Funky Paris

Atlas Obscura may be my new favorite thing: it’s a great crowdsourced collection of destinations off the beaten path. It’s too vast for me to cover in a night – I only made it to page 16 – but I did come across some great finds, including places that are going on my list of things to see when I’m in Paris for work in a couple of weeks. My top pick: a Bohemian “artist squat” at 59 rue de Rivoli!

793px-Squat_à_Paris_(59,_rue_de_Rivoli,_1er_ardt)

Here I must admit that I’m not actually crazy about Paris. I’ve done all the touristy stuff and I’ve never been blown away by the city, except for this one particular spot in front of the Sacré-Cœur from which I love watching the sun rise:

IMG_1666

This time I’m going to plan my free time better and see as much of the off-road stuff as possible (with the exception of taxidermist crafts, because, um, ew.) The Arènes de Lutèce, which I always forget to visit, are on my list, as is Un Regard Moderne, where I will probably definitely buy too many books. We’re staying near Pigalle, which is guaranteed to be a shitshow, so my evening plans are sorted.

Might any Paris experts have further advice on cool and/or weird things to see?

IMAGE CREDITS: (1) Wikimedia Commons, (2) mine!

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February 2013: Wherein We Survey Geological Formations

Because of our long-distance-ness and convoluted work schedules, my boyfriend & I began considering taking a trip somewhere in late February, as it’s the last available date before shit hits the fan in our respective lines of work. Initially, I was going to go visit him in Bermuda, as I’ve done over weekends past, but I was told it’s going to be “miserable” at that time (note that we have many first world problems of this nature), so we started looking at other destinations. Disney was rejected on the basis of it being a racket, Colombia was set aside because it didn’t seem like there was very much to do for the cost involved, and beach destinations aren’t up for consideration because, and I quote, “it looks just like Bermuda”. This is where I begin considering whether finding myself a nice young man from somewhere like Wisconsin would’ve been a better bet :|

Anyway, the boyfriend’s big thing is seeing the wonders of the world, so we have almost settled on the Grand Canyon. Bearing in mind that scene from The Guilt Trip where they’re standing in front of the Grand Canyon wondering how long they need to keep looking at it, I tacked on some additional attractions around the area. This is where I turn to you, People of the Internet: does this seem like a reasonable itinerary?

Day 1: Fly into Phoenix around midday, drive 4 hours to Grand Canyon Village, spend the night there.

Day 2: Spend the day doing Grand Canyon things.

Day 3: Drive 2-3 hours to Monument Valley in the morning, do Monument Valley things, spend the night there.

Day 4: Drive back to the Grand Canyon, stop there for lunch, drive to Phoenix, spend the night in Phoenix, and fly out at obscene o’clock on the morning of Day 5.

Note: We won’t be camping or hiking long distances or anything like that, so might there be a way to squeeze in, say, Arches National Park at the expense of extra time in the Grand Canyon? Please advise!

The Wishlist

Whenever I’ve tried to come up with a bucket list, it’s inevitably turned into a list of desired destinations. I don’t really care about running the Marine Corps Marathon (in fact, I could think of nothing I’d like to do less) or adopting a colony of feral ferrets, cute as they may be, but I do want to go everywhere and see everything. Like, right now. The idea behind this blog is thus to systematize my haphazard travel planning. I feel like I’ve missed out on many opportunities to see new places solely due to lack of forethought, and I’ve also been more conservative with finances than I really have to be, I think. My goal for this year and the years to follow is to travel more for pleasure and to go further in the process. So here it is: The Wishlist, with destinations I’ve never been to grouped by priority and feasibility, but in no particular order.

Priority Destinations (2013-2014):

  1. Peru – Cusco, Machu Picchu, pretty standard stuff
  2. India & Goa
  3. Colombia – Bogota, Cartagena, Medellin
  4. Ecuador – Quito & the Galapagos
  5. Costa Rica – THIS PLACE.
  6. Turkey – Istanbul & Pamukkale

Extended Weekend Getaways from the US:

  1. Trinidad
  2. Martinique
  3. Barbados
  4. Antigua
  5. Panama
  6. Alaska
  7. Curacao
  8. Honduras – Roatan & the Bay Islands

Extended Weekend Getaways in the US:

  1. Yosemite
  2. Grand Canyon
  3. New Orleans

Extended Weekend Getaways from Europe:

  1. Latvia 
  2. Estonia
  3. Finland
  4. Sweden
  5. Czech Republic

Should I Happen to Have a Week in Europe… Places (Summer Edition):

  1. Portugal & Madeira OR Portugal & Azores
  2. Corsica
  3. Sardinia & Sicily
  4. Croatia
  5. Bosnia
  6. Romania
  7. Georgia
  8. Abkhazia, which I will classify as semi-sovereign in the absence of a proper international ruling on its status…
  9. Ireland & Scotland

Should I Happen to Have a Week in Europe… Places (Winter Edition):

  1. Norway 
  2. Austria & Hungary OR Austria & specifically Berlin OR Austria & Slovenia
  3. Morocco
  4. Egypt
  5. Tunisia

“Eventually Getting There” Places:

  1. Brazil
  2. Chile
  3. Argentina – Buenos Aires & Uruguay – Montevideo
  4. Israel & Jordan
  5. UAE

“Eventually Getting There” Places, Dictatorship Edition:

  1. Burma
  2. Cuba
  3. North Korea

Trips of a Lifetime Routes:

  1. Indonesia & Papua New Guinea
  2. Patagonia & Antarctica
  3. Tanzania (including Zanzibar) & Madagascar
  4. Namibia & Botswana & South Africa
  5. Rwanda & Burundi
  6. Burkina Faso & Benin & Togo
  7. Cambodia & Japan
  8. Australia (incl. Tasmania) & New Zealand
  9. Fiji & Polynesia / Palau

The Leftovers:

  1. Hawaii, where I’m hoping someone gets married so I can kill multiple birds with a single boulder
  2. Nepal & Tibet, although I’m really not a hiker/mountaineer…
  3. Mauritius / Maldives (my guess is they’re more or less the same thing, with the former slightly less picture-perfect than the latter?)
  4. Sri Lanka – it would be ideal to tack this one onto India, but Goa wins
  5. Philippines

CREDIT: I was inspired by Lonely Planet’s Travel Book and the 1,000 Places to See Before You Die app whilst creating this list. If you enjoy traveling, you’ll love both.

NEXT UP: Planning where the $@#% I’m going to spend President’s Day. Stay tuned!