View of water with small boats and distant hills
Travel in general,  Writers' Quotes Wednesday

Sailing away from the safe harbour: some travel dreams

Sometimes people say to me, you’ve travelled to so many places, there can’t be anywhere left that you want to visit. How wrong they are! The world is full of so many amazing sights and there is always somewhere new to tantalise and intrigue.

Hairy animal hanging from a branch
Sloth, Costa Rica
Large black bird with yellow throat and big bill
Yellow-throated Toucan, Costa Rica

[The above shots were taken on my phone by our guide, through his telescope]

I have a long wish-list and ticking places off it, as I did recently with our trip to Costa Rica, doesn’t mean that it gets any shorter, because I am always adding to it too. I read a blog post about a place I’ve never been and realise how much I would love to see it. Or I see a friend’s photos on Facebook; read an issue of Wanderlust magazine; watch a TV documentary; talk to my Virtual Tourist friends about their travels. All of these help to bolster my list faster than I can tick things off it!

Wahiba Sands, Oman

So where is there left for me to travel? What are the main places currently on that list? Where am I dreaming of? Marsha is curious about my dream travel plans for 2022 so I’ll start with those. I have always wanted to go to Nepal and see the Himalayas. Not to trek, that is beyond me now and in truth probably always was. But to wonder at them and to fly over Everest perhaps. Also to see the wildlife of Chitwan, especially rhinos, and wander the streets of Kathmandu. There are some place names that resonate with mystery and romance; I have been fortunate to have already visited some, like Zanzibar and Samarkand.

Three large buildings around a square
The Registan, Samarkand

Kathmandu is surely another such. So Nepal is top of our travel dream list for this year; we hope to go there in the late autumn or early winter, the perfect time to visit. It’s already open to travellers so it seems a good bet for this year.

Closer to home we hope to go somewhere in Italy this spring, specific destination as yet undetermined. Recently we’ve developed the habit of visiting our favourite European country at least once a year, but Covid put a temporary halt to that. Now it’s time to go back.

Panorama of a city square with old buildings
The Piazza Duomo in Lecce, Italy

And after last year’s wonderful anniversary celebration in Paris, our favourite European city, we resolved to celebrate future anniversaries there too, so that’s lined up for September.

Roof tops, trees and white domes
In Montmartre, Paris
Flying over the Pacific coast of Costa Rica

As to UK travels, in May I’ll be back in Newcastle hosting the many times postponed Virtual Tourist meet originally scheduled for May 2020. This time, finally, we are confident of going ahead. I hope to be welcoming friends from Canada, the US, Israel, the Netherlands, Finland, Norway, Germany, Ireland and from around the UK; and hopefully helping to fulfil some of their travel dreams!

River with bridges and small boats
Tyne bridges in Newcastle-upon-Tyne

And in August we’re heading to Yorkshire for our annual meet-up with friends. They are the daughters of the family with whom my father-in-law was evacuated, and we’ve kept his tradition of joining them for lunch in the pub that was formerly their parents’ home – and, for a few years, his too.

Bai Tu Long Bay, Vietnam

Looking beyond 2022, and in answer to that question about where else remains that I want to visit, here’s the current wish-list, in no particular order:

Alaska, Route 66, Trans-Siberian railway, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka (pencilled in for early 2023), Georgia, Armenia, Albania, Mexico, Argentina, Arctic, Israel, South Korea (to compare it with the north), Madagascar, the Azores, Columbia, Nicaragua …

And countries I wish to return to and see more of include Japan, India, Iceland, Morocco and the US, where a road trip is always a delight!

Lake surrounded by mountains
Lake Crescent, Olympic NP, Washington State

So I hope I’ve said enough to convince any doubter that no matter how many places you travel there is always somewhere else you dream of seeing!

And my favourite quote about travel? It has to be Mark Twain again:

Chittaurgarh, Rajasthan


  • Annie Berger

    Love all your posts, Sarah, but this one particularly resonated with me as Steven and I (or is it just I!) also keep adding new places to our travel wish list! Never had such an extensive wish list until reading others’ travel blogs and sharing travel stories with people we meet while traveling. When Steven and I planned our initial overseas trip together way back in 2013, naively we thought it’d be one and done. That lasted about a month into the 2-plus month trip when we began planning or dreaming about where to go next! Somehow we were able to combine my wanting to travel the Trans Siberian and his wanting to visit Cambodia on one trip and here we are many years and many new countries we’ve toured BUT many more still to see, just like you!

    I hope you get a chance to go where your heart beckons this year and long into the future.

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Thanks so much for this lovely response Annie 😀 It’s great to ‘meet’ other passionate travellers through blogging! I envy you the Trans-Siberian, that’s been on my wish-list for years, but I’m yet to persuade my husband 😆 We now have Nepal booked for later this year and hope to fit in short trips to Italy and our beloved Paris too. So it’s looking positive for travel this year and beyond, fingers crossed 🤞 I hope you too get to travel to many of the places on your lists and look forward to reading about your adventures!

  • Manja Maksimovič

    Excellent! Thank you for sharing your wish list. Glad to see that you have plans for Italy. If you decide on Tuscany or Lazio, and if you wish, drop me an email before you come over.

