TOP TEN International Places I’d Like to Visit

At dinner, my 5-year-old pulled a strip of paper out of our question jar. I read it aloud:

If you had your own airplane and could fly anywhere, where would you go?

Her eyes gleamed with sudden enthusiasm, “I’d travel the whole world and help people.” My smile sparkled at her as I bounced the baby on my knee, “Me too!

Someday, when our kids grow up just a bit, we do plan to fly all around the globe with them.

Tim & I have already been abroad. Our combined travels have taken us to Bangladesh, Pakistan, Ukraine, Germany, Mexico, and Canada. We yearn to someday pass on the gift of international experiences to our girls.

These are the TOP TEN places I hope we visit (in no particular order):

  1. London, England
  2. Paris, France
  3. Rome, Italy
  4. Ireland
  5. Norway
  6. New Zealand and Australia
  7. China
  8. Israel, including Jerusalem and Bethlehem
  9. Greece
  10. somewhere in Africa

What are your TOP TEN? Have you traveled outside of the United States? With or without your kids?


  1. Terri F says

    You have left out an entire continent…and I don’t mean Antarctica! You must not dismiss South America…it’s home to the longest river in the world, the largest rain forest, the driest desert, and some of the friendliest people on the planet. I grew up in Chile, which boasts one of the world’s most stable economies at the moment, and has got to be one of the most beautiful places on earth. Don’t rule out our southern neighbors!!

    • Stephanie says

      You’re absolutely right, Terri! We would be remiss not to experience South America. It sounds pretty spectacular.

      Truth be told, it was excruciating to have to knock the list down to ten. I echo my daughter’s enthusiastic sentiments: I, too, want to travel the WHOLE world. :)

  2. says

    Oh I love this! (Sweet picture of your dear girl!)
    If you combine the places Scott & I have been, we’ve covered Australia & New Zealand, Rome & Venice Italy, Portugal, Spain, Denmark, England, Ireland, Caribbean, Mexico, Canada, and I think that is about it. (Most of those are Scott & not me. So I may have left of a place or two for him.)
    Our list of places to go –
    1. Ethiopia
    2. Japan
    3. Costa Rica
    4. Thailand
    5. Croatia
    6. Venezuela

    We’d love to travel with the kids, too. I don’t know how much airplane travel will happen over the years, with so many tickets involved. But, many someday.
    We are lucky to have some many neat things to explore close to home. Plus, I have not seen any of the north/east section of our country. I’d love to road trip more in the states someday.

    • Stephanie says

      Does Scott travel for work? Both you and he are very well-traveled.

      I wanted to add Japan and Thailand to my list also, but I was trying very hard to keep the list to ten.

      RE: plane tickets. They’re pricey, aren’t they? Tim & I were just talking yesterday about how we will now have FOUR fares to pay for if we decide to fly in the next two years. Yikes.

      • says

        Yes. All of the European travel for Scott has been for work over the years, except, I was the one who went to Italy, before we were married, and then we went to Ireland on our honeymoon. He’s been to Mexico a lot on business, too.
        Scott also was a exchange student through the Lion’s club when he was in High School & that was when he went to Aus/NZ.
        We went sailing in the British Virgin Island with family & friends when he & I were just friends. He’s been to more of the Caribbean as a teen with his family.
        Most;y Scott is well traveled! But, someday I may be, too. :) I would love to see some of the European countries that he has been to without me.

  3. Sophie says

    Travelling speaks to me right now as I’m currently finishing a university semester in Brisbane, Australia (I’m from France) and will hop on a campervan for a 3-week road trip across Queensland in a few days ;)

    Between my fiancé and I, we’ve visited quite a few places: Australia (you have to do it, it’s amazing), US (not me tough, I’d love to go!), Spain, Italy, Germany, Luxemburg, Croatia (so beautiful too), Greece, England, Ireland, India, Tunisia.

