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Condition of the Month-August

August 12, 2014

It seems like every twenty-something has a list of dream travel destinations, or maybe, like Sleeping Booty, they’ve already checked off a bunch with a big trip. The world has gotten pretty small these days, as evidenced by the fact that the Naughty Princesses here at the blog are writing to you from four different cities on three different continents. But the fact that traveling across the state, nation, or globe has become easier means there are a LOT of tantalizing places out there to whet the appetite of any would-be traveler. Here are some of the hot spots we look forward to visiting next!


thelittlemerskankIt’s hard to know what to answer if asked what place I would like to visit. I guess it depends: is the question where I would go if I could go anywhere in the world? Or where, in reality, I am most likely to end up in the next year. You see, although born and bred in America, for the last few years (and at least the next couple) I have been living in England. Living in England, Europe (or at least the western half) feels like it is just out my back door. Flights are very cheap from England to many very cool places, or sometimes you can even take the train. I have tried to take advantage of being so close to Europe by visiting at least a couple places each year– I’ve been to Italy, Prague, Ireland, Portugal, the Netherlands… not to mention Scotland and other places in Great Britain. If I were to pick somewhere in Europe I would like to go in the next year, I would maybe say Scandinavia. Snow Whore, my cousin, and I all went to Iceland a few years back– and I loved it! So, I think it would be really fun to get to visit another Scandinavian country and see what it is like. If I could pick, I think I would rent a car and see the fjords of Norway. That would be very cool. However, now that I have had the opportunity now to visit quite a number of places in Europe, if given a free travel pass to go anywhere, I would like to go somewhere really different- like a continent where I have never been. This would probably be an Asian country, or else South America- or maybe Tibet (I do have a monk friend who could hook me up with some Tibetan connections…). But I don’t think any of these places are likely in the next year. Honestly, if I went to one I might even feel guilty: I live so close to so many cool places in Europe that I still haven’t visited. I think it makes more sense to take advantage of those opportunities while I live here, before looking too far afield. So… Norway here I come!!!

–The Little Merskank


snowwhoreMy list of places to travel probably includes most of the globe, but there is one thing that I can’t seem to get out of my mind. I have never seen the aurora borealis, the northern lights, and I desperately want to! I’ve even been to Iceland for 3 days, but it was cloudy, with no chance of seeing anything. I think that the heavens are absolutely breathtaking. I’ve always been a stargazer, and one of the things that saddens me most about living in a big city is that I don’t see the stars that often.  I can only imagine how much the beauty would increase with the magic of the northern lights. I don’t care where I am when I see them. I’ll go to Alaska, Finland, you name it! I just have an urgent desire to partake in nature’s show of sparkling colors in the sky. I think that when I finally get the chance to witness it, I will actually cry. That’s how much it means to me. It’s one of my biggest dreams.

–Snow Whore


thesleepingbootyYay travel! You’d think after traveling Europe for 5 months my list of places to see would only have expanded, and while that is definitely true, I’m also in no rush to go anywhere. For the first time in a long time I’m looking forward to staying in one place. I want to build a community and career, cultivate hobbies and friendships, and enjoy the beautiful area where I live.

That being said I just got back from a week long camping trip in Southern Utah and am heading to visit family in Minnesota next week. I’ve made promises to go to both Chicago and LA in the next few months as well as back to Minneapolis in December and Seattle in January or February to help with a friend’s wedding prep. For what I hope to be a year at home it’s already shaping up to be just as travel filled as usual and I’m sure my number of trips will only grow as the year goes on.

But if I ignore all the people and places I feel like I need to see in the next year, the one I really want to visit becomes clear: Alaska. From river trips to work trips to ski trips, it seems like almost everyone I know has a great story about Alaska. Snow worked at a summer camp there and Cindy is even there on a cruise right now! My good friend has been living up there for a few years and before she moves I feel like it is finally time I see Alaska.

–Sleeping Booty


cinderslutWhere do I want to go next? This was never a question I asked myself much prior to moving abroad two years ago. I traveled relatively little in the first 23 years of my life, but once I found myself on the other side of the world (and receiving an annual travel stipend) the globe started to beckon a lot more.

Life as an expat brings with it an unavoidable sense of temporariness, of time running out. I know I don’t intend to live in the Middle East forever, and that means I have limited time to visit the fascinating places in this part of the world. For me right now, some of the most enticing places on my bucket list include Jordan, Egypt, Sri Lanka, and Israel. I’ll most likely visit one of the first three this Christmas when my in laws come to visit. I honestly don’t know when it will be safe and practical to go to the latter, but  I’m hopeful it will happen someday.

Along with the opportunity to visit some amazing places, which I am incredibly grateful for, living abroad also inevitably means I’m drawn back home–we have actually spent more time and money going back to our home state than exploring new places. As I write this, I have been on vacation in the U.S. for three weeks. It’s been fantastic to just spend time with family, enjoy the natural beauty around me, and go to the places I have loved all my life. This will be the first Christmas that we won’t be coming home for, which is bittersweet. Choosing not to come home means I will have a chance to visit one of those awesome places on my travel bucket list, but I can’t shake the feeling that the one place that will always be at the top of my list is HOME.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. thelittlemerskank permalink*
    August 15, 2014 5:00 am

    Did you get to see the Northern Lights when you were in Alaska, Cindy?

  2. August 15, 2014 5:40 am

    Sadly, no. But then again I also didn’t spend much time looking up at the sky after dark. 😉

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