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Where I Would Go If Money Were No Object

Updated on December 14, 2016
Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran is a writer & former newspaper reporter/editor who traveled the world as a soldier's better half. Her works are on Amazon.


What's on your list?

How many of us have ever said, "If I won the lottery, I'd go to . . . "

I don't know anybody who dreams or fantasizes or wishes for great things to come their way and doesn't include imagining the places in the world they'd love to see sometime in their own lifetime. Many dreams are simply synonomous with travel. If I only had the money - If I only had the time - If I only walked away from the old 9 to 5 -

My personal wish list for travel may be a little out of the ordinary because I have been blessed with opportunities to travel already in my life. You won't find Paris or Rome or Sydney or Nairobi or Santorini on my list only because I've already been on more than one "trip of a lifetime" and received the thrill of seeing those places. I'd certainly be willing to return to any of those amazing locations, but there are always more discoveries to make.

Wanderlust is the perfect word to describe the condition that afflicts those who desire to see the world. From the first trip, you are hooked. You can ask anyone even freshly returned from their most recent adventure, and they can probably tell you without a moment's hesitation, where they want to go next. The more you see, the more you want to see. So, here we go:

1. Glacier National Park

This location is probably number one with me because of the temptation to just go out to the garage, get in my car and go. As the airline slogan says: There is nothing stopping me. No passport, no boarder crossing, no ocean to cross. It's right there in Montana. I literally can get there from here.

Of course, if I'm really going to do it right, and in a dream there is nothing to limit you, I would start out by heading for the upper peninsula of the Great Lakes. From there I would work my way over to Banff, Canada (so I guess I would need a password) and end up at Glacier Park.

2. Dubrovnik

OK. I gave it away with the cutline for the photo. How many knew Dubrovnik was in Croatia? The only thing I knew about Croatia was we were involved in a war there in the 1990s.

My husband and I decided a great reward for his spending 18 months on a contract in Kuwait in 2009 would be a Mediterranean cruise with a couple of our best friends. The first thing out of his mouth was - I want to go to Dubrovnik, one of the best preserved midevial cities on the planet. So, of course, the cruise we ended up selecting went from Rome to Venice, with many ports of call in between - but - we sailed right past Dubrovnik in the middle of the night.

After seeing pictures and reading how this is one of the 100 best drives in the world I said - good. I'm glad we sailed right by because this is not a place to spend one day with eight thousand of your closest friends when the cruise ships dock for six hours. This is a place to spend a week - at least. No missing the night life, no judging the food by one, single lunch; no cramming onto a tour bus and trying to take pictures through the tinted windows. Go. Spend some time. Soak it in. Dubrovnik.

3. Saint Petersberg to Beijing on the Orient Express (Does it still exist?)

Of course if money were no object I'd arrive in Saint Petersberg via a cruise of the Scandanavian fiords. After spending at least a week in the city of the Winter Palace and the wandering spirits of past czars, I'd see the best of the northern Asian continent in the depths of winter from the toasty hovel of a compartment on a steam engine train, bellowing its way through a vast wonderland of first-time sights - first time for me anyway. All I'd have to do is look out the picture window and drink tea - with cognac.

4. Iceland

Where I really want to go is Antarctica. I've gotten as close as Christchurch, New Zealand. But - I know I can't get there from here. Why? Two words: sea sickness. A patch works for me on big, steady cruise ships. But the crossings to Antarctica from either South America or New Zealand are known to be the roughest rides on the planet. I couldn't do it. I'd ask them to throw me overboard before I got there.

So, first runner up: Iceland. A five hour flight from New York. No sea sickness - or not much.

Glaciers, floating icebergs (remember The Titanic?) the largest waterfall and geyser in Europe. Five hours from NY !!!

5. Scandinavia

You might have figured out by now: I love beautiful scenery. But I need some advice on this one. I think I'd be happy just to cruise the fjords of Scandinavia and enjoy the view. Cogenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo: these must be amazing cities, but I need to learn more about them to lure me away from the breathtaking views of the natural landscape.

