Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Bucket List

We’ve been seizing a lot of travel opportunities lately, though I feel like we’ve been a bit passive in our destination choices. So far we’ve gone to Poland and the English Lake District, and we have plans to visit Salzburg, Austria next week. Two of those destinations are simply us tacking on a weekend to one of Jonathan’s business trips.
To be fair, Jonathan won’t be granted ‘ex-pat’ vacation time until 2013 which means we are coasting on just 10 days right now, 5 of which will be used for our October trip to the states. It’s more economical for us to pair a side trip with a business vacation since his company pays for his roundtrip airfare and we don’t have to waste a vacation day on travel.

It’s just that we’ve been so busy with work trips that we haven’t had much time or the energy for personal trips. It all feels very chaotic and haphazard and I’m ready to start deliberately traveling. Does that make any sense? We’re just overwhelmed with all of the options Europe has to offer, that we’re not deliberately choosing where to go- we’re just saying yes to any chance thrown our way. I worry that if we keep going like this, we’ll end up three years down the road missing out on all those things that we really had our hearts set on.

And there’s also the issue of starting a family, which was one of our goals while positioned in the UK. Our next assignment may not be in first world country and so family planning would get a whole heck of a lot more complicated if we waited until then. However, I feel like there is so much travelling we have left to do before we take that step.

A friend of mine suggested that Jonathan and I sit down and make a list of all the things we want to do while in Europe, and then prioritize the ones that we want to do before pregnancy/having kids and save the ones that we wouldn’t mind doing during pregnancy/with kids for the backend of our time here. So that’s exactly what we did.

I’m adding a “Bucket List” Blog Page to keep track of our progress. I’m sure we’ll be adding to this list as we learn more about European destinations, but I think this is a good start. The italics are those we don’t mind doing with kiddos.

Living in Europe Bucket List:
In the U.K.:
Golfing at St. Andrews Old Course (Jonathan specific)
Golfing at Gleneagles (Jonathan specific)
Hiking the West Highland Way
Visiting the Orkney Islands
Photographing Highland Cows (Laine Specific)
Visiting the Isle of Skye
Edinburgh Military Tattoo
Edinburgh Fringe Festival
Climbing Ben Nevis
Whisky Tasting at the MacAllan Distillery

In Mainland Europe:
Skiing in the Alps
Spanish or Italian Wine Country
Croatian Cruise
Cinque Terre, Italy
Monet’s Gardens
French Road Trip
Lake Como
Brittany Region of France
Things we’ve already crossed off of our lists:
English Lake District (wowza!)
Glenfiddich Distillery
Hiking Loch Muick
We’ve already got a pretty hefty list here and with trips back home and work destinations sprinkled in, it’s unlikely that we’ll cross every item off of the list before our time in Scotland is over. We were all set to visit Auschwitz with a September trip to Krakow, Poland, but it turns out that Jonathan has the opportunity to travel to one of his major lifelong bucket list destinations instead: Australia!

And since his business trip is only for 2 days, and he’s not traveling all the way to Australia without scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef, he’s going to use up a few of our Christmas vacation days on that. But plans are in the works for an Alpine ski trip in Spring of 2013, so hopefully that item will be crossed off the list soon enough. And my parents wanted to meet us in Europe for a couple’s trip next Spring as well, so a little trip to Lake Como and the Italian wine region might be in order.

Are there any European items on your bucket list? Any that you think should be added to ours?


  1. Love that idea! Kids change the whole travel dynamic. We've honestly not ventured there yet. I'm almost dreading it. Do as much as you can before kids. Or those trips you want to experience just the two of you.

    Where in Portugal are you wanting to go? My in-laws live there. They live in Vale de Cambra just outside of Porto. Although I've been all the way down to Lisbon as well. I'd love to go down south to the Algarve! Gorgeous and I want me a beachy vacation.

    1. Everything about Portugal appeals to me, but I defiitely want to see Lisbon and the Algarve.I'll probably contact you for tips once we start planning our trip!:)

  2. I totally did the same thing with my travel list, split between places with kids and without. I'm so jealous you guys will get to go to Australia!!! I don't think we will make it there before we leave the UK:(

    1. Hehehe...You're the "friend" who suggested the idea:) You're also the reason Lake Como got added to the list. Your pictures were gorgeous! Sadly, I won't be joining Jon on his trip Down Under, but I sure hope to make it there(and maybe live there) one day.

  3. It's a great list! You can hit Cinque Terre, Lake Como, the wine region and Venice all in one trip if you want. It's pretty easy we've done it. Next week we will hit the wine region, Lake Maggiore (just west of Como) Verona and Venice with some friends. We do branch out but we keep going back to Italy :) Istanbul's is on our list for next year!!

  4. Love it! Pregnancy travel is totally do-able, but I get worn out so fast. I thought we would visit Yosemite this fall, but turns out I won't be able to hack all the hiking :( Sounds like Spring 2013 will be a fun time for y'all!!!