My International Travel Bucket List

With the new year come new yearnings. Just a few months shy of age 90, I’m happy to confess that in the 25 years since I retired, I’ve fulfilled much of my bucket list. I’ve been all over the U.S., Canada and Mexico. I’ve also visited China, Hawaii, England, France, Germany, Italy, Argentina, the Panama Canal and many, many other destinations. I’d like to hang around to do some more. Here are five still on the list:

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: I want to feel the warm tropical sand of Ipanema Beach between my toes, listen to the strolling musicians and admire the world’s tiniest bikinis. Then, after the sun sets behind Sugarloaf Mountain, I’d stroll into a samba bar for an evening of Brazilian food and fun.

Reykjavik, Iceland: Along with admiring the spectacular Nordic scenery, both landscape and feminine, I’d bathe in Iceland’s famous Blue Lagoon. Even during icy winters, the volcano-heated sea water provides therapeutic healing experiences. It would be especially beneficial for we seasoned travelers whose tired, ancient bones and muscles sorely need it.

Jerusalem, Israel: To all with deep feelings for history and/or religion, Jerusalem is a top bucket list destination. The ancient City of David is the most revered place in the world for people of many faiths. I’d visit the Temple on the Mount, Western Wall, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Dome of the Rock, King David’s Tomb, and float in the Dead Sea.

Monument Valley, Arizona: Growing up with John Wayne movies, I’ve always wanted experience this beautiful scene. I’d get close to the soaring red rock formations in a Jeep tour or horseback trek. Roaming the scene with my camera would be the experience of a lifetime.

The Galapagos Islands, Ecuador: I’ve always wanted to visit this unspoiled haven off the coast of South America. Charles Darwin told us the isolated island proved his theory about the evolution of life and natural selection. I’d get back to nature by roaming with seals, boobie birds, tortoises, penguins and other unique species.

For every traveler with a bucket list as ambitious as mine, I wish each of them, from the very young to the very old, the opportunity to fulfill all their travel dreams in this new year and into the future.

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