Packed Suitcase | 55 Places: A Travel Bucket List
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55 Places: A Travel Bucket List

55 Places: A Travel Bucket List

It’s tough having perma-wanderlust. Regardless of whether I’m freshly back from some amazing adventure or completely desperate for anything remotely resembling a three day weekend, I can’t stop looking ahead to where I’m going next.

So, with this inherent wanderlust I am constantly saying “oh, I’d love to go there” about places I read about, but whenever I have the means or time to actually take a trip, my mind kind of freezes up because the possibilities are endless. It’s so overwhelming that all of my previous travel aspirations just go out the window!

So, I’ve decided to create a list of my top 55 Places… some of the fantastic adventures I want to have in my lifetime. Most of them are exotic and faraway and will take some time to check off, but some are local and may seem ordinary, but still something I want to experience.

At the very least, I hope this list will provide some guidance when I’m lost and looking for places to go. I hope this helps provide you some ideas for your own trips as well (and let me know in the comments if there’s someplace I’ve left off!)

Without further ado… my 55 PLACES TRAVEL BUCKET LIST!  (Also, for bucket list naysayers, here’s why I’m a fan of travel bucket lists…) 

1. Visit every continent… even Antarctica
a. North America (COMPLETE, long ago!)
b. South America (COMPLETE! 10/16/09)
c. Europe (COMPLETE, long ago!)
d. Asia
e. Africa
f. Australia (COMPLETE! 4/4/10)
g. Antarctica (CLOSE… BUT NOT QUITE…)

2. Hike the Milford Track in New Zealand (COMPLETE! April 2010)


3. Spend a few days walking village to village in the Cotswolds, England

4. Pet a tortoise in the Galapagos Islands

5. Take a picture with the Moai at Easter Island

6. Visit the Steve Irwin Zoo in Australia

7. Stay in a Treehouse at an Eco-Resort


8. Hike the Cinque Terre in Italy

9. Try to paint a water lily like Monet at Giverney, France

10. Swim in the ocean in Guadeloupe

11. Stay in a hut over the ocean


12. Hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon (COMPLETE! October 2010)


13. See a giraffe in the wild on an African safari

14. Eat BBQ in Memphis

15. Chill with iceburgs in Patagonia (COMPLETE! October 2009)


16. Listen to the roar of Iguazu Falls


17. Have a solo trip and rent a cabin on a lake

18. Walk across the sand to Mont St Michel


19. Explore Machu Picchu

20. Go all out with the chef’s tasting menu at CityZen in Washington, DC (COMPLETE Winter 2013)

21. Visit the “Shire” in New Zealand (COMPLETE! April 2010)


22. Eat Belgium chocolate in Brugge

23. Driving through Big Sur, California

24. Have a cappuccino at a café in Vieux-Montréal


25. Try not to lose my footing on a glacier (Complete! April 2010)


26. Dance in the mist of Victoria Falls

27. Soak in zen luxury at a destination spa

28. Do nothing in the Seychelles or the Maldives

29. Do something unexpected in Interlacken, Switzerland


30. Sing pub songs with the locals in Ireland

31. Look for Nessie in Loch Ness

32. Sail around the Caribbean

33. Take a picture of lava flows after hiking up an active volcano

34. Savor every bite at the French Laundry in Napa Valley


35. Learn to Scuba dive and go the Great Barrier reef for my first dive

36. Dance a waltz in Vienna

37. Stay on a working farm in Italy

38. Visit the Olympics… somewhere


39. Head to Germany for Oktoberfest and drink beer with the locals

40. Live the Medici life by renting a villa in Tuscany

41. Swim in the Blue Lagoon in Iceland


42. Try the guacamole at Chicago’s Frontera Grill

43. See Glow Worms in the Waitomo Caves in New Zealand (COMPLETE! April 2010)


44. Take a picture of the Northern Lights

45. Go whale-watching in Alaska (COMPLETE JULY 2013)

Humpback whale fluke

46. Swim to the edge of an infinity pool

47. See the cherry blossoms in Japan


48. Pan for gold (COMPLETE! July 2013)

Crow Creek Mine- panning in the creek

49. Bet $100 at a game in Vegas (Almost, but not quite…)

50. Cheer for a horse at the Palio in Siena


51. Climb the Great Wall in China

52. Geek out at Comic Con in San Diego

53. Go on a road trip with no particular destination

54. Ponder the genius of Frank Lloyd Wright at Falling Water (COMPLETE! April 2011)


55. See the city of temples at Angkor Wat


  • travel man
    Posted at 05:19h, 20 March

    There are a lot of fun things to do on Cape Cod. It is an exciting place where you can find amazing beaches, great lodging, good food and wonderful people!

  • Packed Suitcase
    Posted at 05:45h, 20 March

    That's a good one! I would love to go to Cape Cod… whale watching, beaches, lobster rolls… all good things! 🙂

  • Evan
    Posted at 04:16h, 30 June

    I once looked for Nessie in Loch Ness. The water is very dark and constantly choppy, so it plays tricks on your eyes incessantly. No wonder so many people have made “sightings!”

