Andy and I have made it our mission to see all fifty of the United States of America. We LOVE taking road trips and consequently have driven through and visited almost half of them (18!!) in the three years we’ve been together. I still consider this a higher priority for us before we begin seriously adventuring outside of our home country, but that doesn’t mean I don’t dream of the magical lands I’ve only ever seen imagery of.
Here are my top 5 dream destinations if I could go anywhere and do anything, in no particular order.
#1: Ireland + Scotland
Image via Our Travel Passport
I’m smooshing these together because they have always gone hand in hand for me. For some reason as long as I can remember I’ve had this fantasy of riding a fast horse along some wild hill or beach in Ireland, with leather reins wrapped in my hands and the wind wrapped in my hair. There is so much beauty here: the Cliffs of Moher (Princess Bride anyone?), the road through the Dark Hedges, the history, the cities and castles. I think this is the place I would feel most like a wild princess, and one I have always longed to visit. Scotland is also home to several iconic filming locations for the Harry Potter films, and the cafe where JK Rowling supposedly wrote a large portion of the books. Yes please!
Image via Hand Luggage Only
ICE. LAND. There are so many activities here that I am dying to do: whale watching, soaking in the blue lagoon, hiking, caving, petting one of those native ponies, going for a dogsled ride, and of course, seeing the northern lights. I cannot list the number of photography collections I’ve seen of couples who have eloped there or just adventure photographers who’ve gone exploring. It is seriously so gorgeous, I don’t think it’s possible to find a bad angle of it. Although, I’ll just have to go and find out for sure myself!
#3: New Zealand
Image via Dangerous Business
Speaking of wild places, New Zealand found its way to a secure and special place in my heart when I was immersed in the Lord of the Rings trilogy fandom at the tender age of 10. My mom was obsessed, and so my sister and I were too. The entirety of all three films were filmed there, and they even left Hobbiton intact so people could visit. There’s nothing else to say on the matter.
Image via Hand Luggage Only
I don’t think England needs any justification of why it would appear on anyone’s travel list. I’m realizing as I write this that the majority of my wanderlust is rooted in literature and film. Some, or maybe most, of my favorite stories originate from or are straight up based in this incredible country. I had a strong desire to move here after I graduated college as well, as there is a large hub of VFX studios in London responsible for some of the best work in the industry.
Image via Happy to Wander
Besides the obvious must-see city of Paris, France is full of gorgeous towns and unexpectedly beautiful countrysides and coastlines. Something about France has always felt very romantic to me, I love the language and the food and the architecture and history.
Looking back, I’m realizing this list could almost more appropriately be called my top 5 European bucket list destinations. There’s a multitude of other cities and countries across Africa and South America that I would of course love to visit and will be on my next roundup, but I would die an incredibly happy lady if I were able to visit just these five beauties.