Wanderlusting: The 10 Countries I Most Want to Visit in the Near Future

My last blog post about travel envy was kind of a bummer, so I decided that I needed to write something a bit more positive before the week was over. Instead of dwelling on the fact that I’m not going to Istanbul with Aaron, I started thinking about the 10 countries I’d most want to visit. My only criteria for the list was that 1) I had to include countries that I’ve never been to before, and 2) they had to be places I’d want to visit in the near future (i.e. in the next 10 years or so – not when I’m much older and less adventurous/active), which was pretty easy because I haven’t been everywhere… yet.

Below is the list that I came up with, with the countries listed in alphabetical order:

Cambodia

Up until very recently, Cambodia was totally at the top of my must-see list. Throughout our honeymoon in Bali & Vietnam, we met several other couples who just raved about the food, beaches, friendliness, and cheapness of Cambodia, not to mention the complete awe of experiencing Angkor Wat. However, another travel blogger that I highly admire recently wrote about why she thinks that Cambodia has recently changed, and not for the better. Kate really knows her stuff, so I believe her when she says that she didn’t love her latest experience there. I’m hoping though that things will turn back around for Cambodia, so I can get enthusiastic again about visiting it.

Cambodia

Cambodia – thanks for the pics, Alice!

Chile

Aaron and I had so much fun backpacking around South America in 2009, but we felt a bit amiss that we didn’t make it to Chile. Ideally, our trip there will include experiencing cosmopolitan Santiago, snowboarding in Portillo, surfing in Pichilemu, and a few days exploring Easter Island.

Ecuador

Aside from wanting to see the Galapagos Islands, I’d never thought too much about visiting Ecuador; that is until my friend Jen came back from a trip there last year and had the best time ever. She promised that she’d one day write a blog post about her trip (right, Jen?), so I’ll leave it to her to tell you why she fell in love with the country.

Ecuador

Ecuador – thanks for the pics, Jen!

Iceland

The Blue Lagoon, live music, Northern Lights, Einstock beer – what’s not to like? If there were direct flights from Reykjavík to Dublin, we would have combined Iceland with our Ireland trip last summer.

Mauritius

My family friend visited Mauritius during her Semester at Sea, and as soon as I saw the photos of the perfect turquoise water and bleached white sand, I knew that I’d have to go there some day. It was definitely in the running as one of our own honeymoon destinations, but we’d like to combine it with a few weeks in South Africa as well, and we didn’t think we’d be able to do all of that right after the wedding. I guess it will just have to be the destination for a special anniversary trip, right?

Mauritius

Mauritius – thanks for the pics, Hana!

Morocco

As soon as I can find the time to spend a week in Marrakech, I’m going to make it happen. My friend Daniel was lucky enough to spend this past NYE at this insanely beautiful estate, and said that he just thought the whole area was really beautiful and interesting. Also, my mom and sisters got to ride camels near Tangier a few years ago which looked really fun.

Morocco

Morocco – thanks for the pics, Rachel and Nicole!

Burma/Myanmar

One of my friends from college has lived in a handful of foreign countries since grad school, and although she’s currently living in Kabul, she is supposed to head back to Yangon soon. Only recently a tourist destination, she says that traveling around Burma is like going back in time. Aaron and I want to see what that’s like before everything becomes too modernized.

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Real Honeymoon: Iceland

When most people think of the ideal honeymoon location, they think of somewhere warm and tropical… and probably not a country whose name starts with the word “ice.”  However, Iceland is becoming a very popular tourist destination.  For one thing, it’s a lot closer to the U.S. than most people realize (only 5 hours from the East Coast), and the other-worldly scenery is just breathtaking.  My husband and I would love to go there someday, so when my best friend put me in touch with Carrie, I couldn’t wait to read all about their amazing Icelandic honeymoon.

When and where did you honeymoon?

My husband and I roadtripped around the Ring Road in Iceland for our honeymoon from May 23 – June 3, 2011.

Iceland!

How long was your trip?

We were in Iceland for 11 days.

How did you decide on your honeymoon destination(s)?

Neither my husband nor I are huge beach people, so we didn’t want the typical Hawaii-Fiji-Mexico honeymoon. And having been fortunate enough to travel quite a bit previously, we wanted to try something new and different. We’d heard great things about Iceland, and it seemed like a perfect size for us to be able to cover the major and many minor sights for the time that we had. Finally, the economy in Iceland hadn’t fully recovered, so we were able to take advantage of slightly lower prices, in an otherwise very expensive country!

Eld Hestar

Icelandic horses at Eld Hestar

The best part about our honeymoon was…

Well, the best part was that we were able to get there! The Grímsvötn volcano erupted on my wedding day, May 21st, so we weren’t sure if our flights would be cancelled. Fortunately, our last leg was only 6 hours delayed, and we made it into Reykjavík safe and sound.

In Iceland, my favorite part was the Southern coast of Iceland. It was absolutely gorgeous, particularly the areas between Höfn, Vík and Hella-Hvolsvöllur. I followed the first half of this Frommer’s itinerary for that portion of the Ring Road, and it was incredibly romantic.

Skógafoss

Skógafoss

If I knew then what I know now, I’d change…

I don’t think I would change a single thing–except maybe to stay for a couple more days!

Jökulsárlón

Jökulsárlón

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