So here is our list of the places we'd go this summer if money were no object:
1. New Zealand
I would LOVE to go to New Zealand with the entire family. The scenery, the wineries, the beaches, the friends that we have there. Oh, and did I mention that my friend Amy is about to pop with her 4th boy? Newborn baby head smell would be a major bonus of that trip. I know that it is winter there right now, but I actually prefer a cooler climate. I would LOVE to drive on the other side of the road and learn about all the words that we don't have in common. I would love to take the girls out in the countryside and go roaming. The plane ride(s) would SUCK, but the trip would more than make up for it I think.
The entire state is on my bucket list, and I know the girls would love it too. I want to see the glaciers, before they all melt. I want to see the mountains and the whales. I want to see the vast wilderness that is almost as big as the continental U.S. I'm all over some Alaska, though we'd hopefully not run into any Palins while visiting.
3. Galapagos & Machu Picchu
I think for this one we would either take nannies or leave the kids at home. When they get a little older, we'll definitely be taking the girls on this one. I want to trek up to Machu Picchu and watch the sunrise. I want to drink Pisco Sours and chew on Coca leaves. I might even eat a guinea pig if the opportunity presented itself in a culturally appropriate manner. (I only break my vegetarianism for local unique experiences!) I want to see the amazing wildlife of the Galapagos. Did I mention that I also have a good friend studying and working in Equador that we could visit? Erica would be a super big bonus!
I studied Japanese for 6 years and have never been to Japan. I still can read a little bit. We know people there, several actually. We could do Japan. From Tokyo to Kyoto to the Inland Sea, I would eat Sushi (sooo worth breaking the vegetarian diet), take a million pictures, and have a GREAT time exploring a country that I spent so much time studying about.
My research is with Turkish-German girls in Berlin. I've spent so much time hearing about Turkey, and I REALLY want to go there. From Istanbul to Ismit and Anatolia to Ankara we'd check out all the amazing Byzantine ruins and get Turkish baths. We'd lounge on the beaches and find treasures in the markets. We'd drink tea and eat baklava like it was our job. I would take all my Turkish girls from Berlin to translate for us and help nanny the girls. It would be AWESOME, plus, they LOVE kids there!
6. South Africa
One word: SAFARI! The girls would LOVE it, and we'd have a GREAT time if we took our friend Sarah who did her fieldwork in Cape Town. I want to see the Cape. I want to see Johannisburg. I want to see it all. I want to see the penguins on the beach. I want to tour the wineries. I want to drive on the wrong side of the road (theme!). Bonus: our first time on the African continent, and they LOVE kids there.
I'm obsessed with Scotland, and my girls are too. Not only have they watched Brave at least a hundred times, they also love How to Train Your Dragon, Waterhorse, and pretty much any movie where one of the characters has a Scottish accent. I would drag my friend Megan over from Berlin to be our tourguide/nanny for our trip. I want to see the castles. I want to play in the tide pools. I want to get lost in the land of Ewan MacGregor, Gerard Butler, Sean Connory, and Craig Ferguson. Did I mention how much I LOVE the accent? It would be grand.
Last but not least, I would love to go to Egypt. Specifically, I would go to Cairo and Alexandria. Our old roommate's husband is Egyptian and is STILL waiting for his U.S. visa to finally be processed. Lucky us, we'd hire him to be our guide and translator. I want to take a boat ride on the Nile. I want to tour the museums. I want to go shopping for cotton. I want to ride a camel through the desert. It would be AMAZING. I want to do it, and I know the kids would LOVE it...or be awful. Did I mention that they love kids there? They really do.
So that's it. That's my list. I had to limit it to only 8, but I assure you that I could have added at least 100 more places to this list. I LOVE to travel and will instill in my children an appreciation for what they have through traveling and seeing what else is out there. That is my favorite benefit of traveling when you are young.
Here we are on our first big adventure together where neither of us spoke the local language:
Our Honeymoon in Brazil!
Our Honeymoon in Brazil!