5 places I’ve never been (and want to go to now)

How many countries have you been to? 5? 50? 100? Do you count? I don’t.

The only number I know by heart is that last year on our trip around the world we hit 29 countries on six continents. I know this because Ish told me so.

I’m sure I could sit down and figure  out how many others I could add to that list after more than 10 years of traveling but to be honest I’ve never really wanted to do that. I think if you set out to hit a milestone number of countries, the chances that you’re going to lose focus on why you’re traveling is greater. My goal has never been to brag about how many places I’ve been to; for me it has always been the experience that matters.

Of course, this also means that I’ll probably never make the 100-country club but that’s ok. I’d probably be too busy heading to the next destination to receive the letter anyway. ;)

But when The Traveling Brown Girls asked me to participate in a blog carnival sharing some of the places that remain high on my list of “must see,” that was something I could get behind.

So without further ado, my five:

1. Russia

When we made our original dream list of destinations for the RTW trip, Russia was high on my list. It fell off only because we couldn’t make it work so that we both continued to avoid winter and weren’t criss-crossing the globe (and emptying our life savings) to get there.  There are two reasons I think it has remained of interest to me: (1) St. Basil’s cathedral – every photo I see of it is absolutely stunning. I can only imagine how beautiful it would be in real life, and (2) It’s one of the last places where my minds’ eye won’t let me get beyond the stereotypes of big furry hats and elegant ladies sipping vodka and holding long cigarettes. I need to go so I can replace the Flintstones characters with real people.

English: Saint Basil's Cathedral in Moscow, Ru...

2. The Greek Islands

I’ve been to Athens and a couple of port cities on a cruise but the Greek islands have always called to me. We almost got there last year but weather again played a factor. It was going to be too cold in April/May to live out my fantasies of lying on the beach, eating Kalamata olives and snapping endless photos of white buildings and blue skies.  I need to get there.

English: Church of Paraportiani, Mykonos

3. Brazil

There’s something about the culture, colours and people of Brazil that has always called to me. I’d love to get down there for a festival like Carnaval or World Cup soccer . Afro-brazilian culture also intrigues. And time must be spent in Bahia. The palm trees and beaches demand I pay them adequate attention and who argues with the palm trees? ;)

English: An landscape avenue of Roystonea oler...

4. Rwanda

Places that have been in the news but only in negative ways intrigue me. We all heard about the Rwandan genocides  but there is so much more to the country. I’d like to see the beauty of the country and replace the horrifying images we were shown. Among the things I’d want to do there would be seeing gorillas in their native habitat and getting a better understanding of the people who’ve survived so much and thrived.

Mountain Gorilla, Umubano Group

5. Philippines

My very first best friend when I was little was Filipino. I still remember going to her home and being welcomed by her family. Fast forward to our recent visit to Dubai when again, I found that loving feeling among Filipino friends we met in India and fell in love with in Dubai. Seriously, this has got to be one of the friendliest cultures in the world! Plus, the food is amazing. Sign me up!

LLLV+EC Jump Shot

What about you? What are your top 5?

Looking for the other Traveling Brown Girl Carnival participants?

This month’s host:
Blog:  Brown Girls Fly (Chelle and Crystal)
Twitter:  @BrownGirlsFly
Carnival Post:  5 Places we have never been and why we must go 

 

Participants:
Blog:  One Brown Girl  (Tracey Friley)
Twitter:  @OneBrownGirl
Carnival Post:   Five Places Calling My Name

 

Blog:  Lola Akinmade (Lola Akinmade-Åkerström)
Twitter:  @LolaAkinmade
Carnival Post:   Five Places I’ve Never Been (And Why I Want To Go)

 

Blog:  Mom’s Guide To Travel   (Tawanna Browne Smith)
Twitter:  @WorldTravelMom
Carnival Post:   Travel Bucket List: 5 Places I’ve Never Been And Would Like To Go

 

Blog:  Inside Journeys  (Marcia M)
Twitter:  @InsideJourneys
Carnival Post:   5 Places I’ve Never Been (And Why I Want To Go)

 

 

Blog:  A Day In Your Shoes (Lisa Lightner)
Twitter:  @LisaLightnerLL
Carnival Post:  Our Travel Bucket List – Traveling With A Child With Special Needs

