My Most Egregious Travel Oversights

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Some of my proudest moments have come from traveling to unusual destinations — the Faroe Islands, southern Laos, Shetland, Liechtenstein.

But what about the destinations that I really should have visited by now, but haven’t?  Obvious places.  Places that I really should have hit considering where I’ve been already (like much of North America, Europe, and Southeast Asia), but for some reason, I’ve never actually visited.

Here are my most egregious travel oversights (so far!):


It’s one of the most popular cities to visit in Europe — but not only have I never been to Amsterdam, I’ve never been to the Netherlands!

Amsterdam is just one of those places that has never happened for me.  I haven’t prioritized it, thinking that an opportunity to visit would pop up in the near future.  And while those opportunities do pop up, they also tend to disappear quickly, so I still haven’t made it here.

Maybe a trip to Amsterdam paired with a side tour to Luxembourg would be nice…

Koh Phangan and the Full Moon Party

Considering how many people came up to me at TBEX saying, “You’re the one who partied a lot in Southeast Asia, right?” it seems particularly egregious that I never made it to the biggest Southeast Asian party of all — the Full Moon Party!

Why?  I kept putting it off, thinking that I had a few more months.  Then it came down to the last few days of my Asia trip, my bud Ste was nursing some Vang Vieng injuries, and it felt so nice just staying in Bangkok and getting foot massages every night — so I never went.  I don’t regret it.


I’ve been all over America — from Boston to Los Angeles to Seattle to Washington, DC — but I’ve missed the geographical center of the country, and its most famous city, Chicago.  Why?  It just hasn’t happened yet.  When it happens, rest assured that I will eat everything in sight.

I will definitely be visiting Chicago next year — my friend Jen is getting married there in June!  (And it’s NOT during a conference weekend!)


Does anyone out there not dream of visiting Greece?  Those pictures of Santorini are legendary!  But as many beautiful countries as I’ve seen in Europe, I have yet to make it to Greece.

But when I went to sail islands, I headed for the Adriatic instead — and Croatia.  I loved Croatia and appreciated that it was much cheaper than Greece would be.  But Greece will most definitely be visited when the time is right.


Lots of Filipinos read this site, and it seems like every day someone is inviting me to come visit the Philippines.  I would LOVE to, and I was supposed to!

In Southeast Asia, I ran through my money faster than I thought I would.  Flying from Saigon to the Philippines and enjoying the Philippines would have been more expensive than mainland Southeast Asia, so I just went back to Cambodia and lived on $15 a day for a few weeks.

Don’t worry — I still long to visit the Philippines, from the beaches to the mountains, and I know it will happen soon!

Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket

And the simply MOST egregious oversight takes place in my own backyard.  I grew up in Massachusetts, spend much of my time there today, and I have yet to visit these islands off the south coast of the Commonwealth.

Why?  I’m from the North Shore.  People from the North Shore rarely head south of Boston, and vice versa.  Between that and the fact that I spent my summers camping in New Hampshire, the islands just haven’t been on my radar.

Every summer I say this is finally the year that I’ll get to the islands — and at the end of each summer, I find myself shaking my head, as it STILL hasn’t happened.  Guess I need to prioritize this for the future.

What are YOUR most egregious travel oversights?

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43 thoughts on “My Most Egregious Travel Oversights”

  1. You haven’t been to Chicago? For serious?? Gotta get there! It’s one of the places in the U.S. I always tell people they need to visit.

    As for my list… well, I could include pretty much all of Western Europe! Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Prague… I need to see them all still!

  2. There are too many places on my list to even begin!

    London is a pretty bad one though, considering I am from England! It’s not even that I haven’t been, it’s just that I only ever manage to get there to visit people and I never actually see anything except for friends houses and maybe a local pub! I could be anywhere!

    I do keep going back to Greece though. I love it completely. You must get there soon!

  3. We were just talking about this weren’t we? I’ve never been to Chicago either- maybe we should get sent there!

    Other then that my most egregious oversights are definitely Paris, Hawaii and Mexico (minus one weekend).

  4. Two of those were on my list as well. But I finally visited Amsterdam and Nantucket this summer. It was definitely worth it! Amsterdam is super funky, and Nantucket has this amazing New England charm. I hope you’ll make it out there soon – you won’t regret 🙂

  5. I love Chicago! One of America’s hidden gems that the coasts like to forget exist:-).

    Mine are The Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree and Yosemite. And I live in Los Angeles. My feeling is, I’m so close, I can them whenever.

  6. For all the locales I’ve visited around the world (six continents plus Easter Island), it’s kind of surprising that I’ve never been to Florida — especially since I’ve lived on the U.S.’s East Coast for most of my life. Hawaii is another oversight on my part (and other places in North America that I hope to travel to for the first time include Seattle, Alaska, and Vancouver). Internationally, I would rank Hungary, Poland — most of Eastern Europe, actually — and all of the Caribbean and Central America, as glaring omissions from my globetrotting to date. The more places I go to, the more I become conscious of how much I HAVEN’T seen.

