I started thinking about this during the planning stages for my latest road trip.
Many MR Insiders have places they want to see. There have been several great posts related to this topic over the years.
I'm interested in Insiders' specific travel goals. Whether you've achieved it or not, what are (or have been) your travel goals?
My goal is to visit every county in the United States and document my trip with a postcard mailed home from each county seat. I've reached 25% and expect to hit 33% (or so) by the end of 2014. It will probably take 10 years (maybe longer) to complete my collection (Traveling the United States one county at a time).
Whether they are long-term or short-term doesn't matter. For those who have already reached specific travel goals, how long did it take once you decided to pursue your goal? Have you set new travel goals?
So, what are your travels goals?
This is a great question, bejacob. I often think about my travel goals, especially as of late as it seems I have caught the travel bug once again! My lifetime travel goal is to visit every continent (with or without the exception of Antarctica). I live in North America so that is a given and have visited most of Europe many times. This year I hope to achieve either South America and/or Australia. I have a big trip planned for Africa that I am hoping to be able to do in 2015. I know my goal may seem easy, but I find myself continuing to go back to the same continents I have already been too just different countries. I need to step out of my norm! We would love to see pictures along your way as well, don’t forget to share at: http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/photoAlbums/1611.
Visiting every continent is one of my goals too. I've logged 5 so far (North America, Australia, Europe, Africa, and Asia). Someday I'll get to South America.
Nice comment regarding stepping out of the norm. We all should do that more often.
Yes, a great question. My goals are not necessarily specific (in terms of what you are looking for). While some people have very specific goals, as have been mentioned here (and I might add other examples of specific goals, such as perhaps visit every U.S. state, every U.S. capital, every U.S. National Park (my bosses goal), every MLB ball park, etc. etc. etc.), my goals are less specific and/or focused.
pluto77, good examples of specific goals.
I also especially like #3 on your list. There is a sense of wonder when we visit a place we've read about. I'll add that it can be fun to see a place for ourselves that has appeared on tv or in a movie.
The idea of finding a location you've never visited (part of item #2) appeals to the sense of adventure in all of us.
I like the countdown. More travel is always good. Keep us posted as retirement gets closer and let us know where you plan to go. Hearing from Insiders about their travels is almost as good as going places myself. I also get great ideas about destinations I might not have otherwise considered.
I'll look forward to hearing more from you foxglove.
That's a great goal. I like that you are covering both the AL & the NL. Have you been to any cities that have replaced their ballparks since your visit and now need to go back to visit the new park?
The idea of visiting every MLB park has always seemed like a great idea, but it's always been a bit daunting to me (this coming from the guy who is trying to visit every county in the U.S.). Go figure.
Good luck completing the circuit in the next couple years.
Visiting every county is much more daunting. Most of the mlb stadiums are in big cities so it is easy getting there and you have other things to do in the city. Ive been visiting several parks a year and I've only had to repeat in San Diego and Cincinnati. I haven't been to Tampa yet. I plan to go in 2015. I imagine they are going to want a new stadium.
My travel goals are both simple and complex. Simple in the sense that I travel (as much as is physically possible and State Dept. allowed) to the places I teach and write about in history. For me, I cannot write a book about a subject unless I have been to the places involved. So when I wrote my Joan of Arc book, I visited and stayed in every single city/town/castle/battlefield where she had been. That translates really well in the classroom since I use my camera frequently, though I realize most of you don't know that .
There are places I'd like to go based on my historical interests, but which I cannot justify because I don't teach or write about them and therefore they would cost me a whole lot of my own money that I don't have. Although I did a grad field in Russian history and have taught it a few times, I will never write about it since my language skills are limited to
I kind of collect rivers. Besides the US (Mississippi, Missouri, Colorado, Sacramento, Delaware, Hudson, Russian, Yellowstone, Snake, Green, North Platte, Niagara, Potomac, Truckee and dozens of little rivers in Colorado, Utah and California and some in Florida that I can neither spell nor pronounce), I've been on the Thames, Seine, Danube, Po, Volga, Ganges, Yellow, Congo, Niger, Mekong, Chao Phrya, Ruak, Kwae Yai (misnamed River Kwai in the movies), Swan and I'm sure some that aren't coming to mind right now.
Still like to see the Nile and Amazon.
Great question bejacob!
This isn't one I think I can really answer well...
One of he current goals the wife & I share is to visit every single Disney park on the face of the planet!
A personal goal of mine would be to travel across all of Japan and see our homeland in all it's glory! Like wise, I'd love to travel up & down the Eastern Seaboard and the West Coast. I'd like to visit most of the US National Parks. Would love to see the Norther Lights in Alaska or Canada.
