This is an ever-growing list of destinations that I hope to visit someday--this page will be updated frequently and is dedicated to... you.
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There are so many beautiful and amazing places to travel in this world, but few inspire such imagination and curiosity as the Wonders of the Ancient World. Journey with me to one of the most amazing--the Great Wall of China! Built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), this marvel of ancient architecture stretches 5,500 miles across deserts, grasslands, mountains, and plateaus. I am utterly astonished to think of the antiquated wonders and grandeur of such a colossal structure. I would love to stand among the mountains of a timeless land with you, staring into the distance to the place where the Great Wall vanishes over the horizon. Splendid and unforgettable to be sure--a place of unbelievable scope, ageless romance, and historical significance. This destination would surely warm the heart! Love & light...
"For everyone who has been born of God
overcomes the world. And this is the victory
that has overcome the world--our faith."
~1 John 5:4
Today, let's jet over to Europe to see Vienna, Austria! The first thing we will do will be to take a horse-drawn carriage ride around Ring Boulevard, the famous street that circles the city center. We'll take in all of the magnificent highlights: Hofburg (Vienna's Imperial Palace), the Haas House, Belvedere Palace, Karlskirche (a Baroque cathedral), and Burgtheater (a theatre with a world-wide reputation for brilliant dramatic art). In the afternoon, we will take a ride to the top of the Danube Tower. At 352 meters in the air, we would have lunch in the rotating cafe, sampling all of the traditional Viennese specialities. If we're feeling daring enough, Danube Tower also boasts the highest bungee jump in the world! :) And, being that Vienna was the place where Mozart spent his golden years as a composer, we will round out our evening in the balcony of the Vienna Opera House for a performance of the "Magic Flute." Cheers!!!
"My shield is with God,
who saves the upright in heart."
Let's catch a flight to Queensland, Australia where we will hop on a catamaran to take us into the Coral Sea. Today, you and I are going to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef! Able to be seen from outer space, the Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest reef system, consisting of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands. To the north, it is rimmed by Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. To the east, it touches Vanuatu and New Caledonia. We would be wide-eyed and spellbound in this marine wonderland, seeing a huge diversity of aquatic life, much of it endangered. Species number in the tens of thousands of fish, whales, turtles, coral, seagrass, and mollusc. We would swim through lustrous coral cays, holding our breath as schools of vividly-colored fish darted by us. I would look at you through the bubbles and your eyes would tell a story of amazement at this underwater paradise! Love & light...
"Behold, God is my helper.
The Lord is the one who sustains my soul."
Let's take a trip today to Southeast Asia to tour India! Our first stop will be Agra to visit the storied Taj Mahal. We'll let ourselves get wrapped up in the wonder of its Persian architecture and reflective pools. Such astonishing artistry in every inch of marble. From there, we'll travel to places like New Delhi and Mumbai where we'll walk the streets of an exotic world, sampling samosas and chai from corner vendors and shopping for brass trinkets in the local bazaar. Passers-by would give us the Hindu greeting "Namaste" which means: The light of God in me recognizes and honors the light of God in you. Next, we will visit the Ganges to dip our fingers into one of the most sacred rivers in all of the world. Then, we'll complete our journey in Kashmir, a place said to be so beautiful that it is like paradise on earth. Together in paradise, beautiful thought...
"Grace be with all
who love our Lord Jesus Christ
with love incorruptible."
Join me today for an extreme adventure in Central America! We'll take an airplane down to Costa Rica where we will explore the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. The jungles of Costa Rica are some of the most pristine and secluded on the planet, featuring some very unique flora and fauna. The best way to see it all is by taking a Canopy Tour--the thrilling experience of flying along zip lines between treetop skywalks high above the jungle. Our hearts would race as as we soared over the wilderness, getting an unparalleled view of nature at its most free. Being part of the Pacific Ring Fire Circle, Costa Rica boasts five active volcanoes; the most spectacular being the Volcan Arenal, which erupts daily with a molten lava fireworks display that illuminates the sky. An exciting climb is the dormant Volcan Irazu which features an emerald green lake in its crater. See the world with me! Love & light...
"And you will know the truth,
and the truth will set you free."
Today, let's travel southwest to the beautiful land of New Mexico! We'll begin our journey in Taos and Santa Fe, stopping at the majestic St. Francis Cathedral and absorbing all of the local Native American arts and centuries-old pueblos. From there, we can go llama trekking into the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, exploring ancient cliff dwellings carved into canyon walls and hiking through northern New Mexico's red rock regions and windswept mesas. We can go whitewater rafting on the Rio Grand before venturing down to Albuquerque for a hot air balloon ride. High in the sky, we would stretch out our hands to touch the clouds as we took in the magical scenery and breathtaking vistas. Much love...
"And the peace of God,
which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds
in Christ Jesus."