  7. Yayyyy You’re back. I get so sad when bloggers take a short hiatus from writing. I wait anxiously. So horrah for returning!

    For me – I have been coast to coast in Canada visiting all 10 provinces and yet in the USA I’ve only visited 2 states – Minnesota and Florida (and only for Disneyland). And with the long winters in Canada you’d figure at some point I would of headed to Mexico – I am heading there for my first time on Oct 16th!

    Those are my most obvious otherwise I’m doing pretty well with visiting all the top tourist destinations.

  8. While I have hit most continents I admit to being obsessed with Spain and I have never been obsessed with anything in my life. To date I have wondered all over La Costa Brava through Andalucia, meandered through Castilla La Mancha and then fell in love with the extremes of Extremadura. Unfortunately, I still long to eat my way through Galicia, get lost in Asturias, or relish in a northern favorite, Basque country (even though my 1st love was from here!). My day will soon come but in the meantime everywhere else seems to take a back seat….

    Thanks for all you inspiration Kate!

    1. You have so much eating left to go, G! Galicia and Asturias (where my boyfriend’s family is from) are some of my favorite cuisines in Spain. And Kate, I’m from Chicago and only JUST went to NYC this year, right before turning 27 and celebrating five years abroad! Glad to hear you’ll get there soon – it’s still my favorite place in the world (in summertime, that is!). Safe travels.

  9. I was surprised to see three places on your list that I’ve visited,Amsterdam,Martha’s Vineyard and Chicago.Though my list of unusual and exotic places I’ve visited is very short.

  10. Interesting list! I have several places I’ve yet to see that I am desperate to, but that’s the goal of my huge RTW adventure planned next year. I grew up in Southern California and have traveled to the east coast several times, working my way up the eastern seaboard, but have never been to the middle states (that includes Chicago), or Florida, or the South (except Biloxi)…so I have much to do in my own backyard as well.

    And YOU MUST GO TO AMSTERDAM. That is my biased advice of the day. 🙂 It’s my favorite international city, and I’ve been in and out of A’dam a dozen times in the past five years, and lived and worked there for a few months last year. It’s a fabulous city but so many people skate over it based on the unfair and hyperinflated reputation it has. This might help you prioritize it a bit more. 🙂

    Hope you get to all of these places soon!

  11. I have got the U.S. and Western Europe pretty much covered. In Europe I am missingI Prague, Greece and N. Europe. Next I can add anywhere in Asia, Australia,New Zealand and S. America.

    If I ever get over my obsession with Spain I might actually make it to some of these other places.

  12. being Eastern European, I guess it’s an oversight that I haven’t been around the region since I was 14. until then, we were not allowed to go to western Europe, so everyone went camping in Slovakia, etc. but since then, well there is always something way more interesting to see.
    I used to make the same omission living in northern Thailand, just always postponing the nearby places, “there is still plenty of time for that”.

  13. It happens! I’ve seen much more of Europe than I have of the US. (no Chicago for me either!) I might have to cancel my Thailand trip this spring because of unexpected expenses. If so I plan on using that as an opportunity to travel more locally. Like you said, we’ll get around to it eventually!

  14. Of your missed travel destinations above, I’ve only ever been to Chicago (which I love)!

    It’s a bit funny but I’ve met a lot of other Bostonians who’ve never been to Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket. I think it’s mostly full of New Yorkers or something…!

  15. In two year travelling through Europe, I only drove through the very northern tip of Croatia (driving from Italy to Serbia). When I planned my trip, I knew I wanted to visit Croatia and since I stayed in Italy for a long time, on multiple visits, I figured it would just work out. It didn’t. Then I was in Montenegro and planned to go to Croatia from there, but a friend pulled me toward Albania (and I don’t regret it- I love Albania!). One day……

  16. I would have to say, albeit a biased opinion, that you HAVE to add Cape Town to your list. It is undoubtedly one of the worlds most beautiful cities and it is more and more becoming a must do on the list of places to travel for every traveller. In fact, not just Cape Town but a lot of African cities such as Windhoek, Nairobi, and even Johannesburg should be on your list! Don’t miss out on these beauties, they have so much to offer!

  17. Mine would be Vienna. I have family roots there which tug at me, but evidently not hard enough because I’ve ‘tried’ making it there on several occasions and I always seem to get distracted by the surrounding European countries…

  18. I have traveled over most of the US (still need to see Cooperstown) and have been to SE Asia many times (I love this part of the world), Mexico and Ecuador. What I have not seen is Europe and have a yearning to spend quality time in that portion of the world. My oldest son lives in Japan and has seen Spain, France, England and Italy. His favorite is Spain and he is going to visit again soon. Hopefully we can team up and I can explore Europe after we see Spain.

