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Happy new year, friends! If you’re reading this blog right now, I’m guessing you’ve figured out that I have a love for all things fashion, beauty, & shopping. What’s less apparent is that traveling is a huge passion of mine. I was fortunate enough to travel domestically quite a bit when I was growing up. However, since graduating & getting jobs & becoming “adults,” Cory and I have really been focusing on paying off our student loans, so we haven’t gone on many trips unless we’re visiting family. That being said, I’m constantly planning trips on Pinterest…I seriously have our first 15 vacations planned, so travel is something that I hope to start blogging about more frequently here on Sugar and Chiffon. You can also follow the hashtag #sugartravels on Instagram! Without further ado, here are the top trips on my wishlist. Side note: If anyone has any tips for convincing someone who hates winter to travel with me to Iceland in December, let me know…
I’m not really sure how I first started looking into Iceland, but it has turned into a full blown travel obsession for me. I want to visit twice- once in summer, once in winter- because I feel like there is so much to experience there, and the seasons seem drastically different. In the summer, it’s warmer (obviously), you have more daylight, and it’s the best time to go whale watching, but in the winter, you have a better chance of seeing the Northern Lights (bucket list item!), and there’s just something so enchanting about Iceland in the snow. Iceland has it all- you can hike on a glacier, photograph the most stunning waterfalls and black sand beaches, take a dip in the Blue Lagoon or other hot springs, try to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights or the 20+ species of whales that flock to the waters surrounding the island, wander around the charming city of Reykjavik, and snorkel between continental plates. There is so much to do and see in Iceland, making it the #1 destination on my travel wish list. Tip: If you’re planning a trip to Iceland, check out WowAir.com, IcelandAir.com or Travelzoo.com. I’ve compared prices over and over again for different dates, and Iceland Air & Travel Zoo have always been the cheapest, without skimping on quality. From Cleveland, the cheapest airfare I’ve found is to book roundtrip flights between Cleveland & Boston (usually less than $100 RT on Airfare Watchdog), then use IcelandAir.com or WowAir.com to book the rest of the trip between Boston and Reykjavik. The extra step might be a tiny bit inconvenient, but the savings are well worth it.
My Grandparents lived in Alaska for several years, but they moved to Oklahoma right around the time I was born. All the pictures I’ve seen from their time there have been so beautiful. My favorite picture I’ve seen from their time there is hanging up in my Aunt & Uncle’s office- it’s a picture my Grandpa took from his office window of a hot air balloon festival. I’ve wanted to visit Alaska ever since I saw that photo. I’d love to head to Alaska, rent a car, and drive around the state to see my Grandparents’ old stomping grounds, glaciers, the wildlife, The North Pole. Preferably, I’d like to visit a few times so we could experience Alaska in all seasons, but I think for our first trip it would probably be best to visit during the summer when the days are long- according to Google, some cities see a full 24 hours of daylight during the summer!
Do I really need to elaborate on this one? I mean, it’s Paris. I think I have to be the only person ever who has a degree in French Language but has never been to France. In my defense, we did have a trip planned to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Paris one year, but we ended up having to cancel the trip somewhat last minute. I’m sure there are a ton of amazing hotels in the area, but I’ve got my eye on either this one or this one. The views of the Eiffel Tower can’t be beat! I have been dreaming of/planning/looking forward to visiting Paris so much and for so long that I’m 99.9% sure I will cry like a baby when I step off the airplane.
I’ve become so enchanted by pictures of all of the Christmas markets in Europe. I’d love to head to Europe in December, starting in Munich. We’d visit the Christmas markets and the gorgeous castle that served as the inspiration for Cinderella’s castle at DisneyWorld. Then we’d spend a few days traveling the Romantic Road. Next, we’d hop a train to Lucerne. It looks so beautiful in the winter! After a few days in Switzerland (and after eating our weight in fondue), we’d take the train to Strasbourg to visit the Christmas markets there. Lastly, we would head from Strasbourg to Paris to finish our Christmas trip in the most romantic city in the world. #swoon Before booking any trip to Germany, I will be sure to consult my favorite German!
