The Bucket List Quest

Surprising to many of those I’ve met through this blog and through freelance travel writing gigs is the fact that I didn’t grow up traveling. I’m from a small coastal town in the northern panhandle of Florida. One more akin to America’s Deep South than to US state it’s actually in. A place families inhabit for generations – the quintessential example being my own family. For it was my ancestors who first founded the town in the late 1500’s. People rarely leave the comfort of the close-knit community and why would they? It’s a beautiful, kind place that’s the best kept secret in all of Florida.

It wasn’t until I was a 19 year old university student that I left the country for the first time. I dragged my copy of a book I’d purchased in high school, Patricia Schultz’s 1000 Places to See Before You Die, all over Italy that summer as I studied abroad. Upon my return I was hooked. Both to travel and to the places listed within the now worn and dog-eared pages. It would make three more international study abroad trips with me over the subsequent 3 years, unintentionally becoming my first (and only) travel bucket list.

Reading the book cover to cover, I promised myself I’d see every place on the list. 10 years later I’m still honoring that promise, paying homage to my 19 year old self. The young girl who instilled my love of travel and first collected the clay that would mold me into the traveler I am today. Though my travel practices have evolved since I first went wheels up and I now prefer dawdling on the outskirts of town or exploring lesser-known villages you wouldn’t find in a guidebook, I still make an effort to follow through on my bucket list.

This page was designed so you (as well as myself) could track my progress – with a twist! As this website is dedicated to getting off the beaten path, I’ve jotted down each “touristy” place I’ve visited in the book and included a link (or links) to articles I’ve written on how and where you can go to get off the beaten path in that particular place.

You can read about the inspiration for this page’s creation here as well as an in depth post on why honoring this bucket list is so important to me.

Thanks for following along on my journey. 75 places down and only 925 more to go!

***Side note: I continue to go by the old edition of 1000 Places to See Before You Die as that’s the one I bought 10 years ago and is the one I swore an oath upon to finish off. There is a newer version with an additional 250 entries.

The Completed List

75. Burj Al Arab, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

74. Al Bustan Palace Hotel, Muscat, Oman

73. Antigua, Guatemala

72. Hotel Gellert, Budapest, Hungary

71. Castle Hill, Budapest, Hungary

70. Sintra, Portugal

69. Museum Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon, Portugal

68. Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

67. Royal Pavilion, Brighton, England

66. Canterbury Cathedral, Canterbury, England

65. London, England

64. Tea at the Ritz, London, England

63. Stratford-upon-Avon, England

62. Stonehenge, England

61. New York City, New York, USA

60. Historic Downtown New York, USA

59. Vienna, Austria

58. La Grand Place, Brussels, Belgium

57. Paris, France

56. Catalan National Art Museum, Barcelona, Spain

55. Venice, Italy

Venetian buildings- the brightly colored apartments hidden in the interior lanes of Venice show the true character of the city

54. Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA

53. The Amalfi Coast, Italy

52. Rome, Italy

51. Sistine Chapel, Vatican City

50. Cinqueterre, Italy

49. The Milanese Experience, Milan, Italy

48. Il Duomo, Milan, Italy

47. Florence, Italy

46. The Uffizi Galleries, Florence, Italy

45. Capri, Italy

44. Verona, Italy

43. Anne Frank House, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

42. Red-Light District, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

41. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

40. Van Gogh Museum, The Netherlands

39. Seville, Spain

38. La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain

37. Museu Picasso, Barcelona, Spain

36. Madrid, Spain

35. Castle District, Prague, Czech Republic

34. Charles Bridge, Prague, Czech Republic

33. Old Town Square, Prague, Czech Republic

32. The Ring Road, Iceland

31. The Heart of Bali, Bali, Indonesia

30. Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Bai Tu Long Bay Vietnam

29. The French Quarter of Hanoi, Hanoi, Vietnam

28. Hanoi’s Old Quarter, Hanoi, Vietnam

27. Pho Hoa, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

26. The Rex Bar and the Ben Thanh Market, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

25. The Mekong Delta, Vietnam

24. Sydney Opera House and the Harbor, Sydney, Australia

23. Fraser Island, Australia

22. The Pacific Coast Highway, California, USA

21. The Getty Center, Los Angeles, California, USA

20. Pompeii, Italy

19. Monterey Peninsula, California, USA

18. A Tour on San Francisco’s Cable Cars, California, USA

17. Key West, Florida, USA

16. Joe’s Stone Crab, Miami Beach, Florida, USA

15. South Beach, Miami Beach, Florida, USA

14. Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando, Florida

13. Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois, USA

12. Frank Lloyd Wright Tour, Chicago, Illinois, USA

11. Superdawg, Chicago, Illinois, USA

10. Acadia National Park, Maine, USA

9. The French Quarter, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

8. The New Orleans Restaurant Scene, Louisiana, USA

7. The Las Vegas Strip, Nevada, USA

6. The Book of Kells, Dublin, Ireland

5. Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, Dublin, Ireland

4. Museum Mile, New York City, New York, USA

3. Cliff Walk, Newport, Rhode Island, USA

2. Graceland and the Elvis Trail, Memphis, Tennessee, USA

1. The National Mall and its Monuments, Washington DC, USA