroni salad, loco moco.

travel bucket list

Hawaii is probably my favorite tropical location so far. The other places are great, but Hawaii has a vibe that is so laid-back and relaxed.

Seth and I went to Maui in 2010 — our first alone couple's trip after Kate was born in 2007. I went to the Big Island decades ago… I definitely think Maui is better. I would like to visit Kauai as well one day.

My Blog Posts About Hawaii:

Hawaii 2010 (Part One)
Hawaii 2010 (Part Two).

Maldives

Visited? Not yet

travel bucket list

Seychelles

Visited? Not yet

travel bucket list

Puerto Rico

Visited? I went in 2017
Want to Go Back? Yes
Cities Visited: San Juan
Cities I Want to Visit: San Juan
Things to Do: Beaches, swim up pool bars
Food & Drink: Rum and coke, seafood, Puerto Rican food

travel bucket list

We went to Puerto Rico for the first time the year before last for New Year's Eve. We have friends who live there. Here's my post on our Puerto Rico trip.

Tahiti

Visited? Not yet

travel bucket list

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What did I miss? What places should I add? Share your suggestions in the comments below.

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Travel Bucket List

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Ann Marie Michaels

I have 25 years of experience in digital and online media & marketing. I started my career in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, working at some of the world’s top ad agencies. In 2007, after my first child was born, I started this little food blog which I grew to over 250K monthly unique website visitors and over 350K social media followers. For nearly 15 years, I've helped my audience of mostly moms and women 25-65 cook for their families and live a healthier lifestyle.

 The year after I started the blog, I founded a blog network in the health & wellness space called Village Green Network. I started the company on my coffee table and bootstrapped the business to over $1.3 million in annual revenue within 5 years. During that time, I helped a number of our bloggers become six figure earners. After being censored on almost every social media platform for telling the After being censored on almost every social media platform from Facebook and Instagram to Pinterest and Twitter, and being deplatformed on Google, I am now deployed as a digital soldier, writing almost exclusively about politics on my blog Cheeseslave.com. Because who can think about food when we are fighting the second revolutionary war and third world war? Don't worry, there will be more recipes one day. After the war is over.

6 thoughts on “Travel Bucket List

  1. Great list! I love traveling! I was a military brat and got to see a bit of the world. Germany, England, France, Luxembourg, Romania, plus a few more. I'd love to go to Israel. Lately my husband and I have been taking our kids to see our great country. We just visited Washing D.C. this past summer. I loved it; wish we could have stayed longer.

  2. Hey Ann Marie, if you folks end up coming to Korea, look us up (ZenKimchi.com and KoreaFoodTours.com). We'd love to show you some great food.

  3. What an inspiring list! My husband and I would like to travel to Great Britain and Ireland too! We are hooked on British television shows and would love to visit.

    Six years ago we took a two week road trip with our three children and drove from Minnesota to California. The kids still talk about that trip. What a great time to experience family time together while traveling across the country! I highly recommend a road trip. Now our oldest son has a job in Massachusetts after graduating from college, so we have a new road trip to take to visit him! Can't wait.

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