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Nat Geo Travel Staff’s 2014 Bucket List

The staff at National Geographic Travel is continually criss-crossing the globe to uncover the best and the brightest places, but we have travel wish lists just like everyone else.

Here’s where we want to go in 2014 and why:

“I have a strange love for quiet, empty, ‘desolate’ places. I get to read a lot about all the different trips we offer through National Geographic Expeditions, but the ones that really capture my imagination are our polar trips. I would absolutely love to visit Iceland and Greenland.” —Lucy Gubbins, Program Coordinator, National Geographic Expeditions

“I have roots there. It’s a stunning archipelago of 7,000 islands. And the word needs to get out that the majority of the country—including the capital of Manila, the famed rice terraces of Banaue, and the marine-rich island of Palawan—was not affected by the recent typhoon.” —Norie Quintos, Executive Editor, National Geographic Traveler

“I’ve wanted to visit the Danakil Depression—a surreal geological cauldron with, on average, the hottest temperatures on Earth—since reading about it in middle school. Also on my list: the famous cut-into-the-ground churches in Lalibela; the Kaffa region, considered the birthplace of coffee; and rugged Simien Mountains National Park, a remarkable landscape of canyons, buttes, and rock formations that is said to rival the Grand Canyon—and was one of the very first places to become a World Heritage site.” —Jayne Wise, Senior Editor, National Geographic Traveler

I’ve been wanting to make a trip to Savannah ever since I read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil years and years ago. I’m enamored with the idea of the place–the draping trees, the French toast (I’ve heard such incredible things about the French toast!), the wide porches, and that Southern charm.” —Hannah Lauterback, Editorial Trainee, National Geographic Travel Books

“I’d love to explore before the 2020 Summer Olympics prep takes over Tokyo, eat my way through the entire country, and go hiking in the Kamikochi mountains.” —Kathryn Naumiec, Design & Photography Assistant, National Geographic Traveler

“I’d like to visit Prague Castle and Old Town, and sample the brew-pubs, yes, but also to eat at La Degustation Boheme Bourgeoise, where the traditional Czech dishes are inspired by a 19th-century cookbook given to young brides found by the chef. My grandmother was Czech and if for one day I could taste a dish that resembled her homemade plum-filled pierogis or silky halusky (dumplings), it would be worth the trip.” —Susan O’Keefe, Associate Editor, National Geographic Traveler

“While Italy, where I spent my honeymoon this past year, will be difficult to top, I can’t wait to see Greece and experience another country with an iconic history that also has great beauty.” —Kenney Kaminski, Human Resources Manager, National Geographic Travel

“I’m targeting Angola, to do some volunteer work, topped off with a stop in Cape Town for some R&R. I’ve never been to Africa, although my grandfather moved there in the ’50s to work at a goldmine in South Africa. He’s buried there in Johannesburg.” —Barbara A. Noe, Senior Editor, National Geographic Travel Books

“It’s been a lifelong dream to visit Antarctica. I want to kayak alongside icebergs and walk among a plethora of penguins. Plus, as a passionate photographer, I’d love to capture it all through my lens.” —Jonathan Irish, Program Director, National Geographic Adventures

“Last summer, Wales was featured at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival here in D.C., and  I was mesmerized by the Welsh singing and went back several times to hear it. I connected with one of the musicians, Gwyneth Glyn, on Twitter and she said come to Wales in 2014, because it’s going to be the ‘Year of Dylan Thomas,’ which seems like a good reason to me.” —Marilyn Terrell, Chief Researcher, National Geographic Traveler

I’ve never been to Sub-Saharan Africa, so I would love to fill in this gap in my geographic experience. And, frankly, with the upswing in poaching recently, I want the chance to see a rhino in the wild before it’s too late.” —Amy Alipio, Associate Editor, National Geographic Traveler

“I’ve wanted to go ever since reading Las Alturas de Macchu Picchu by Pablo Neruda in a college Spanish Lit class.” —Penny Dackis, Books Marketing division, National Geographic Travel

“My kids got a taste of Europe this year with a visit to London, and they’re pushing to visit Italy next year. The last time I was in Italy was almost twenty years ago so think it’s time to explore it again.” —Kim Connaghan, Vice President and Publisher, National Geographic Travel

“I love being in the mountains, which I don’t see a lot of living in Washington, D.C. That’s one of the reasons I’d love to make it to Patagonia in 2014. Not only have I never been to South America, but the trekking opportunities in Patagonia are second to none.” —Ben Fitch, Associate Photo Editor, National Geographic Traveler

“I have a personal goal of setting foot on all seven continents before I turn 30. That milestone is quickly approaching, and South America and Antarctica are last on my list. There are so many beautiful places in South America, but I would love to go hiking in the Patagonia region of Chile and Argentina.” —Jeannette Kimmel, Editorial Business Manager, National Geographic Traveler

“I have been researching a photo safari to Madagascar. The fact that so much of wildlife can not be found anywhere else in the world is fascinating to me. Plus, who can resist a lemur?” —Andrew Coleman, Vice President of Digital, National Geographic Travel

“I would love to visit Hang Ken, a hugely massive cave that was recently discovered in Vietnam because its remoteness intrigues me. I am fascinated by the idea of being able to explore an area few humans have seen.” —Tyler Metcalfe, Associate Photography Producer, National Geographic Travel Digital

“I’d love to visit for the World Cup! The love of fútbol brings people together from all over the world.” —Molly Danner, Program Manager, National Geographic Expeditions and Photography Workshops

“Scotland has my number—a promised land of endless glens to hike, skies to ponder, and whiskeys to taste. The new John Muir trail sweetens the deal.” —Katie Knorovsky, Associate Editor, National Geographic Traveler 

“Ever since visiting Jordan last year I’ve wanted to travel back to that region of the world. Oman has so much going for it, including multiple World Heritage sites, great hiking, the Arabian sea, and beautiful new cultural landmarks to explore, including the opera house in the capital city of Muscat. National Geographic Traveler included the country in its “Best Trips” roundup in 2012 for good reason. I’ve also heard from a fellow National Geographic traveler that it’s a country that’s easy to explore since the roadways are simple for Westerners to navigate by car, which amounts to an added bonus.” —Carolyn Fox, Digital Director, National Geographic Travel

“I’ve visited Tallinn and want to explore the rest of the dynamic Baltic region and discover the traditional folk cultures there.” —Caroline Hickey, Project Editor, National Geographic Travel Books

“As embarrassing as this may be to admit, I’ve been making my way through the entire Anne of Green Gables seriesAnne of Green Gables series for the second time this year (the first time being nearly two decades ago!). I’ve always wanted to see Prince Edward Island for myself–the deep red clay, the windswept cliffs, the quaint villages–and meet some of the ‘kindred spirits’ L.M. Montgomery wrote about with such clear love.” —Leslie Trew Magraw, Editor/Producer, Intelligent Travel

“I travel the world every day online, which means I get to see many beautiful and exotic destinations. Rather than traveling off the beaten path, I want to visit Paris for the first time in the spring. I want to stroll Montmartre and be part of the city where many of our greatest writers, thinkers, and artists fell in love and brought Parisian culture to life in their classical works.” —Andrea Leitch, Associate Producer, National Geographic Travel Digital

“Where can you see cinematic landscapes, sip wine, and ski all in one trip? New Zealand! From wine tasting in Marlborough to seeing the North Island’s volcanoes and hiking extraordinary coastlines, my dream trip is at the bottom of the world.” —Sarah Polger, Senior Photography Producer, National Geographic Travel Digital

Where do you want to go in 2014 and why? Tell us in the comments section for a chance to appear on the Intelligent Travel blog:


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