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New Zealand was one of our first stops when this crazy adventure all started. Being here again makes us realize how far we have traveled as a family, how much we have grown as a couple, and also how far we have come as The Bucket List Family. When we were here 3 years ago we still didn’t know what would become of our travels. We didn’t know how long we would last or how we would make it work financially.
To go back with friends and experience everything all over again was surreal and had us reminiscing the entire time. We love you New Zealand. Thank you for the memories and having so many things to jump off of ;)
A Christmas that isn’t white made absolutely no sense to us so we headed up north to Canada and we weren’t disappointed in the slightest! They go all out for Christmas and we all had so much fun. We met Santa, went skiing and rode on a sleigh, a gondola and a helicopter. The kids loved being in a cabin for Christmas and making cookies for Santa.
Thank you Canada for giving us a Christmas we will remember forever!
We spent 3 weeks in Bali when we first began our travels and it was one of our favorites! We’d spend our mornings going to yoga classes while the kiddos played with a babysitter. In the afternoon we’d all go over to a nearby orphanage and teach/play with the kids. It was one of our most memorable experiences as a family and Dorothy’s first time in “school.”
We recently went back and this time we had some pretty cool friends join us! We sailed in the most incredible boat… actually it was a pirate ship and had the time of our lives. We can’t wait to reunite with this group again one day!
Tanzania has been one of our most special experiences thus far. African safaris are such a special experience and we hope everyone can experience it at least once in their lifetime. We worked with a very special lodge - TAASA that’s full of off-roading animal encounters, night drives and visits to the nearby Maasai village. One of our highlights was when we all played soccer with the staff at TAASA out in the middle of the bush and Garrett foot raced a group of Maasai warriors.. Guess who won?
The Bahamas has some of our favorite water in the whole wide world. You’ll want to drink it, it looks so clear! We absolutely love the crystal clear waters in Exuma, Bahamas. We’ve had some fun swimming with sharks, star fish, and even pigs!
Not much else can match the beauty of Switzerland. It’s one of our favorite countries in Europe with beautiful scenery, delicious food (mostly cheese and chocolate), and a lot of impressive people. We also found some of the clearest water ever in Switzerland and of course, went out of our way to swim in it.
We knew Belize was going to be incredible.. but I don’t think we thought it would be THAT incredible. It is, THAT INCREDIBLE. It has THE best coral reef we’ve seen, there was so much wildlife! We were also so happy to see how convenient it was to get to (direct flights on Southwest Airlines from the U.S.) and everyone also speaks English!
We highly recommend you visit a few different lodges when doing a safari. While we were in Kenya we visited a few different lodges (one of which was the iconic Giraffe Manor!) and each one was so different and so special. Kenya also has so many wonderful service opportunities and non-profits to work with while you are traveling. We recommend partnering with an organization during your visit to Kenya.
Tonga!! ..The KINGDOM of Tonga! Tonga is one of the few countries in the world we’ve been back to multiple time. And we hope to be back EVERY year. Each year, Tonga is a stop for many humpback whales in the Southern Hemisphere for them to have babies and mate. In Tonga, you can legally swim in the water with the whales. We’ve had some of the most special experiences in these waters with these whales. We’ll be back ever year.. let us know if you want to come!
We’ve had a few different visits to Greece and we were able to experience the Greek Isles as well as the Western Coast of Greece. We absolutely love it! Greek food is one of our favorites! It’s for sure Jessica’s favorite. We love the culture in Greece and how important families are. When you become friends with a Greek, they treat you like family.
What initially drew us to Belgium was a place called Nemo 33. It’s one of the world’s deepest (I think the 2nd deepest) pools in the world - 33 meters! Garrett had been wanting to visit Nemo 33 for years and we made a special birthday stop just for him.
We stayed for a week in Northern Scotland living in an old (Harry-Potter-looking) abbey on the banks of Lake Loch Ness. Scotland is absolutely beautiful and had so much history that we loved to learn about. Jessica has Scottish heritage and she loved learning about her Graham clan. We finished our time in Scotland at one of our favorite destinations ever - Gleneagles.
