A Travel Wish List: the Joy of Anticipation

Your travel wishes: The joys of anticipation in your travel planning. Maps and lists, blogs and guidebooks. Yes!
When you’ve got a travel wish list, the planning is half the fun. Oh, the joys of anticipation for your travel wishes! Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Usually I write stories on this blog about places I’ve been, places I’ve loved and want to share with you all. But there are so many more places I want to go. Like many of you, I have a lot of “travel wishes,” trips I’m hoping for, planning, or dreaming about making. And my list is growing faster than the time available to make those trips. Why not share some of those with you as well?

Why share my travel wish list? How can that help you decide where you want to go and how to do it. How can talking about a trip I have not yet taken translate into my stated goal of making my older women readers get up, get out and see the world?

It’s all about the anticipation.

You already know how much I love traveling. But I also loving thinking about travel. I love planning to travel, reading blogs and guidebooks, plotting out what to see and what to miss. Thinking about where I will stay, how I will travel, and how I might pass my days in any given spot. It turns out I’m not alone in this slightly secret pleasure. A 2010 study published in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life reported that travelers felt most happy before their trips. It’s the anticipation of the trip that brings us joy.

My Long Life of Travel Wishes

Back in my college student days, when my mind and heart were more focused on traveling to Europe than on preparing for a graduate design seminar or a thesis presentation, there was a popular travel guide called Europe on $5 a Day. (That certainly dates me; you actually could travel through Europe on $5 a day back then.) That guide book was my Bible, the outline of my personal travel wish list back then. I spent hours poring over its pages, and my copy was stained and dog-eared, with hostels and cafes and museums highlighted in yellow and notes scribbled all over the margins. Thumbing through those pages took me away from my study carrel as I mentally strolled the cobblestoned streets of German cities, glided along a Dutch canal, and stared in awe at the glory of Notre Dame in Paris.

Notre Dame de Paris, with cherry blossoms, seen through the upstairs window of Shakespeare & Co., the iconic bookstore on the Rive Gauche, right across the river from the magnificent cathedral. travel wish list
I did make it to Paris on that first trip after university. And I did see Notre Dame, in the spring, surrounded by cherry blossoms. Oh so beautiful! I shot this through the upstairs window of Shakespeare & Co., the iconic bookstore on the Rive Gauche, right across the river from the magnificent cathedral.

The anticipation of my upcoming travels gave me such joy. It also kept me sane in a very stressful time.

You might be feeling some of that anticipative joy right now. After all, you’re reading a travel blog. It seems logical to think you’re here because you’re planning a trip. Or planning to plan a trip. Or thinking about or wishing you could plan a trip. That you, too, have a travel wish list. And I certainly hope that being here on Nomad Women brings you pleasure. With your reading and thinking and dreaming, you are actively savoring the thought of the pleasure you’ll get from actually taking the trip. And that dreaming of the trip to come is an important part of the joy of travel. If you’re old enough to qualify as one of our boomer-and-beyond “Nomad Women” here, you might remember the old gum commercial jingle: “Double your pleasure, double your fun.” Dreaming about travel can do just that.

Enter My Personal Travel Wish List

I’ve lists and loads and buckets of places I still want to see before I die. When I get off a plane returning me from some exciting adventure, I am often already thinking about what the next one will be. Where will my travel wishes take me next?

I spend a lot of time reading other travel blogs and travel magazines, travel narratives, newspaper stories, and novels set in faraway places. As I scroll through my twitter and Instagram feeds, I’m inspired by the words and beautiful photos to think, “I’d love to go there” or “I want to have that experience.”

Like swimming with whale sharks! This one is right up at the top of my travel wish list. I’m simply dying to put on some snorkeling gear and jump in the water beside one of these gentle giants. Can you imagine how awesome it must feel to find yourself swimming along beside a fish 40 feet long!

Snorkeling with a whale shark. Definitely on my travel wish list!
I want to go swimming with whale sharks! Imagine snorkeling alongside one of these magnificent 40 foot long fish! There are several places in the world you can do this too. Photo by Michael Liao on Unsplash

For some reason, I have a burning desire to go to Iran. I have many Iranian friends on Instagram, and the photos they post show a country of incredible beauty. Who knew? Also, my many blogger friends who have traveled there are universally impressed with the people, their friendliness and hospitality. I need to experience that for myself.

Then there is my friend who leads regular small tours to Morocco. She posts the most amazing pictures of the olive market, of the amazing colors, of Moroccan tile work and shoes and a camel safari into the Sahara.

A camel caravan treks across the Sahara in Morocco. Time to wrap up in a close turban for protection from sun and sand and head into adventure!
I really NEED to ride a camel! And where better than on a ride into the Sahara in beautiful Morocco? One of my travel wishes! Photo by Vaida Tamošauskaitė on Unsplash

Way high up on my list of travel wishes is a trip to see the gray whales that winter in the shallow bays of the Sea of Cortez, between Baja California and the Mexican mainland. I’m told they are so unafraid of humans that they often come right up to the boats and allow themselves to be petted! Would that be an awesome experience or what? I am hoping to do that next winter with Uncruise Adventures.

Whales feeding in a circle, coming straight up out of the water, mouths open wide.  Definitely on my travel wish list!
Look at these whales feeding in a group. They rise straight up in a circle with their giant mouths wide open.
Photo by Vivek Kumar on Unsplash

Yep, I’ve got a lengthy and imaginative travel wish list

So I’ve created this page to link out to the occasional post about my own travel wish list. It might be a trip in the planning stages or the merest niggle of desire, something that intrigues me. I’ll add some information about how I might bring these travel wishes to reality. Maybe you’ll have a similar travel wish list. Maybe my own list will spark you to fill in a few slots on your own.

Let’s get planning!

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