Goals Bro

As a mathematical human, it was inevitable for me to start creating lists as soon as I began traveling. I think it is something that is in all of our natures. Some people refer to them as Bucket Lists. But as Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman showed, bucket lists are generally huge things that are desired to complete before you die. What I need is more of a road map for the next couple years while I am abroad. Obviously, there is a lot of merit to being able to just book and trip and go. But my compulsive and controlling nature makes these trips difficult to execute in reality. I know that my whims and random decisions are actually driven by some internal list, when I am honest with myself. I guess it will be best to get them out and documented.



Prior to taking this job in Saudi Arabia, I had only been to three countries (technically two, depending on who is counting). I had been to England and Scotland each twice and America, or course. Both trips to the UK had been with my church, Independent Presbyterian Church, in Memphis, Tennessee, with their choir. These trips were fundamental in the early stages and development of my deep-seeded wanderlust. While in Scotland, we had a van, and our group road-tripped all along the countryside seeing castles and lochs. The trip was outstanding, and my soul truly felt alive.


I had worked at Epic in Wisconsin, and through go live support and customer travel, I was fortunate enough to visit most of the states. When I left that job, I took a big farewell trip to see Idaho and Alaska. I had seen 49 of 50 states. Even while I try to hold myself to criteria for counting a state, some people disagree (Andy still doesn’t want me to count Montana). These requirements include doing at least three of the following:

  1. Eat local food
  2. Drink local drink (wine, beer, liquor, tea, coffee, soda)
  3. Do something state-y (spelunking in Arkansas, cheese-making in Wisconsin)
  4. Go to any level sporting event (high school, collegiate, amateur, professional)
  5. Visit monument of park (state, national, federal, memorial)
  6. Spend seven days

I realize this list leaves it up to interpretation, but the goal is to keep myself honest. With this metric, I still need to visit Hawaii.

List Development

Everyone I ask seems to have a general understanding of the Wonders of the World, and most people say there are seven. Whether they can name them or not, well that is another story. But once you start digging into Wonders of the World, you find that there are many lists with some form of this moniker:

For my lists, I decided the first list I would go by is the New 7 Wonders of the World.

  1. Great Wall of China
  2. Petra
  3. Christ the Redeemer
  4. Machu Picchu
  5. Chichen Itza
  6. Colosseum (Flavian Amphitheatre)
  7. Taj Mahal
  8. Great Pyramid of Giza (Honorary)

In addition, I thought it would be good to add in the natural wonders as a good starting point:

  1. Grand Canyon
  2. Great Barrier Reef
  3. Harbor of Rio de Janeiro
  4. Mount Everest
  5. Aurora
  6. Parícutin volcano
  7. Victoria Falls

Once I had a base, I was able to check the UNESCO World Heritage list for additional places. Usually, once I plan a trip somewhere, I consult this list for additional stops.

I took a look at projected travel and came up with a pace that seemed challenging, and from this I created the following goals:

By the time I turn 40:

  • 50 states
  • 50 countries
  • 7 continents
  • 7 New Wonders
  • 7 Natural Wonders
  • Circumnavigate the globe


I realize that by using these macro lists to guide my initial travel efforts, I may be recusing myself from any Off-The-Beaten-Path travel blogger groups. I also understand that this might be pulling back the veil to the initial process of trip itinerary development. But I assure you, once you start traveling, you had to come up with some kind of method and metric to plan.


My current numbers are as follows:

  • 49 states
  • 47 countries
  • 5 continents
    • North America
    • Africa
    • Europe
    • Asia
    • South America
  • 8 of 8 New7Wonders
    • Petra
    • Pyramids
    • Taj Mahal
    • Colosseum
    • Great Wall of China
    • Chichen Itza
    • Machu Picchu
    • Christ the Redeemer
  • 4 of 7 Natural Wonders
    • Grand Canyon
    • Mt Everest
    • Victoria Falls
    • Harbor of Rio de Janeiro
  • 2 of 7 New7Wonders of Nature
    • Table Mountain
    • Iguassu Falls


In 2016, I made a lot of headway on my bucket lists and travel goals. For 2017, I am hoping to complete my goal of 50 countries and 50 states. I would like to visit Cuba and Israel. Also, I am hoping to spend new years in Australia.


So what is on your list? Do you keep and active travel goal list? How did you come up with yours? I would love to hear from you: ctscanstheworld

Whatever your goals, keep on scanning. And of course, let me know if our paths are ever going to cross. I am always down to grab a pint or take a hike.

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