Happy July 4th! If you are an American (or even if you aren’t!) I hope that you are celebrating the fact that we are free to blog, protest, fight, love, pray, not pray and VOTE in this crazy country of ours.
Traveling the world feels like a need to me. I would like to think of it a nice little hobby, but I am inexplicably drawn to getting out of my comfort zone and seeing the beauty of this entire world. I get a high from learning, tasting, seeing, experiencing and touching the scary, the fascinating, the beautiful and the uncomfortable.
That being said, my own country is part of this amazing world. My vacations in America might not have the same “edgy” feel of international travel, but let’s be honest, that is sometimes nice. It is nice to drive and know the driving laws or eat at a restaurant and know the tipping amount. It is nice to not have to research the heck out of a place to feel like you fit in – or to at least not stick out!
Different from our Travel Bucket List of experiences, this wish list does have specific places to see, as well as general experiences to have. But, like our Travel Bucket List, this list is meant to inspire, ignite and inform! So, get out there and explore the world – your own backyard included!
The Grand Canyon – While we drove through The Grand Canyon when we drove in a zigzag from San Diego to Las Vegas, we did not truly experienced the canyon. I want to raft down the Colorado River, admire the layers of colored dirt and even (maybe, possibly, kind of) camp until the midnight stars. If anything, I’ll gaze at them for a while then head back to my comfy hotel room!
Ice Fishing – I am not sure why I want sit in the freezing staring at ice and holding a pole, but it sounds so completely different that what I know, that I am so curious. Fishing to me is a boat, sunscreen and as little clothing as possible. The fish we catch in Florida are colorful. None of this is true of ice fishing. I imagine there are belly warmer drinks too, which are always fun too!
Walk out on to a Skydeck (Sears Tower or The Grand Canyon) – While the views are drastically different, this item is more about getting over the fear of heights and walking out onto a ledge that is very (very!) high up. I plan to look down and then, most likely, weep with fear. I’m sure my legs will shake and I’ll need reminders to breath, but I want to do it!
Yellowstone National Park – Because why not? The geysers, hot springs, rainbow colored pools, roaming bison and more!
Explore Big Sur California (More!) – We drove from San Francisco to San Diego a few summers ago. Our vacation was filled to the brim with wine tasting, photo ops, hiking and lots of driving. We pulled to the shoulder of the 101 many times while driving through Big Sur because every turns offers a million dollar view. What we did not do, and what I want to do, is to explore more! I want to go to the water’s edge and into the forests. I want to take in a sunset over the Pacific and stay in an uber expensive hotel deep within in Big Sur. I want to do it the “right way”
Cherry Blossoms in Washington, D.C. – This might be the end-all-be-all is “All American” wish list items. The country’s capitol in all of its spring time grandeur. I’ve seen photos of DC while the trees are at their peak of blooming and it is spectacular. Can you imagine it in real life?
Skagit Valley Tulip Field – Speaking of flowers in bloom. If you are not sure why I want to see this just simply Google “Skagit Valley Tulip Field.” If you are not blown away and tempted to book your flight we cannot be friends.
Just kidding. Kind of.
“All of Utah” – We’ve hiked The Canyonlands and Arches National Parks and skiied Park City, but there is So. Much. More! The Wave, Horseshoe Bend, Heber Valley, Monument Valley, Antelope Canyon Zion, Bryce, Salt Lake City. UGH! There are so many places I’d like to see in Utah. Yea, I need to book that ticket now!
Crater Lake, Oregon – I learned about this place in the 4th grade. More than two decades later and I still am curious. It is a lake at the top of a mountain, in a crater. Pictures of the lake look beautiful, but it has just always been a point of interest I would like to explore more.
Camp in Yosemite – In case we’re just meeting. I don’t camp. I will glamp; I do not camp. But, for Yosemite, I will make an exception. The non-humid air, ruggedness and relative ease of camping in a national park make me less apprehensive, and even a little excited, about the possibility!
America has a stigma of greed, ignorance and Disney World-obsessed people, but it is home. Yes, those are good descriptors, but I KNOW that we are more. We are canyons, rivers, oceans, lakes, cities, small towns, river walks and city side walks. We are home town charm, city grit, a rainbow of colors, ideals, faiths and opinions. We are not perfect, but we are the UNITED States of America.