Places I want to visit

a waterfall at Yellowstone

(First order of business: I’ve been interview by my wonderful blogging friend, Tuesdai! Click here to read the interview.)

One of my friends has a list of things she wants to do and places she wants to go before she dies. She made a photo album on Facebook to keep track of the things she has done. Every time she checks off something on her (pretty long) list, she takes a picture of herself doing the thing or a picture of herself at the place, and uploads it to Facebook. Some of those things might be as simple as learning how to ride a bike, eating a certain kind of food, or as “hard” as visiting a different country or paddling across the Atlantic.

I like the way she thinks. It may sound morbid to some, rather like a bucket list, but considering how short life is, why not? We’re so busy these days doing the things we’re “supposed” to be doing, like keeping food on the table and making sure the kids get straight A’s. Not that those are bad things at all. What’s worse is if we purposely fill our lives with hectic stuff just to keep ourselves busy and doing things just because it feels weird and wrong not to be always busy and doing things.

There’s a certain joy to be found in going somewhere one has never gone before. Or for once, doing the one thing one has always, always wanted to do but didn’t believe she would get a chance to.

along Yellowstone river, in the park

So I’ve made my own list of the places I want to visit at some point during my existence. While these are only five places, the possibilities are infinite.

1. Yellowstone National Park. I’ve never been out west that far. And of course, the whole deal about how inspiring nature is. Absolutely gorgeous waterfalls, hiking trails, beautiful scenery, weird trees, rivers, and fuzzy bears. Don’t forget Old Faithful, which I do want to see.

While writing this post, I was curious as to the origins of Yellowstone National Park. According to the Yellowstone National Park’s site, Lewis and Clark were the first white people to explore such a region. Among them was celebrated hunter and woodsman John Colter. When he came back and told others what he had seen, they thought he was crazy. Eventually, miners tried to publicize the reason, to not much success. It wasn’t until the later 1800’s that an official trip was organized, armed with photographers and painters. They collected important data, which they presented to the public and Congress. A bill was then organized, with the intention to preserve this area for future generations to enjoy.

Petrified tree

After convincing their colleagues that this region held extreme value in its natural state, the bill was passed into law. Yellowstone became the first national park in the world.

One of the earlier visitors, Charles Cook, said,

“I sat there in amazement, while my companions came up, and after that, it seemed to me it was 5 minutes before anyone spoke. Language is inadequate to convey a just conception of the grandeur and sublimity of this masterpiece of nature’s handiwork” Artist Point – Charles Cook 1869 (bolding mine)

Tokyo Bay

2. Tokyo, Japan. I’m really not sure why I’m so fascinated with this city. I have never set foot in Japan, except for some flybys while on my way to Taiwan.

Once my parents got a tape from the library about Japan and the only thing I remember where the shots of the city, with the people walking shoulder to shoulder downtown. Just… fascinating.

3. Grand Canyon.

4. New York City. I recently visited New York City a few months ago during spring break. My great-uncle, Hilo Chen, is an artist based in New York City, and he had his first art exhibit in a relatively long period of time. He invited my family, and we decided to head up there for a day to look at his exhibit and catch up. More for the prospect of seeing long-lost relatives than the paintings, since my great-uncle’s specialty is nudes, especially at the beach. He is amazingly good at drawing such details as water droplets beading on a woman’s thighs. The texture of swimsuit fabric. A woman reclining on a beach towel while small figures in the distance play in the water. I am still rather uncomfortable with someone’s larger than life-sized boobies staring at me in the face, though.

It was my first time visiting New York City. I wasn’t prepared for how big it was. Providence seemed so dinky in comparison, with only four buildings that I think are too short to qualify for skyscrapers.

My great-uncle’s art exhibit was in one of those buildings. I’d never met him, and he reminded me so much of my grandfather, his brother, that I liked him at once. My mother went through the usually pleasantries, in Chinese, of course. The only thing I understood was that my two younger sisters were taller and bigger than me and my 10 year old brother was the spitting image of my father.

In the afternoon, we left the exhibit and went to Central Park. A group of street musicians were playing jazz. I also saw a creepy clown guy who had painted himself with gold paint. I don’t like clowns, least of all those who paint themselves with gold.

We ended the visit with a trip to a Chinese buffet. What’s not to love about all-you-can-eat?

This picture is like a postcard

Clowns or no clowns, I’d like to visit there again. And hopefully see more of the city.

5. London, England. A friend of mine was blessed with the opportunity to study at Oxford University in England for the equivalent of two semesters. Over there, she studied in trimesters: three semester type like things, except shorter, with about a month in between. She used those in-between times to sight see: places like Rome, Paris, England of course, and Scotland. I was rather jealous, looking at her photo albums, but I believe I’ll get my chance someday.

What are some places you’ve always wanted to visit?

Trees on Yellowstone River

All photos are under a CC license and used with permission. Click photos for credits.


53 thoughts on “Places I want to visit

  1. I’ve always felt that I’d love to see more of America first, before going anywhere else. Manhattan is one of my favorite places. I haven’t been for about a year, but each trip is as wonderful as the rest. From the shops to the museums to the coffeeshops to the theaters, the ambiance there is unmatched anywhere else.