  19. What about New Zealand? I definitely think you should make it down to this part of the world. While you’re here you may as well add Aussie in as well!

  20. It is funny how when you stop to think about this how many obvious places come to mind! I traveled Europe for 3 years, and I never went to Ireland!

  21. I haven’t been to any of these places either, and I’d love to see all of them and more! I grew up in Massachusetts too, and I just went to Martha’s Vineyard last summer. I highly recommend renting a bicycle or moped and touring the island that way. Also, make sure you go on a beach-weather type of day; the quaint towns are nice, but they only hold so much entertainment. I have yet to visit Nantucket… or, Block Island, which is part of my new state.

  22. What about Australia? If you haven’t been there yet that is a definite oversight. Particularly Tasmania! Most beautiful place in the world 🙂

  23. I’m going to Koh Phangan and the Full Moon Party at the end of the month! soooo excited. I can’t believe you haven’t been to Chicago! As my hometown I definitely think it’s one of the best cities in America. 🙂 You’ve been to plenty of places and you’re young so I’m sure you’ll make to all of these places eventually.

  24. Travelling new places one of the best hobbies where you can never get bored. Travelling means not only having fun but also try to learn new things by exploring new places. It will help you to increase your general knowledge. I would suggest one great source which will provide detailed information about your destinations.

  25. You have to visit Greece! Santorini is probably my fave place on the planet! Haha – I’ll bet most of these comments are along the same lines but I thought I’d give my two cents’ worth.

  26. Hi Kate! You’ve been to so many awesome places, it’s really amazing.. making the rest of us envious. Haha.. And I’ve been having a blast reading about your adventures for some time already but haven’t added mine to theirs yet…so, here it is: Visit us!!! Come to the Philippines!!! 😀

  27. I recommend Amsterdam. It’s beautiful, with sunshine or rain, museums, canals, flowers, and houseboats, make this city a must-see destination! As a Brazilian, I suggest you come to Brazil. We have incredibly beautiful places. My next trip will be to Africa and Turkey, two old dreams.

  28. My biggest oversights would have to be that I’m American and I’ve only been to 19 states (and the majority of that happened in a 2.5 week period when I was 16 so it was quite a rush). And, particularly that I’ve never been to New Orleans! I’m from the South US, so I really have no excuse there! New Orleans is on my to-do list next summer though when I’m actually home in the states again.

  29. Have been to Holland, all over the place. My main regret is that we couldn’t go until July. When we got there, all we saw was tulip stems. But we did see some fascinating things. There’s a little miniature city called Maduradam, built by the United Nations. You can put Dutch dimes (smaller than ours) in the slots and bring the item to action (like a ship pulling up and putting out a fire on shoreside.) And many more. We looked like absolute giants next to the displays. And the Madame Tusaud wax museum was wonderful. My McDonalds hamburger was delivered with a slice of pineapple on it instead of lettuce and tomato. Bicycles everywhere! And of course the Red Light district with “ladies of the evening” (or any time of day) sitting in their windows advertising.

  30. I have been to the Netherlands. Worth the visit. My only regret was I was about two weeks early for tulips in full bloom. Stunning country regardless.
    I have never been to the Grand Canyon. Driven by it twice, been to Las Vegas too many times to count and have flown over it several times but have never stood on the rim and looked down! Maybe this year will be the year……

  31. I find Eastern Europe absolutely fascinating and definitely my favourite place to travel. But while I’ve lived in Russia, spend a day in Chernobyl and toured the Baltic States, I still haven’t been to the two biggest poster childs of the region: Prague or Krakow!

    Hope to right this wrong for NYE 2013!

  32. No matter how far you get you only ever realize there’s more to see. I realized in Greece that, with the exception of Athens, we could have visited an entirely different list of Greek cities and had just as great of a time. Completism woes. C’est la vie.

  33. I’ve always wanted to visit all these places and I’m planning a trip to Holland at the moment. You mentioned that you’ve visited Shetland, being brought up there I would recommend anyone to visit. I need to do more travelling!

  34. I have barely traveled within the U.S. Oftentimes when I’ve traveled abroad, I would meet people who have seen more of my own country than I have! I’m based in Los Angeles and have only really been to states in the west, apart from Florida. I really do want to travel more in the U.S. (I NEED to see to New York City sometime in my life!) but I always prioritize international travel above domestic.

    When I studied abroad in Paris, every other person in my class traveled to Amsterdam and Ireland- which I skipped. I skipped a couple of important monuments in cities I did see, too; I never went to the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona or the Acropolis in Athens. Oops…

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