Last night, I watched "Eat, Pray, Love". The film based on a book by Elizabeth Gilbert, which details the year long journey she took traveling to Italy, India, and Bali after ending her 8-year long marriage with her husband, and then ending her year long relationship with her rebound (played by the effortlessly handsome James Franco).
As I watched, I began longing for the time when we were able to travel. When we could wander about in a new city or a new country, and the only thing we had to worry about was whether or not we left our passport in the hotel.
The world is so different now, and in truth, I feel almost guilty for not being more adventurous when I had the chance.
I grew up thinking that I would go to college in London, or work on a winery in Tuscany as a young woman. My fear of planes and bad habit of watching too many episodes of Law & Order SVU, left me somewhat frozen in fear. Yes, I've travelled, but not nearly as much as 9 year old me thought I was going to. In truth, I suppose I now hold some regret that I didn't make travel more of a priority when I could.
Watching Julia Roberts indulge in all of the pizza and pasta her heart desired all while flashing that award-winning smile, made me realize something...I never want to regret not doing something again. And as soon as I'm able to go, there are a few places that are on the top of my list. Fear of flying be darned!
Here is my list of 10 places I want to travel to when it is safe to do so. It is split up between 5 international destinations and 5 domestic destinations. And includes some super cute and girly travel must haves and outfit inspo!
(Also, I'd like to note that I am aware that people are still traveling right now to certain countries. However, in an effort to keep my loved ones safe and healthy, I'm choosing to stay home until more vaccines have been administered and Covid-19 numbers are significantly decreased.)
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I promise you, this one isn't first because of the aforementioned pizza and pasta...although, that doesn't hurt. Italy has actually been on my list of places to visit ever since the Lizzie McGuire movie came out in 2003. I just wanted an excuse to say, "Sing to me Paolo!" (If you know you know.) The closest I've gotten to Italy, is the hole-in-the-wall, mom & pop Italian restaurant that Cain and I frequent here at home. The pasta is made fresh daily, and the cooks are always yelling in Italian. It's quite the experience. But beyond the food, Italy is so historic with buildings that are thousands of years old. And people who are filled with passion for life and love.
My best friend is Italian (so much so that there's an entire town that is her last name) and one travel tip she told me, is that you can not wear "short-shorts" in Italy, or really anywhere in Europe. Especially if you plan on entering a church. In fact, they will ask you to either change clothes or tie something around your waist if you're wearing them. And who wants that embarrassment? The shorts I often complain about in my videos are actually a tell-tale sign to locals that you're an American, as they're not really a popular style anywhere else. My advice would be to stick to long skirts and dresses when traveling here, and leave the daisy dukes at home. I also hear that you do A LOT of walking, so you'll want to make sure you've got some comfy shoes, and you're ready to count those steps!
2. The Maldives
I'm not sure at what point I became infatuated with the idea of traveling to The Maldives, but it must've been the first time I saw those luxurious hut-like hotels in a line in the ocean (pictured). Maldives, officially the Republic of Maldives, is a small archipelagic state in South Asia, situated in the Arabian Sea of the Indian Ocean. In other words, it is OUT there. Like, far, far. But many people, honeymooners especially, take to the stunning paradise to relax and bask in the romance that is the tropical oasis.
I did hear an interview with someone once though, who said that you should be absolutely sure you like the person you're traveling with when you go there, because there's not too much to do.
I have to admit, while I like the idea of the Maldives, I don't love the idea of a 24 hr plane flight..... especially when Hawaii is literally right next door. But I'm adding it in case I change my mind.
3. Costa Rica
I'm pretty sure you can actually visit Costa Rica right now, even without a vaccine. However, insurance that covers at least a $50,000 coverage for medical issues Covid-19 related is required.
Being that my mom is from Panama, I've visited Central America quite a few times, but I've always wanted to hop on a bus or plane to head to Panama's neighbor; Costa Rica. Costa Rica has got to be one of the most stunning places, at least in pictures, that I've ever seen. There are so many waterfalls, beautiful beaches, and adventures like zip lining through the rain forest! Seriously, sign me up. Not to mention, it's nowhere near as expensive as traveling somewhere in Europe or even here in the States so you'll find that souvenirs and even cocktails are a lot more affordable.
It truly is a lush paradise that I've always wanted to visit! Maybe it'll happen sooner rather than later!
Ahhhh, Paris. The city of lights. How I lived so many years without ever having been to Paris, I'll never know. But I promise you, as SOON as these bans are lifted, this will be one of the first places I'm headed off to.
Fun fact: In 2017 (or 18) I found plane tickets to go to Paris for $400 round trip. The cheapest tickets I'd ever seen for a trip to Europe. Remember, I would be coming all the way from California, so you East Coast folk have it much easier and probably much less expensive than we do. So $400 was a steal. But I didn't have the money.
