Don’t Miss Out on Your Bucket List Trip

Does your dream destination pop easily into mind? Do you know exactly where you would go in a heartbeat if there were no obstacles?

Perhaps you have an idea about what you would like, yet are not entirely certain where you would go if the opportunity came up tomorrow. Answer the following questions and you won’t have to live with the fear of missing out on your bucket list trip!

  • What’s your “happy place” when you have bad days? This may be a specific place — Bora Bora or the Alps or Johannesburg. What’s the feeling you go to when you’re stressed out or stuck in traffic? Do you imagine the lazy perfection of pristine beaches? The thrill of craggy mountains? The smells of spicy foods? Make a quick list: 10 things that come to mind on the most fun, free, relaxed day you can imagine.
  • What do you crave? Think of what you say you wish you had more of — free time, adventure, romance, time to learn a new skill, sunshine, purpose. When you imagine being your best self — what are you doing? Who is with you?
  • What season suits you best? Do you love to soak in the sweltering heat in your swimsuit? Or the crisp crunch of autumn leaves underfoot? Or the intense quiet of a mountain snowfall? When do you feel most at home in your body and most in love with your environment?
  • What’s one crazy luxurious thing you secretly wish for? For some people, it’s as simple as a pile of books and no emails to answer for three weeks. For others, it’s endless room service or all-day spa treatments or king-size feather beds and huge whirlpool tubs. Write down five luxuries that would make you feel like you’d won the lottery if someone handed them to you right now.
  • When you scroll through magazines, which images grab you the most? What colors draw your eye? Spicy and exotic? Cool and laid back? Misty and mysterious? Flip through the pages of a few travel magazines and notice which images you keep going back to, the ones that make your heart skip a little. Some people assume that their “dream” trip is in an all-inclusive resort somewhere. But if you keep coming back to the pictures of a bike tour through Tuscany — well, that’s worth paying attention to.

When you’ve had time to assemble your thoughts — and if you’re working on this with your partner or friends or family members — look for overlaps, recurring themes, those quiet nudges you can’t seem to shake. Listen to your gut. And dream big.

Set a goal, start saving if you need to, and give shape to your plan. Put your images and any accompanying words or phrases up on a vision board or make a digital collage that can be your screensaver on your computer at work — anyplace where you’ll see it multiple times a day — and let those images inspire you as you get closer to making your bucket list trip a reality.

Helen Jordan is the owner of Jordan Luxury Travel, an independent affiliate of Brownell Travel, a member of Virtuoso. She can be reached at