Today, we are going to charter a boat from Ecuador to sail us to the Galapagos Islands. This magnificent archipelago features all kinds of fascinating volcanic geology, unique flora and fauna, and a rare isolated ecosystem. Stepping into this incredible world, we'll be greeted by curious sea lions as we spot Giant Galapagos tortoises plodding the distant highlands. We'll discover flocks of pink flamingos standing in hidden lagoons while graceful red-billed tropicbirds patrol the skies above us. Perhaps we would be lucky enough to witness the famous courtship rituals of the Waved Albatross or find some prehistoric land iguanas sunbathing on black lava rocks. Whatever the Galapagos Islands show us, I will enjoy every moment with you beside the crystal blue Pacific! Cheers!
"It is the Spirit who gives life;
the flesh is no help at all.
The words I have spoken to you
are spirit and life."
Today, you and I are going to sink our toes into pink powder sands and gaze at sapphire blue waters. We are going to slip ourselves into the international glamour and tropical ease of the Bahamas. With so much to do, we will leave the world behind and spend a spell in paradise. In the morning, we'll go kiteboarding in a sea that is a constant 80 degrees Fahrenheit and crystal clear. We can explore the islands' many mangroves and forests for close encounters with any number of the 109 species of birds that make the Bahamas their homes: West Indian Flamingoes, Carribean Parrots, etc. As the afternoon sun reaches its peak, we can cool off in a cave before taking to the sea again by kayak or sailboat. Then, as the evening settles, we can sit beneath a palm tree, sipping coconut water from the husk and listening to the waves caressing the shoreline. Paradise indeed...
"Preserve me, God,
for in you do I take refuge."
It is now time for us to venture to Brazil. We'll head to Rio de Janiero to see the world-renowned Christ the Redeemer Statue. This grand statue stands with its arms outstretched providing a 24-hour, 30-meter welcome to its visitors. Perched atop a granite mountain called the Corcovado, it is visible from great distances. To reach the peak, we would use the Corcovado Rack Railway. The railway is over a century old and makes for an exciting ride, with its absurd angle of ascent and panoramic vistas. At the foot of the statue is an observation deck; we would find ourselves wide-eyed as we gazed out over all of the famous sights of Rio: Ipanema and Copacabana Beaches, Sugarloaf Mountain, the marvelous Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, even downtown Rio. At night, the statue is even more majestic, being illuminated by a lighting system that seemingly brings it to life. Truly a place to inspire faith and imagination...
"But thanks be to God,
who gives us the victory
through our Lord Jesus Christ."
~1 Corintians 15:57
Today, let's set off to north-eastern Tanzania where we'll take on a slightly more rugged adventure -- to climb Kilimanjaro. We'll make the 7-day hike up 19,336 feet, through 5 climactic zones (from Juniperus forests to grasslands to glacier-like landscapes), to reach the "Roof of Africa." We'll breathe in the air of freedom as we ascend to the Uhuru Peak where we can watch the sunrise break over Kibo's crater and the distant plains. Kilimanjaro is the world's largest "walkable" mountain and while the scaling of it will still present a challenge (with its altitude, low temperatures, and strong winds), the ultimate reward of the summit and the spiritual journey that it takes to get there will be worth every moment. Definitely a life-altering experience and a victory for the heart and soul! Climb with me. Love & light...
"For you know that the testing of your faith
Put a check on your calendar next to the date June 21. It is the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. For this major celestial event, you and I are going to travel to the grassy fields of Wiltshire, England to watch the sun rise over Stonehenge. Our hearts will glow as the new morning of a new season begins to break beyond the ancient monument. This great circle of upright bluestones has long been the UK's symbol of timeless mystery and power. Though the original purpose of Stonehenge remains unclear, some believe that it was once an astronomical observatory used for marking significant events of the prehistoric calendar. For whatever reason it may have been constructed, I can think of no better way to ring in the Solstice than to be standing at this magical site with you as the summer's first sun starts to shine through the towering rocks. Amazing and breathtaking! Cheers!
"The grass withers and the flowers fade,
but the word of our God
Today, let's fly to Greece so we can set our eyes on the Acropolis of Athens! Together, we'll step through its monumental gateway (the Propylaea) to behold the mighty Parthenon. Dating back to 470BC, we would be awestruck by the timeless stone grandeur of this Doric temple. We would take in the beauty of its sculptured panels (called Metopes) which depict ancient mythological struggles: the battle of the Amazons, the battle of the Lapiths and the Centaurs, the battle between gods and giants, the battle of the Greeks versus the Trojans. Overflowing with 5th-Century-BC artistry, I have no doubt that we would be enchanted by the Acropolis and all of its crumbling old-world wonder. In the midst of Ancient Greece, we would definitely know that we were experiencing something remarkable. Love & light...
"Beloved, I pray
that all may go well with you
and that you may be in good health,
as it goes well with your soul."
