Tuesday, October 23, 2012

travel list challenge

I'm failing at being an expat. My fellow expat bloggers are constantly on the move, exploring as many of the different corners of their continents as they can. Not me. But I think I may know why; you see, even though I'm an American expat, I'm an EU citizen, plus I'm married to a Frenchman in France, so my time here in France and in Europe doesn't have an expiration date. There's nothing pushing me to explore and apathy has set in. I'm determined to change that.

There's been a travel list floating around for awhile now, I've seen it on Jenna's and Betsy's blogs so I thought I'd take a look in hopes of spurring my apathetic butt on.

{I'm here too, I'm behind the camera}
1. Alamo - San Antonio, Texas, USA
2. Alhambra - Granada, Spain
3. Andros Island - Bahamas
4. Angel Falls - Venezuela
5. Angkor Wat - Angkor, Cambodia
6. Atlantic City Boardwalk - Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA
7. Ayers Rock - Australia
8. Big Ben - London, England
9. Bora Bora - Polynesia
10. British Museum - London, England
11. Canals of Amsterdam - Amsterdam, Netherlands 
12. Cathedral of Seville - Seville, Spain
13. Cave of Crystals - Mexico
14. Christ the Redeemer - Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
15. Cinque Terre National Park - Italy

{The Colosseum & St. Peter's}
16. Colosseum - Rome, Italy
17. Crater Lake National Park - Oregon, USA
18. Dead Sea - Israel/Jordan
19. Death Valley National Park - California, USA
20. Devil’s Tower - Wyoming, USA
21. Dome of the Rock - Jerusalem, Israel
22. Easter Island Statues - Polynesia
23. Edinburgh Castle - Edinburgh, Scotland
24. Eiffel Tower - Paris, France
25. Empire State Building - New York City, New York, USA
26. Forbidden City - Beijing, China
27. French Quarter - New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
28. Galapagos Islands - Ecuador
29. Gateway Arch - St. Louis, Missouri, USA
30. Gettysburg Battlefield - Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, USA
31. Glacier Bay Basin - Alaska, USA
32. Glacier National Park - Montana, USA
33. Glowworm Cave - New Zealand
34. Golden Gate Bridge - San Francisco, California, USA
35. Grand Canal - Venice, Italy
36. Grand Canyon - Arizona, USA
37. Grand Mosque in Mecca - Saudi Arabia
38. Great Barrier Reef - Queensland, Australia
39. Great Mosque of Córdoba - Córdoba, Spain
40. Great Wall of China - China
41. Hagia Sophia - Istanbul, Turkey
42. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park - Hawaii, USA
43. Hollywood Boulevard - Hollywood, California, USA
44. Iguazu Falls - Argentina and Brazil
45. Kiyomizu-dera - Kyoto, Japan
46. Kremlin - Moscow, Russia
47. Lake Titicaca - Peru
48. Las Ramblas - Barcelona, Spain
49. Las Vegas Strip - Las Vegas, Nevada
50. Leaning Tower of Pisa - Pisa, Italy

{I can't find any of my Eiffel, or Louvre photos, so this one of me in front of a carousel in Paris will just have to do}
51. Louvre Museum - Paris, France
52. Macchu Picchu - Peru
53. Matterhorn - Switzerland
54. Mayan Pyramids of Chichen Itza - Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
55. Metropolitan Museum of Art - New York City, New York, USA
56. Mount Everest - Nepal
57. Mount Fuji - Japan
58. Mount Kilimanjaro - Tanzania
59. Mount Rushmore - Keystone, South Dakota, USA
60. Napa Valley - California, USA
61. Ngorongoro Crater - Tanzania
62. Niagara Falls - New York, USA
63. Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris, France
64. Pacific Rim National Park - British Columbia, Canada
65. Pebble Beaches of Nice - Nice, France
66. Petra - Jordan
67. Petronas Twin Towers - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
68. Portland Head Lighthouse - Cape Elizabeth, Maine, USA
69. Puerta Del Sol - Madrid, Spain
70. Pyramids of Giza - Egypt
71. Redwood National Park - California, USA
72. Rock of Gibraltar - Gibraltar
73. Rocky Mountain National Park - Colorado, USA 
74. Ruins of Athens - Athens, Greece
75. Ruins of Pompeii - Pompei, Italy
76. Sagrada Famila - Barcelona, Spain
77. Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) - Chicago, Illinois, USA
78. Sedlec Ossuary - Czech Republic
79. Sistine Chapel - Vatican City, Italy
80. Smithsonian Institution - Washington, D.C., USA
81. Space Needle - Seattle, Washington, USA
82. St. Peter’s Basilica - Vatican City, Italy
83. Statue of Liberty - New York City, New York, USA
84. Stonehenge - Wiltshire County, England
85. Sydney Opera House - Sydney, Australia
86. Taj Mahal - Agra, India
87. Temple of the Golden Pavilion - Kyoto, Japan
88. Teotihuacan - Mexico
89. Tian Tan Buddha - Hong Kong, China
90. Times Square - New York City, New York, USA
91. Varanasi - Uttar Pradesh, India
92. Victoria Falls - Zimbabwe
93. Wailing Wall - Jerusalem, Israel
94. Walt Disney World Resort - Orlando, Florida Um, how come Disney World is here but not Disney Land? That's a conspiracy if I ever saw one. 
95. Washington Monument - Washington, D.C., USA
96. White Cliffs of Dover - Dover, England
97. White House - Washington, D.C., USA
98. Winchester Cathedral - Hampshire, England
99. Yosemite National Park - California, USA
100. Zion National Park - Utah, USA

