Travel: What’s on Your Bucket List?

Travel has been in my blood for many years.  From a young age, when anyone mentioned going somewhere, I was always up for it.  Pack my bags, I’m ready to go!  When I was growing up, we never took any exotic vacations at all.  My dad was a pastor and we didn’t have a ton of money to travel, so usually our summer vacations consisted of family jaunts to NC.  We also went to a few church conventions, namely Dallas, TX and Miami, FL. But most of the time NC was the destination. My maternal grandfather and his siblings (all living in Florida) as a group decided to build cabins up in Franklin, NC in the late 60’s.  So, many of our vacations during summer months were spent in Franklin, roaming around the waterfalls and seeing the sights of the NC mountains.  Not a bad vacation, just not exotic.  I have some wonderful memories of Bryson City, Franklin, and Cherokee, NC during my young years.  Extended family members from Florida and other states would come up during the summer to those cabins and we all had a blast.  It was a pretty great way to grow up.

Once I got through high school and a couple of years of college and started working, I was single and ready to see the world.  Some of my single girlfriends at the time and I planned a few trips along the way and my first of 2 cruises happened when I was 24. It was a Carnival Caribbean cruise and it was one of the most exciting things I had ever done.  I’ll tell you more about that later on. I’ve been a fan of cruises ever since and even though I’ve only been on 2, I love them.  It seems that people either love cruises or hate them. I’m definitely in the LOVE THEM camp.

In fact, I’ll be partnering with Carnival Cruise Line for the next few months and will be sharing more travel related posts with you.  And I’ll be going on a cruise in January to the Southern Caribbean, which I’m so excited about!  Of course, I’ll be sharing it all right here on my blog.


A couple years after the cruise, myself and and my sister and a couple other friends, went to Ocho Rios, Jamaica for a fun getaway.  We climbed Dunns River Falls, one of the highlights of the trip.


In the early 90’s, I had a chance to spend some time in  Italy. That was truly a highlight too and I went all over Italy, to Switzerland, and France during that time.  Talk about a wonderful experience, seeing parts of Europe was something that I had always dreamed of and it didn’t disappoint.  I took in the Roman ruins, including the colosseum, which was just an amazing sight to see.  Europe is so old compared to the US.


The Trevi Fountain was under construction while I was there, but it was still a wonderful experience to take in.  Italian architecture is such an amazing thing to see, you can’t even imagine it until you see it in person.


Me and my big hair climbed the Spanish steps in Rome.


I had heard about the leaning tower of Pisa my entire life and to actually see it in person was a dream come true for me.  I wonder how it’s doing now, over 20 years after this picture was taken?  It’s a beautiful piece of history.


I went on a boat ride to a beautiful island called Ponza, off the coast of Italy.


I took in the Tuscany region and ate some of the best food I’ve ever had in my life.  Italian food continues to be one of my favorite and I learned to cook red pasta sauce from some ladies who lived there.


Another trip later on in the mid-90’s was to Seattle, Washington, where I saw the Puget Sound for the first time.  It’s a beautiful and scenic city!  I took in Butchart Gardens in Victoria, Canada after a ferry ride over.


I went on a whale watching adventure and actually captured a whale with my camera.


Locally, I’ve been to many states around our great nation and have seen the Southern cities of Savannah, GA and Charleston, SC.  Both are filled with such rich Southern history and beauty.


A tour of an old plantation ruins, Wormsloe, out of Savannah was a highlight.  Just look at this entrance gate.  So dramatic and stately!


Touring an old historic home in Charleston, SC was one trip I took back in the 90’s.  Travel and seeing old houses has been in my blood for years.

If I had to list all the states I’ve been to, they would be Florida, NC, SC, Tennessee, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan, Virginia, West Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, California, Washington.  I think that’s it!  So, there are still plenty of states for me to see.

As far as international travel, I’ve been to the Bahamas, St. Thomas, St. John, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, St. Maarten, St. Barts, Mexico, and in Europe, Italy, France, and Switzerland.

