Julie RTW 23 Comments

There are so many life-changing places in the world to visit. Some are magical, some are ancient, and some are just downright gorgeous. All will have you wistfully dreaming about them before you arrive. After you visit them, they become a part of you, forming lifelong memories and altering the way you see the world.

Here are 10 amazing places to visit in the world…10 places to add to your travel bucket list.

Our Top 10 Bucket List Destinations

1. Italy

Italy is a country rich with history, art, and one of the world’s best cuisines. Throw in gorgeous vistas, epic hiking, wine, quaint villages, and coastal towns. From Florence to Venice to the Amalfi Coast to the Dolomites, there is something here for everyone.

Venice Italy


2. Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is magical…a remote, crumbling city perched atop a mountain in the Andes, built by an ancient civilization. This is one of the few places we have visited that we would describe as mystical. Machu Picchu is accessible to everyone, whether you want to hike the four day Inca Trail or arrive by a scenic train ride.

Machu Picchu


3. The Himalayas

The world’s tallest mountains…what more can we say? The Himalayas can be visited from Nepal, Bhutan, India, Pakistan, and Tibet. They are accessible by foot, helicopter, yak, car, and airplane, making it possible for people of all ages to stand among these mountains. They are truly breathtaking, in more ways than one. We trekked to Everest Base Camp in Nepal, one of our top travel experiences, ever.

Family Adventure


4. African Safari

An African Safari is an epic adventure and there are so many ways to do it. From luxury safaris in Kenya and Botswana, to budget self-drive safaris in South Africa and Namibia, to camping out in the wilderness in Tanzania, going to the zoo will never be the same again.

Botswana Safari


5. The South Island of New Zealand

It is no secret that we are huge fans of New Zealand. If you are a fan of spectacular scenery, cruising the fiords, scenic car rides, wine tasting, paragliding, bungy jumping, hiking, mountain biking, skiing, kayaking, and any other adventure sport you can imagine, the South Island of New Zealand will be your playground. Around every corner is another stunning view…this is truly an amazing place.



6. Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto, the cultural heart of Japan, offers an abundance of fabulous temples. Delve into a different world, as the Japanese are some of the friendliest, most interesting people we met while traveling. Kyoto is a great place to visit in the spring when the cherry blossoms are blooming and later in autumn, when the Japanese maples turn yellow, orange, and red. While you are here, dine on sushi, drink sake, and try to find the elusive geisha. This is a city full of surprises, cultural experiences, and delicious food.

Kyoto Japan


7. Bhutan

Bhutan, Land of the Thunder Dragon. Is there another country on the planet with a cooler catch phrase?

Bhutan sounds exotic, mystical, almost otherworldly. Well, it feels that way too. Bhutan is such a joy to travel to, this tiny country straddling the Himalayas. If you want to see Bhutan before it gets to be modernized, go now. It is a feast for the eyes and an eye opening cultural experience. Explore the dzongs, marvel at the Himalayas, eat chilies and cheese, learn about Buddhism, and have one of the most unique travel experiences of your life.

Tigers Nest


8. Siem Reap, Cambodia

If temples and ruins are your thing, this is the place to go. Most people think only of Angkor Wat when thinking about Siem Reap. Angkor Wat is just the beginning; like Bagan, the area around Siem Reap is home to hundreds of temples.

At Bayon, 216 giant carved smiling faces of Jayavarman VII stare down at you. At Ta Prohm, gigantic trees spread their roots over ancient, crumbling walls. Siem Reap is a great place for kids, as they can explore these temples, feeling like they are Indiana Jones. Plus, the town of Siem Reap has so much to offer in the way of great, cheap restaurants and bars…temple hopping in the morning and bar hopping in the evening. Siem Reap may be getting overcrowded and “over-touristy,” see it now before it changes too much.

Ta Prohm


9. Egypt

Egypt is an extraordinary travel destination. If you are like us, you have dreamed of seeing the pyramids of Giza since you were a child. Go beyond the pyramids and visit the intricately decorated tombs in the Valley of the Kings, drift on the Nile River in a felucca, and see the spectacular temples at Abu Simbel.

With 10 days, you can visit the highlights of Egypt, a trip you’ll be talking about for years to come.

Places to Go in Egypt


10. The Great American Road Trip

Here’s one still on our bucket list…but hopefully not for long. There is so much to see across the contiguous 48 states and what better way to explore this country than by car. Traveling from coast to coast, visiting the highlights of the United States along the way, what a cool adventure.