  • Rose

    What a fun post to read. My travel wish list, like most everyone’s, is quite long. I’m juggling my list, trying to fit whatever I can into our schedule and budget. I’ve had recurring dreams about Nepal. In the dream, my husband and I are riding two fast, beautiful Friesian horses, up the mountain urgently, to help people in dire need…? I’d love to visit to see if anything is familiar from my dream.

  • wetanddustyroads

    What a funny expression on the sloth’s face! Oh yes, I would love to visit Nepal – for its beauty, but also for the hiking opportunities. You have a wonderful list of places you want to visit this year (as well as on your wish list) … I can just imagine the stunning photo’s we will see after these visits!

    • Sarah Wilkie

      The sloths are rather cute, they always look like they’re smiling 🙂 We won’t be hiking (you know me!) but I’m confident we’ll see its beauty, and of course there will be photographs!

  • maristravels

    Hope your wish-list becomes shorter this year Sarah, as you manage to visit some of the places you list. But as everyone has earmarked, you have travelled a lot and we’ve all enjoyed your reports on the destinations. I never thought I’d want to visit Korea but your posts have set the idea in my head! I’ve reduced my wish-list a lot as after Covid, a lot of my friends have decided to give up travelling (no, I don’t know why either) so I’m cutting out long-haul for now – maybe forever who knows – as the other friends I have only want to go to Europe. Not bad, I’m luckier than some, and grateful to have some friends left who like travelling! My wish-list contains Albania, Georgia and Tahiti, but i’ll settle for Albania this year if I can get it. I’ve only got 3 booked this year, Gothenburg, Portugal and Ireland, but hope to add to that as time goes on, one definitely being Italy in September.

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Thanks Mari 🙂 I hope we’ll visit some of those places too, but I have fears that won’t make the list any shorter as we keep adding to it! I hope you manage to get to your wished-for places too. You’re ahead of us if you have trips actually booked! A shame you can’t find travel companions to go further afield with you however. I hope you find a solution to that.

  • photobyjohnbo

    There will always be places to travel. We are fortunate to live in an age where travel is easy, though I must admit it has taken down a peg by the pandemic. We are traveling again, but not quite as far as we’d planned in the last couple of years.

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Yes, the pandemic caused most of us to take a break in our travelling. We feel like we’re just getting going again, although we have to be aware that Covid is still with us. But I think we’re at the point now that we have to live with it, and for me that includes travelling 🙂

  • Alli Templeton

    That’s an impressive bucket list, Sarah, and I hope you get to do it all now we’re finally to be free once more. Of course, I heartily approve of a revisit to Newcastle though! Fab pictures as always, and great quotes. Here’s to a better future, and all of us getting where we hope – or dream – to be… 🙂


    Spoken like a true wanderluster! Our wish list is giant, but we are determined to conquer it, despite the interruption. The more we travel, the more we lose the sense of home. So much seen, so much more to see. We’ve already been home too long…

  • Suzanne@PictureRetirement

    Sarah, we tend to return to familiar places again and again, but I would love to visit Iceland and Alaska, and see more of Portugal, Spain, and Greece. Paris could be an annual trip for me, as well as the Amalfi Coast and French Polynesia. Love the Mark Twain quotes. Sums it up, doesn’t it?

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Thanks Suzanne. I do get the wish to return to familiar places and would happily go back to my favourites several times, but only if that left room in the diary for all the new places I want to explore! Sadly it might not, so we’re very selective with our choices of which places we return to. New York City is another such – we’ve been twice and would happily go again. Likewise California and Utah!

  • the eternal traveller

    Your list is like ours – almost too many to name. Mr ET and my dad did a trek to Everest Base Camp in 2004. While they said it was amazing, they also said it wasn’t a holiday. They both came back several kilos lighter and Dad acquired a lung condition which has never really cleared away. I think it would be incredible to see Nepal and Mt Everest, but I don’t want to walk to do it.

    • Sarah Wilkie

      I completely agree – I really want to see Nepal and Mt Everest, but I don’t want to walk to do it either! Hopefully the trip we’re currently planning will deliver that 😀

  • CliffClaven

    Your first paragraph is very true. While I love going back to my favourite places – Edinburgh, Kyoto, Shanghai – there are many on my want-to-vist list. There are those I’d like to go back to – Naples, Sofia, Moscow (although perhaps not now!); those on my want-to-visit list – Vancouver, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Auckland; and those on my really-want-to-visit list – Algiers, Alexandria, Pristina.

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Oh yes, I’d love to go back to Sofia too! I keep telling Chris how much he’d like it, and it would be fun to meet up with the VTers there again too, for beers and dinner at the Thirsty Dragon 😀

  • Marsha Ingrao

    This is quite a wonderful list, Sarah. I’m so glad you let us in on your list and the reasons you chose the places you picked. Some of them I have seen briefly. Most of them I can only marvel that you’ve been there. I need more years and more money! 🙂

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Hi Marsha – I’m so sorry, your comment ended up in my spam list and I didn’t spot it until now. Thank you for visiting and enjoying this post, your feedback is always really appreciated 🙂 I too would welcome more years and more money if I’m to tick everything off the list!

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