Now that I’m almost 60…in one more year (how in the world did that happen?), I want to travel more than ever.  It’s been a while since I’ve done an international trip and there are still places I’d love to see in this beautiful world of ours.  Over 50 singles (and marrieds) are prime candidates for travel at this time of our lives.  We don’t have the responsibilities we had when we were younger, with raising kids and all the responsibilities that come with that.  The baby boomer generation is young at heart and we love to travel and see the world much more than our parents did, I think.  I know I’m much more of a world traveler than my parents have ever been.  I love seeing other countries and how they live differently than we do. It definitely makes me appreciate our wonderful country even more when I travel outside the states.

I thought this would be a fun recap of where I’ve been and talk about where I’d like to go.  There are many places I’d love to see and a repeat of Europe and especially Italy is definitely on my travel bucket list.  I’d love to see Australia, England and Ireland, never been to any of those countries.  Greece is another place I’d love to see.  I want to travel more before I get too old to do it, so now is the time!  I’d still enjoy seeing more of our fine USA as well, so many states I haven’t been to.  Where would you like to go?

This post was created for Away We Go with Carnival, the destination for getting in the getaway state of mind. Head on over.

- Rhoda


  1. Rhoda I enjoyed your travel recap so much!! I am a year younger than you and I live in Australia. My husband & I retired last year and have started on our travels. This year we had a 5 wk trip to Canada & Alaska. That was just the most amazing time. Next year we have booked a 2 wk cruise to the Meditteranian. I can’t wait. We were lucky enough to have had 3 cruises this year – you are correct …. You either love them or hate them and we really do love them.
    I look forward to reading more of your travel posts.
    Wishing you a wonderful Christmas & New Year.

    • Hi, Suzy, thanks for chiming in, sounds like you are a world traveler too. I really want to do more!

  2. This past October, my husband and I, retired teachers, were in Italy on tour. We spent four days in Rome, was an arms length away from Pope Francis as he traveled by in his pope-mobile. The Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain both were being cleaned. Traveled to Assisi, to Florence, and then to Venice. My husband and I took a gondola ride there, a dream come true. My dad and grandparents were born in Italy and I had always hoped to make a visit there some day. Rhoda, you must travel to Ireland. I gifted myself a trip to this beautiful country right after I retired three years ago.

    • Sounds like so much fun, Sandy! I loved Italy so much and can’t imagine another country capturing me like that one did. Loved Florence, Venice, and Rome. I’d love to see the lower part of Italy next time.

  3. Headed to Hawaii in May. So excited. Taking our grands on a Disney cruise in January. I love to travel too and I’m 65. Have fun on all your excursions.

  4. We have traveled a good bit around the US but only a few times outside the US. I am becoming more of a homebody though. I don’t have the desire to travel internationally and cruising is not our thing. I want to be able to go where I want to go, when I want to go (obviously we are not big on tours either LOL!). Love exploring new places in the US! We are younger than you but I would say when we both retire (I work part-time), we will travel more. We also have an RV and really enjoy that.

  5. Rhonda, you must add some New England states to your list! I am more of a road trip kind of girl. I’m afraid to fly. I’ll do it is I absolutely have to, but don’t want to if I can help it!!

  6. I so enjoyed the overview of your travels. Shoshone Lodge, Cody, Wyoming is on my bucket list. My parents, brother and I visited there in 1968 when I was 11 years old. We stayed in a cabin there as our base while we visited Yellowstone. It was a stop on our 2+ week road trip around the U.S. This is one of my favorite childhood memories. Maybe 2016 will be my year, and it’s the centennial for National Park Service making it the perfect time! The resort is still owned and operated by the same family as in 1968! Road trip! Thanks for sharing your travels with us. Very inspiring! Love you friend,

  7. Melesa Garrison says

    Rhoda, you have been blessed with some wonderful travelling adventures. I know you are looking forward to your trip in January. I have had the opportunity to travel some. Many places in the states. My husband and I went to London, Paris and Scotland on our honeymoon in 2006, and that was a once in a lifetime trip. We are planning a trip to Israel in 2016. I hope to go to Hawaii some day.
    You have a very Merry Christmas and enjoy your sweet parents 🙂

  8. Judy Richardson Stelman says

    Enjoyed reading your trip down memory lane about trips!! I believe I barely remember going to someone’s NC cabin with a big screened front porch across the whole front. Does that sound familiar? I also remember a place everyone was sliding down a huge rock with water running over it. At the bottom was a cold pool of river water to splash into. We wore jeans. The rock would wear out our swim suits. It’s such a faint memory. Can you tell me anything?

