Monday, July 29, 2013

Wanderlust : My Wanderlust List

Confession:  I have an obsession with seeing the world.  I read blogs daily written by expats or those who travel constantly.  I realize that 'thou shalt not covet', but I'll admit it: I am jealous of them and their opportunities to travel this amazing planet.  Therefore I am starting a series that will document my travels.  I intend to make a life of it and will continue to add to this list as I go.

I find myself daydreaming about ALL of the places that I want to visit.  There are quite a few.  I have decided that, in addition to my 40 Before 40 list I am going to create a 'Wanderlist'.  In no particular order, these are places that I want to explore before my days on this earth are no more.  Some may be crazy and I may not get there, but I will definitely try! Yes, I know that these are very open-ended.  I have done some, but not enough, research to determine exactly where in these regions that I want to go so I don't feel yet qualified to list specific places.

So without further ado, I give you...

Whitney's Wanderlist
1.  Africa
  • Morocco
  • Kenya
  • Tanzania
    • Mt. Kilimanjaro
  • Egypt
  • Namibia
  • Algeria
  • Mali
  • Tunisia
  • Ethiopia
  • Kenya
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Uganda
  • Zimbabwe
    • Victoria Falls

2.  Asia / Middle East
  • Thailand
  • Tibet
  • China
  • Cambodia
  • Vietnam
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • Mongolia
  • Maldives
  • Sri Lanka
  • Malaysia
  • Myanmar
  • Phillippines
  • Nepal
  • Singapore
  • Israel
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Turkey
  • Israel
  • Mt Everest

3.  United Kingdom (yes, I know it is technically in Western Europe but it is easier to group this way)

4.  Eastern Europe
  • Russia
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Poland
  • Estonia
  • Hungary
  • Montenegro
  • Macedonia
  • Romania
  • Serbia
  • Slovenia

5.  Western Europe

6.  Antarctica

7.  North America
  • Canada

8.  South America
  • Galapagos Islands, Equador
  • Machu Picchu, Peru
  • Torres del Paine, Chile
  • Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
  • Easter Island, Chile
  • Patagonia

*I have already been to these places but want to go back because I want to experience them again for one reason or another and so I can't mark them off the list just yet.

I feel certain that I will be adding to this list as I go.  Also, I will link back to this list when I blog about trips taken.  I will start this travel section with trips that I have already taken.  Bear with me as I find my footing in travel blogging.  Also, please be patient with me as travels that I took prior to realizing my love for photography aren't documented beautifully. (Note:  You may not find my travels post-photography-love as being documented beautifully.  Any constructive criticism for my photography is welcome, but please keep nasty comments to yourself.)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

40 before 40

First of all, wow.  It has definitely been more than a year since I blogged.  I really and truly suck at this.  If there were a scale of 1 - 10, with 1 being the worst and ten being the best at blogging, I would be in the negative 200,000 range.  Probably.  I think.

Second of all, did I just write 40 before 40?!  As in a countdown until I turn 40?!  I know it is still several years away, but is time speeding up?  I think that is what happens.  Time moves really slowly until you have children and then it flies by so that you feel like you don't have enough time to enjoy them.  It's a sick practical joke, I guess.  Thanks for that.

I have been on a blog-reading kick (Note the "reading" part.  Obviously, I haven't been on a writing kick) lately.  There are quite a few blogs that I follow, but I have recently been introduced to a few blogs written by expats or travelers in general.  I have to be really careful when reading these because I have the exploration bug bad and, although I suppress it quite successfully most of the time, that longing to drop everything and explore the world threatens to drown me until I give in to it.  *Not a good thing to get caught up in at this point in my life*

That being said, it got me thinking.  There are many, many things that I intend to do in my life.  Things that my husband and I have talked about doing together.  Things that I hold in the back of my mind.  Things that, though I am necessarily sure how to accomplish, I am determined to do.  So without further ado, here is my list of 40 things to do before I turn 40.

