If the ABCs of travel is supposed to be a list of things you’ve already done, then I reasoned that the XYZs of travel is a list of things you hope to do. It’s not the same as a bucket list, but the same prompts used to answer the ABCs are used to answer “the other side” of the question:
Zealous sports fans: I really want to go to one or both of the World Cups (soccer and rugby).
Years you want to spend traveling: I hope someday I can impart the gift of travel on my kids, so I guess that means “forever.”
eXcellent view you want to see: Even though I once lived only a few hours’ drive from it, I never made it out to see the Royal Gorge Bridge in Colorado.
Whiskey, best while traveling: One of my bucket list items is to “imbibe in a beverage older than myself.” I’m 27 now, and this goal just keeps getting more and more expensive.
Visas, how many and where: However many it takes to travel overland around the Balkans, across the Black Sea, through the Caucasus region, around the Caspian Sea, through Central and Eastern Asia, and retrace my longitude on the Trans-Siberian Railroad from Vladivostok, Russia. I’ll get back to you when I have the count.
Unforgettable travel memory you hope to make: I plead the fifth :)
Touristy thing you want to do: Attend the start of the Baja 1000 in México. Is that touristy?
Splurge, something you would have no trouble forking over money for while traveling: I’d shell out good money to sail around on an old tall ship for a month or two.
Recommended sight, event, or experience you hope to participate in: I really, really, really want to participate in Burning Man. I think I’ll build a backpack power source and walk around with an ice-shaver and make snowcones for everyone.
Quirkiest attraction you want to visit: My brother has told me about an underground tour in Seattle that’s supposed to be utterly bizarre.
Passport stamps, how many do you hope to have: Given
Obsessed with taking pictures of: I have a tough time with this, because I’d really like to go on a photo excursion of the Santiago de Compostela, but I haven’t yet decided if taking that many photos would take the “pilgrimage” aspect out of the walk.
Nicest hotel you want to stay in: I really want to stay in an ice hotel. No joke.
Moment where you hope to re-fall in love with travel: Seeing photos of Kyrgyzstan makes me feel that this is a country of rebirth.
Let-down sight you’ve heard about, but hope it isn’t: I was only a few months old when I visited Mount Rushmore, so I have no recollection of it. I’d still really like to see it, despite everyone saying that it seems bigger in the pictures.
Keepsake you’ve got your eye out for: I want to go diving for pearls—either in Turkey or Greece. I’ve heard there are places you can do it, but none that will let you free dive.
Journey that took the longest: My friend Dave and I are planning a bike trip of the U.S. Pacific Coast in 2013.
Incredible service you’d like to experience: Is it weird if I want to get a Swedish massage from a Swedish girl?
Hottest place you want to travel to: I’m sure “climate” is what is inferred by this prompt, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to answer Door to Hell in Kyzylgar, Turkmenistan.
Greatest feeling you want to experience while traveling: If I could get my confidence in speaking Croatian/Slovio/Czech at the same level it’s at in Italian, I’d be thrilled.
Favorite mode of transport (anticipated): Everyone’s going to answer “Virgin Galactic Spaceship,” but remember where you read it first, folks. That’s right. I’m going into space.
Experience that you hope to be wowed by: Going off of the coattails of the previous prompt, I’d love to see a sunrise from outer space.
Destinations, favorite and least favorite (anticipated): I know that Cuba is going to be a wonderful journey, but I have to admit: I’m not too motivated to go to Beijing.
Cuisine you can’t wait to try in its native country: I plan on becoming a full-blown glutton when I hit Chang Mai. I’m going to buy pants two sizes too big before I go.
Beer you can’t wait to try in its native country: I’ve yet to make Oktoberfest in Munich, but I have a few friends around there who wouldn’t mind looking after me for a few days.
Age you want to introduce someone else to travel: I read a great story about a father traveling with his 8-year-old son in Marrakech and teaching him how to bargain with the shop vendors, and I can’t help but think that that experience will have such a positive impact on his childhood. They say that the most formative years of a child are his pre-teen years (9-12 years old, I think), and I’d much rather teach my son or daughter how to be a good world citizen than to let them play video games all day.
Have you done any of these things, or are you planning on any? What would you add to your own XYZ list?