The scorching heat of summer leads to daydreams borne of slumber. In these dreams, I do pretend to visit often with my one true friend. Perhaps I am no William Shakespeare, but I have been working on my bucket list travel adventures for couples.
Bucket List: A number of experiences or achievements that a person hopes to have or accomplish during their lifetime. Do you have a bucket list? We have been working on ours, and as we are crossing adventures off, we are quickly adding others. Our list continues to grow. Here is our mid-summer dream edition.
My mind has been wandering to our old haunts of Havasu Falls and splashing in the cool, blue waters. Of finally getting to take my love to Amsterdam and showing her European city that renewed my world travels, or of seeing the most fairy-tail-esque of all castles, Neuschwanstein.
Our kids are contemplating their summer escapades with one little one embedded teaching yoga at an Ayurveda resort in Sri Lanka while the other is thinking about going to Iceland with his partner. We are even thinking about the last romantic trip we took to the Gulf Coast of Florida. No matter who you travel with or where you go, summer days are drifting away to (ah oh) those summer nights.
Bucket List Travel Adventure: Hiking Havasu Falls
You might have already heard this story before, but hiking Havasu Falls was how Jenn and I first knew we were REALLLY good together. She had all her own gear and kicked ass on the trail, especially the way up the hill. It was so fantastically cool to be with a girl who could hold her own out there, but it wasn’t always that way.
My ex-wife never went backpacking with me, but my first girlfriend after divorce would do anything to please. Not an all bad arrangement for the newly divorced and I certainly took advantage of the extent of anything, but I really shouldn’t have pushed it for hiking. Jenn knew enough to hike out in the evening. Poor Ex tried to come out in the morning, but was so slow hiking we got caught in the heat of the day.
Mid-day heat in the Arizona desert is no joke. I was watching the water supplies go down and down until finally, I left her with all the water I had left and booked it up the switchbacks. Up top, I bought a couple of gallons of water and headed back down the trail. I was about half-way down when what did I see? It was Ex riding a mule up. Apparently, there was a scene where she threw herself on the ground in front of a mule train and convinced them to unload some grain and cart her up the hill.
Kids, let this be a lesson to you. Not the easy one about avoiding hiking during the heat of the day, but don’t date crazy people. Really, don’t do it no matter what the promise of “anything to please” might be. It’s better to be with a kick-ass girl who can hold her own. So much better, in fact, I put a ring on it.
Bucket List Travel Adventure: The Netherlands
I used to go to the Netherlands about every three years to work on a FORTRAN to Ada interface for software unit testing. For all the computer nerds out there, I am not THAT old. There is just a professional interest in antiquated programming languages.
I always flew into Schipol and would go into Amsterdam on the first and last day of the trip. I saw some strange things on these trips – probably too strange to mention. When I came across an article on 13 quirky things to do in the Netherlands, I immediately wanted to go back with Jenn.
Treasure hunts by bike and houseboats turned into cat cuddling barges are so up our alley. There is even one place where you can see 15!!! bridges crossing over the canals at the same time. That should surely win me some magic brownie points with my love.
Bucket List Travel Adventure: Touring Germany
During one of my trips to the Netherlands, I ended up taking a friend with me. We left the little town of Enschede and drove to Ulm. A couple of thoughts. First off, it looked closer on the map. Second, the wimpy rental car I got at Schipol didn’t have the schnitzel to go on the autobahn. Third, those German drivers are serious about slow traffic staying in the right lane.
It was a simpler time before cell phones with international data plans. We pulled out a paper map and navigated our way through the German countryside. If you have never tried to fold paper map back up you are missing out.
The first rule of navigating the old fashion way is figuring out where you are. This isn’t always easy. You have to look for clues from the roads around you. We kept passing this one village – Ausfarht (one of those words I am just not mature enough to use). It seemed like every road for 50 km led to Ausfarht, but we couldn’t find it on the map to save our lives.
Reading through the post – Day Trips from Munich, I realized one adventure that eluded me, visiting Neuschwanstein Castle. It was so close to Ulm but we didn’t make it there for some reason. It was the “one that got away” from my Germany trip that now fills my daydreams and wish lists.
My high school sweetheart (and first wife) plastered her bedroom with Neuschwanstein posters. She loves all castles but that one in particular. I would love nothing more to take a beautiful picture of Jenn and I kissing in front of the Neuschwanstein and send it to her. Again, bringing my maturity into question.
Bucket List Travel Adventure: Sri Lankan Ayurvedic Retreat
The best thing about my ex-wife is the two wonderful children we had together. They are now growing into two amazing adults and starting to spread their wings and travel. My little baby has solo traveled to Sri Lanka to teach a little yoga, do a bit of digital media marketing, and generally help out for the summer at an amazing Ayurvedic retreat.
Sri Lanka might not be the first choice for summer travel. She says the air is so humid it’s almost liquid. At least the lines aren’t too long, and the sunsets through the summer haze can be spectacular.
I can’t wait to see how this trip will transform her. What internal dragons she can slay or clarity she can find. I am so excited for her and her journey.
Bucket List Travel Adventure: Iceland
My other kiddo went so far as to buy tickets for Iceland. This is a huge step for him. He has high anxiety levels so even contemplating this trip is huge. I know he loves the country from Sense8 and all of the Instagrammable places.
Hearing from the blondwayfarer that Iceland is one of her favorite countries for anxious travelers makes me feel optimistic about the trip for him. She says “Iceland is an awesome place for new and nervous travelers to begin living their dreams of roaming from country to country. Why? Because of the endless opportunities to meet people and book adventure tours, while enjoying a remarkably safe setting at the same time.”
I love kiddo and hope that he gets everything he dreams of from his Iceland adventure.
Bucket List Travel Adventure: Gulf Coast of Florida
Daydreams are all good, but reality is pretty cool too. Our reality is that we live in Florida and millions of people come here for vacation year round. We have been loving exploring the Gulf Coast but have yet to put out a blog post on it. Sidewalk Safari wrote a great summary of her Florida Gulf Coast Roadtrip that we can at least talk to.
We have done so many of these adventures from camping on Siesta Key (pro tip – best gelato on Siesta Key) to wandering around Yorba City. Of course, we went to Yorba City for Gasparilla Pirate Festival, so the scene was a bit different but still a cool place to visit.
Wrapping up the Bucket List Travel Adventures for Couples: Mid Summer Night Dream Edition
Perhaps the old bard said it best –
“Lovers and madmen have such seething brains
Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
More than cool reason ever comprehends.”
Who needs a reason for bucket list travel? Bucket lists are the work of the seething brains of madmen and lovers. They are fantasies woven with a thread of imagination and a promise of someday. With that, I bid adieu. If you do read our blog again, why, we shall smile. If not, why then this parting was well made.