30 Travel Goals For My Wanderlustful Soul, Part 1

“Not all those who wander are lost.”

~ J.R.R. Tolkien

With the New Year commencing and the focus on resolutions at the forefront of everyone’s mind, I decided to take a slightly different approach.  Looking back at the map from my previous post, I wanted to set goals to accomplish in my quest to see the world.  This is not my bucket list, but perhaps much of the travel portion of the list as of now. While there are many goals (and this post will be divided into two parts), I am still looking for new inspirations and ideas, so feedback is requested and appreciated. So here it goes…


  1. Visit all of the continents (except Antarctica).

So far, I have hit North America (obv), South America, and Europe. Three down, three to go, but I also need to explore more of the three continents I have already checked off the list more thoroughly.  There are so many places to go and see, and so much diversity that I want to be sure to visit multiple countries on each continent. But let me be unequivocally clear: I have zero compelling desire to ever visit Antarctica.  None whatsoever. Not ever. I see no need or logical reason to subject myself to that experience in the least.

Completed: 5 of 6: North America, South America, Europe, Australia, Asia.  


  1. Dream Trip: Italy and Greece.



Like so many people, I long to go to Italy and Greece for an extended getaway. I want to see the Coliseum in Rome, take in the Tuscan sun, eat pizza in its birthplace in Naples, and relax on Capri. And the Greek Isles are a must visually and photographically. As a self-proclaimed foodie, I need the pasta, the vino, the pizza. It speaks to me.


  1. Stand in two places at once.

Pal Teravagimov/Shutterstock

I want this experience to be on a grand scale. I am not talking standing on the border of two states; I’m talking straddling the Equator. Visiting the Greenwich Prime Meridian (separating the Eastern and Western Hemispheres). Or maybe standing on that spot at the Four Corners Monument that is located where Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah meet to accomplish a standing on a whopping four places at once.  Other unique suggestions welcome!


  1. See the Northern Lights.


The lights are a photographer’s dream. The Aurora Borealis (or Aurora Austrialis in the southern hemi), which are caused by electrically charged particles from the Sun interacting with Earth’s atmosphere, appear to be simply stunning by all accounts. Generally, the lights are best viewed and most vibrant in winter. And given that I, as mentioned in #1, have zero intention of traveling to Antarctica (and especially not in the winter), my best bet to view this color display is either far northern Canada or Alaska, or northern Europe, like Sweden, Finland or Iceland, for example. I know, kind of the same climate as Antarctica, but certainly not as extreme, and at least there is civilization.


  1. Visit one new state and one new country each year for the next five years.


This is a goal I am immediately commencing. I think this will be a great way to expand my horizons, both at home and abroad. This year, my new state is Texas and the new country is in the works for this year. Stay tuned.

2015 Complete: New State= Texas. New Countries: Panama, Turks & Caicos Islands

2016 Complete: New State= New Mexico. New Countries: Martinique, France, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, New Zealand, Australia. 

2017: Incomplete New State. New Countries: Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates. 

  1. Witness the Great Pyramids and the Great Sphinx.

Pius Lee/Shutterstock

Does this even need explanation?  It is the last standing Wonder of the Ancient/Classic World. It is an architectural phenomenon of ancient Africa that is a marvel to modern man. And the Great Sphinx of Giza, with its African-shaped features missing the nose that was blown off, stands as a testament to a proud and intellectually advanced people. I simply cannot miss seeing it in my lifetime.


  1. Travel on a solo, non-business, international trip.



This is a tough one for me. Sans business trips, I haven’t done any solo pleasure travel. The idea of it makes me a bit nervous. What if I’m bored? What about safety? What about feeling lonely? However, I know more and more women my age making solo travel not just a priority but a lifestyle, and they swear by it.  Admittedly, I am somewhat intrigued by the prospect. So I am putting this on my list as encouragement to get up the gumption to take my first international, solo, pleasure trip.

