10 Very Specific Places I Want to Visit

What’s on your list?

A Lighthouse in Maine
A Lighthouse in Maine, an enjoyable place that is not on my spreadsheet

I keep a travel spreadsheet. I’m orderly like that and I enjoy recording interesting places that I learn about in the hope that I can get there someday. Fundamentally, it feels optimistic, which is nice.

Some of my entries are on the vague side, “Morocco” for instance, while others specify an exact museum, restaurant, or some other locale.

Here are some of my favorite, most highly anticipated, and specific choices.

Do you keep a spreadsheet? If so, what’s on it?

1. Hobbiton Set – New Zealand

Why:

I love Tolkien. I’ve read nearly everything published from Smith of Wooten Major to the The Book of Unfinished Tales to The Silmarillion, and of course The Hobbit and the trilogy. The trilogy movies had some good moments (let’s not even talk about The Hobbit films), and getting to see the Hobbiton set would be some serious childhood wish fulfillment.

2. The Literary Man Hotel – Obidos, Portugal

Why:

I love to read and this place doubles as a bookstore, with books lining the walls throughout. They also offer some literary-themed programs and a bar with drinks named after authors. It’s just an environment I know I will like.

3. The Mountain Hostel – Gimmelwald, Switzerland

Why?

Just look at the pictures and video. I can’t fathom not wanting to be there. In truth, I could easily made a list of 10 places in Switzerland alone, but decided to spread it out.

4. The Isle of Skye – Scotland

Why?

Another spectacular setting full of adventure and photographic opportunities. Mountain biking, axe throwing, hiking, and kayaking? Yes, please.

5. H.R. Giger Museum Bar – Gruyeres, Switzerland

Why?

Fundamentally because it seems a neat place to have a drink. Giger is probably most well known for his work on Alien and the look of this bar has a similar feel. I want to visit Switzerland for the mountains and stunning vistas, so why not have a beer here as well.

6. Shirohige’s Cream Puff Factory – Japan

Why?

I love sweets and the work of Hiyao Miyazaki. It’s hard to resist a cream filled Totoro.

7. Giant’s Causeway – Northern Ireland

Why?

It just looks really neat and I want to get a closer look. I’m a sucker for natural beauty, especially when it’s as unique as this.

8. The Mobil – Lee Vining, CA

Why?

Why, indeed. This is a gas station in California, but by all reports, it’s as much gathering place for outdoor adventurers as it is gas station. There’s also live music and a deli, making it much more than your average gas station.

9. West Highland Way – Scotland

Why?

I love traveling in non-motorized ways, so the notion of backpacking through Scotland is exactly my type of thing. Plus, it looks at though there are options to stay under a roof certain nights, which will appeal to my husband. In general, I need to explore Europe’s hut-to-hut backpacking system more. I’m happy to start here.

10. Anne Frank Museum – Amsterdam

Why?

Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it and I’m pretty concerned that a repeat may be imminent. For all I know, it’s being repeated in my own country as I type this. The situation is sobering.

So, that’s my current 10. It’s a list I’m sure will change.

Scotland and Switzerland are repeated, so I guess that means one of those places needs to be our next destination. It also means that I need to research some other areas more thoroughly.

Suggestions?

New Years Travel Resolutions for the Fiscally Disadvantaged

I like making lists, so I like the idea of resolutions. My personal “19 for 2019” is already complete, but I’ve decided to make a separate list of travel resolutions to help move me in the direction of actually being able to go places.

To be clear, “Fiscally Disadvantaged” is relative. Overall, I’m pretty lucky and I’m much less poor than I used to be, I just live in a relatively expensive area and don’t quite make enough to travel. I don’t mean to demean the struggle of those suffering through actual impoverishment. Travel is a luxury that I struggle to obtain, but it’s still a luxury. Perspective matters.

With that being said, here are some things that I think will help me move forward.

1. Renew passport before it expires. It’s good to have it handy just in case, and it’s cheaper this way.

2. Curate a travel wishlist via Google docs. I’ve already started this, but it needs some work. I find that the act of creating the list inspires me to work harder at getting my shit together. I like Google Docs because I can easily share the list with my husband and he can edit it, but use what works for you.

3. Deposit something from each pay check into savings and do not touch it. I’m starting out with $10 for now.

4. Seek out alternative means of income. Bonus points if these methods are location independent. In my case, I’m working on blogging, film production, ski instruction, and learning to code.

5. Simultaneously, seek more lucrative employment in your field. My day job is academic scientific research. I either need a better paying academic lab or I need to move to industry.

Anyone out there have their own list? What’s on it? Any tips or suggestions?

Cheers and a belated Happy New Year to all!

Sunshine and show blowing on a ski run
Looking uphill from Muleshoe run at Eldora Mountain Resort, the ski area where I teach.