Maldives is the ultimate location! It’s one of the most bucket list places in the whole world. With stunning water, awesome wildlife (WHALE SHARKS!), great food, and great customer service, we think Maldives should be on everyone’s bucket list. P.S. ..look at that picture.. we stayed there and played on that waterslide off our bungalow!!
We think Fiji is THE most family friendly destination in the world. The people in Fiji are THE nicest ever and you are literally family as soon as you arrive. Fijians love children and we’ve stayed at some of the most lovely resorts all over Fiji. We highly recommend you consider Fiji for one of your next family trips. It has it all - Adventure, Culture and Service!
Oh, Italy. Pizza, gelato, spagetti, lasagna, gelato, caprese, gelato, did I mention gelato? We have a heated debate in our family over the best city in Italy. Florence? Rome? or Venice? What do you think?? We haven’t been to Cinque terre yet, but I’m sure it will complicate everything.
Iceland is one of those places on earth that everyone has GOT to visit. Every 30 minutes of driving is like a different world and just jaw-dropping. It NEVER got dark during our summer visit. We’ve already planned our next visit.. traveling around in a camper van! Oh, and we need to go for the Northern Lights!
To be totally honest, we haven’t seen too much of Dominican Republic. BUT, we can say we’ve been to Club Med Punta Cana and had some of the most memorable and bucket-list experiences in our lives because in the DR we JOINED THE CIRUCS!
Bhutan just might be the most unique country we’ve experienced. Never before have we seen a nation with such raw preserved traditions and culture. Their food, their wardrobe, and even the way they treat visitors with so much respect and honor. Absolutely add Bhutan to your own bucket list.
Norway is a fairytale. The people there are incredibly happy, health, and smart. They probably speak better English than than you do. ;) We spent one week down south living on a tiny island and getting around by boat and one week up in the fjordlands living out a fairytale. We haven’t done everything there is to do there, but we did enjoy living like locals last year, and we loved it!
We were so excited to visit Costa Rica. We had heard such wonderful things about it and were so excited for both the beach and the jungle. We stayed in the amazing beach/surf town Santa Teresa for a few weeks and some wonderful friends join us.
Dominica is by far one of our most favorite islands in the whole world. It’s a hidden gem of the Caribbean. We spent our time either in the water with the sperm whales or on land waiting for the Leatherback turtles to come ashore and lay their eggs.
Portugal is one of the most underrated countries in Europe. We were so pleasantly surprised by everything.. especially how amazing the people were. We hopped around to a few different Martinhal properties that are seriously the most family-friendly resorts we’ve ever visited.. by far!
We were visiting Morocco with the special purpose to find inspiration for our future master bedroom. It was so amazing and so easy to find fun inspiration. The souks were the absolute highlight.. we could walk around them for hours.
The Netherlands is a favorite. Amsterdam and the close little cities are all so charming. We especially love the people there that are so down to earth. It’s Garrett’s favorite big city in the whole world. ;)
India showed us a culture unlike any other. The people were so kind and their religion was strongly rooted throughout them. It was pretty hot when we visited but we still had an absolute blast and really appreciated their invite to dive into their traditions.
We wish we could say more about what to do and see in Austria. We spent a week in Vienna and absolutely LOVED our time there, however we spent most of our time riding bikes and hanging out at the park. We felt the kids wouldn’t really enjoy a lot of the sites in Vienna, so we cruised and let them play at the nearby central park. And it was a blast! We’ll be back to Austria for sure!
Guatemala has some of the most special people we’ve ever met. The kindness and humility of the people are so impressive. We have nothing but wonderful things to say about Guatemala and think that it’s an up and coming destinations for families. It’s another great place where any traveler can experience our 3 key travel values - Adventure, Culture and Service!
Thailand is so rad. Everything about it. The people are awesome. The food is awesome. Muay Thai is awesome. $7 massages are awesome. Elephants are awesome. Night markets are awesome. It’s all awesome.
We spent a week in Budapest and were so pleasantly surprised with how cool of a city it is. From the community baths, to the parks, shopping and the river cruises we had such a fun time. A very underrated city that you should definitely check out if you’re in Europe!
We had some really memorable moments in South Africa. Our first ever safari. The first time we got robbed. But nonetheless, the good times stand out more. Oh, and we went cage diving with Great Whites!!