So far, this is all I've learned:

Kronborg Castle is one of the top sights in Denmark. This impressive castle was the actual inspiration for "Elsinore" in Shakespeare's Hamlet.

The Øresund Bridge is reported to be one of those can't-miss sights in Denmark. The scenic 10-mile bridge connects Sweden and Denmark, carrying more than 60,000 travelers by car or train daily.

In Norway, the North Cape is a monumental natural experience offering breathtaking views, unusual climatic conditions, the dramatic cliff itself, and the fact that you are standing at Europe's northern end.

The Royal Palace in Oslo offers a "royal" event at 1:30 pm - 2:10 pm daily. In the summer, mounted police officers and a Norwegian military band lead the guards through Norway's capital.

Göta Canal appears to be the place to see in Sweden. This 150-mile canal was built in the early 19th centuryand stretches from Gothenburg on the west coast all the way to Söderköping on the east coast of Sweden.

The War Ship Vasa was built by King Gustavus Adolphus II in 1628 and is billed as a major attraction in Stockholm at the Vasa Museum. The king made his ship much too shallow and it had major design flaws. On her virgin voyage, the Vasa tipped over and sank only 900 feet from shore where the public was watching.


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    • Kathleen Cochran profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathleen Cochran 

      3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Just passed my 4th anniversary on HP. This hub was one of my first.

    • Kathleen Cochran profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathleen Cochran 

      4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      suzettenaples: Enjoy that piece of heaven in Austria! Don't blame you for protecting your secret.

      RTalloni: everywhere I've never been - sounds perfect.

      Merriest Christmas to both of you and thanks for taking time on Christmas Eve to read my little hub.

    • RTalloni profile image


      4 years ago from the short journey

      Well, of course! If money were no object, guests would be in order…duh. : So, everywhere I've never been it is. :) Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 

      4 years ago from Taos, NM

      What a fun question! I would go to my favorite ski resort in Austria which will remain unnamed because I don't want a bunch of tourists showing up and ruining it. It is heaven on earth any season of the year. It is the most beautiful and pristine place I have ever been and I just wish it existed here in the U.S. Merry Christmas to you and your family Kathleen and enjoy the holidays!

    • Kathleen Cochran profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathleen Cochran 

      4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      rebekahELLE: You are absolutely right. The more of the world you see, the more you want to see. And LOTR may be digitally enhanced, but those mountains are real. They are called the Remarkables - and they certainly are.

      RTalloni: You are absolutely right too. My first choice of a trip takes me to my kids and grands too. Better yet. It brings them along.

    • RTalloni profile image


      4 years ago from the short journey

      A pretty good list, for sure. Interesting place to think about visiting. If money were really no object I would want to visit everywhere I've never been! If only one trip could be chosen, I would still probably choose the trip that takes me to my kids and grands. :)

    • rebekahELLE profile image


      4 years ago from Tampa Bay

      I saw this on my feed, decided to come in and read. Your choices sound amazing. The one place I've always wanted to visit I already have, that being Paris. And at some point, I'll return. I have an open invitation from a friend who lives there. I would LOVE to see New Zealand. I'm a big LOTR fan, so I would love to see the land and the amazing mountains.

      Dubrovnik sounds fantastic, I think I would like to see Riga, Latvia also while I'm in the region. I would also love to see part of South America, especially Peru and the Incan ruins.

      Sigh, so many other places I would love to visit. I have a friend who has traveled the world, he's been almost everywhere. I guess it's nice that we can visit virtually if we can't make it physically! I enjoyed reading!

    • Kathleen Cochran profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathleen Cochran 

      5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      I didn't realize I sorted by the weather, but I guess being warm is not a qualifier for me, which is strange because the main thing I don't like about skiing is being cold. I know what you mean about long lists when it comes to books too!

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 

      5 years ago from Georgia

      Great Hub, Kathleen. Where would I go? The list is so long and the time so short. It's like the books I've yet to read. There are so many.

