Eric's Travel Bucket List
It's been a long while since I posted on here. My life has changed drastically since the previous post in October 2015. I went from a frequent business traveler to stay at home dad after my wife lost her battle with cancer in 2016.
I plan to continue traveling the world with my kids and I hope to find a new travel partner some day. These are some of the places I want to visit, but this by no means an exhaustive list. If I were offered a trip to Paris or London, cities I've visited several times, I'd be ready to go in a matter of minutes.
Idaho, Montana, Alaska, Hawai'i, Wisconsin, Delaware, South Carolina
These are the states that I haven't visited at some point in my life. My mother tells me I was in Alaska as a 2 year-old. We were on a military transport airplane, awaiting departure to the Phillipines, where Dad was stationed. If I don't remember it, I'm not counting it.
A few years ago, a group of older guys set out from Hydro on their motorcycles for Alaska. They were gone a month and came back with some fun stories. I don't think I can make it to Honolulu on my motorcycle though.
Monhegan is a small, rocky island off the coast of Maine. It was an artist colony in Victorian Era. During the summer it's a tourist destination, but in the winter, the population dips to only a hundred hearty souls. I wonder if I could handle living one winter on a desolate rock, with only my thoughts and an old cat to keep company.
I'd like to take a boat through the islands off the coast of Maine for a few days. Stopping in at a town and trying the local foods and beer. Then get back on the boat and wind my way through the reefs and shoals to another.
Photo courtesy of Monhegan Inn.
I've had friends visit Costa Rica and come back with amazing stories from the country. Despite the wars and insurrection that has gone on in the countries surrounding Costa Rica, they've always had a democratically elected government.
From the Traverse City in the Lower, through Mackinac Island and across the UP. I've heard that Michigan is beautiful once you leave the big cities down-state. Traverse City is intriguing because of a lake there with a river that leads into Lake Superior. A popular activity is to kayak across the lake and then portage to the river. Along the river, there are about a dozen brewpubs and cider houses on a 3 mile curving stretch. That's a pub crawl worth doing.
Mackinac is a tourist trap, I've heard, but it looks so pretty in photos. I would like to visit, if only for a day. Across the UP and down to Milwaukee over the course of several days, stopping in small towns and enjoying life in a place unlike our own.
Andy Dufresne: [in a letter] Dear Red. If you're reading this, you've gotten out. And if you've come this far, maybe you're willing to come a little further. You remember the name of the town, don't you?
Andy Dufresne: I could use a good man to help me get my project on wheels. I'll keep an eye out for you and the chessboard ready. Remember, Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies. I will be hoping that this letter finds you, and finds you well. Your friend. Andy.
This image is the last shot of the movie, as Red finds Andy working on his boat. It was not filmed at Zihuatanejo, but that does not matter.
Republic of Ireland
I'm not aware of any Irish heritage in my family going back for generations. Not enough to claim any connection to the Auld Sod. That doesn't mean I'm not drawn to visit by images of green fields, rocky coastlines, and castles.
There are walking tours along the coasts and I can imagine a pleasant day of taking photos of the unique features of the Irish coast like this shot of Dun Briste along the northern coast. We would stop to have a pint and a hearty lunch at a pub then on down the trail to the next village.
Photo courtesy of Flickr:markcarthy.
Italy was likely our next family trip and I still want to see it. Less for the big cities, but it would be a crime not to see Rome, Venice, and Florence. What calls out to me are five little fishing villages on the northwest coast, halfway between Pisa and Genoa.
The villages are only a few miles apart from each other. There are no roads to or from the area. There is a trail along the coast and there are boats.
Photo courtesy of Lonely Planet.
Growing up in the 1970's, we were taught that every Communist country was a wasteland of ruined cities from industrial pollution. After the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989 we learned that was mostly propoganda from our government to keep us scared of other human beings. Despite the wars that tore Yugoslavia up in the 1990's those small countries that emerged have many beautiful sights. Plitvice Lakes are one of the many places I'd like to see.
Photo courtesy of TripAdvisor.
I don't need to describe this one. I'm just going to leave this link for you to click.
This idea has intrigued me for several years. I considered doing this hike last year after Jackie passed away, taking time to clear my head and be alone with my thoughts. I didn't know what I would do with the kids, though, and I didn't think this would be a good trip for them to take.
Many people take this hike and it takes about a month to complete the 500 miles to the city of Santiago, near the Atlantic Coast of Spain. Some take it as a religious trek, stopping at all the churches and shrines to pray. Others take it to see if they can endure the miles of trekking with no other supplies. For many, it is a trip of a lifetime.
I visited Brazil a handful of times while working at Motorola. I'd love to return again someday and see all the beauty of the country aside from the few places I managed to see during work trips.
This is not a world-famous site, so much as a very interesting bit of nature. I love thunderstorms and lightning. Due to the unique geographic conditions where the river empties into the large Lake Maracaibo, lightning storms occur more than 250 days per year. Most days, there are hundreds of lightning strikes in the evenings around this area. It's so noticeable that ships traveling into Lake Maracaibo from the Atlantic Ocean use the lightning as a navigational aid.
I visited BA for work in 2010 and found it to be a warm and wonderful place. I'd love to visit again and take some time to see the countryside where the food is grown and the wine is made.
I worked with a wonderful woman from Turkey many years ago. We shared an office and she was my manager. She taught me a lot about writing software. I always have wanted to go to the country she described. In addition to the Great City itself, there are the caves of Cappadocia and the Dardanelles.
You see photos like this and you think "I want to visit there." Of course you do and so do I. We will need to visit soon and take many photos before these lovely islands are consumed by the Indian Ocean, due to climate change. The government of the Seychelles and several other island nations have started saving money to establish a new homeland for their citizens when the seas finally take their homes.
Photo courtesy of AirSeychelles.
Truthfully, all of Australia seems like an incredible visit. From Sydney to the Gold Coast to Uluru in the middle of the desert. I have a good friend from Perth and I've always wanted to visit.
Kilamanjaro is the highest peak in Africa, with the summit at about 19,300 feet (5800m). It is hikeable with some preparation. I'd like to visit as part of a photo safari through Kenya and Tanzania.
I'm a sucker for strange things that you see on a map. I see something out of place or oddly shaped and I want to see what is there. Fortunately, Google Maps and Wikipedia have satisfied many of these itches, but I'd still like to visit.
- Kentucky Bend, KY/TN Border - A portion of Kentucky completely surrounded by Tennessee, Missouri, and the Mississippi River, resulting from the 1812 New Madrid earthquake and a surveying error.
- Northwest Angle, MN - The little bit of Minnesota that sticks out into Canada due to a surveying error.
- Baarle-Hertog, BE and Baarle-Nassau, NL - Two cities in Belgium and the Netherlands with a number of enclaves throughout both towns. Houses and restaurants sit simultaneously in both countries and the locals have fun with the oddness of it all.
- Campobello Island, NB - Connected to the US, but a part of Canada. Sort of the reverse of the Northwest Angle.
- Venice, LA - The last stop on the line, going down the Mississippi River. Not much there but oilfield workers and ships.