    Here's a good list of landmarks to see before you die… vote up your favorites!

  • Packed Suitcase
    Posted at 22:16h, 01 August

    When I was younger I was convinced Nessie was real. So, that bucket list spot is a nod to my childhood imagination. 🙂

    That list is very comprehensive indeed… I may need to change this list to 155 places!

  • Kyle
    Posted at 03:45h, 12 August

    you made it all the way to Patagonia but not to Antartica, AHHH, so close and yet so far!

    It's an expensive trip, but definitely something that is high on my list too…

  • Packed Suitcase
    Posted at 12:50h, 12 August

    Kyle, I KNOW! It was really tough being so close and having to turn around and go home. Another time, for sure… one day.

  • Linds
    Posted at 21:17h, 16 October

    I love your bucket list! This is giving me tons of inspiration…and travel fever! Great Blog 🙂

  • Wrabbit007
    Posted at 04:48h, 06 February

    I also have a lengthy travel bucket list, but you helped me to add three new items! Great list, and may I say, I am terribly jealous of some of your amazing trips! You sound like someone I'd have fun traveling with! Check out my site for some new ideas too! 🙂

  • Packed Suitcase
    Posted at 17:21h, 07 February

    @Wrabbit007 Thank you! I'm always looking for new ideas to add to my list. I just may need to do a 55 places – part 2! 🙂

  • Active South America
    Posted at 23:51h, 22 April

    Love your blog! We'd love to help you tick a couple more off your bucket list… have a look at and hopefully we'll see you on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu or introducing you to a giant tortoise in the Galapagos!

    • Chris
      Posted at 07:16h, 21 September

      Thank you!! Your trips look absolutely fantastic– and I love their names. “Jaguar, “Tortuga” etc… and for both of those destinations, tours are the way to go.

  • Adela @ FourJandals
    Posted at 13:10h, 20 September

    I know what you mean about having endless travel ideas, I have always said the more you travel the longer the list gets! I like the idea of seven and eleven. And I would definitely reccommend hiking the Chinque Terre and Oktoberfest!

    • Chris
      Posted at 07:13h, 21 September

      Adela… absolutely!! I actually am working on a 55 Places Bucket List – part 2! Since I wrote this in 2009, my eyes have opened to tons of other places I didn’t consider before. The Bolivian Salt Flats, seeing bears during the salmon migration in Katmai Alaska, etc.

      And I’m looking forward to achieving #7 and #11 for sure 🙂

  • Turtle
    Posted at 13:35h, 02 October

    Good luck, it looks like you’re doing well! (Although I wouldn’t rush to the Steve Irwin zoo… there are better things on your list!)

  • Jessica
    Posted at 23:34h, 09 February

    awesome list! sounds kind of like my bucket list! and so many more awesome adventures that I’d love to do- may even add them to my own list! just found your blog and love it! 🙂

  • Patrick
    Posted at 14:54h, 20 September

    Awesome! Thanks for the inspiration to our very own bucket list.

  • Angela
    Posted at 14:02h, 19 November

    Fun list! I have one quite similar– there is nothing better than getting to cross something off the list! Just an FYI, when you get to the Galapagos, you absolutely can not pet the wildlife including the tortoises. You may want to alter your Galapagos goal just a bit so you don’t end up disappointed. I wanted to pet a tortoise at the Galapagos but once hearing all the explanations of why it is strictly forbidden in that habitat you won’t want to anyway! (however you can pet giant tortoises at many zoos and reserves since they are not wild. Reptile Gardens in the Black Hills, SD is a great place to do so!) happy travels!!!

    • Christina Ricchiuti
      Posted at 20:25h, 19 November

      Good point! Really, I just want to take lots and lots of photos of the tortoises and scenery… that’s good enough for me! Thanks for your insight and tips about Black Hills, SD.

  • Becky
    Posted at 17:30h, 15 April

    I love your bucket list! Just came across your blog since you did a nice little piece on my small city, Richmond, VA. And I must say you nailed it with your 2 day itinerary of Richmond. Sub Rosa and Dutch are my neighborhood places – don’t tell everyone about them! 😉 The word is out.
    I’m heading to Boston in a few weeks and was disappointed that you didn’t have a 2 day itinerary for me to use!

  • Elizabeth
    Posted at 18:41h, 29 June

    I’m really disappointed in you…how did you escape Italy without visiting Cinque Terra? As for your California adventures…well, let’s just say, we can cross Big Sur and the French Laundry the next time you come out for a visit.

    • Christina Ricchiuti
      Posted at 16:59h, 18 July

      Ha! Liz, I’m telling ya, there just weren’t enough weekends. And YES to Big Sur and French Laundry. Let’s do it! (Oh, how I love my travel-loving friends!) 🙂

  • Travellingforfun
    Posted at 03:18h, 07 November

    Deadly list. The cherry blossoms in Japan is definitely on my list. The Blue Lagoon in Iceland though is just a hotel spa and I was definitely not impressed by the manmade lake or their prices. Leave that one until last!