Our 2017 Travel Bucket List / Christmas Wish List

Did you put together a Christmas wish list this year? Since we’re all about collecting experiences over things, this year we put together a travel wish list. I love that the past few years we’ve been meeting more and more people with the same mindset. We’re really hoping Santa puts some flight tickets under the Christmas tree this year! What about you?


1. Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Festival in New Mexico

This is the largest balloon festival in the world and has over 500 balloons go up every year!

Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon FestivalPin

2. Oahu

The floating lantern memorial happens on Memorial Day every year at Ala Moana Beach to honor and remember those who have fallen in service to their country.

Lantern Floating at Ala Moana Beach, Honolulu Oaha // localadventurer.comPin
photo: Kassia Phoy

3. Alaska

We’ve been wanting to go to Alaska for quite some time, but can’t decide whether we want to do a cruise or fly in to spend a couple weeks hiking around. Check out the link above for more photos from my friend’s Spencer Glacier hike in Alaska.

Spencer Glacier Hike Alaska (2017 Travel Bucket List) // localadventurer.comPin
photo: Christine Tran

4. Banff National Park

We live road-tripping distance from it now, so it’s going to happen this year! Do you think it’s better in the summer or winter?

Moraine Lake Banff National Park Alberta Canada // localadventurer.comPin
photo: Melissa Teng (love the photos and how positive her witandfolly ig account is)

5. Patagonia

We really want to do the W or O circuit here. Need to start getting back in hiking shape!

Torres Del Paine, Patagonia (Our Travel Wish List for 2017) // localadventurer.comPin
photo: Javier Ignacio Acuña Ditzel

6. Kilimanjaro

Another hike we can’t wait to do!

Kilimanjaro (Our 2017 Travel Bucket List) // localadventurer.comPin
photo: ConstantineD

7. Australia

One of my goals is to set foot on every continent, and we mistakenly thought that New Zealand was part of the continent of Australia. Who knew that they didn’t have to be part of one of the seven continents? Can’t wait to dive the Great Barrier Reef and see the 12 Apostles among other sights.

12 Apostles in Australia (2017 Travel Bucket List) // localadventurer.comPin
photo: Yanxin Wang

8. Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka (Our 2017 Travel Bucket List) // localadventurer.comPin
photo: f. ermert

9. Madagascar

Avenue of the Baobabs, Madagascar (Our 2017 Travel Bucket List) // localdventurer.comPin
photo: asfd01

10. Antarctica

The last of the continents we want to set foot on! We were planning on saving this for a retirement trip, but since we’ve been seeing our friends go to Antarctica, it looks much more achievable and we want to go sooner!

Antarctica Cruise (2017 Travel Wish List) // localadventurer.comPin
photo: Ronald Woan

Our Highlights of 2016 + Recommendations

1. Derawan Islands, Indonesia

Here we swam with whale sharks, stingless jellyfish, and tons of sea turtles (there were more than I’ve ever seen anywhere else!).

Swimming with Lagoon Jellyfish that Don't Sting - Derawan Island Indonesia // localadventurer.comPin

2. Cappadocia, Turkey

Going up in a hot air balloon here has been a dream of mine, and this year thanks to Turkish Airlines and Inflow Travel, we had the opportunity to check this off! It was an amazing experience, and we highly recommend it! For those who feel nervous about traveling to Turkey because of what you’ve seen on the media must know that we felt completely safe the whole time we were there, and it’s a shame that people are afraid to travel to such a beautiful place.

Magical Experience Riding Cappadocia Hot Air Balloons in Turkey // localadventurer.comPin

3. The Wave, Arizona

Winning a permit in the lottery for the Wave was impossible until this year. Jacob had been trying on and off for the past 5 years, but thanks to Airstream, we were able to camp out in Kanab for several days and go in for as many days as we needed to enter the lottery. Luckily, on the second day we were chosen and got to visit this gem!

How to Get Permits for The Wave - Coyote Buttes North in Vermillion Cliffs National Monument // localadventurer.comPin

Go check out the wonderful photography work our friends and other talented photographers using the links below each photo!

What is on your travel wish list for next year? Or should I say travel checklist if that makes it more likely to happen? ;)



Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, which is one of the top 50 travel blogs in the world. They believe that adventure can be found both near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They move to a new city every year and currently live in Portland, Oregon.

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Read Next // localadventurer.com


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