 

Blog:  Traveling Latina (Ana Serafin)
Twitter:  @travelinglatina
Carnival Post:  5 Places I’ve Never Been (And Why I Want To Go)

 

Blog:  Travel With Eva (Eva Jordan-Johnson)
Twitter:  @TravelWithEva
Carnival Post:  5 Places I’ve Never Been (And Why I Want To Go)

 

Blog:  The Ski Chi Travel Guide 2 (Janice Temple)
Twitter:  @skychi_travels
Carnival Post:  5 Places I’ve Never Been (And Why I Want To Go)

 

Blog:  This Diva Travels (Aliah)
Twitter:  @ThisDivaTravels
Carnival Post:  I Want To Go To There: 5 Places I’ve Never Been (And Why I HAVE To Go)

 

Blog:  Robins Have Wings (Robin Bennefield)
Twitter:  @RobinsHaveWings
Carnival Post:  5 Places On My Travel Bucket List … For Now

 

Blog:  Oneika The Traveller (Oneika Raymond)
Twitter:  @oneikatraveller
Carnival Post:  5 Places I’ve Never Been (And Why I Want To Go)

 

Blog:  Wonderlusting (Lynda Daboh)
Twitter:  @LyndaDaboh
Carnival Post:  Travel: 5 Places I’ve Never Been (And Why I Want To Go)

 

Blog:  Girl Gone Travel(Carol Cain)
Twitter:  @CarolACain
Carnival Post:  Oh, The Places I Should Go!

 

Blog:  Mo Travels (Monique Rubin)
Twitter:  @Monique_Rubin
Carnival Post:  5 Places I’ve Never Been (And Why I Want To Go)

 

Blog:  Absolute Travel Addict (April D. Thompson)
Twitter:  @AbsoluteADT
Carnival Post:  Five Destinations On My Travel Bucket List
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{ 31 comments… add one }

InsideJourneys April 9, 2013, 10:11 AM

You’re right, it is more important why you travel than the number of places you’ve been.

Russia’s also on my list, for myself and now for my wanderlust aunt who no longer travels. It’s one of three places she wasn’t able to see.

Since you’ve made it around the world, I’m sure you’ll be crossing off these 5 in no time.

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Heather Greenwood Davis April 9, 2013, 5:00 PM

Thanks! Here’s hoping we all get to see all that we desire.

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Tracey Friley April 9, 2013, 11:20 AM

Thanks for joining the Carnival, Heather!

I don’t count countries either. It’s far easier for me to focus on where I’d like to go and not where I’ve been, since I sometimes feel like I’m running out of time. =)

I think you RTW journey with your family was spectacular and I can’t wait to do one myself.

Cheers to travel! I’ll see you in Toronto!

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Heather Greenwood Davis April 9, 2013, 4:59 PM

So glad I finally made it for another one. And I’m so glad you’ll be in Toronto after all. Thanks for making all of this happen.

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Lisa Lightner April 9, 2013, 1:08 PM

Stopping by from the carnival to say hi!

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Heather Greenwood Davis April 9, 2013, 5:00 PM

Hi Lisa!:)

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Angela Myers April 9, 2013, 2:23 PM

Thanks to this Carnival, my list is getting longer and longer! Russia and Philippines – got it.

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Heather Greenwood Davis April 9, 2013, 4:57 PM

I know what you mean!

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BigDaddyKreativ April 9, 2013, 4:49 PM

My 5: Disney World (I have not been, nor have my 2 daughters – my wife went when she was young); Cabo San Lucas (I so want to check out this unique area… visit Lover’s Beach and Sammy Hagar’s bar); Turks & Caicos (so many people I know have been, and swear they have the world’s best beaches); Bora Bora, Tahiti (I dream of one day relaxing on Matira Beach); and Hawaii* (okay, technically, I have been here – it was our stop enroute to Australia in 1995, but I never left the airport. Would love to visit each island).

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Heather Greenwood Davis April 9, 2013, 5:00 PM

Great picks! I’ve been to most of those and every one of them would be worth a return visit. So the question is…what are you doing to make it happen? ;) No pressure.