St. Kitts and Nevis are two awesome little island in the Caribbean. We stayed in St. Kitts at one of the raddest hotels called Belmont Farms. It’s a complete farm to table hotel where they grow all of their own produce. The style was our favorite and we hope to visit again soon.
**Fun Fact: Our time in Ireland and Jessica’s Irish heritage is what made us name our 3rd baby Calihan.
We loved our stay in Dublin and a very special stay at Ashford Castle where we did falconry, archery and tree climbing.
When we first arrived in Australia early on in our travels, we had SO much we wanted to do. We quickly realized it was better for us to stay longer in this beautiful country and really enjoy what it had to offer. We stayed a week in Sydney, a week in Port Macquarie, and a week in Byron Bay. We love Australia!
Nepal was one of our most memorable countries we’ve visited. We had the very special opportunity to work with Effect.org where we learned about the horrible problem of human trafficking in the region. At the end of the week we worked with the rest of our group to do a hackathon to build actual technical solutions to the problem. Education is the #1 prevention in human trafficking, so along with the help of our amazing audience, raised $50k to build a school. Today, the school is in India and is called Kalpana - which means Imagine.
Singapore will always hold a special place in our hearts. It was the first country where we really felt like we were in a good groove of travel and that we were good at it. We loved being there together with our small family eating dumplings and visiting malls. It also has one of the most unique cultures with a melting pots of ethnicities where they all live together in peace and harmony.
Anguilla is where a lot of celebrities vacation to and we could see why. The beaches were some of the most clean, pristine and white sand we’ve ever seen. Visit there if you want perfect sandy beaches and want to potentially run into the Biebs.
Japan is Dorothy’s favorite country. It’s the combination of Disney Tokyo, bike rides in Kyoto, Harijuku girls, and udon noodles. It’s another super family friendly country - it’s clean, safe, high tech, and so culturally different than what we were used to, and we loved it!
We’ve been to Dubai many times now. It’s a great hub for travel. It’s always worth it to stop there for a few days, you can enjoy the amazing malls and get out to the desert. It’s really impressive to see what mankind has been able to accomplish in a place where nothing is local. It’s also one of the safest cities in the world!
We love French Polynesia. We’ve actually been 8 times together as a couple. No kids. It’s our favorite “us” spot. Between an island called Rangiroa and one called Bora Bora it covers our very very very favorite places in the whole wide world.
We’ve been to Ecuador twice already. After our first visit, we immediately planned our return. We decided to do our first ever group expedition to the Galapagos. The Galapagos is one of the coolest places on the planet. It feels like a different planet. If you’re into wildlife, start saving up! ..this needs to be your next trip!
Some of the clearest water with just the prettiest beaches! We had such a fun week in Turks with our friends. Turks and Caicos is such an convenient getaway and we highly recommend a visit there if you’re looking to stay close to the U.S. but still want to get out of the country.
Most of the world already knows how special France is and honestly, it lives up to its reputation and high expectations very well. The music, the art, the history, the monuments, and of course, the food!
We keep a running list of the most kind countries in the world. At the very top of our list is Turkey. Everyone from the children to the elders are so sincerely kind, compassionate and affectionate. We love Turkey and loved exploring its wide variety of landscapes and experiences.
We love England. After our second visit we even considered moving to London. Garrett’s favorite was the opportunity to attend some English Premier League Football matches! Also, it’s a really great hub to call home base while you explore the rest of Europe as well.
Malta is one of those places that well-traveled adventurers absolutely love. Such a fun combination of magnificent history as well as outdoor adventure. We loved exploring the nearby island of Gozo, diving the crystal waters, and the kids especially loved a special placed where they filmed the movie, Popeye!
Germany will always have a special place in our hearts. It was one of our first Christmas holiday seasons away from home but countless locals made us feel so welcomed and so loved. We love how festive Germany gets when the celebrate each of their holidays. Such a wonderful people and country.
Antigua was such a pleasant surprise for us! We didn’t do too much research before arriving so we we’re so thrilled to find great people, fun festivals and celebrations, and beautiful beaches.
Our home. There are endless things to see here, obviously. We’ve spent lots of time in Utah, California, Arizona, Florida, Oregon, Washington, the list goes on. Each place is so different and we plan to see much more of our homeland over the coming years!