2014 was such an awesome year of travel, it will be hard to top. These destinations have been on my bucket list for months, from cosmopolitan cities like Seoul to cultural hotspots like the remote island of Yap.
Film a Wildlife Documentary in Cairns, Australia
UPDATE: Since this was posted, I filmed a travel documentary in Cairns. Watch it now!
Photograph the Pastel Buildings of Cinque Terre, Italy
I tried to go to Cinque Terre in 2001, I really did. I got as far as Nice, France and didn’t make it. It was my maiden voyage to Europe, a requisite of the early twenties, and I had been fantasizing about Cinque Terre for months after seeing good ole Rick Steves cover it on his show. Some friends invited us to go with them to Italy and Switzerland in November, so my dream is soon to become a reality.
Stay in a Hotel Beneath the Matterhorn, Switzerland
This inspiration came from seeing pictures friends took on their trip to Switzerland, as well as the fabulous mountain climbing movie, North Face. I can picture myself curled up under a blanket sipping something warm and alcoholic gazing at the majestic Matterhorn. You get snow fantasies a lot when you live in perpetual 86-degree heat on a tropical island.
Marvel at the Modernity of Seoul, Korea
Seoul is a quick direct flight away from Guam (anything under 5 hours is quick to us). All my friends who have visited Seoul gave rave reviews. With modern architecture, sensory busting shopping, and beautiful hikes, Seoul is a megacity that also happens to be relatively safe, much like Tokyo.
Watch the Colorful Dancers in Yap
Yap is one of the most unspoiled of the Micronesian islands. This small island is known for its massive stone money and its colorful cultural dancers. It is also a diving destination to see giant manta rays. It is common practice for Yapese women to go topless, so you may see a little black bar on my photos.
See the Northern Lights in Iceland
I can’t remember when Iceland first inspired me, but you can’t watch The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and not want to see it for yourself. I’ve never seen the Northern Lights anyway and I can’t think of a more perfect setting than the birthplace of Björk. I’m obsessed with Iceland indie music, in case you didn’t know!
UPDATE: I traveled to Iceland in May 2015, didn’t see the Northern Lights (instead I got 20 hours of daylight!), and made a travel film, The Sound of Iceland.