I remember once seeing a picture of the Amalfi Coast and thinking I needed to go there, but this destination wasn’t really on my radar until Jess went there last year. I don’t think I have stalked someone’s Snapchat more than I did during her Amalfi vacation…I took alllll the screenshots. (Sorry, Jess. I swear I’m not a creep!) After that, I started doing some research on traveling to the area and O.M.G. it’s beautiful and charming and perfect. I’m a little afraid that, when we go, I’ll never want to come back. I have a soft spot for charming small towns, and the Amalfi Coast is full of them.
Remember when I said I had our next 15 trips planned? I really wasn’t kidding. I actually have two trips planned for Italy. In a perfect world, we would go to Italy and spend a month or two there, but I would miss my dog too much & I’m fairly certain our employers would be less than thrilled. Anyway, trip #2 starts in Venice. After exploring the city for a few days, we would head to Lake Como
and befriend George Clooney. Our next stop would be Cinque Terre. I know it’s such a touristy stop, but it looks so pretty in the pictures I’ve seen! Next, we’d go to Florence and spend a few days exploring all the art and history. From there, we would rent a car and take our time driving through Tuscany and down the coast to visit Rome. Our next stop would be on the beautiful island of Capri where we’d spend a few days soaking up the sunshine. Then, for our last stop before heading home, we’d jump all the way over to Puglia, which maybe doesn’t make a lot of sense, but I really want to stay/eat here.
To be honest, I’m not even sure where in Africa I’d want to go on safari because there are so many options. South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia- the list goes on. I’d love to see and photograph some lions and elephants in the wild. I’d also like to go on a shark dive where you’re in a cage and you go into the water to get face-to-face with a great white shark. I’m not positive that I’d actually go through with it, but it’s on my bucket list and seems really cool as I’m typing this from the comfort of my safe, shark-free living room.
I feel like this is another cliche blogger destination, but I am dying to see it in person. The crystal blue water is a photography-enthusiast’s dream!
UAE is the epitome of luxury and decadence. I mean, Dubai is home to the tallest building in the world, the largest shopping center in the world, an indoor ski slope (what?!), and the world’s only 7-star restaurant. I’d like to spend a few days in Abu Dhabi, a few days in Dubai, and then finish our trip with a few days of relaxation at the desert oasis that is Bab Al Shams.
I want to go island hopping! All the pictures of the azure blue rooftops and doors against the whitewashed buildings make me swoon. To start, I’d like to visit Mykonos, Paros and Santorini. Based on my research, I feel like Santorini will probably be our favorite. I hope to spend a week in Oia, soaking up the sun and exploring the island.
I know this is on my itinerary for the aforementioned Christmas trip, but I feel like Switzerland deserves it’s own visit. The moment I saw the above picture on Instagram, I saved it to my phone and added Switzerland to my must-see list. How beautiful is it?! This picture was taken in Zermatt, which I had never heard of, but you can be sure it is on my radar now. I want to visit Zermatt, Lucerne, Zurich, Bern, Lausanne, Interlaken and Geneva.
Disneyland, California, December 2016
While the places mentioned above are at the top of my wish list, they are only a very small part of my travel bucket list…the list is long, y’all! Some of the other places on my list are Norway, French Polynesia, Bali, the Maldives, Amsterdam in the fall, St. Barts, Quebec City in winter, Petra, US Virgin Islands, NYC at Christmastime, Moab, Morocco, London, Cabo, Maui (already checked off the list but I want to go back!), the Harry Potter theme park in Florida (seriously), Curacao, and Egypt.
And for those of you who are curious about Cory’s travel wish list, it is pretty much a list of beautiful golf courses: Augusta, St. Andrews, Pebble Beach, etc.
What destinations are on your travel wish list? I’d love to hear about the place you’re dying to visit, as well as your favorite places you’ve been!