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Starting a Travel Bucket List

I am certain that the travel buffs among us will all know the feeling: you are on the way back after a truly magical vacation. You’re happy to be heading home at last, but have a conflicting feeling of sadness when you think about your most recent adventure coming to a close. There is something decidedly bittersweet about wrapping up a trip; you know that the excitement has peaked, the wave has broken, and you won’t feel that way again until the next time you’re able to snag some vacation time. It’s no cause to fear though, it’s just a natural part of the highs and lows of the travel experience. However, if leaving your vacation state of mind behind is getting to you, there might be an option. So far, there has been only one thing that I have found to be truly effective at curing this post-vacation slump; the travel bucket list!

The psychological benefits of planning avacation have been well documented, so don’t feel guilty for indulging in this act of daydreaming – it’s good for you. When I have returned from a trip, and before I have cause to plan my next, I like to take the time to work on my bucket list. The first place to start is with some travel inspiration. Sitting down to any episode of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown on Netflix or scrolling through National Geographic’s Instagram will usually get me scribbling the names of exotic places pretty darn quick, but you can find great travel inspiration nearly everywhere. It can be as easy as Googling “best travel destinations in…” to find nearby destinations that can make for great day trips right in your own backyard. Of course, one of the best ways to find inspiration for your travel bucket list is right here on IVHE’s blog.

The materials that you need to start a bucket list of your own are likely already right in front of you. Most people who love travel have a few key destinations already in mind that they’ve been meaning to visit, feats they are hoping to accomplish, or sites they would love to see; viewing sunflower fields in Tuscany, hiking the Appalachian Trail, or glimpsing the illusive Arora Borealis, for example. Start by jotting these down in a safe place, and don’t forget to add to them as you go. There may even be a particular IVHE property that speaks to you loudly enough to earn its own entry on the list (as is the case for me and the world’s first rotating house). That is what is so inherently fun about making a vacation bucket list, it’s completely about what speaks to you!

The next time you find yourself in the unenviable position of not knowing when or to where your next vacation is going to be, might I suggest breaking out the vacation bucket list? It will help get you excited for what is to come and, in time, become a memento of all of the great trips you have taken. There are few feelings in the world better than ticking off one of the entries on the bucket list and thinking, “I did it!”

Thank you to Emma Sledge.  


  1. Well written, Emma. Bucket lists are dreams, and who doesn't need some dreams?


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