I was a struggling actor, living in between LA and SF, and I just couldn't swing it.
I never saw the prices go down that low again, and eventually, traveling to Paris was very low on the to-do list.
Now, all these years later, I am ready to plan my ultimate trip to Paris. Which, for me, would include a first class flight and a stay at the Intercontinental Hotel. And of course, I'd also want to do a little Gossip Girl re-enactment and head to all the museums and galleries possible.
Rounding out this very short international list is Barbados. The homeland of my maternal great-grandparents and yet another tropical destination. Not only that, but Barbados happens to be the home of the one and only, Queen Rihanna. Who, I'm convinced I must be related to because Barbados is such a teeny, tiny country.
Like many of the other locations, there are beaches and hikes and botanical gardens. Delicious food and stunning views. But the main attraction for me, would be searching for information about my ancestors and my lineage. I know so little about the country that my great-grandparents left in order to create a better life for their family, and would love to get to know the people and the culture much more.
I once read a book that was set in a place called "Nantucket". I had never heard of this place before but based solely off of how much I enjoyed the book, decided that I would one day either visit or own a home in this mystical land.
Well, Nantucket isn't exactly mystical and home-ownership might still be a ways off, but I still would like to visit.
Nantucket is an island off Cape Cod, Massachusetts and it's a summer destination for many preppy, Vineyard Vines clad socialites. Nantucket has all the Better Homes & Gardens vibes and offers fun activities like renting bikes to ride around the island and indulging in amazingly fresh seafood. Mostly, this place seems like a fun East Coast getaway to take some really cute Insta pics.
While I have been to Portland, there are soooo many other places in Oregon that I've always wanted to see. Between Crater Lake, Multnomah Falls, and the incredible Oneonta Gorge, the entire state oozes beauty.
Oregon does have a dark past when it comes to race relations, as many people don't know that Oregon was the first state to successfully enact a "Black Exclusion Law", which explains why there is such a lack of diversity, even today. So even though Portland is widely known as a more progressive, liberal city within the state, there is still a serious issue with race and discrimination in other parts of the state. In fact, I was told first hand accounts of racism from my Naturopathic doctor (an Asian woman who grew up outside of Portland) about how her family experienced so much hate and racism, they had to move.
My experience in Portland, however, was wonderful. The people were nice and the city was stunningly clean, (a stark contrast to my beloved San Francisco) and the vibes were great. The next time I visit, I would love to see one of the natural wonders of the state, because there really is so much to see.
Growing up in California, it was very common to hear friends talk all about their travels to Hawaii and how fun and beautiful it was. I never felt any jealousy, but was always curious about this paradise that was a mere 5 hours away from our home here on the mainland. Now that I'm older, I'm so confused as to how I've never been! It's an island paradise that's in such close proximity to us here in California that I absolutely have to plan a trip here as soon as the pandemic is over.
My best friend Kayla always talks about Maui and how stunning it is. Much like the other places on this list, there are gorgeous waterfalls, hikes and views. If you're like me and you love smoothie bowls or poke with rice, Hawaii should definitely be on the list.
4. Havasupai Falls
If you couldn't tell, I'm only mildly obsessed with waterfalls. Havasupai Falls is in The Grand Canyon in Arizona. Generally, I would advise against traveling to Arizona (especially in the Summer...omg talk about torture) because it is truly so hot and dry and just...hot. I remember the first time I went to Arizona, I was about 13 and was heading down to watch my friend give away her state title for a pageant system we were both titleholders in.
Y'all. I kid you not. My mom and I would literally count down from 10 in the car, in preparation to run to the hotel room just to prepare ourselves for the heat and get to the air conditioning faster. It was THAT bad. But we were there in August and that was probably our first mistake. Whenever I plan my trip to Havasu Falls, I'll probably plan to go around the Spring when it's not as painfully hot.
5. Burney Falls, Ca
If there's one place I've wanted to visit in "my own back door", it's Burney Falls. It's about 4 hours north of the San Francisco Bay Area and is part of the McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park.
One of these days Cain and I will take a trip up to really see it in full effect, especially since we've had a decent amount of rain lately. So often, I try to see waterfalls only to be met with a little hill that is completely devoid of any water. I can never time it quite right. So I think heading up there before it heats up too much will be the trick. It doesn't seem like there's too much to do in the area, but clearly I'm all about the nature vibes so I'll definitely be making it a point to check it out this year
Alright loves! That's it for today's post. Hopefully, we will be able to travel to all of these beautiful places and more very soon.
Thinking of you always.