So according to Saint Augustine, I've read 21 pages which is rather poor. I mean, you don't even really get into a book until at least page forty or something. I barely have grasped the plot at this point. (oh, and in case you're confused by the Saint Augustine reference, he's the one who said that thing about the world is a book...)

But I do know what I'd like my next five pages to be;

Canals of Amsterdam - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Cathedral of Seville - Seville, Spain
Edinburgh Castle - Edinburgh, Scotland
Leaning Tower of Pisa - Pisa, Italy
Stonehenge - Wiltshire County, England

And what about you? 
What page are you on... 
and where do you want your next page to take you?



  1. man, i have barely gotten through the contents! i may live abroad, but i definitely don't travel a lot (money's tight when you're planning two weddings) but this year we're planning lots of "within italy" trips that i'm excited about! 21 is good! you're on your way!

  2. I haven't read many more pages than you and I agree with one of your reasons: my husband is French, we're here to stay, so there doesn't seem to be any hurry. Most of my free vacation time is spent going back to the Midwest USA, which isn't even in that "book". But..I do have a list similar to yours. The canals of Amsterdam, London Bridge, the fjords of Norway, a hot spring bath in Iceland, anywhere in South America...

  3. I'm afraid I'm only on page 19 of this particular list. Maybe because, like you, I've lived in Europe for so long now. But being new to France, I'm looking forward to lots of visits to other parts of this amazing country, to start. I'd better hurry it up, though, as I'm not getting any younger :-) . Here's hoping some of your travel dreams come true soon.

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  5. Goodness, that looks an expensive list!

    I think there's a big difference between visiting places and living there. You were brought up in Texas and then went to live in Ireland and are now living in France. Your experience of the world is therefore much wider and more profound than that of someone who ticks off places they've visited.

    I haven't counted up the number of places I've visited on that list because I'm not that interested in the suggestion that you're a better person the more places you can tick off.

    However, I was brought up near London and have visited many sights in the UK, I lived for a year in Cairo and visited places there. Now I live in France and have been able to travel to Spain, Austria, Germany not to see the sights on the list but to experience the mountain passes and pass through the beautiful Dolomites.

    Someone else's list is just a list; your travel experiences should be based on what is meaningful for you and what you can afford!

    1. Forgot to add living in Dallas for a year... That was definitely an experience!

  6. Love those small little churches in France.
    We had been to Mt St Michele last August. Fell in love with Abbey at the top.

  7. I wish we could travel a lot more, but all our travels are in France or Finland for the moment. I think I need to start skipping the traveling to see my family if we want to explore the rest of the world.

    I would love to do a roadtrip in the USA, see Asian countries, do trekking in Mongolia and this kind of things! Never really left Europe and I think it's about time!

  8. I'm going to call shenanigans on this list because I've been to a bazillion places here in Europe that aren't on the list ;)

  9. Doing pretty well in my book! You've seen so many incredible places in Europe that I'm dying to visit! Love your next five :)


  10. 23 pages!!! Not so bad!! Thanks for reminding me how lucky I used to be! We should make a list for Provence landmarks!! My favorite one is numéro 39, la Mezquita de Cordoba!!

  11. Although I agree with some of the comments above that travel isn't just about ticking off a list of arbitrary sights, I might steal this idea to reflect on some of the places I've seen (something to blog about in a quiet moment at least). I'm not sure with some like the Colosseum - I've been outside, but not in - does that count?

  12. hey, 21 ain't bad. BUT I must warn you, Pisa is a let down. Make it a tiny stop on the way to cinque terre or something.