~3 John 1:2
Today, let's set our sights on Granada and the treasure of Moorish Spain, the Alhambra! A splendid oasis set against a backdrop of mountains, the Alhambra is a 14th-Century palace and fortress complex. First, we will visit its Charles V Palace. This features a whitewashed Renaissance courtyard with a striking view of the surrounding woods. The interior showcases two museums, the Museo de Bellas Artes and the Museo de la Alhambra. Next comes the Alcazaba. It is the original fort and the oldest part of the complex. Also known as the Red Castle, it stands mostly in ruins, though it is still an impressive sight. Next, the Nasrid Palaces are the absolute jewel of the Alhambra. Ornately designed and grand in every way, these structures offer a taste of the extravagant luxuries of Moorish nobility. Featuring various royal quarters, towers, and bathhouses, and adorned with intricately carved ceilings, pools, and cascading walls of water, the Nasrid Palaces are a must-see. And finally, the Generalife is a less formal palace replete with vegetable and fruit gardens, fountains, and beautiful pathways. Described by poets as "a pearl set in emeralds," the Alhambra is sure to spark our imaginations. You and I will stroll happily through this Moorish Paradise!
"The Lord is faithful;
He will strengthen you
and guard you from the evil one."
~2 Thessalonians 3:3
Are you ready to journey to an exotic and incredible place? It has long been a dream of mine to stay at the palatial Burj Al Arab in Dubai. A sail-shaped structure built on an artificial island that juts out into the Persian Gulf, the Burj Al Arab is the world's only 7-Star hotel--a haven of luxury, to be sure. After we wake in the morning, we can explore Dubai and venture to the famous Souk Madinat Jumeirah--a colorful, vibrant market made up of paths that meander through the bazaar-like atmosphere in which open-fronted shops and galleries spill out on to the paved sidewalks. The aromas of street cafes and boutique restaurants would tickle our noses. Then, we would embark on an afternoon desert safari. Dust from the Arabian sands would stick to our cheeks as we rode camelback over the white dunes. Finally, from an oasis encampment, we would watch an exquisite sunset while enjoying a traditional Bedouin-style dinner by moonlight. Ah, yes. Love & light...
"For thou hast delivered
my soul from death, mine eyes from tears,
and my feet from falling."
This time, I want to take you on a trip into unparalleled beauty and romance. I want to take you to Venice, Italy. Venice is a place that stands as a testament to ingenuity, invention, and imagination. Sitting on the Adriatic Sea, the city's buildings have been constructed to float on the water as if by enchantment. Venice is made up of over 150 canals spanned by more than 400 bridges. Boats of all sizes and used for all functions traverse the waterways just like cars on busy thoroughfares. While there, we can relax and enjoy a serene gondola cruise as we take in the amazing scenery and architecture that juts up all around us. From there, we will walk the city, being sure to visit sights like the Rialto Bridge and San Marco Square, and also St. Mark's Basilica in all of its Byzantine splendor. Then, as dusk begins to settle over this magical land, we'll stop in at some old-world marketplace just to buy red roses and grapes. Ah, Venice. Enjoy! :)
"I, yes I, am the one who comforts you.
So why are you afraid of mere humans,
who wither like the grass and disappear?"
Today, let's set our sights a little west of Tokyo and visit Japan's pride, the majestic Mount Fuji! Fuji stands in stately beauty and grace, robed in flowing snow, and surrounded by five lakes: Lake Yamamaka, Lake Motsu, Lake Kawaguchi, Lake Sai, and Lake Shoji. You and I will find a serene spot in the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park where we will set up easels and spend the morning painting. We will paint Mount Fuji as only our imaginations see it. As the paints dry, we can head over to the city of Gotemba where we will embark on a paragliding adventure. Taking on this exhilarating experience, our souls will reach almost unbelievable heights. Then, as afternoon turns dusk, we will visit Hakone to dip into one of the famous hot springs with a breathtaking view of the mountain. Finally, I would set your painting in a gilded frame and give it a place of honor in the gallery of my heart...
"And the Lord direct your hearts
into the love of God, and into the patient
waiting for Christ."
~2 Thessalonians 3:5
Today, let's journey to Jordan to visit the majestic city of Petra! Built by the Nabataeans more than 400 years ago, Petra has stood tucked safely behind a range of rugged mountains. We would enter the city through the Siq, a long, narrow gorge that opens to the Treasury (also called the El-Khazneh). We would be spellbound as the morning sun gave us a dazzling first glimpse of its multicolored stones. Once we stepped foot inside the storied citadel, we would have the time of our lives exploring streets lined with temples, arch gateways, baths, and theatres. Dubbed one of the New 7 Wonders of the World, Petra's structures are a mixture of Hellenistic, Assyrian, Roman, and Egyptian architecture, amazingly all carved from the bright red sandstone. As imposing as it is historical, Petra would give us an unrivaled view of the ancient world. Such a wondrous place like this is sure to inspire us. Love & light...
'The work of God is this:
to believe in the one he has sent.'"