Progress: My bucket list

First a shout out to fellow blogger Andrew Petcher who inspired me to revisit and revise this post from October 2017, written well before you-know-what. Sadly we have made limited progress, as detailed below.

1. Vienna and Budapest

I last visited Vienna when I was 17, spending six weeks on a German language course at the university. It was such a magical trip that I resolved it would be a while before I returned. While I was there, I took a quick trip down the Danube to visit Budapest which we have both subsequently visited on business a number of times.

Finally, last autumn we re-visited Budapest for the christening of our twin god-sons. When we attended the couple’s wedding in the Hungarian countryside back in June 2019, we’d flown into Vienna and driven past Budapest which really doesn’t qualify. However, we’ll probably be enjoying regular visits to Budapest to maintain links with our second-family and our god-sons onto which we can easily tag a week in Vienna.

2. California

My beloved has visited LA and San Francisco on business. I had hoped to visit it on the occasion of our 25th wedding anniversary for which I had planned a magnificent trip touring around the state. Sadly, my beloved changed jobs and was unable to take time off in the early months of his new role. It’s been on the back-burner ever since.

No progress on this front though it remains on the list.

3. Japan

This would be a revisit. I accompanied by beloved on a business trip to Japan in April 2007 when the cherry blossoms were at their finest. It was love at first sight. I had high expectations of the trip but was blown away by the people, the culture and the cuisine. I’ve been itching to return but this time I want to explore the islands from top to bottom. My preference is to visit in autumn to experience the fall colours. That way I might be able to fit in a trip to see the MotoGP at Montegi.

Another location where sadly there’s been no progress, nor indeed even any planned itineraries.

4. Sicily

Before I met my beloved, I had a very enjoyable holiday in Sicily. Holiday programmes and friends who live there have whetted my appetite for a return trip although it’ll be my beloved’s maiden visit.

I have thought about planning a trip around Sicily but that’s as far as its gotten. Still, it’s a move in the right direction.

5. Amalfi Coast

We both love the fact that in 45 minutes we can be living La Dolce Vita in Italy. In recent years, we’ve had numerous trips and vacations to the north but haven’t ventured too far south but numero uno on our list is the magnificent Amalfi coast, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Spurred on by a recent foodie television programme, this has moved up the list. If all goes to plan, we may even visit in Sep/Oct of this year. Said visit would include an amble along the Tuscan countryside, a few days in Naples and a few more in Rome.

6. Long Island

Back in 2015, we spent a few delightful days chilling in Sag Harbor which has a real yesteryear, seaside vibe. I loved pottering around all the small towns making up The Hamptons and how nowhere was very far from the sea.

We re-visited The Hamptons, staying in Montauk, around Thanksgiving in 2019, and it was indeed tagged onto a (business) trip to New York. However, we’ve still to investigate the North Fork of Long Island.

7. Austin

The origins of this blog are in Austin where I took part in the Ride of the Roses. I’d like to go return to show Austin to my beloved and also watch the MotoGP race, usually held in early April, at The Circuit of the Americas. A week in Austin would probably be sufficient so I’d have to combine it with a visit elsewhere in the States, maybe Colorado (see below).

No progress here sadly, indeed I’ve not seen a MotoGP race live since Catalunya 2018. I had hoped to revisit the circuit this year (see below) but those plans have been blown out of the water.

8. New England

This is yet another re-visit for both of us. In the mid to late 90s my beloved and I enjoyed three consecutive vacations in New England, one of which was with my parents. During the trips we travelled around Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts stayed in some beautiful inns, ate plenty of lobster and enjoyed the glorious scenery. Frankly, another visit is long overdue.

I have gotten as far as planning a detailed itinerary which starts with us visiting Montreal and Quebec, idling south to visit friends in Vermont, revisiting Massachusetts, investigating Rhode Island and Connecticut, revisiting upstate New York, New York and Long Island (incl. its North Fork), before gorging on the gardens and museums of Philadelphia. It’ll take us at least a month and I’d like to go in Sep/Oct. Some of these objectives will be achieved on a forthcoming trip (see below).

9. Colorado

This is a part of the US which neither of us have ever visited. The closest was on a trip to Arizona one Christmas. However Colorado’s geographic diversity holds enormous appeal and any trip would naturally have Denver, Boulder and Aspen on its itinerary.  But that’s as far as I’ve gotten to thinking about a trip to Colorado and, frankly, I’ve not given it any more thought.

10. Mallorca

Strange as it may seen, neither my beloved nor I had visited any of the Balearic Islands. I remember my parents visiting the Easter I went to stay with my French penfriend when I was sweet 15.

At my beloved’s request, we visited Mallorca in 2019 for his birthday. We stayed in Palma and drove around the island a bit which merely whet our appetite for a return trip. Said return was planned for this May when we were going to combine a circumnavigation of the island with a trip to the Catalunya MotoGP and a week or two on the Spanish mainland.

This trip has now partly hit the buffers as we’re going to a business meeting in New Jersey in early June onto which I’ve tagged a trip to Philadelphia, New York and Washington DC as well as a thorough investigation of the New Jersey shore.

I say partly because instead we’ll be re-visiting Catalunya in late June, sadly too late for the MotoGP.

11. Australia

Last but not least, we’d love to visit Australia once more. We spent time in 2016 and 2017 enjoying Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. We’ve only scratched the surface and there’s plenty more on my “must see” list Down Under.

Since I wrote this post we have spent time in NSW and Queensland. However, that merely inflamed our desire to see more of the country. We’ve yet to visit the west coast, northern territories or even its red centre. I have an itinerary planned for the mother of all trips which is likely to take place within the next couple of years.

While it’s quite a modest list and reflects that we’ve already travelled widely both for business and pleasure, we’ve not made too much headway recently thanks to Covid. Looking ahead we probably need to get all our long-haul flying completed within the next 10 years or so, as it might be far too tiring, plus more difficult to get insurance cover. Thereafter, we’ll be more than happy to potter around Europe in our self-driving car, or by fast train.

All photos except The Hamptons and Australia courtesy of Wikipedia


33 Comments on “Progress: My bucket list

  1. New Jersey is my home state and their beaches and, especially the boardwalk, are wonderful. So many great memories from my younger days. Enjoy, Sheree.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I was born and grew up in Southern California, went to grad school in New England, and have visited Vienna and Austin, but the other items on your list are on mine as well — plus Buenos Aires and Cape Town.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Indeed the New Jersey shore is tops and home of the Boss! and Bon Jovi which I played soccer/football against. Been to those States and course wishing to visit Australia long story. Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is an amazing list! I have a lot of the same places on my list, especially Japan. We are hoping to go to the Bavarian Alps/Vienna later this summer depending on how things are going… I convinced Jon we have to take as many trips as possible before we get too tied down with responsibilities.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. You’ve prompted me to revisit my own list – also drawn up a few years back…. and also with little progress! I hope you can finally start getting to those great places….

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a regular for us as we only live 45 mins from Italian border. Huge fans of the country, have visited extensively over the years.

      Liked by 1 person

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