    Our list of places to go:
    1 – French Polynesia – that’ll be in September for our honeymoon
    2 – Canada
    3 – Iceland
    4 – London
    5 – Kenya
    6 – Norway
    7 – Netherlands

    One of the perks of living in Europe is that almost every capital city is at maximum a 3-hour distance from Paris by train or plane (depending), compared to Australia or the US that makes it much easier to travel.

    And of course Paris is quite nice too :)

    • Stephanie says

      You’ll have to make it a point to come to the USA, Sophie. It really is a remarkable country.

      We’ve also enjoyed our brief trips to Vancouver, BC. Such a beautiful and modern city. I’d like to explore more of Canada – including Toronto.

  4. says

    My dilemma is do I (a) take Noel to all the places I already love or (b) go somewhere new with him/the kid(s)?

    My top ten places I’d like to visit are:
    (1) London (because it’s my FAVORITE. That one’s non-negotiable, I have to take the fam there).
    (2) Venice/Northern Italy
    (3) Edinburgh/Scotland
    (4) Copenhagen/Denmark/Skane region of Sweden
    (5) Southern Italy
    (6) Austria
    (7) Australia
    (8) Ireland
    (9) Greece
    (10) Egypt

    I don’t know what Noel’s full list would be. I know Ireland and Italy would make his list, but I don’t think he’s as unabashedly Eurocentric as I am. :)

    • Stephanie says

      Remind me of the “circumstances” of your time abroad. Did you travel for business? Mission trips? Family trips? As part of your university education? I’d like to hear more about your favorite places.

      Also, I’m glad to hear that London lived up to your expectations. That city is at the tip-top of my wish list.

      • says

        Annecy (France) was study abroad. England/Wales/Belgium/Paris was just for fun. ;) I have family in England, and hence free lodging, plus took some short excursions from there.

        I also adore Bath. If you go to England, you have to go there. And all the little Cotswold villages, they’re amazing and quaint and gorgeous.

    • Stephanie says

      I typed up a list of “conversation questions,” cut the questions into strips, and put them in a jar. We go around the table and each person picks out a question to answer.

      Here are a few samples:
      * What is your favorite holiday and why?
      * What would you do if you saw someone making fun of another person?
      * If you could only keep one toy, which one would you keep?

  5. says

    I want so badly to go to Italy.

    I also want to take my oldest daughter back to Guatemala.

    I would love to show my girls a variety of other places but those 2 are the top of my list.

  6. says

    What a gorgeous picture of your daughter! I’m not positive I have a top ten list, but this makes me want to make one. I know Ethiopia and Australia/Africa would be top on my list. Also, Prince Edward Island. Hmm..I’ll have to think of more.

    Fun to read your list, thank you for sharing!

  7. says

    FUNNY! This is the #VlogMom topic for today. I was debating not doing the video b/c I thought I don’t have much to say beyond this. I want to see Europe! All of it.

    But I don’t want to just tour it. I want to visit people I know who can show me what it’s like to LIVE there. I hate touristy stuff. I want to get a glimpse of real life.

    Okay, I just realized that I DO have enough to say in my video. LOL!!

    • Stephanie says

      I agree! Being with “locals” is always better. Do you have family/friends who live in Europe?

  8. says

    Awww, what a sweetie! I have traveled internationally, but my kids have not, and at this point I shudder to think of a plane ride that long. Maybe in a few years…like 10…

  9. says

    I’m pretty much up for going anywhere! I love to see new places, but I suspect it will be a while before we travel again, just because travel, especially international travel with little ones is SO HARD. I have been to your top 5 places, plus a slew of other places in Europe. I’ve also been to El Salvador. These were all before kids, with my parents. Hopefully one day we will be able to afford to take our kids all over as well, but for now, our trips are mostly just to visit family.

  10. Bets says

    We took our kids to China last year for Chinese New Year. It was amazing and the kids where little ambasadors every where they went.