1.  Visit France (obviously Paris again, but also the countryside and smaller cities)
2.  Visit the the Lake District  (I want to experience this place again...this time with my husband.  He wants to go so badly, and I just want to go.  Everywhere.)
3.  Have another baby (Or two.  We are not picky.)
4.  Learn to cook using only fresh ingredients  (I guess "learn to cook" should have been first, but...Go big or go home, right?)
5.  Stamp all of my books with embosser  (I have it.  Now I have to use it.)
6.  Visit Italy  (Stay in a villa, drink the wine, eat the cuisine, visit the amazing architecture and natural wonders.  When do I leave?)
7.  Buy another house (after moving out of our current one, I should add)
8.  Be a stay-at-home mom  (I know that in this day and age it isn't very feasible, but this list isn't about feasible.  Obviously.)
9.  Have daily devotionals
10.  Find a church home
11.  Visit NYC (This time through my grown-up photography eyes)
12.  Celebrate Christmas morning at our house  (I know you love it, Mom.  Just remember - sharing is caring.)
13.  Start tradition of Sunday dinners at our house  (When we move closer to our families, this will be happening.  Somehow.)
14.  Learn to sew  (I have bought the sewing machine.  Now to open the box...)
15.  Learn French at least semi-fluently  (Rosetta Stone, anyone?)
16.  Grow a fruit/veggie/herb garden in my yard  (My black thumb could turn green at some point, right?)
17.  Upgrade my camera  (Canon 5D Mark III.  Of course, lenses will be included with that upgrade.  Come to mama.)
18.  Become comfortable snorkeling  (Something about breathing underwater freaks me out)
19.  Spend a weekend by myself at a spa resort  (Sounds glorious)
20.  Stop biting/messing with my nails  (Enough is enough.  Besides, I have noticed Canon starting it and I want to stop that in its tracks!)
21.  See a show on Broadway
22.  See a professional ballet company perform  (I have seen the New York City Ballet so I would love to see the American Ballet Theatre, but I wouldn't turn down any company!  (Hint, hint, Paris Opera Ballet.  Two birds. One stone.)
23.  Memorize the books of the Bible in order  (There is a song and I am going to get my grandmother to teach it to me so I can teach it to Canon)
24.  Start drinking 2 bottles of water a day
25.  Get caught up on all family yearbooks  (I do a photobook for each year and I am already behind)
26.  Go on an Alaskan cruise  (I've got to see icebergs and whales!)
27.  Renew our wedding vows  (Doesn't have to be fancy, although any excuse for a party sounds good to me)
28.  Go camping as a family  (I have never been, but Craig was an avid camper so I think we can do it.  Right?)
29.  Get a family photo at least once a month  (I don't mean a professional shoot.  Just something that documents us together.)
30.  Go to a planetarium (at night, of course)
31.  Take Canon somewhere to experience snow  (I am talking the powder-white-beautifully-plump snow, not the wet-dries-in-an-hour- pine-straw-sticking-through snow.  Not that we have either here, so...)
32.  Take a vacation to wine country with Craig  (I am thinking Oregon, with a drive down to California as well)
33.  Buy at least one real piece of furniture  (We currently own either hand-me-downs or IKEA orCraig'scouchesthattechnicallyheboughtbutIdon'tlike.  It is wonderful to have these things, but there is just something about buying something that I know will last "forever" and that is totally of my our choosing)
34.  Get rid of my tummy  (Babies and abs don't mix.  I don't care if Heidi Klum can do it.  I don't have a personal trainer.  Or the motivation.  Or the drive.  Who am I kidding?!  This one is not happening.  Yes, it is.)
35.  Read a book a month  (Used to be so easy it was laughable.  Then I had Canon.  Now we read a book or two a night.  These don't count.)
36.  Go on vacation with my best friend's family (Somewhere the kids can run and play and enjoy themselves)
37.  Go on vacation with just my best friend  (The men can run after the kids for a weekend while the women enjoy themselves.)
38.  Introduce Canon to a college football game (preferably Alabama of course, but I know he will have to learn about LSU at some point too)
39.  Host an outdoor soiree (Complete with screen for movie viewing!)
40.  Write letters to my family to tell them what I appreciate and love about them (To Craig, Canon, each of my parents, each sibling, my best friend, my niece, etc)

These are all things that will help me to experience life in a way that I envisioned I would.  Some are small, personal endeavors.  Some are on a grander scale (Bonjour!), but they are the things that I actually think about regularly.  These things that capture my attention and hold it consistently.  They are my heart's desire.  Now, to do something about them.

So, now it's your turn.  What's your list?  I am always up for inspiration and I am not above adding more to my list!