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amotherworld April 9, 2013, 5:16 PM

Haven’t traveled much but would love to visit Thailand, South Pacific Islands, California, the rest of Europe (only been to Greece) and Egypt.

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Heather Greenwood Davis April 10, 2013, 8:07 AM

All great spots! Egypt blew my mind.

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Monique @MoTravels April 9, 2013, 5:44 PM

Russia is on my list, too. Meet you there?

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Monique @MoTravels April 9, 2013, 5:45 PM

Russia’s on my list too. Meet you there?

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Heather Greenwood Davis April 10, 2013, 8:07 AM

And @twitter-190932257:disqus too! :)

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Guest April 9, 2013, 10:32 PM

Greece seems absolutely magical as d

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Heather Greenwood Davis April 10, 2013, 8:06 AM

Agreed!

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meandmypassport April 9, 2013, 10:38 PM

Ahh, laying my eyes on the architecture and museums of Russia would be amazing!

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Heather Greenwood Davis April 10, 2013, 8:06 AM

So much beauty and history there!

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Oneika the Traveller April 10, 2013, 12:59 AM

I was supposed to go to Russia in July, but wont be able to make it! Even though it didn’t make my “top 5″ it’s someplace I’ve always wanted to go.

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Heather Greenwood Davis April 10, 2013, 8:06 AM

If you were that close to making it happen it will come around again. I need to make a concrete plan for that one.

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BrownGirlsFly - Chelle Roberts April 10, 2013, 4:02 AM

Thanks so much for joining the blog carnival. I love your list — Russia, Rwanda, Brazil & the Philippines? Let’s go!!

As for Greece, I’ve been to Santorini and OMG you’ll love it! But the thing is, there are thousands of Greek islands to explore. I keep dreaming that one day, I’ll rent a boat and hop from tiny island to tiny island for a few weeks. Did I say let’s go? LOL!

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Heather Greenwood Davis April 10, 2013, 8:05 AM

I know! Me too! We had plans to hit three of them during the RTW last year but scrapped it because of the weather. A few months touring sounds good to me!

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Lola Akinmade Åkerström April 10, 2013, 7:31 AM

Heather, I was singing “Hallelujah, Praise Jesus!” when I read this statement -> ” I think if you set out to hit a milestone number of countries, the chances that you’re going to lose focus on why you’re traveling is greater. My goal has never been to brag about how many places I’ve been to; for me it has always been the experience that matters.”

LOVE!

Totally with you on Greece and Russia and Rwanda and Brazil and the Philippines and… Wait! Your entire list :)

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Heather Greenwood Davis April 10, 2013, 8:04 AM

Thanks Lola. So easy to get caught up in the count and miss the best thing about travel….doing it!

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Colleen Williams April 15, 2013, 10:36 AM

I agree re. the counting of destinations – enjoy the experience. It’s important to go for the experience rather than to cross off a tally! Great list of places though and nice to see something different i.e. Russia being included.

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April D. Thompson April 13, 2013, 1:08 PM

Yes please to your entire list! I always seem to forget about Russia, but it seems like such a beautiful place. And you are absolutely right, you do not argue with palm trees…or white, pink or black sand beaches or tropical temperatures…

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Carol Cain April 14, 2013, 8:14 PM

Omgosh…if I started counting countries I would only frustrate myself with the very many i have yet to see! Plus, I agree. It takes away from being in the moment, which is what it’s all about!

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Rhonda/Sharee Washington April 15, 2013, 1:41 PM

I’m intrigued by your interest in Rwanda. It’s one of the scariest places for me to consider visiting, but I’m sure they have a tourism industry that is trying to shed a more positive light. The Philipines is also of interest bc my cousin married a Filipino whom he met in Germany during a long stint in the military there. However, she herself has never been bc of conflicts in the region where her extended family resides. I concur about her and her family (I’ve met her mother and grandmother) being nice, welcoming, and family-oriented.

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LifeInPleasantville April 17, 2013, 8:51 AM

When do we leave?

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Kimmy @ AfterGlobe June 11, 2013, 1:17 PM

I haven’t figured out my top 5, but I would love to go to some of your picks. The Greek Islands, Brazil and the Philippines all sound like amazing places to visit. Right now, I’m itching to travel through all of the Polynesian Islands and then on to SE Asia.

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