In order to fully understand the depth and importance of my travel and adventure wish list. You need to understand a little about my past. Let me catch you up …
Up until 2008 I thought I was never going to explore anywhere outside of the US and Canada. I had been in a plane crash in 1997 and was afraid to fly. In July 2008, I took my first flight since the plane crash. I still regularly find myself anxious over flying and scared during take off and landing, but I have vowed to travel far and wide and see as many places as I can see in my lifetime. In the past six years, through these challenges, obstacles and achievements, I have become a new person.
From July 2008 until today, I have visited the following places (by plane).
July 2008 – Bermuda – my first flight after the plane crash
October 2008 – New York City – 30th birthday celebration
January 2009 – Costa Rica & Nicaragua
August 2009 – Newfoundland
October 2009 – Bermuda
April 2010 – Cuba
June 2010 – Ottawa
August 2010 – St. Pierre & Miquelon, France (although it is off the Coast of Newfoundland)
November 2010 – New Orleans
March 2011 – Mexico, Germany & Poland
February 2012 – Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands, Peru
April 2012 – Dominican Republic
July – August 2012 – Dominican Republic
January 2013 – Toronto
As much as my perception of life changed because of the plane crash in 1997, my perception and perspective on life changed again as I sat admiring Machu Picchu in Peru in February of 2012. I was slowly embarking on a change of thought process, a better way to live my life and a self-discovery journey.
A year ago, my travel and adventure wish list consisted of Central and South America. I love Spanish. I love Latin culture and I wanted to explore this region in depth. I didn’t even really know which countries were located where, just that I loved the culture. It was a pretty broad wish list, honestly, with very little depth.
I went to the Dominican Republic for the summer (2012) to learn Spanish so that I could communicate better while traveling in Central / South America. I loved it!
While I was away, my life continued to change and my perceptions and perspectives were regularly challenged.
When I came home in September (2012), life changed, as it often does and I embarked on a journey to change careers. The journey had really started in February 2012 at Machu Picchu, but the first seven months were me figuring it out. Then from September to November, it was about me taking action to make a big change.
Since I started working at The Adventure Travel Company in November 2012, my broad and shallow wish list has exploded with energy and curiosity about places I never even knew existed!
Below, I am sharing with you my travel and adventure wish list as of March 2013. I have limited the list to 15 items that are top priority for me at this time. I look forward to writing another wish list in March 2014 to see what has changed, what I have checked off my list and where my dreams have wandered!
Shari’s Travel and Adventure Wish List
Very important to me are: sustainable travel, supporting (not harming) communities during my travels, living with locals, volunteering when possible, practicing my Spanish language skills, getting off the beaten path and not spending a lot of time in large cities.
*In their current order of importance to me.
1. Me to We Volunteer Trip (Kenya or India) – It is at the top of my list as it is extremely important to me, yet I don’t expect to go on this adventure until 2014.
2. Vietnam – including Sapa, Mui Ne, Halong Bay, taking part in the Full Moon Festival, cycling in the countryside.
3. Burma / Myanmar – I really want to go before it becomes an in demand destination. Cycling is on my to do list here as well as lodge at a monastery (not a hotel).
4. Croatia – including Split & Dubrovnik
5. Spanish school (Guatemala / Belize / Honduras / Nicaragua)
6. Gorilla Trek (likely in Rwanda)
7. African Safari (South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania or Botswana)
8. Cape Town, South Africa – because of Nelson Mandela
9. Hot Air Balloon ride – over Cappadocia, Turkey or the Maasai Mara, Kenya
10. Bhutan – Because of the happiness factor
11. Celebrating New Year’s in another country
12. Italy – Tuscany / Venice
13. Greece – Cinque Terre
Care to share what’s on your travel & adventure list?