5 Places I Haven’t Been To…Yet

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While reading Rapid Travel Chai’s most recent two-week vacation itinerary through Ex-Soviet Europe, I realized I was a little embarassed that I haven’t yet traveled to Poland.  I’ve been to a lot of places in the world and have more incredible adventures already on my calendar, so to be perfectly honest I’m not sure why these thoughts even cross my mind.  Obviously there are thousands of places in the world that I haven’t been to, but here are the ones that stand out in my mind as places I’m surprised I haven’t been to…yet.

Poland

Gdansk_Motlawe_River
The Motlawe River (Gdansk, Poland). Photo courtesy of my father

My family is Polish and for that reason alone, I feel like I need to visit my motherland.  Although I identify as 100% American, there’s no doubt my heritage has helped shape who I am.  I’d love to buy kielbasa in their markets, sing Polish hymns at their churches, and drink bison grass vodka in their bars, just to see if my Americanized version of what being Polish is has any relation to reality in Poland.  The country’s history is pretty powerful (to me), so seeing that part of their culture would also be interesting.

Asia

Borobudur
Borobudur (Yogyakarta, Java, Indonesia)

Whether you’re measuring by square miles or by population, somehow I’ve managed to not visit the world’s largest continent.  I have no good reason for not stepping foot in Asia except for the cop-out response that it seems too far away to go to for less than 10 days and it’s hard for me to get that much time off from work.  Much of Asia interests me, but the top of my list includes China (Sichuan, in particular), Indonesia (Java), and Nepal.  How do I choose where to go first?  Probably wherever I find an airfare deal…

EDIT: I finally made it to Asia in October 2014 with trips to Nepal, Laos, and Thailand!

Yellowstone

yellowstone
Photo from Yellowstone National Park, courtesy of National Park Service

Considering I travel within the USA all the time and seek out hiking opportunities and other outdoor adventures, it seems outlandish that I haven’t visited the country’s first national park.  Yellowstone sounds amazing for the wildlife, geothermic activity, gorgeous scenery, and hundreds of miles of trails.  I want to go so badly and I haven’t carved out time to go.  Part of this is simply putting too much emphasis on the “perfect” trip to Yellowstone: I want to visit in all four seasons and see the park in its entirety.  I should relax and realize it’s an easy location to return to time and time again so it’s okay to see only a piece of it on the first visit.

Istanbul

Blue Mosque Istanbul
The Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey (Photo Courtesy of my Sister)

Turkey sounds like a fascinating country and another case of “I want to go everywhere”.  I generally don’t seek out city-based vacations, but Istanbul seems vibrant, interesting, and full of energy.  I’ve come thisclose to booking a trip about half a dozen times: it’s an easy, nonstop flight from Washington Dulles and regularly comes on sale for $550 or less during the off-season.  Surely someday I’ll make it there but so far it’s been edged out by a few other countries with no regrets.

Salar de Uyuni

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia (Photo Public Domain via Wikimedia)
Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia (Photo Public Domain via Wikimedia)

Finally, I have a legitimate reason for why I haven’t been somewhere yet.  The salt flats of Uyuni aren’t exactly convenient to get to.  Between the expensive flight to Bolivia, another internal flight or long bus/train ride, and pesky visa fees, I just haven’t been fully motivated to make this trip a priority.  I’d love to see the area because it seems so different from anywhere I’ve been but there are just too many other places on my list to get to first 🙂  I fully expect to see Uyuni — and more of Bolivia — but the time hasn’t been right yet.

The problem with travel is that I have a never-ending list of places I want to go and these five are just the tip of the iceberg.  If that’s not a first world problem, then I don’t know what is.  I’ve got some great destinations already booked, many more on my wishlist, and some that I’m sure I haven’t even discovered yet.

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Is there anywhere you haven’t been to yet that you really want to visit?  Tell me where in the comments!

12 thoughts on “5 Places I Haven’t Been To…Yet”

  1. I always have such a hard time deciding where to go and then whether to go some place new or return to a place that I loved and explore it more. Such hard decisions! I know it’s not Salar de Uyuni, but you can always head to Utah for a taste of the salt flats at the Bonneville Salt Flats. They’re about an hour and a half west of Salt Lake City and it’s pretty amazing. Such an otherworldly landscape. And then you’re not too far from Yellowstone either. Two birds with one stone. 😉

  2. What exactly do you want to see in Sichuan? I personally want to visit Jiuzhaigou, Huanglong National Park, and maybe the area around Mt. Siguniang.

  3. Oh my god China, you must. But yes I’d recommend going for more than just 10 days! (seriously, the US’ lack of holiday time is ridiculous)

    1. @Edna, you hit the nail on the head. Unfortunately moving to a new country isn’t in the cards for me right now so I need a new way to figure how to finagle more than 10 days.

  4. Istanbul is a must see in my book. So much to see, so much good food. My only caution is to beware of the touts aka carpet salesmen outside the Blue Mosque. They are a relentless bunch…..

    1. @JohnnieD, You’re just reiterating why I want to go! I’ve done well at avoiding touts in other countries, though I have heard Istanbul is notorious for them.

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