Tomorrow I take off on my “scouting trip” to France and Italy! I am over-the-moon excited—not because it will be a great experience for me, but because it will undoubtedly help me to provide even greater experiences for YOU! I look forward to sharing loads of pics and stories with you, so be sure to follow me on Facebook or Instagram!
Everyone knows I am a passionate advocate for travel to Europe. Whether you are into adventure, art, food & wine, architecture, skiing, fast cars, resorts, or beaches (shall I continue?), Europe offers the best of the best! Because I will be spending a lot of time talking about the European regions of Burgundy and Emilia-Romagna, I thought today would be a great opportunity to share with you some NON-European destinations that are at the top of my travel list! Let me know if any of these make it on to your list as well!
NOTE // It is an occupational hazard (to say the least) that my travel list never stops growing! Of course we’ve all got those dream destinations—the places most of us will only get to visit once, if at all (hello, Seychelles)—but you won’t find those places on this list (they’re on a different list!). I hope to visit each of these locations with my family and friends within the next five years while I save up for some of those “dream” trips.
5 NON-EUROPEAN DESTINATIONS TO ADD TO YOUR TRAVEL LIST
FEATURED LOCATION: Argentina + Chile
South America has always intrigued me with her gorgeous beaches and vibrant cultures, but these two countries shot to the top of my list during a recent wine dinner at The Funky Door here in Lubbock (I’m telling you guys…next summer, you need to go to the Wine Passport classes. Just don’t wait til then to go in and sample the unreal wines from these regions!!). As if the Mendoza Malbecs weren’t enough to explore, the Door’s owner, Carrie Britton, shared with us a 2009 Carmenère from Chile that can only be described as “freakin’ awesome!” (NOTE: “Freakin’ awesome” is a technical term used to describe the capacity of a wine to knock your socks off.)
Vineyards aside, Argentina and Chile are some of the most naturally and culturally stunning places on earth. Consider spending a week or longer in Argentina on the sensory journey of a lifetime: taking in a kaleidoscope of desert colors in the north, the pounding of Iguazú Falls, glacial peaks in Patagonia, mesmerizing tango, and the utter indulgence of street fair empanadas and fine cuts of superb local steak.
In Chile, sip your way through the Central Valley, then get out and explore Mother Nature’s playground! Skiers go during July and August to hit the slopes, but if you visit during the U.S. winter/spring season, you will love the water sports, hiking, and horseback riding, as well as a mandatory visit to see the intriguing moai statues on Easter Island. If you can put down the Carmenère, sip on some fantastic Sauvingnon Blanc alongside your fresh ceviche or enjoy a pisco sour at the world’s second largest pool.
THE REST OF THE LIST (FOR NOW, THAT IS):
Barbados // I am utterly entranced with this gorgeous island. It has some of the most sensational beaches in the world, a crazy-good food scene, and some of the friendliest, most genteel folks in the Caribbean. Oh, did I mention that it’s outside the hurricane belt, gorgeous at Valentine’s Day (ahem, honey), and home to shockingly-affordable luxury digs?
Willamette Valley, Oregon // Quite simply, this wine region produces my favorite American Pinot Noir. That’s why I want to go there. The end.
Peru // I considered limiting this to the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu, but after planning a super-custom Peruvian adventure for clients earlier this year, I am truly inspired by this entire country! Though I’m not much of a nature girl, one can’t help but be mesmerized by the biodiversity found in such a tiny area. I would love to visit the beaches of Lima, Lake Titicaca with its floating homes, and take a barge through the Amazon to Iquitos. On second thought, Peru might require a couple of visits!
Jackson Hole, Wyoming // I am not much of a skier, unfortunately, but I am a sucker for “winter locations” in the summer! This would be an amazing family vacation spot for my crew. Jackson Hole has an awesome food and brew culture, as well as an excellent music scene. When it’s time for outdoor activities (if the majestic National Parks aren’t quite enough), there’s ample horseback riding (which would make my 8 year old very happy), rafting, star-gazing, hiking, and fishing—just to name a few ideas. Thanks to the Four Seasons, there’s also some of Mommy’s favorite activities: resorting, shopping, drinking coffee on the patio, drinking wine on the patio…
Of course, Europe remains the drumbeat of this traveler’s heart. You don’t have to look hard to find reasons to fall in love with the many different peoples, cultures, landscapes, and flavors there. But my affection for Europe is altogether different from my passion for travel, adventure, and exploration. I write this blog to inspire YOU, and I never want to limit the scope of your wanderlust to a single continent. I hope I’ve inspired you to develop a travel list (European or otherwise) of your own this week! Once you get that list made, be sure to reach out so that I can help you enjoy the most meaningful experiences in those destinations.