6 Steps for Making Your Travel Bucket List

By Willona M. Sloan

Do you have a travel bucket list? What do you say when your coworker asks, “So what’s your dream vacation?” Do you freeze up and say, Australia?

Stop it.

It’s time to learn how to dream big. When we have something out there to dream about it makes today that much more meaningful. It’s not that you absolutely must take one of your bucket list trips. It’s about dreaming; imagining; and wondering about our great big world. And maybe one day you just might pack your bags and see the places that call your name.

Here are six ideas to help you make your travel bucket list:

1. Don’t worry about what’s on everyone else’s list.  If you don’t dream about going to Paris you don’t have lie about it. Maybe you’re intrigued by the barren beauty of Antarctica or the emerald green rivers of melting glacier ice in Greenland. Maybe you want to follow the Bourbon Trail in Louisville, KY or leaf peep in Maine. Do you.
2. Don’t overthink it. Remember when you read that piece about nomadic culture in Mongolia and were completely and totally fascinated? Then you saw that documentary and wanted to know even more? Go ahead, put Ulaanbaatar on your bucket list.
3. Ask people where they would go a second time. If someone is willing to spend the money and time to go somewhere again that might be a place worth checking out.
4. Remember when you were a kid. Kids don’t know what’s trending on Instagram. Well, now maybe they do. But, when you were a kid you had fantastic fantasies. When the guest speaker in your 4th grade class told you all about the food people eat in Tibet, you told your parents that evening that you wanted to go to Tibet. Go to Tibet. Think back to those strange and alluring names that you recited as a kid: Cheyenne, Tulum, Patagonia. Those words still hold magic.
5. Watch a travel show once in a while. Those things are great. They will actually tell you all about the best places in the world and you can go there right now. Travel shows may seem like things your parents watch when they’re waiting for a rerun of Diagnosis Murder to come on, but there are several cable stations totally dedicated to this sort of thing because people love them. When you see a destination you like, write it down. See if it creeps into your sleep. If everyone around you all of sudden starts mentioning that place then you absolutely have to go.

6. Listen to your gut. You know yourself. Do you want to eat chocolate from one end of the city to the next? Would you eat lobster three times a day? Have you always wanted to try an authentic beignet? Pick a food destination that matches your tastes.

Now, go get one of those little lined pocket notebooks with a map of the world on it and start making your travel bucket list today.

Happy travels!

Willona M. Sloan is a writer and dreamer from Washington, DC.