One thing I'd love to do that I know the wife wouldn't want to would be to take a ride on all surviving segments of the Denver & Rio Grande's narrow gauge system, and some of the historically significant standard gauge lines. In fact, a cross the country rail trip might be interesting too...
Travel throughout Europe is also a goal, including parts of Eastern Europe such as Russia (Moscow & St. Petersburg), the Ukraine and maybe Romania.
Traveling across Canada would also be a wonderful trip I think... As would traveling throughout Oceania.
On another note, I have a list of restaurants and hotel/resort properties going that I'd love to travel to a try as well. There are also specific airlines I'd love to try just for the sake of flying.
As you can see my travel goals are all over the place! But they'll all have to wait until my financial position improves and taking vacation becomes easier...
I can relate to the Disney one. I've been to DL, WDW, and Tokyo DL (back in 1986). Would be nice to see them all (and go back to see the new stuff). but that has dropped on my list of priorities as I've added new goals. As a kid growing up in Australia in the 70s, a trip to the States was almost not complete without a visit to Disneyland. Back then we still used the old ticket books (I still have a few unused tickets stashed somewhere).
I love your entire list, but the narrow gauge railroad sounds especially cool.
Good luck making all (or at least most) of these things happen.
Like most, the places I haven't been still far out weigh the places I have been, so travel is in my future for sometime to come. But what I enjoy most is being able to combine travel and golf. My goal is to, at some point, play every military golf course in the USA. Although I've played military courses in Asia, Europe, and the Caribbean, I still have 50 something stateside courses left to achieve my goal, having already played over 100 in the USA. Similar to you and the postcards, I collect logo balls from the courses I've played.
Collecting something from our travels is a great way of keeping track. Looking at the collection often brings back memories of what it meant to compile it. Of course, what we collect must have meaning for us.
It looks like you still have room for more, but I can envision another shelf in your future before long.
I try to collect something little that is special about all of the places I go (unless I hated the place, which rarely happens). But what's best of all for me is having my favorite photos of those places blown up to 16x20 shutterfly wall decor. Since I live in a fairly small apartment, they are wall to wall, and I never get tired of looking at them.
I guess at this point my travel goal would be to find the very best way to use up airline and hotel points before they are completely devalued to the point of being almost worthless.
And I keep forgetting the AMEX points I have, hmm maybe I will transfer them to AA and make kharada46 happy since I would be flying AA!!!
Using up my points (all used up) and miles (I have 5 free business class flights to Greece, Italy and the UK for this coming year because I am NOT happy with Delta's 2015 Skymiles plan. While it's been portrayed as good for the HVC (I was declared one in front of a group of angry people without flight rebookings as one by the agent in the lounge at JFK several months ago) and bad for the mileage runner, that's simplistic. I plugged every single international trip I took and its cost in their calculator system and I would lost anywhere between 8000 and 14000 miles per flight in 2015. (And that's at an average of $1100-$1400 per flight.) I still have 200,000 miles to use after what I have booked for this year (and can cancel any and pay for a flight within 72 hours). But in my view the changes are draconian, even though Randy Petersen of InsideFlyer predicted this over the past year. It appears to be a horrible deal for the vast majority of Delta flyers, so it may be (there's a lot of outrage on twitter and flying sites as I'm sure you've seen) that they can change my mind. But if this goes into effect and is as it seems to be (they've only released half the details, notably missing the new redemption levels), I may do what I did with Marriott. Bye bye, for the most part. I will use expedia, orbitz, booking, hotels, etc and get the best deal.
Like kharada46, I would love to do a cross country trip by rail. It would certainly be an interesting way to see our great nation.
I will also share my sports related travel goals:
Attend the Masters, Kentucky Derby, British Open, Soccer World Cup, and Summer Olympics.
I've been traveling for nearly 50 years, primarily in association with business, and I can attest to the fact that traveling has become more laborious, especially air travel. I'm not the adventureous type - save my several missionary trips to Uganda and South Africa in the '90s - but rather enjoy the familiar route. For instance, even though traveling in the UK means learning how to drive right-side steering wheels and opposite-side roadways, and an expensive currency exchange, at least the language is same for us English-speaking folks.
I've traveled throughout most of N.A. over the years, so I would say that in the years I have left with energy and patience to travel abroad I look forward to returning to England - it's my favorite as every area, especially the "shires" - in the near future, and continuing to explore Italy. Most of my travel there has been in Northern Italy, officially North of the Po River, and I hope to visit the Amalfi Coast, perhaps Sicili and Sardina, also. With the extremely long flights from the U.S., I have no desire to travel to Australia or the Far East.
