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 


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