Completed: Panama AND Vancouver, solo international trips

  1. Attend a music festival.


Whitney Hughley

Coachella. South by Southwest. Electric Daisy Carnival. New Orleans Jazz Festival. I Heart Radio. Lollapalooza. There are certainly no shortage of music festivals occurring every year, mixing music and travel. But I have never been to any of them, even though Coachella is but a mere two hours away. So in the near future, I want to both attend and write on a music festival. Which one? Well, that is the question.


  1. Take a spontaneous trip.

Anyone who knows me knows I am a planner. I spend a large fair amount of time looking for the best deal and the best accommodations and doing at least some research before arriving at my destination. This is not to say that I am a person who has to plan every moment of every trip; it is actually quite the contrary. But I am not the most spontaneous person when it comes to booking a trip on a whim just because I feel like it. I admire the people that can just book an international trip on a dime when one of those “mistake” (read: PR stunt) airfare deals pop up for a few hours to exotic places like Abu Dhabi or South Africa, but that’s not my nature. But I am going to change that. At some point, I am just going to see a good deal and book the flight. As one of my buddies stated during the last airline flash sale “Book Now, Plan Later.”

Completed: New Zealand glitch, 2016. 

  1. Shoot (photos) on Safari in Africa.

Carolyn E. Wright/www.vividwildlife.com

This may sound cliché but I really want to do a safari in Africa. I want to shoot (photos of) wild animals in their habitat. But again, I am not crazy, so I would like to do a day safari. Not some sleep-in-open-air-where-the-animals-can-come-sniff-your-face overnight safari. Nope, just a jeep, some armed guards, some natural habitat, and some great shots are sufficient for me.


  1. Visit 2 or 3 of the Great Falls.


Filip Fuxa/Shutterstock

Waterfalls are mystical, powerful, gorgeous forces of nature. I have already seen one of what I refer to as the “Great” falls, the Niagara Falls, straddling the US-Canada border. The others on my list are the Iguaçu Falls (border of Argentina and Brazil), the Angel Falls (Venezuela) and the Victoria Falls (border of Zambia and Zimbabwe).

Completed: 1 of 3. Niagara Falls- Visited Summer 2004.


  1. Attend Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York City.

I had to include this even though it has been completed because it was pretty awesome. This was accomplished last year thanks to my buddy Leah Frazier, one of the most successful and well-known fashion editors and bloggers in Dallas. Check out my post and gallery regarding my experience at fashion’s biggest event in the USA. Next stop: Paris?

Completed: September 2014.



  1. See 3 world-renowned religious churches/monuments.

Christ the Redeemer 1


Along with the Great Pyramids, I am interested in visiting various religious monuments or churches. I was fortunate to go to Corcovado Mountain in Parque Nacional da Tijuca (Tijuca Forest National Park) in Rio and view the Christ the Redeemer statute. It was absolutely stunning and the scale is so much larger than you can imagine. The intricacy and detail—even down to the nail piercings in Jesus’ hands—was exquisite. And from other parts of Rio, the statute appears to be hovering over the clouds as the fog rolled out, as if watching over the city.

Completed: 1 of 3. Cristo Redentor, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil- September 2008.

Completed: 2 of 3. Westminster Abbey, London, Great Britain- July 2016.

Completed 3 of 3: Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, UAE- October 2017. 


  1. Volunteer/do a service project abroad.

Junial Enterprises/Shutterstock

This is very important to me. I am a strong believer in “Unto whom much is given, much is required” (Luke 12:48). Thus, on an upcoming trip to a “third world” or less-fortunate country or city, I want to do something to help the local people in some way. I have no idea what that means or where, but I am open to suggestions.


  1. Submit and have a travel article published in print form.


As a classically trained and former practicing print journalist, I have had many a story published in national and local outlets, including newspapers, magazines, and even the wire. But I have not had a travel article published, and I would like to accomplish that sooner rather than later.

Completed: World Bride Magazine, Summer 2015 Edition

Completed: Featured in Essence Magazine, June 2017

Check out Part 2 of this List here.

The copyrights in all photos without attribution above are owned by Tyra Hughley Smith. Main Photo Credit: Jag_cz/Shutterstock.