    My husband travels a lot for work and we would love to join him in going to Europe, France, Germany, and Scotland someday. His air miles have added up so that we can occasionaly go with him and the company picks up his ticket.

    Would love to go to Chile, hiking in Torres Del Paine National Park, flyfishing in Patagonia.

    • Stephanie says

      I like your list.

      How many kids do you have and what were their ages when you traveled to China last year? I’d love to hear more about that experience.

  11. says

    I would LOVE to travel more internationally! So far my list only includes Costa Rica, Mexico, Canada and Saudi Arabia. Unless you include airports then I can count Paris and Amsterdam.
    Next year we have in the works to actually go to Paris!

    My top places to travel… I realized that the number 1 place I want to go is Australia because my pen pal has now been to visit me twice and I’ve never been there!
    After that… in no particular order: Thailand, Spain, The British Isles, Sweden (relatives here!), Israel, China, Peru, South Africa, and Japan. :)

    My husband has been all over the world as they traveled every year on their way home. However, he’s only taken one ultra fast driving trip across the US while I have explored many states with my family and on my own. I think my state count is like 35 (although you probably beat that with your trip last year!)

    • Stephanie says

      I’ve been in Paris too…but only as a layover. ;)

      Do you have family in France? Tell me more about your plans to visit there next year.

  12. Jenn says

    I’ve never been outside of the US, although I have seen most of the continental US… :)

    I would love to visit Italy, my grandfather’s family immigrated when he was a child and we still have relatives over there that my Aunts have stayed in touch with – so I want to go there and see them before we loose that connection!

    I’d also love to visit London, Barcelona, Paris, Frankfurt… at least one city in each country in the world! If I had unlimited funds and enjoyed flying I think I could spend a month in every country and still not see, learn, experience, hear everything I want too.

    As it is I get migraines flying from Kansas City to Sacramento – I can’t imagine flying farther! And the last time we flew we only had to buy three tickets and it cost us our entire “vacation” budget for the year. Now we have to buy 4 tickets, not cheap, but worth it to spend more time with my family!

    • Stephanie says

      You’re right about plane tickets – definitely rough on the wallet. Even so, we’d rather sacrifice in other areas in exchange for travel experiences. It’s so important to see other ways of living around the globe. I sincerely hope we are able to give that gift to our girls as they grow older.

      What are your three favorite cities in the USA?

      • Jenn says

        I think that when my kids are a bit older the whole flying thing will be worth it. I sometimes have panic attacks when I fly – they’ve gotten better, but I definitely need to fly with children who are a little bit less needy and a little more independent – something that will happen as the 3 year old and 4 year old I have now get a bit older! Long flights are something I dread right now.

        My 3 favorite cities in the USA – San Francisco and the Bay Area – I love visiting there. I could spend a month and still not do and see everything I’d like. Washington DC – another spot I could spend a good two or three months simply seeing and experiencing. Neither of those are places I’d like to live – I prefer a little less population density! I think the last spot would be Colorado Springs – I love that area, it’s one of the places I’d like to live someday.

        I’m hoping for a summer month each year spent traveling a portion of the USA – I love the North Western states and would really enjoy spending some time up there with the kids. Also when the kids get older I want to spend a summer in the North Eastern states – exploring our nations beginnings – seeing where it all started.

  13. says

    You could visit New Zealand while we live here! I want to visit Thailand, France, Spain, Australia (which I get to soon)! I have been to England, Canada, Mexico, Germany, Ukraine, and Moldova! And of course New Zealand!

    • Stephanie says

      Now THAT is tempting! ;)

      I just spent a bit of time browsing your blog and tried to leave a comment, but I don’t think it went through. Do you think you could open up comments so that people can respond with just a simple name & e-mail address or name & URL?

      • says

        Free place to stay is always good and we love guests!!! So I went on my blog and changed it! It wasn’t as hard as I thought….I need to become more familiar with all this computer stuff! I am not the best.

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