Open Ticket What’s Your Once-In-A-Lifetime Vacation Destination? Stephanie Spitler

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are off on their 3-week tour of Australia and New Zealand and, I admit, I’m more than a little jealous. I mean, who wouldn’t be? They’re bound for the Land Down Under. Now, I don’t envy them the lengthy plane ride (even though I’m sure they’re not squeezing into seats back in coach) or the endless rounds of official engagements, but they’re still heading off to two of my dream destinations, so that calls for some envy.

Australia and New Zealand have been at the top of my to-be-visited list for a while now. Unfortunately, there are lots of reasons I haven’t booked the tickets yet. I’m still saving up the cash (flying halfway around the world costs a pretty penny), and since the journey will be long and arduous, I want to make sure I have enough vacation time to recover from jet lag and see everything properly. Ideally, I’d love to spend a full month puttering around the Southern Hemisphere, and that kind of vacation time takes some serious planning.

My fascination with the two countries started early, and grew with every breathtaking photo I saw of waterfalls and beaches and desert. I’m drawn to New Zealand’s wild, natural beauty. And I’ve always imagined Australia as a laid-back beach paradise, with ancient rock formations to explore in the Outback. I’m sure I’ve romanticized the destinations, like most people do with the spots they dream of traveling to one day. But what’s wrong with a little idealization?

However, just because I have Australia and New Zealand firmly in my traveling sights doesn’t mean they’re my only dream destinations. Believe me, my list is long. And once I’ve checked those two countries off my list, there will be a new once-in-a-lifetime destination ready for me to commence dreaming about and planning for. I’m thinking Japan would be amazing to see, and so radically different from every other place I’ve visited so far. And I’ve always wanted to visit Egypt and see the ancient pyramids. And, of course, there’s Fiji; I’m picturing the perfect island escape.

It’s important to have more than one dream destination; in fact, I think it’s impossible to have just one. Because when you finally get there, and inevitably some things aren’t what you thought but other things are better than you could’ve imagined, you realize that the destination isn’t the whole part of the dream. At least for me, it’s about discovery, of the place and of yourself in that place. And every destination will bring out something different. That’s why I’ll keep adding spots to my must-visit list.

But I guess until my Aussie/Kiwi piggy bank reaches its goal, I’ll have to be content with reading about the journeys of other travelers, like Liz’s amazing adventures living in New Zealand. So I’ll keep planning and saving and taking extensive notes on what I want to see and do when I finally get there and start living my dream.

What destinations are at the top of your travel list?

Let’s tweet about travel @StephSpitler

Image via Shutterstock

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  1. Scandinavia! Denmark & Sweden especially.
    Also determined to get to Thailand, Argentina, & Greece..
    I’ve heard NZ is very social work friendly, which is great news for this MSW student :)

  2. I’d love to visit Australia, not only does it mean I’d get to find out what it’s really like but I can meet family members I haven’t gotten to meet yet in my nearly 21 years of life on this Earth, plus my mum says it’s amazing and that I need to go at least once. I’d also love to visit Poland, my grandad was Polish, I think I’d feel a little connected to it because of that.

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