  2. I have similar thoughts on the bucket list. It’s kind of morbid, but then again, why not have some goals before one kicks the said bucket?
    I’d love to see New Zealand. That’s on my all time high list of places to visit. I’d like to go one some great trips with my kids when they are old enough, and that can be anywhere–I’d love to build some vacation memories that aren’t just beaches or camp.
    And I’d like to see the major parks in the U.S. and Canada, like Yellowstone too.

  3. I want to go everywhere! 🙂

    No, really. I haven’t made a list, but I want to go to England and go to the pub where Tolkein and Lewis and the other Inklings discussed. And Alaska. And I really would love to go back to the Caribbean. (I’d live there if I could.) And DisneyWorld, actually, just because I’ve never been. And to go back to NYC when I have more than a few days to tour!

    Actually, Big Bend and the west Texas area in general fascinates me because it’s so…wild west with nothing out there but some mountain lions and rattlesnakes.

    Haha, anywhere and everywhere, I will go. I can’t really think of anywhere I wouldn’t want to visit!

  4. I find Tokyo pretty fascinating as well. I have no idea-it’s the energy and the progressiveness, I think. While it is so modern it’s also steeped in amazing history. Ah, I would dress so crazy if I ever went there-I bet no one stares at you!

    I have always wanted to go to Alaska. Maybe ride a dog sled, see an igloo, whale watch and check out the northern lights. It’s a big dream of mine.

    B from A plus B

  5. I’ve been blessed enough to travel quite extensively across Asia and Europe, but there are still many places on my must-go-to list!

    – Rome
    – Athens
    – NYC (never been anywhere in the US! I’ve been to Canada, though)
    – Egypt
    – Morocco


  6. Mmm….beautiful images!!!

    So I recently went to Tokyo for the first time–it was WONDERFUL, you HAVE to go! It was so accessible–the subway was easy to navigate, and everyone was friendly. Window shopping and people-watching were my favorite things to do there…I’d love to go back!

    Me too for London. I’ve also always wanted to visit Sweden and Italy.

  7. Nice post …
    My places :
    1.- España
    2.- Once more Greek
    3.- Suiza
    4.- Anyone caribbean island
    5.- Machu – Pichu (Perú)

    Yellowstone National Park is the house of Yogui bear? 🙂
    Remember : “Live every act fully, as if it were your last.” ( Buddha)
    Thanks for visit my blog 🙂
    Have a nice day

  8. If you ever plan a trip to NYC, I can totally recommend some places to see here. It is a great city.

    I want to visit… so many places. Moscow. Mexico City. Cairo. Alaska and Hawaii. Jerusalem. Buenos Aires. Hong Kong. Everywhere in Spain. Et cetera, et cetera.

  9. I don’t think a morbid thing to have a “bucket list”…you can only do some things (and not look too silly) at certain ages anyway.
    Places I want to visit: Paris, Rome, Bangkok, Shanghai, Toyko, Mumbai/Bombay and Bangalore, and maybe NYC. My sister lived in NYC for a few months, and she really liked it.

  10. Abby I love this. And I totally agree with your thoughts – why only do “what we should be doing”. We’re only going to live one time and we should be sure to get in our hopes and dreams too.

    High on my list is a trip to Egypt to visit the Pyramids.
    A closer to home visit is a trip to Big Sur even for just a few days to take in the amazing nature.

    I could go on, but I’ll stop here to say thanks for sharing. It’s something we all should be thinking about. One of my best friends lost her mom this weekend. Her mom was so young, but knew she might not have much time left so spent the past couple of years getting in as much as she could. It has left a long lasting impression on me and I’ll never forget her.


  11. That’s such a great list!! I always keep lists like these – where I have visited, where I want to visit…and then I take notes whenever I see something interesting about a place (a total nerd I am! 🙂
    Some places I want to go? Big Island in Hawaii, Peru, Bora Bora, Turkey, Seychelles, Morocco, Northern Europe, Maldives, India…
    Ahh, the places are endless!! 🙂

  12. Lovely selections and photos, darling!
    I would love to visit Japan, Thailand, Vietnam and China.
    Also am really drawn to the cities of Milan and Prague.
    Fabulous post!


  13. sounds like some very cool places to go. hmmmmm…I dunno. I always wanted to see Paris. Maybe. But I like places like Yellow Stone too. & I so love mountains.

  14. I’ve never been to any of those places besides NY (I was born there/ lived there for a really long time). On the top of my must visit list though are Venice, Italy, York, England (my Grandmother is from there), Japan, Brazil, California, and Barcelona, Spain. I’d love to travel all over though.

  15. I’ve been thinking about putting together a bucket list too. I have been to New York, but I want to go at Christmastime now! I also want to go to Italy, England, Ireland, and Scotland. I think it’s a good idea to have a list. It kind of helps to give us that push to actually try to do them instead of having them just be ideas that float in our heads.

