Wanderlust Bucket List – 10 Countries, 5 Years

It’s been exactly 400 days since I last left the country. 400 days since I last needed my passport to travel somewhere outside the US of A. 400 days since I landed in a country where I didn’t speak the language, didn’t know where I was going, and couldn’t wait to immerse myself into the culture.

Four hundred days – it feels like it’s been an eternity.

In the meantime, I’ve moved to Florida, adopted a puppy, and traveled across the country (several times). It’s safe to say life hasn’t been boring. But you would think that as time continues to pass, it would get easier to fall back into the mundane day to day routine of life.

It’s not.

The more time that passes, the more that the itch that started out as a tiny little bump on my arm has grown into a full body rash, and I can’t stop scratching.

In 2012, I made a promise to myself that I would travel somewhere abroad once a year (passports required). I swore I would throw a dart at a map if I had to, and travel to wherever it landed. I swore to myself that I’d be adventurous and not let “life” get in the way of life. Traveling is the one of the few things in this world that makes me feel alive. It encourages me to be a better person, allows me to discover myself, and forces me to look up from my iPhone and appreciate the beauty the world has to offer.

But – I did the one thing I swore I wouldn’t do. I let life get in the way, and here I am – 25 years old – full of wanderlust with so many places I want to go, and so little time. I feel like 20-somethings are encouraged to travel the world when they graduate from college and “find themselves”, and I agree. However, how many 20-somethings do you know that can afford to travel at their leisure? I sure as hell couldn’t. I (thankfully) took way too much loan money out my last semester and cashed in my entire savings and used it to book a month long trip to Europe.

Do I regret? Absolutely not. Worth every single penny.

So now, when I’m actually able to afford the trips I want to take, I’m looked at like a “crazy 20-something” who needs to “settle down”.

Thanks, but no thanks.

There are so many countries to see, people I have yet to meet, cities I have yet to fall in love with. I’ve got sunsets to watch, continents to travel to, and hemispheres to visit. And I’d like to do it by the time I’m 30.

So here’s my wanderlust bucket list, if we have to give it a title. A list of 10 countries I want to visit in the next 5 years. With 3 weeks of vacation, it seems unlikely – but you’ll never know if you don’t try!

Am I right? 




Why? Barcelona, Madrid, Ibiza, Seville, Valencia – Spain has it all. Culture, history, and an awesome party island with the best house music around.




Why? The breathtaking beaches, the beautiful temples, the exotic foods – there is nothing about this country that doesn’t excite me. Wait – I take that back – I could do without the cockroaches.




Why? Because I’ve always wanted to, and it doesn’t hurt that I have a thing for Australian accents. HEY BOYS!

New Zealand



Why? Up until a few months ago, I had no desire to visit New Zealand. Silly me. I have a few friends who recently moved over there, and once I started googling the country, I immediately put it to the top of my bucket list. Queenstown, Auckland, Dunedin, the Bay of Islands – the list could go on and on. Extreme sports ranging from bungee jumping to sky diving, hot air balloons at sunrise to climbing to the top of a glacier – it has everything I could want and more.




Why? Although I’ve already been to the Italy “tourist hot spots” Venice, Florence, and Rome, Cinque Terre has always held a special place in my heart. This magical looking town overlooks one of the most beautiful bodies of water I’ve ever seen. I’ve got to visit at least once in my life.




Why? One word: Tomorrowland.




Why? The beautiful white sand beaches, the crystal blue water, the gorgeous terrain in the distance – need I say more?




Why? Although my parents would probably kill me, and have actually said “you are NOT going there”, I’ve always wanted to travel up and down the Nile in Egypt. The civil unrest doesn’t deter me, and I would give anything to see the pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx.




Why? Castles. Beer. Irish men. That’s all.




Why? I’ve been fascinated with Russia and the KGB since I first fell in love with the history of spying. It would be awesome to go visit a place with so much history, and so many beautiful sites. As long as it’s in summer.

So, who wants to join me?


  1. Jamie says

    Good for you Sara! I love this list, and would love to go to all these places as well! Thailand is at the very top of my list, and I’m already planning a trip there next year! :)

  2. says

    Travel is a must! Such a learning experience and a wonderful way to grow up with eyes wide open. I am blessed with a mother straight off the boat from Italy. My friends joke that my passport was handed to me at birth. I am eternally greatful for the gift of travel, but even at 29 my travel has been isolated to Italy with a rare trip into France or Germany. All those places you mentioned are fabulous, but the real magic happens in the small towns of the beaten path. The history, life, and culture will transport you to somewhere new, but it seems like you’ve already figured that out.

    I can’t wait to see where the world takes you!

    • Sara says

      I completely agree. I discovered who I was as a person through travel. It opens your eyes and helps you become the person you’re supposed to be. And I completely agree, the little less popular off the beaten path trails are the greatest discoveries you can make while traveling.

  3. says

    Yes, you now have me wanderlusting. I’d rather spend my money traveling than going out to dinner, clothes, etc. New Zealand & Australia are top on my bucket list, and my boyfriend & I have a trip to Costa Rica planned for later this year. Somedays, I just want to jump on a plane without a plan…and go somewhere.

    • Sara says

      ALL the time. It’s seriously all I do. I wish I had the courage to take the plunge, but I really like my current job and I just can’t justify throwing it away to travel for a year – although I imagine it’d be life changing. But never say never… 😉

  4. says

    400 days?! It is awful. I can’t sit at home (I mean in my country) more than 100 days. It will be depression.

    In Russia, I advise to visit St. Petersburg. It is much more handsome and interesting city than Moscow.

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