I am a lawyer. I am a journalist. I am a writer. I am a photographer. And I love to travel.

28 comments on “30 Travel Goals For My Wanderlustful Soul, Part 1”

  1. I’ve always wanted to visit the Northern Lights and I’ve always wanted to go to the Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil. The Great Pyramid are definitely on my list of must go places when i graduate from college ♥

  2. I love this post. I’ve never heard of the lights! Now that I want to see. And yes I would totally stand on the equator. Amazing! Keep traveling so I can continue to dream and add to my list.

  3. Nice post! I definitely want to hit a few places/do a few things on your list as well like traveling to Egypt and seeing the pyramids, hitting all of the continents except for Antartica (lol), and seeing Christ the Redeemer in Brazil. I’m going to Greece this summer and hopefully can hit Rome right before! 🙂

    Kasi | http://www.thejmichaelproject.com/kasiperkins

  4. You’re reminding me that I have so many blog posts to write regarding my travels as I’ve done quite a few of these things. For #3, there’s a lake between Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe where you would be in all three countries at once. And you can actually see Namibia from there.

  5. I totally am going to add your list to my list. There’s great stuff on here. But make sure you hold out for something cool like the equator. The 4 Corners Monument is really really lame.

  6. awesome list! We have some similarities. I would like to attend a music festival. I think I don’t have too strong of a want to go to EDC. Coachella is this month. I thought about it, but those prices…eh. I think your one of the first travel bloggers I have seen who doesn’t want to go to Antartica. That is Kool though. I loved Rome and Greece is high up on my list.

  7. Another great list! We definitely have similar travel tastes lol. I have been to Italy twice and Greece once and they are definitely a must! I also dream of going on safari in Africa and seeing Victoria Falls. I now know you are going on a solo trip so I hope you enjoy it! I love musical festivals as well and hope to go to the Nola jazz fest next year!

  8. Your list is my list! I’ve been to Italy once before many many years ago, but I want to go back and linger and eat and photography my way across the country. And Egypt. Sigh. My travel wish list is loooong

  9. You have a lot of exciting goals on your list! Right now, the husband and I just want to try and visit the 48 contiguous United States before hitting international travel.

  10. I have a lot of this on my bucket list too since these are all rich heritage sites and dream locations. I was also able to visit 3 continents to date, Asia, Australia and Europe.

  11. This list is inspiring! I especially like the #9. The line “book now, plan later” sounds so exciting. I did this one time when an airline had a crazy deal for a less-popular destination. I purchased tickets a year ahead. That was spontaneous purchase. Because it was so far ahead, I forgot about it and when it was close to the travel date, I had to scramble, lol..

  12. This is a serious list. I love that variety and you have definitely given me some new ideas. I travel solo a lot by choice and I too sometimes have to deal with thinking about safety but I never get bored, there is just too much to do in the cities I visit alone.

  13. These are really great travel goals and I share quite a lot with you! I’d also love to visit all the continents but I’d also love to go to Antartica, I think boats go there from Argentina and South Africa but I may be wrong! I hope you get to tick off all these goals one day 🙂

  14. I share your wanderlustful list, Tyra. Greece is also one of my dream trips – I was actually hoping that whoever the guy is that I’ll marry would think of proposing to me in Greece. Lol. If you ever come to Southeast Asia, especially in Manila ( Philippines ), do lemme know.

  15. I am just getting serious about traveling with my life this year. I love all of your 15 wanderlust list I want to the same thanks for inspiring me!!

  16. I definitely have a list like this with just travel. 🙂 And many of these are very similar. Italy and Greece is amazing!! 🙂 I personally was not a fan of Cairo and the great pyramids. I guess I expected it to be different.. maybe a little cleaner… and we saw a dead decaying horse right next to it! :/

  17. Love this list! I’d love to see the Northern Lights in person some day. Visiting Italy (Europe in general) is super high on my travel bucket list <3

  18. As usual, enjoyed reading and learning. I’m undrestanding you more and really appreciate your talents and skills at writing. Please continue, i look forward to reading your blogs. Thanks

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