    And you can quote things from my “On Letting Go” post 🙂

  16. hmm, good question! right now, i’m so focused on moving back to the states that i haven’t much time to think about where i want to visit…
    but i know southeast asia (thailand, vietnam, laos) is high up on the list, and then africa.
    NYC (been all over, but never been to the big apple, funny eh?)

    also, hoping to visit yellowstone on a big usa roadtrip with my hubby when we reach the homeland 🙂

  17. Beautiful photos! I think you’re completely right about life being too short. It definitely helps to have some “goals” to achieve or MUST-SEE places to visit. I feel like it helps us appreciate all the little things in life so much more!

    For me, I’m dying to visit Greece, Italy, and Thailand!

  18. I don’t think it’s morbid. Setting goals for yourself really helps you do the things you want to do. How many people spend their life dreaming about a thing and never doing them. Life is short and you must enjoy every day like it’s your last one.
    And places to visit… Kenia and South Africa are on top of my list.

  19. 1- Thankyou for your comment. 🙂 The light takes some getting used to, but I’m sure you’ll be basking in it in no time.
    2- This post is such a good idea, might have to compile my own list.


  20. So many places! Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, India, quite a lot of America, Paris, Iceland, Canada, Mexico, Peru, New Zealand…
    The list never seems to end!

  21. I’m a list maniac. I love this.
    I’ve been everywhere in Italy I’m missing only Naples, Sicily and Sardinia. I have methodically explored everything else region by region, city by city on the east coast, now I have to finish traveling on the west.
    Then I want to go in north Spain ( I know the south pretty well) Ireland, Iceland and all scandinavia. I want to go to Canada, Alaska, Australia, new Zealand, Patagonia, a few countries in Africa, Nepal and Buthan.

  22. first of all i wanna say thank you, so much for liking my blog and my photos means a lot:) second i just love this post. Yellowstone park is a great choice indeed and I must say that London is one of my favorite places in the world! you should really go there 😀

  23. That is a very good idea actually, and I am sure that if many more people did the same they would me happier because they would actually be doing the things they liked and wanted to do.
    Also, I want to thank you for the blog comment, it’s nice to know we are missed. I mean I never thought people actually missed reading our blog posts. 🙂


  24. Tuesdai is such a sweetie!! I would love to visit Bora Bora, Greece, Croatia (the beaches are supposed to be amazing), and Malta!! A friend of mine lived and worked in Malta for 5 years and claims it is the most amazing place on earth 🙂

  25. I like the way your friend thinks, too! This is such a great idea. I’ve made lists like these before but I’ve never really thought of documenting them, and I think I will now.
    I’d love to see all the places you’ve mentioned (except I’ve already been lucky enough to visit London as my boyfriend is English and we’re doing long distance for now!). I’m very intrigued by Japan, and would love to see Australia, Indonesia, Turkey, Russia, Greece, Alaska, Germany, Kenya, Peru…I guess I better get a move on then ;>

  26. I’ve been to NYC. I didn’t like it much-I’m from LA and it just seemed like LA just more trash, more traffic, more rude people, etc. Although, I would like to see the local side of NYC and visit in the winter just to ice-skate at Central Park and see the ball drop.

    I have many places I want to visit-they are on my bucket list. This year I’ve been to Chicago and Mexico. Next year plans are for Alaska, Charleston, SC, and Chicago again-ice-skating at Millennium Park 🙂

  27. I have so many places that I want to go – for starters, Paris, Rome, Milan and Hong Kong.

    I live in NYC and I think it’s so cool that people want to visit somewhere that I live in.

    xoxo, Ashley

  28. the first time i went to tokyo was the most amazing trip i’ve ever had.
    SOOO many fun things, good food, GREAT shopping, etc.

    when you do go, take lots of pictures and post them on your blog so we can see them! :):)
    thanks for your kind comments! ❤
    come back soon and follow too!

  29. New York City and Paris are two places I really want to visit. I’m a lot like you– I make lists of places I know I need to visit because I don’t want my life to be predictable or easy. I want excitement!

  30. I love the idea of creating a list of things you want to achieve and posting them on Facebook, that is an idea I can relate to. Also because I haven’t travelled a lot yet that there would be many cities I want to visit on my list!! 🙂 Hazel

  31. Great list! I went to Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon when I was little, so I don’t really remember them.

    I’d love to go to London, too. And if you need a NYC traveling buddy, I’m always in.

  32. I’m still itching to get to Morocco and Rio de Janiero. And I’d love to go back to the Grand Canyon and Ireland. When you come to NYC again, let me know and if I’m not in San Diego, I’ll take you out to some delicious eats and pretty out-of-the-way places in the city.

  33. africa is on my list. i know it’s vague, but it’s all i know – a deep pull to visit a culture rooted in ancient history, woven with old tales, traditions passed down through millennia, and bright colors.

    also to visit: greece, italy, ireland, eastern europe (vague again, i know), prince edward island (have you ever read anne of green gables?), france, and perhaps thailand.. and any other country whose ground i come upon.

    oh, yes. and i want to live in europe some day. 🙂

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