Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Travel Bucket List: 27 months in

Right before I turned 40 in May 2012, I posted my Top 40 Travel Bucket List. Twenty-seven months into my list, I'm thrilled to have been able to scratch off seven locations from my Bucket List, bringing me down to a Top 33 Travel Bucket List still to go.

So, where have I been?

1. Chawton Cottage, England, May 2012. Home of Jane Austen, and the impetus for my 40th birthday trip to England. Sooooo cool!

9. Santa Fe, New Mexico, December 2013. Our present to the boys was a suprise trip to Santa Fe right after Christmas. I loved seeing the town, visiting the Georgia O'Keefe musuem, and the boys loved skiing for the first time.

12. Destin beaches, Florida. August 2012. Our family vacation that summer was a roadtrip to Florida where we loved staying in a condo on the beach with clear blue waters and fluffy white sand.

16. Giverny, France. May 2012. A few days in Paris was a last-minute addition to our England trip at the request of my husband, so I found a way to make sure we took the train out of Paris to visit Claude Monet's home and gardens. Absolutely stunning.

17. Oregon. July 2014. We took our family vacation to the Pacific Northwest and added two new states to our list, Oregon and Washington. Crater Lake National Park was even more stunning in person than I had dreamed.

22. Williamsburg, Virginia. July 2013. We spent five days in the greater Williamsburg area on last summer's American history vacation. It was hot. But I Absolutely. Loved. It.

28. Santa Barbara, California. March 2014. We took the train from San Francisco down to Santa Barbara as part of our Grand Californian Adventure over Spring Break. Cute town. Loved the courthouse. Would have loved it more without children in tow.

Where to next? Well, it's a good thing I'm down to 33 on my Bucket List, because along the way, I've decided to add a lot more focus to my "one to grown on" item - the rest of the 50 States. And its become my latest obsession.

I first got the idea on our 2012 roadtrip to Florida. As we crossed through five states, I made sure we got out and did "something" in each state (and no, the gas station and "welcome to" signs alone didn't count).

And then last summer, we managed to visit four states and D.C. without really trying. (If I had been trying, I would have had us make our way to nearby Delaware because for the life of me, I don't know what there is to do there, or when we will get back there. Its going to KILL me to take an extra trip just for Delaware.) (speaking of Delaware - this 'Wayne's World' clip pretty much sums up my view of Delaware)

I've been to 30 states so far. Carl's at 28, Alex has 14, and Ryan has 13. But for the sake of unity, we're aiming for 50 States for the Family. So 13 it is. I've also given us until Ryan starts college (I need that summer!)  for the other 37, and even loosely (okay, not so loosely) plotted out fourteen more trips for us to take over the next ten years.

That's a lot of traveling, and it doesn't account for repeat trips to California to visit family or perhaps a return to other spots we love, like New Mexico and Florida. And a lot of husband understanding, since he isn't *exactly* thrilled with having more than one trip on the table at the time.

I'm a big believer in making lists. It's how I've gotten through life. It's how I've managed to make it to 7 of my Top 40 spots in 27 months. And it's how I'll get all four of us to all 50 states over the next ten years.

So while my Travel Bucket List might stay at 33 for a while, I've made a travel goal for the whole family. And that's way, WAY cooler. Random states like North Dakota and Delaware, here we come.

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