      My ideal places to visit are always warm and usually include the beach. Voluntarily traveling to the cold equates to hardships for me.

      Thanks for sharing your trips.

      Take care.

    • truthfornow profile image


      5 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      I never thought I would say I want to got to Croatia, but I am liking the idea of Dubrovnik ~ it looks and sounds so cool. Thanks for opening my eyes.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 

      5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Still an absolutely wonderful Hub. You seem to be drawn toward cold places. I know I am. I once toyed with the idea of being the "history guide and speaker" for a cruise liner on one of their ships that hugs the coastline of Alaska. The pay is basically the cost of room and board, which is pretty sweet, and your time is your own except for four hours a day.

      What gives me pause when I think about it is not the two hours a day of lecture or presentation (I can do that with my hands tied behind my back), but the obligation to sit with the same table of 12 for lunch and dinner for the entire week. As I have gotten older, I find it extremely draining to be the "life of the party." When I was younger keeping a group talking and interested was a piece of cake.

      I suppose if I were an aging mathematician (instead of an aging historian) I would come up with an algebraic equation that indicated the exact decline in energy and enthusiasm versus the supposed increase in patience and wisdom as the years roll by. :) Great Hub. :)

    • sarahshuihan profile image


      5 years ago from USA

      yes, let's!

    • Kathleen Cochran profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathleen Cochran 

      5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Pavlo: Japan and Bali are not bad places to dream about at all! You know, the more you travel, the more places you want to go.

      phdast7: I think you read this before!!

      sarahshuihan: Didn't know about a festival in Mongolia in July. Let's go!

    • sarahshuihan profile image


      5 years ago from USA

      Great hub! I want to personally travel from Russia to China (like you) and stopping off in Mongolia to see their festival in July (I forgot the name of it). It's a dream of mine.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 

      5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Great Hub Kathleen and gorgeous pictures. Sorry you were having trouble with the Hub. Sharing, of course! :)

    • Pavlo Badovskyy profile image

      Pavlo Badovskyi 

      5 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine

      Dreams, sweet dreams:) I want to visit Japan and Bali. Your list of places is much more impressive :)

    • Kathleen Cochran profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathleen Cochran 

      7 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Beautiful British Columbia! Used to live at Ft. Lewis, WA. Not surprised by the recommendation. Good to know you.

    • Maralexa profile image

      Marilyn Alexander 

      7 years ago from Vancouver, Canada and San Jose del Cabo, Mexico

      Hi Kathleen, fabulous hub! If you like Glacier National Park you may also like Desolation Sound. A terrible name for an absolutely gorgeous Land and ocean park off the west coast of British Columbia (about halfway up Vancouver Island).

      Loved your hub and really do look forward to your to be continued hubs.

    • Kathleen Cochran profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathleen Cochran 

      7 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      OK. I'm trying this again. I hope all pictures are to code!

    • Kathleen Cochran profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathleen Cochran 

      7 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Sorry for removing so many of the pictures. I got dinged for poor quality. I need to get better at this!

    • moncrieff profile image


      7 years ago from New York, NY

      I'd love to see Venice in a cold uninviting winter. And most of Dalmatia, too, but in summertime :) I also dream of going to Africa, only in this time of trouble on the entire continent it's hard to undertake.

    • ladyjane1 profile image


      7 years ago from Texas

      Great hub I have been to the Winter Palace and it was amazing...Cheers.

    • The Frog Prince profile image

      The Frog Prince 

      7 years ago from Arlington, TX

      Somewhere where the federal government couldn't try to control me. I want to retire in Costa Rica. We'll see!

      To dream is to be Kathleen.

      The Frog

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I'm very interested in your "to bcontinued." So far, I'm happy with the places I've gone and don't have a major longing to go anywhere else. But that may just be because I don't have the money to travel endlessly. Perhaps a defense tool. Now that you have me thinking, I may have to put the Scandinavian countries on my list along with the West Coast and Australia. I guess I need to give this more thought.


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