My Top 5 Wanderlist

Everyone dreams, some of us of fancy cars and others of simply a day off. I dreamed of pizza last night, but that’s not the kind of dream I’m talking about. I mean the dreams of the heart, the mental bucket list. My fantasies are actually filled with solitary retreats and books or alternatively, spectacular jaunts abroad in fascinating locations. That probably comes as no surprise to readers, considering my recent Reading Roundup Series and the topic of this blog.

So, while thinking about all the places I’d like to visit, I decided to put them together in a definitive list. Why not? I found it too hard to rank them, though, so I’ve put them in alphabetical order. Enjoy this little trip across the world, though only in thought this time. One day.

Note: I’ve not included any photographs, since I didn’t want to steal and I don’t have of my own. I’d recommend doing a Google image search, if you’re curious about what these countries look like.



This first one needs a provision: I want to visit Egypt, but as a man. I’m really put off by the sheer number of stories of sexual harassment coming out of such a gorgeous country. So if I could be a man for a month or so, I’d love to spend that month traveling around Egypt and seeing all the beautiful, super super old sights. The Pyramids, the Red Sea, desert landscapes and access to an ocean; the sheer variety sends my head reeling. And the food, oh the food! Legumes and vegetables? Right up my alley. An image search of “Egyptian Food” sets my saliva production into overdrive. As much as I’d love to do all of these things, I’m fairly sure that dealing with sexual harassment for the entirety of my trip would kind of ruin it. So I’d like to be a man, or I’ll just have to wait 10 years for the social climate to improve. Shame.



These days, the only things we see in the news about Iran are things like “nuclear weapons!”, “negotiations”, and “WWIII?” But the Iranian government is a far cry from representative of the people, fortunately (and unfortunately). I took a semester of Farsi, the language in Iran, and it sparked my interest in the country. My teacher was a strong, fierce woman with a palatable love for her culture and people; it must have rubbed off on me. I want to see the landscape, the rock sculptures and old ruins, but I more than anything want to try the food. Once again, that image search just blows my taste buds away. Warning, don’t look if you’ve not eaten lunch/dinner/breakfast yet, you’re only asking for it.



I’m not sure why, but I’m really fascinated with extreme northern climates, particularly the Arctic circle, these days. Norway seems like such a beautiful country, with Oslo down “south” and then extreme, gorgeous landscapes farther north. I may or may not have spent at least an hour or two recently pulling that little figure on Google Maps around and looking at the street views all over northern Norway. I’m also fascinated by the concept of 24 hour nights in the winter and the opposite, constant sunlight in the summer. Though in reality, I’m pretty horrible at enduring cold weather, so I fantasize about testing myself and getting through an Arctic Circle winter. Maybe I need to stop reading books about Siberia…



There are a lot of random reasons why I’d love to spend some time in Tunisia. First is the landscape; it straddles desert regions and the Mediterranean Sea, which means extreme land transitions. Rad. It’s also in Northern Africa, which means a fascinating coming together of Middle Eastern and African influences. That’s a culture I’d be ecstatic to learn more about. Then, the official language, Arabic, is one I’d like to tackle one day. And the cherry on top, the food looks pretty lip-smacking. If I had to rank these five places, I’d be tempted to put Tunisia right at the top of that list.



I had never heard of Vanuatu until this week, when I was reading about seven volcanic eruptions that happened at the same time. It’s a tiny island, east of Australia, formed by several volcanoes, some that are still active. One of my life-list items is to see lava, so I was immediately interested in this tiny country. It also has a lot of cool indigenous cultures, which are known to be friendly and picture-happy, and it’s an island. Beaches! And one more big plus, one of the official languages is English, which means travel there is infinitely easier. Lastly, a quick Google search of the food there reveals some dishes that look straight up crazy; I’m in. Send me!

I could go on for several pages with places I want to visit, but these five are absolutely at the tippy top of my wanderlist. And now that I’ve written myself into a hunger and wanderlust frenzy, I’m going to try and deal with the half of that problem I can remedy at the moment: feeding myself. If only it was delicious Persian food!


Have you been to any of these countries? What places are on your wanderlist? Did you also dream about pizza last night?

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18 thoughts on “My Top 5 Wanderlist”

  1. Nice post. So difficult to choose, right? In a nutshell, I really want to go everywhere. In reality, some places are just unrealistic in the current political climate. I hate that!! What are borders, anyway?
    Egypt? Check x 3.
    Tunisia? Check x1.
    Iran? Super high on my list.
    Norway? Hmm, it’ll keep.
    Vanuatu? Absolutely…sounds awesome.

    Just a few days left…keep em coming!!

    1. I hate that, too. Thankfully there are about a gazillion countries left that are safe and gorgeous to visit… Egypt, three times? And you’ve been to Tunisia? I hope you blogged about it, I’m going to comb your blog for info now haha.