Oh yes we drove......never again! Only problem with being on a bus is your held captive and cannot stop at places you find along the road for a bite to eat or just to take in the view. However; driving that entire week on the coast took more attention than I have ever given anything.
OMG, don't drive the Amalfi coast!! I was convinced that if I didn't die going over the edge I would die of a heart attack. The best way to do it is by boat. Make sure to visit Positano.
If you do take a tour bus, choose a seat away from the edge, close your eyes, and pray. A lot.
Wow. My travel goals are so many! I would like to, eventually, visit all 50 States. I am missing Oregon, Alaska, Idaho, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Iowa. I am also missing Hawaii but that will be crossed off the list later this year.
The one thing I like to do when I travel is to pick up a piece of art, or something specific to the region, as a memory of the visit. If the piece is large or I am terrified of breaking it, I will have it shipped.
I would love to do a train trip through the Rockies.
Cruise-wise, I would love to do the Baltic, the Western Caribbean, and Alaska. I think the Norwegian Fjords would be lovely too. An around-the-world cruise would be pretty awesome. That would be the grand finale.
St. Augustine said: "The World is a book. Those who don't travel read but a single page."
I travel a lot for work. 2-3 nights/week 3 weeks/month.
Goal 1: Pleasure travel is with hotel points and FF miles. Its kind of fun actually. Sometimes we are steered towards places we've never been before just because of availability. We also have two MVCI weeks that gives us flexibility too. I don't want to pay out of pocket for leisure travel in hotels or airlines. (Except taxes etc.)
Goal 2: Travel as much as we can. Our kids are grown. Last one gets married in September. My wife and I have geared our life towards travel. Smaller house than we really can afford. Easier maintenance and less costly. We have a cat that allows us to take off easy. (We still spend a lot of time with family. We also have them travel with us.)
Goal 3: Go interesting places. My wife likes the beach. That's fine. I like to couple that with places I can also enjoy the geography or culture. SE Asia is an example. We just returned from Costa Rica last Saturday. She had the beach. I had great geography, flora and fauna.
One day we will take our last trip. Maybe old age. A decision to focus on other things. Possibly an unforeseen tragedy. Who knows????? BUT, between today AND that day, we want to see as much of this wonderful World as possible.
Those are my goals……..
(Sorry, I went a bit off topic)
Your next to last paragraph struck me (as well as the rest) -- the last trip idea. I always remember back to 2010 when my (then unbeknownst to me bucket list began). What if I hadn't decided to go to Egypt in December 2010? As much as I loved and studied ancient Egyptian history in college, I would not be teaching a course on it now had I not been there. Greece, where I have now been 8 times, is at the end of that course on Ancient Civilizations.
Because of my medical issues and what I like to call an optimistic fatalism, I view every day as potentially my last (without dwelling on the subject, mind you). I don't want to be one of those people who always says "I'll do it next year." Sometimes next year never comes.
While this sounds maudlin, it is exactly the opposite -- a carpe diem, sieze the day philosophy. I know without question that even though I probably won't get run over by a bus tomorrow (we don't have public transportation in Waterville, so the unlikelihood increases), my multiple different medical problems will probably within the next 5 yrs or so make travel nearly impossible. So maybe Delta gave me the impetus -- though it's not like I needed it -- to use those miles.
I can only echo what you said: BUT, between today AND that day, we want to see as much of this wonderful World as possible.
I need to come up with a new goal since I just achieved one last September. For about three years I saved up MR points, frequent flier miles, and my MVC Destinations points and used it on two Business/First Class tickets and a 2 week trip to Italy for our 20th anniversary. I think we'd like to take one of the European river cruises for our 25th and probably have enough time to bank up the miles and points to do so. Some other goals- Christmas in Bavaria, Scotch in Scotland, Guinness in Ireland, Cinque Terra and Venice in Italy.
I realized I have been pursuing another (until now unstated) travel goal. In addition to visiting every county in the US, I'm working on staying at a Marriott property in all 50 states. It wasn't until I glanced back over the discussion ( In How Many States Have You Stayed at a Marriott Property?) that I discovered that I have been pursing this goal for the past few years.
My current total is 20 states. I will reach 21 this week (tomorrow night) and I expect to hit 27 by the end of the year. I've overnighted in 40 states (if I count other hotels I visited before I joined MR), but I'll exclude non-Marriott stays from this goal.