I leave tomorrow and arrive in Quito on Monday. And of course I’m sick as a dog. I either have the worst case of the flu ever or really bad side effects from my Typhoid vaccination pills ūüė¶ So one of my travel fears has come true before my trip has even started: getting sick. I’ve already stocked up on every medicine I could think of for every possible malady out there so hopefully I’ll get over whatever illnesses I inevitably get quickly.

Anyway, I’m so excited yet still TERRIFIED to leave tomorrow! I know I’ll have a great time, but Quito isn’t exactly the safest place in the world.

I’m terrified of:

1. Getting sick, which has already happened

2. Getting mugged

3. Getting kidnapped (someone send Liam Neeson if this happens!)

4. Getting lost in translation, or lost in general

5. Having something stolen

6. Accidentally eating meat because I can’t read the menu well enough (silly, I know, but I’m being serious here)

7. Get really, really homesick. Especially for my dogs.

Despite these fears I know I’ll have the time of my life. Hopefully I’ll look back at this post and think how silly I was to be so scared of such an awesome journey. Right? Right.

Hello world!

I start my Ecuadorian adventure in 9 days. WHAT. It still doesn’t feel real, at all. But mark my words, this will not be my last globetrotting experience! To hold myself accountable, I’m posting my bucket list of things I want to accomplish in my 20s on the Internet where it can never be deleted. This way I HAVE to do everything on this list! And I really can’t wait…


1. Backpack Europe

This is my plan for next summer. And it’s gonna happen. I can’t wait to see Paris and Prague and Barcelona and the Cinque Terre and Istanbul and visit my long-lost sister in Austria all with my best friend in the whole wide world. To say I’m excited is an understatement.

2. Teach English abroad

This is my dreammmm. Working with kids and living abroad? How could it get any more perfect?!


3. Live in a Middle Eastern country

When I tell people I want to do this, they look at me like I’m crazy. But I’m sort of fascinated with the Middle East and I really want to experience a year or two living there. Somewhere not in the middle of a war though, obviously.


4. Visit India

Who doesn’t want to see India?! The country’s so huge and there’s so much to see and do. I also love how they treat their animals (most of them, anyway). I love cows.


5. Spend the night on the Great Wall of China

I had no idea you could do this until I saw it on a blog somewhere. I just wanna bring a sleeping bag and camp out… on the Great Wall of China. NBD.


6. Drive the Ring Road in Iceland and see the Northern Lights

Iceland looks so so so beautiful from what I’ve seen in photos. And I love that you can drive around the entire country in just 10 days. Super doable.


7. See the Angkor Wat

Cambodia is so jam-packed with living history I can barely handle it. I just want to walk through the temples and talk with the people and learn Khmer and see some elephants. That’s all.


8. Volunteer at a sloth sanctuary in Central America

Because animals are one of the most important things to me and I want to do everything I can to help them. And because, well, SLOTHS!!!

9. Speak a foreign language fluently

I’m working on it! I’m FAR from fluent but I’m proficient(ish) in Spanish and French thanks to my wonderful high school foreign language teachers. I would love to teach French or Spanish someday and help others discover their passion for languages.

10. Visit Dakar, Senegal

I really just want to visit Africa in general. I have this dream of buying a car in Cape Town, driving it all the way to Cairo and selling it there. But I feel like visiting Dakar is a little more realistic. I’ve been obsessed with Senegal since I did a project on it my freshman year of college. Plus I can practice my French there!


11. Trek the ‘stans

So a while ago I became obsessed with the Sporcle “Countries of the World” game and when I discovered there were countries like Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan I just had to look them up. I already have this trip planned out on my Travellerspoint.com account.


12. Stay in a ger in Mongolia

This will conclude my ‘stans journey! I just think this would be the coolest experience ever.


13. Teach in Japan

I want this so bad!!! Not only are teachers respected a lot more in most parts of Asia than in the US, but Japan is just stinkin’ beautiful. I won’t have to go to DC to see the cherry blossoms! And maybe I’ll pick up a little Japanese.

14. Start a family

This isn’t travel related, but since it’s my bucket list, I have to add it. This is a must for me.


15. Visit an island nation in Oceania

I obviously have to go to Australia and hold a koala, but I definitely want to visit one of the smaller countries there, too. Nauru would be cool… it’s so tiny! Or Tonga to see some whales.


16. Hike the Inca Trail

I’ll be so close, yet so far this January. I wish I had more time in South America this trip, but I’m staying in Ecuador for my month there. To see Machu Picchu would be incredible.


17. Thoroughly explore Greece

Because I’m OBSESSED. Meteora, Athens, Mt. Olympus, Crete, Santorini… I’m in love with a country I haven’t met yet. I want to experience every part of this beautiful place.


18. Go to a Christmas Market in Europe

I’m a shopaholic and I love Christmas. Need I say more?


19. Experience a true Russian winter

I’ll probably regret this one once I get there. But I feel like if I can survive a Russian winter, I can get through anything. I have lived in Maine… how much more snow could there be in Russia?


20. Go to Socotra Island in Yemen

I was hooked the first time I saw pictures of this otherworldly place. It literally looks like another planet and I want to explore it NOW.

This is in no way an exhaustive list. There are still so many places I haven’t even heard of and will eventually NEED to explore! I have the worst case of wanderlust ever. I just want to go!