  2. Interesting list. I can see why you’d wanna be a man to travel Egypt, but it’s not so bad even as a women if you stay in the right places and dress appropriately. I never had any trouble on my travels there. And Norway – love it, but it’s so expensive! (even for me, a Londoner!), and Tunisia, got a lot of mistreatment there because of my race. So not the biggest fan, although it is a beautiful country. Any plans to travel to these places yet? Would be a great tour

    1. Sadly some of the “wrong places” are really crowded touristy areas, which are things I do want to see and not get groped while seeing. I’m glad you had a good time, though, maybe I’ll reconsider. Also sad that Tunisia left you with some bad memories, that’s terrible!

      As of yet, no plans. But I also don’t have very fixed alternate plans and a lot of time… so we’ll see what happens. 🙂

  3. A Norway fjord cruise is on our short and soon list, too, with a visit to Oslo to connect with my mother’s Olson-Thomson heritage. Maybe we’ll see you there! Egypt, when it settles down a bit, but never gave much thought to Iran, Tunisia or Vanuatu. Didn’t they shoot a “Survivor” season there?

    1. That’s awesome! I’ll try to lose some weight, we’ll see if I can squish in your suitcase for Norway. 🙂

      And as for Survivor, you’d have to put me in solitary confinement for a week for me to agree to watch even one episode, I find it so unsatisfactory. Hahaha. So you’ll have to ask Wikipedia about that.

  4. Great list! I haven’t been to any of them! I’ve wanted to go to Vanuatu for years, but even though it’s so close it’s pretty expensive to get there so I haven’t yet. Maybe on my honeymoon, though who knows when that might be haha!

    I also really want to go to Norway, but last time I was in Europe I went to both Sweden and Denmark and didn’t really have the cash for a third Scandinavian country. If it’s anything like those places, it’ll be amazing!

    I haven’t been to Africa at all, but I do know a few girls who’ve been to Egypt and I never heard anything but good things from them. I do get the hesitation, though.

    My list right now would be Morrocco, Ghana, Greenland, Nepal, and Mexico.

    1. Yes Vanuatu is MAD expensive to get to, from the USA, $2000 on a good day. Rough. And Norway does have a reputation of being really expensive, but I’ve heard also worth it.

      I was torn between putting Morocco or Tunisia, but in the end Tunisia won. I’d love to go there, too! And as for the rest of Africa, I honestly don’t know enough about any of the countries to choose one, which is why I avoided doing so. But Ghana would be cool, too. Greenland and Nepal also sound wonderful. Mexico, I’ll be there next year, so you’ll get to live vicariously through me (or meet me there!).

  5. What a great idea for a post and those are some brilliant choices. 😀 I’m working in travel at the moment and helping people go to Egypt and Tunisia a lot so if you have any questions about them, don’t be afraid to ask – I’m all clued up! 😉

    You’ve got me thinking about what would be on my top five now. I might do a list – with total credit to you, of course. Haha

    Also, Vanuatu? Literally had never heard of it until you just mentioned it. Now I’m fascinated. 😀 *heads to Google*

    1. Oh awesome! If I make it a trip, I’ll be bothering you for your tips. As for Vanuatu, exactly the same thing happened to me when I read about the volcanoes. I googled it, was fascinated, googled more and looked and pictures and fell in love. But don’t look at flight prices until after you’ve fallen in love. 😛

      Can’t wait to see your list! Woohoo!

  6. Cool list! I have the same feeling about Egypt. I’ve heard such deplorable things about it and read so many awful stories that I just… don’t think I could do a trip like that. Maybe in 10 years? See you there?
    I did a project on Vanuatu for my Spanish class in Mexico 5 years ago. We had to pick a place with a disappearing language. That seemed to be the one that kept popping up for me. I would love to go there as well…
    Here’s one you should look up if you haven’t heard of it, which I’ve been greatly fixated on lately. Socotra. Let me know what you think. See you there, too?

    1. Ah yes, the little island near Yemen with all of the crazy fauna! I know it. I didn’t put it on the list because I’m kind of torn, since tourism is contributing to its modernization and the charm is that it’s so off the beaten path and weird. But I still really want to go, at the same time. Looks like a crazy place!

      And yes, see you in Egypt in like, ten years. In the meantime, there are about a billion countries still to see that won’t involve sexual harassment around every corner… haha.

  7. Mind if I tag along on all of these trips?! Egypt is definitely near the top of my list…but as you said, the political climate makes it difficult to imagine spending any extended period of time there. I was actually thinking about doing three weeks in Egypt and Jordan next summer, but I think that’ll have to get pushed back a few years. As of right now, Turkey’s taking its place, which is certainly not a bad alternative!

    And we’re quite similar with the “travel to eat” mentality. 😉

    1. Haha yes, come! The flights leave from Pittsburgh, so that should be no problem for you. 🙂

      I think you’d still have a great time in Jordan, though I’m with you on the delayed-Egypt trip. Maybe Jordan + Lebanon or Jordan + Israel? Of course Turkey is also a great option! I’m dying to see the rural areas/Southern areas… just Istanbul was not enough at all.

      Travel to eat, all the way! Woohoo!

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