  13. I agree with Barbara. Some of the coolest places will not be on any list because it is more about the people you saw it with or what happened there.

  14. You have been to Atlantic City Boardwalk and Gettysburg

  15. Hahaha I loved this post! I think you're well-read! ;-)

  16. That is a sweet list, I might have to borrow this and do it as well... I think I'm at somewhere around 20 too, so I guess we both have some work to do! But also agreed with those above who said that there is a ton here that isn't on the list, or when it's more important who you're with. :)

  17. Heh, I'm currently on a road trip with a friend ticking off 36, 49 and 100.

    I've also done 8, 10, 23, 29, 30, 62 (it's better from the Canadian side) 67, 77, 85, 95, 96, 97.

    I'm afraid to look at the list for myself, my bank account is wincing ;o)

  18. I absolutely love that quote. I feel like everyone needs to travel to really understand the world and how other people live. So, so, important!

    SL, I think you've done pretty good so far! This list is quite impressive. Looking forward to reading about your future travels! Get going!!! : )

  19. Oh wow, what a great list! I want to see all the places too. My best friend lived in Venice for a year and she lived on the Canal Grande. So beautiful!

  20. Wow!
    This list is awesome but also challenging. Clearly I haven't seen that much of this world

  21. I am going to steal this from you for my bloggy!

  22. Eh, you've got plenty of time. Besides, I think some of the places they chose are ridiculous.
    Like, I've been to some of those countries/cities and just not seen the sites.
    I think you're probably more well-traveled than 95% of the human population, so page 21 isn't bad! :)

  23. I suppose they could be pages - in a child's reader. Some of them are chapters if you choose to experience them that way. Some are just sights on a shallow checklist. To me it's more important to live (or at least stay) some place long enough to get to know some of the people there and learn at least a little of the language. Life's too short to just be a tourist.

    Give me a heads-up if you ever do make it out to Northern California.

  24. Too many to list! I'd love to see Tuscany and Florence. I love the photo of you in front of the carousel. xo

  25. Doin' good, but giddyup you Texan!

  26. That list is seriously heavy on American spots - there are 4 in NYC alone - and only a single spot to visit in Canada (the list even mentions Niagara Falls, NY when the Ontario side is so much better!)

  27. What a perfect, amazing list! Mine right now is fairly simple...England and Ireland. I feel England calling me. I talk about it all the time. I've wanted to visit England since I read the Secret Garden as a kid. : )

  28. You're doing really well! :) We're quite 'guilty' (depends on how you look at it) of going back to places we've visited over and over again. Exploring different areas and learning different things about the same country. We love it. But we have decided that three big trips a year is good, and at least one of them has to be to a new place! xoxox

  29. I've been to 36 of the things on the list. It is a great list, but I really disagree with two of them. I think Lake Louise in Banff National Park, Alberta is far more impressive than Glacier National Park in Montana. You can see a photo of it here: http://gracie-senseandsimplicity.blogspot.ca/2010/03/friday-photo-another-view-out-window.html (although now that I look at my post again I realize we didn't have the best weather so you should look on Google and see other pictures of Lake Louise). And secondly the Canadian falls are far superior to the American falls at Niagara Falls. Everyone crosses the border to get a good look at the Horseshoe Falls which are the famous ones. I live very near Niagara Falls and we go frequently. In fact, I just wrote a post about what you can do in Niagara Falls here: http://gracie-senseandsimplicity.blogspot.ca/2012/10/niagara-falls.html. I can't wait to do more traveling - I kind of live and breath it too. I'm always planning my next trip and if there isn't one in the offing I feel a bit lost. I'm hoping to go back to Bangladesh and India in 2014 so that is my next really big trip, but I sure hope I can see something in North America next summer.

  30. While thinking of myself as a fairly serious student of history, I was embarrassed by the fact that I was standing almost right in front of the Alamo when I asked a local where it was years ago. In all fairness, it was very late at night, and I had no idea just how small of a building it really is. For I was expecting to find something much more substantial.

  31. When we arrived in Argentina, every day was traveling around the city, doing all the limitless paperwork and silly beyond belief red tape things that were required. Then we had to house hunt, then decorate and it was about a year before we were able to settle in and really explore our new home town.
    I still think we should have chosen France. We have reached the end of our exploring and now plan to return to the US .. unless we decide to give France a try after all :)

  32. Ohhh I like this list! I may have to look at that for a blog post and also light a fire under my butt!
    Love the blog!

  33. This is a great list! It makes me feel accomplished, even if I have a long way to go!


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