Santa Monica

So, what’s on your bucket list? Do you think we missed something? We’d love to know what you think!

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Top 10 Bucket List Destinations


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Comments 23

  1. We loved Lucca. It reminds me of being in diagon alley in Harry Potter series. The cobblestone narrow streets and the whole town you can bike around on a hill that surrounds the city.

  2. If you like island’s in Philippines there are two island’s one paliwan and second Boricuay I visited Boricuay with a family member from Manila very fortunate to visit the Philippines

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  3. Some great ideas here Julie! I’m so lucky to have seen a lot on this list.

    I haven’t see the Himalayas though. They look absolutely incredible! My friend often tells me about his Everest Base Camp experience and it’s something I hope I’ll do one day. I just need to make sure my fitness is better. I should probably wait a few years haha!

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      Seeing the Himalayas are amazing!! You don’t have to trek to EBC to see them, although this is an amazing experience all in itself. But you can also fly over them, or see them from Tibet, other parts of Nepal, Bhutan, or India. Happy travels! Cheers, Julie

  4. I’m pretty inspired by your trips .. I dream of traveling the world with my wife whenever I get the chance …

    I urge you to visit Pakistan as it has popular historical & cultural heritage sites as well as spectacular natural landscapes. It is home to one of the world’s largest mountain peaks. Recently the British Backpacker Society and Conde Nast Traveler has rated it as their top destination.

    If you need any help in regards to planning and guidance then feel free to let me know.

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      I would love to visit Pakistan. From what I have seen and read about online, it looks like a beautiful country. Thanks for offering your help…hopefully within the next few years we will be planning our first trip to Pakistan. Cheers, Julie

  5. The Bernese Oberland region in Switzerland is beautiful. You are surrounded by towering mountains and the waterfalls are endless. We loved the town of Lauterbrunnen with 72 waterfalls!

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  6. Would absolutely love to visit the Himalayas as well! Think it’s an incredible experience. Hopefully I will get the opportunity if visiting Nepal. Nice list!:) You should definitely try doing an African safari, it’s an amazing experience!

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      Hello Niclas. The Himalayas are amazing…hope you get there soon! We have been on safari in Botswana and South Africa…awesome experiences. Cheers, Julie

  7. We are two retired couples with a trip planned to Costa Rica next February. Have you been there (west coast), and if so, any suggestions? Zip line already on our bucket list.
    Love your blog and photos, especially Cinque Terra, where we spent time in Monteroso al Mare a few years ago. Thanks, and safe travels.

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      Hello Marcey. No, we have not been to Costa Rica yet (sorry!). I have heard that zip lining in Costa Rica is amazing. Have a great time and let us know how it goes! – Julie

      1. Africa safari, I think the Pearl of Africa – Uganda is a top destination in Africa. Its home of half of the world population of the Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi, Chimps in Kibale, the Murchison Falls, the Source of the River Nile (the worlds longest river), the Rwenzori Mountains of the moon, to mention but a few..

  8. We got some valuable information from your travel experience to Norway as we are heading there in a few weeks. We are amazed how both your kids are following you on these challenging terrains.

    We strongly recommend the American Road Trip. We did one part last year on the west from Los Angeles to Bozeman, it was truly amazing. The highlight was definitely Yellowstone ! Such a variety of wildlife and nature.

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      Hello Pierre and Ruixie. You are so right!! We would love to do the great American road trip. We strongly considered it this summer but Scotland and Ireland won. I would love to drive across the US as a family. Tim and I did some of the western highlights on our own before kids, but I’d love to go to Zion, Monument Valley, and through that area. Yellowstone is incredible! Did you get to Glacier National Park? That one is absolutely beautiful. If you haven’t been there yet, look into it. And if you have enough time, you can cross the border into Canada and visit Banff and Jasper National Parks. Cheers! – Julie

      1. After a lifetime of travel, I must admit Zion is my favorite spot in the world. Awesome scenery, best hikes (Angel’s Landing and the Narrows are the best but there are many more!) If you get the chance, hopscotch across southern Utah, Zion to Bryce to Capital Reef to Goblin Valley to Arches and Canyonlands. They are each different, each incredible! Thanks so much for your site. I love sharing your adventures

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          Thank you, Stephen. I know, we have to get to Zion. What is taking us so long?!! 🙂 It looks amazing!! We are just trying to get our timing right between visiting during the right season and not missing school (for Tyler and Kara). Hopefully we will get there someday soon! Cheers, Julie

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