    • Judy, you must have gone down “Sliding Rock” which is located near Asheville, NC. I remember going there when I was young, too. So much fun!

    • Yes, Jane is right, that was sliding rock. I didn’t remember going there with your family, but we must have at some point. Lots of fun memories in NC and yes, I’m sure one of those cabins had a screened porch. It was a great way to grow up, cousin!

  9. Hi Rhoda… This is Nancy from Ohio but now in Arizona. I travel a lot since retired and enjoying new LOVE later in life! We have been on two cruises together and we love them! One was Alaska.
    I have a blog now and it’s about my new life and new adventures with my new Man. We have enjoyed Napa, San Francisco, several national parks and many other fabulous places. I know it’s not cool to leave your blog address… but I know you Remember me. And I follow you on Instagram as well. I hope this comment can post. I am on wordpress and sometimes blogger and wordpress have a hard time intermingling.
    PS… we may be going on a transatlantic cruise very sooooooon!
    ~Nancy from OHIO but now Arizona

  10. Hi Rhoda~ I am Nancy from Ohio who is now in Arizona! I follow you on Instagram as well.
    I just sent you a long comment and it did not post…
    Anyhoo. I love cruises and I am so happy that you are doing some travel posts. I love to travel.
    I am blogging about my new life as an Arizonian with my new Man. Yes! I have found New Love later in Life and it is FABULOUS! We just took an Alaskan Cruise… It was amazing!
    We will be going on a Transatlantic cruise hopefully this Spring!
    Love your Blog and will even love it more if you blog some what about Travel.
    Merry Christmas! Nancy from ARIZONA!

  11. Rhoda, a place you would really love is Santa Fe, New Mexico – I have traveled a lot and it is in my top five of favorite places —after reading your blog for a long time I think it would really appeal to your artistic senses!!! Have a Merry Christmas and enjoy being with your family 🙂

  12. I have wanderlust….I take every opportunity to travel….to love see new sights and to meet up with people….my bucket list is “the world”….I have checked off most of the 50 states….and a lot of Canada.
    I wish you and your family a most Joyous Christmas and a very happy and healthy New Year!

  13. My husband and I love travel. In 2015 we went to Tahiti, Sicily (with a short trip to Rome and the Trevi fountain is still under restoration!), a train trip across Canada (Vancouver to Toronto) and finished with a cruise from Quebec City to Florida. We’re planning a trip this spring to cover parts of Europe we’ve missed on a river boat trip from Prague to Berlin with a side trip to Vienna. You’d love river boat travel, it’s the easiest way to travel in Europe.

    But our all time favorite trip was a photo safari in Kenya and Tanzania and South Africa. Best ever …

    • Wow Patricia, you have lived the travel dream. All of that sounds like wonderful experiences! Thanks for sharing!

  14. Patricia Wilson says

    Rhoda, I totally agree with you about our generation wanting to travel more than our middle-class parents did. Of course, those who could more easily afford it certainly traveled more. Like you, I find myself wanting to travel. Via cruises, my husband and I have had the opportunity to travel to Italy, Greece, Turkey, Monaco, Cannes, the Caribbean, etc. To my mind. there is not a better, more comfortable, economical way to travel than a cruise.

    I was born in Brisbane, Australia. The last time I was in Australia was in 1995. My husband and I had traveled there on our own for a month via Quantas. We limited our destinations to Sydney, Brisbane, and Brampton Island so my husband (a certified diver at the time) could dive The Great Barrier Reef.

    I hope to return to Australia at least once again before time runs out, but I also want to visit Paris and Provence.

    As always, Rhoda, wishing you further success with your blog and adventurous travels to Europe and beyond, to the “World Before Time,” Australia. You’ll certainly be welcomes because Australians love Americans and what they consider thick “American accents.” Not sure how that includes Southern accents, yet I’m sure it does. A novelty Australians would love.

    Patricia Wilson
    Columbia, CT

    • Patricia, thanks of sharing about your travels too, now I feel like I know you better. And you’re Australian, love those accents as well! Thank you so much, I’m looking forward to where my blog takes me next and this is going to be a great year.

  15. Patricia Wilson says

    Rhoda, a correction to my previous post… Australia, “The Land Beyond Time.”

    Patricia Wilson
    Columbia, CT

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