Just Wanderlust Blog » A discerning, food-loving, & culturally curious road warrior seeks the world's beautiful and bizarre destinations.

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Passport Stamps I Want This Year

T suggested I take a break from raving about my fave hotels and talk about where I want to go instead (a “wish list”).  I thought it was a good idea because maybe it’ll prompt him to think about what we need to do to make this happen this year.  Then we can convert this into a “To Go” list (yay!).

Before I reveal the 3 places, I have a disclaimer.  I generally start off each year with a list of places that intrigue me, but where I end up that year is always a surprise.  For instance, when I started 2011, I had no idea I’d find myself in Iceland, but that just makes things more exciting (basically, as long as it’s a new country, I’m good).

Here’s my current wish list:

1. Russia

My only regret when I was living in Sweden was that I didn’t plan a side trip to Russia (weekend getaway!).  Going to Russia will be a bit of a hassle (darn visa requirements), but I’ve taken to cold destinations lately and friends who have gone have all raved about it…hmm, or maybe they were just raving about the hot Russian women.  Can’t recall.  Perhaps I can see firsthand just how much vodka is consumed here or better yet, meet a spy!

2. Croatia

One of my girlfriends, P, told me about Croatia years ago.  Back then she said it was the newest “hot spot” European destination particularly because it’s one of the more “economical” countries to visit.  Honestly, she had me at “economical” (who doesn’t love Europe on a shoestring?) and I’ve had it on my list ever since.  It also helps that any time I’ve googled “Croatia” photos of picturesque baroque buildings bordering the Adriatic Sea populate the search results.  Also, there are pictures of yachts.  In case you didn’t know, yachts only dock in ritzy port of calls (p.s. I’m basing this solely on the other port of calls that come to mind right now – Monaco’s and Newport Beach’s).   Side note: Combine this trip with Budapest, if possible.  Better to kill two birds with one stone and easier on the wallet in the long run.

3. Dubai

I’ve been wanting to go to Dubai ever since I found out they were building the World Islands (any place ambitious enough to build its own islands is well-worth a visit).  And then I found out the monarchy there was so filthy rich and yet so insane (gotta love that combo) that they were trying to build the superlatives of all adult playgrounds so that sealed the deal (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out Ski Dubai, Burj Kalifa, and the hotel that claims to be the only 7 star hotel in the world).  They aren’t even done yet.  They are also constructing a rotating building that will be unlike anything ever attempted before (each of the self-powered 80 floors will rotate independently of each other, an architectural feat that’s got me super intrigued).  I need to go to Dubai just to witness its obscene lavishness firsthand.  Side note: Combine this trip with Abu Dhabi since it’s only a 2 hour drive away.

If you’ve been to any of these places and have stories to share, I’d love to hear them.  Extra points if it helps me make my case to T in turning this into a “To Go” list.  🙂

(photos from here, here, and here)

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