4 Unexpected Trips That Are Absolutely On My Bucket List

I used to scoff at the idea of the “bucket list.” Yep, I was that type of girl! And in some ways, I still don’t 100% agree with the notion of a list that racks up hundreds of places and events to do before one kicks the bucket. Because, let’s be real… that’s kind of morbid! Right?

But in recent days, I’ve realized that I actually do have my own version of a bucket list. I do have trips I’m dying to do, places I’m drooling over, curiosities and daring acts I’d love to experience first-hand. They may not be the cliche choices, but they’re close to my heart.

So, today I figured I’d share them with you all… sort of as an act of holding myself accountable to do them one day. Here are four of my unexpected trips that are absolutely on my bucket list!

4 Unexpected Trips That Are Absolutely On My Bucket List

A Whole Summer In One Location

Slow travel at its finest. I really, really, really want to spend one whole summer in one spot. I want to dive deep into learning one single place. Maybe it’s the French countryside, or maybe it’s Tokyo. Not exactly sure what location that would be perfect for this trip - but I’m dying to travel slow.

Our first summer traveling, Luke and I decided to spend six weeks in Rome. It was the best decision we ever made. I left our time in Rome feeling so connected to the Eternal City (be sure to check out my complete guide to Rome here!) because of it.

Slow travel is something I wholeheartedly believe in. I’m sure I’m going to write more about slow travel here - so just hang tight if you’re feeling out of the loop (or you can check out this post I made for Dame Traveler on the topic). I want to spend three glorious months in one spot. I want to feel like a local. I want to see how a place changes as the time passes. I want “my coffeeshop” in a foreign land. It’s a dream I’m dying to do. Anyone have any destinations they’d recommend?!

Road Tripping Around New Zealand

I’ve dreamed of this trip for years now! Tickets to New Zealand are so expensive (insert weeping emoji face here). Seriously. It’s painful to see the round trip ticket prices to Auckland! And, in addition to the sticker shock, we’d have to go somewhere in our winter season (when we don’t have time off) to experience New Zealand in the summer. But I can’t shake my desire to road trip around New Zealand’s north and south islands.

I have so many saved Instagram posts, itinerary posts, blog resources and friends recommendations - it’s crazy. I just really am dying to explore the real Middle Earth here on our planet!

A Complete Disconnected Trip

I’m way too guilty of being attached to my phone in my daily life. And I’m probably ten times worse when I travel. I think we all struggle to find a balance between capturing our travels through our phone’s cameras, using GPS, coordinating itineraries, etc and just being present. That’s why I’m chomping at the bit to have a completely disconnected trip… preferably hiking in Japan.

About a year ago AFAR Magazine spotlighted a five-day trek through Japan’s Kumano Kodo, a 10th-century network of trails. The 100 miles of hiking is actually recognized as a one of two UNESCO World Heritage spiritual pilgrimage sites. The article gave me goosebumps.

Ever since then, I’ve been dreaming of hiking the mysterious and ancient Kumano Kodo solo with just a camera (maybe film?), a journal, and whatever I can carry on my back. The notion of minimalism and mindfulness through this type of travel has me so inspired.

Italy With My Mom & Scotland With My Dad

Family ancestry is amazing. Add travel to the mix and you have a completely enriching and meaningful trip unlike any other you’d have before. I’ve written about how ancestry has inspired my trip here… but I really up the ante here!

My Italian-American mother has never touched Italy’s soil. My Scottish-American father has never even crossed the Atlantic ocean. And I want to change that!

I know just how meaningful these two trips would be, for myself and for our family. I can’t wait to see my mom get teary-eyed when she’s walking through Southern Italy, where my grandfather’s family was from. I’m dying to see my dad’s eyes light up when we explore Edinburgh and the coastal towns of Scotland, where he’s learned our family’s clan is from.

Showing my parents more of the world is going to be so amazing… I’m getting emotional just thinking about it!

Are there any weird, unexpected trips that I absolutely on your bucket list? I’d love to know!

Or, if you’ve done any of the above trips, I’d love to hear your experiences and recommendations!