Category Archives: Travel inspiration

My Bucket List

A couple weeks ago, on a road trip to San Francisco, my friend and I started to talk about our bucket lists…

The conversation started when we were reminiscing about how we really need/want to apply to be a team on the next Amazing Race. (Something we have talked about for YEARS). The conversation reminded me about the time I auditioned for the Real World when I was in college because it was “one of those things on my bucket list”. That is when my friend jumped in and said, “we need to write out our buckets lists, see which items match, then go do them together!”

Normally, I am not one for writing down lists. I never write down new years resolutions, usually struggle at the grocery store because I can’t remember what I needed and forgot to write a list, etc. The only lists I am good at are letters to Santa with what I want for Christmas. But the idea of a bucket list intrigued me.

As defined by Urban Dictionary, a bucket list is a list of things you want to do before you die, or more specifically, before you kick the bucket.

So, as I started to day dream about my bucket list, I realized that everything I want to do/accomplish before I die generally ties into travel.

So here it is. My Travel Bucket List. This list is by no means exhaustive. I plan to add to it as inspiration hits.

  1. Audition for the Amazing Race
  2. Go on a hot air balloon ride
  3. Go on a safari in the Serengeti
  4. Go to Yellowstone National Park
  5. Walk on the Great Wall of China
  6. Go to the Galapagos Islands
  7. Attend a music festival in the UK
  8. Attend Coachella
  9. Hike to Machu Picchu
  10. Buy a summer home in the UK
  11. See the Northern Lights
  12. See penguins in their natural habitat
  13. Visit Luang Prabang, Laos
  14. Visit Meteora, Greece
  15. Visit all 7 continents (Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, and Australia)
  16. Take a cruise to Alaska
  17. Go to Hawaii and hike to a volcano
  18. Learn a 2nd language
  19. Attend the Olympics
  20. Learn to tango… in Argentina
  21. Practice yoga in India
  22. Grow some cojones and go cliff diving

Does your bucket list look similar to mine? Should we go plan a vacation together and check some of these off the list?

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Dancing Matt Does It Again

Remember Dancing Matt? The guy who taped himself dancing around in different countries from his travels, posted the video online, and then became an instant viral sensation?

Let me refresh your memory…

7 years later and he is still dancing, traveling, and living life to the fullest. He just posted his most recent “Where the hell is Matt” video.

I dare you not to smile/dance along/love the world you live in while watching this.

Books that make you go….

Ever read a book that was so good at drawing you into it’s magical world, about a boy who lived under the stairs, that you decided to plan your next vacation around it to experience the real thing?

The dining hall at Christ Church college at Oxford, aka what they replicated to creat the Great Hall at Hogwarts.

Ever finish a suspense novel and become convinced that La Pyramide (the inverted pyramid) at the Louvre isn’t just an art installation, but rather a pivotal religious site?

She must have read the Da Vinci Code too. I was a little less obvious about it.

Ever get the urge to Eat, Pray, and Love all over the world because it seemed to work out well for Elizabeth Gilbert?

Eating my way through Portland’s food trucks. Stop #1, the Grilled Cheese Grill.

Ya. Me too.

A good book transports you to another world, another life, a place you can create with your imagination. A great book does everything the good book can do plus it inspires you to get off your couch and travel.

What books have inspired you to travel? Books that made you go…

Why I work in tourism

Beauty In Your Own Backyard

All too often I find myself daydreaming about my next travel adventure. I would say 95% of the time, my mind wanders to international lands where I can find food, culture, and environments vastly different from my regular life.

But, then the financial reality of paying for these exotic trips that I dream of hits and I realize that the only way I can experience them as soon as I would like to is if I a) win a trip or b) win a trip. Seeing as I likely tapped out my trip winning luck for life, it’s time to look for alternatives.

Thankfully, last week I had the pleasure of attending the 2012 International Pow Wow in Los Angeles where Brand USA launched its first official marketing campaign for Discover America. Their ads are based on the four senses and how you can experience America through them.

See it. Hear it. Taste it. Touch it.

I got goosebumps when I saw this ad. Almost immediately my traveling mind started to wander to lands in my own backyard. Exploring the stunning landscapes of Yellowstone National Park. Enjoying the food, music, and culture of New Orleans. Experiencing the autumn glow of Vermont maple trees. I was excited about traveling and exploring the beauty and wonder that my own country as to offer.

Have you been surprised by what travel adventures your own backyard has to offer?

Make It Count – Travel Inspiration

The video is a great reminder of why I love to travel, and why I decided to make tourism my career. Enjoy!

The Colors of Morocco

As our plane left Paris en route to Casablanca, I closed my eyes and started to imagine what my next 2 weeks would be like in Morocco. Having never visited the country before, I let my imagination take flight. I pictured being surrounded by varying shades of desert orange. Sand in my toes, my hair, and probably my mouth. Men and women adorned in scarves that kept the wind and blowing sand at bay. So you might be amused at my surprise when as we were about to land and I asked my sister, who had the window seat, “What does Morocco look like?” She responded… “Like California…”

California? Yah, I guess we have a desert, but that is not the first visual association most people have with the state. So, in disbelief I leaned over my sister to get my own first look of Morocco. She was right. It looked liked we were flying over Central California. There were bright green agricultural plots of land, rolling hills, and snowy mountains. All I could think was, did we get on the right plane?

Over the next 2 weeks I was amazed and in awe each day as Morocco surprised me with a new landscape, a new set of colors, a new destination image to add to my travel memories of this magnificent land. Here is a taste of  the kaleidoscopic backdrops of Morocco.

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Ruins of Volubilis which are surrounded by olive fields

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Evening walk in Midelt, a town known for it's apple production

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The Sahara Desert

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Palm grove oasis in Todra Gorge

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Snow in the High Atlas Mountains

Sunset in Essaouira

Tourism Ads That Make Me Happy

I love a good tourism ad, don’t you? Sometimes they make me want to travel to a destination, and other times they just make me happy and remind me why I love tourism people so much. Here are some of my favorite tourism gems.

1) Visit California – I love Jason Mraz and Betty White. Therefore awesome commercial.

2) Switzerland Tourism – This makes me writhe in agony… but I can’t stop watching. I love old men, and this one is particularly adorable.

3) Enjoy England – The goal of this advert is to encourage Brits to travel domestically in 2012. Little do they know, it makes Anglophiles, like myself, go weak in the knees with all the delicious britishness.

4) Las Vegas – Know the code. Need I say more?

5) Switzerland Tourism… again. This one is my all time favorite. Only tourism advert that literally had me going to kayak.com to look at flight prices after watching it. They clearly understand their target market. Hubba hubba. Switzerland for the the win!

What Inspires You To Travel?

Videos like this inspire me…

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