Top 10 Places I Want to Travel to Before I Die

08/27/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011
  • Maria Rodale CEO and Chairman of Rodale, Inc. and book author

For some crazy reason I don't have a vacation planned for this August. One day I looked at my calendar, and there was no room left to get away--when you combine my schedule, my husband's schedule, and all the kids' events, it makes it hard to take trips unless you plan way in advance. So other than a quick weekend trip to visit with my in-laws, we are staying home.

But I can dream! And dream I shall. I am going to share my list of the top 10 places I want to go to before I die (in no particular order, although I hope dying comes last):

1. Australia--The problem with seeing Australia is that it's so freaking big, so I want to go for a long time. Once I'm over there I will also want to see New Zealand, and perhaps Tasmania. But I definitely want to climb Ayers Rock (I had an Australian Shepherd named Yulara once!), and also shop my way through Sydney.

2. Jerusalem--Hopefully, I will go during peaceful times (ha!). But it's hard not to want to see what all the fuss is about, and experience so many important religious and historical sites firsthand. I will have to go to Bethlehem, since that is where I live in Pennsylvania. And Emmaus, too. And I think it would be fun to swim in the Red Sea.

3. Southern India--I just watched an episode from The Story of India, and it showed an amazing market filled with glorious silks, gold jewelry, and spices. It really made me want to go. Plus, Southern Indian food is so yummy!

4. Salzburg (and Prague
)--What can I say, I want to take the Sound of Music tour of Austria, and go to the Czech Republic and see where the Moravians got their start.

5. Vienna--I want to waltz to a live orchestra playing Strauss--preferably wearing some sort of gown--with my husband, who hopefully will remember how to waltz. (Deep down we are all Cinderella!)

6. Mongolia--There is a great movie called Mongolia Ping Pong, which is hilarious and beautiful. It made me truly want to go to Mongolia and ride horses into the wide open steppes, and stay in a yurt and let my face get ruddy and bathe in a river. And maybe I can even see a crane.

7. Amsterdam--It just seems like everyone should go there once and do whatever he or she wants. Shop. Smoke. Observe. Eat. And whatever else comes naturally, or slightly unnaturally.

8. The Sahara--I want to ride a camel into the desert, see Tuareg blue up close. Feel the heat. Absorb the space. Maybe plant a few trees. Camp out in a tent, and sit on rugs and pillows while eating dates.

9. The Greek Islands--I love Greek food. I love blue water. I want to get on a sailboat and stay on it for weeks while we go around and see the unfolding of our history and the times when the Goddess ruled and lost her power, all the while eating olives and feta and fresh-grilled fish and fruit.

10. Morocco--When all the kids are grown and I am old, and no one cares if I ever come back, I want to go to Morocco and sink into the mystery--study Sufism, drink mint tea, visit Petra, maybe get a crush on a sheik and write songs of love, and fall back into a bed filled with pillows and maybe never get up. That's a happy ending.

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