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By The Virtual Tourist
While the average tourist may not think much further ahead than his or her next trip, serious travelers often direct their travel toward a specific goal; a goal that, in many cases, could take years or even a lifetime to complete. VirtualTourist.com asked its members and editors what travel goals they were going after and the list ranged from the funny to the fantastical.
1. SEEING 100 COUNTRIES
Only those who accomplish this goal can achieve membership in
2. RUNNING OUT OF PASSPORT PAGES
Applying for new passport pages may be the one hassle every traveler dreams about. Like a Girl Scout who needs an extra sash for all her merit pins, this is truly a point of pride for the avid traveler.
3. SEEING UNRECOGNIZED AND/OR INDEPENDENT REGIONS
While many people may not even be aware of such places, for some, there's nothing more satisfying than setting foot in a place that can't be easily categorized. Karabakh, Somaliland, Transnistria, among others, were named as top choices.
4. SEE AN AURORA IN PERSON
The sheer beauty of the spectacle combined with the fact that this phenomenon happens in just a few parts of the world puts this experience near the top of the list for those travelers who love the natural world. While filmable, it's said that Mother Nature's lightshow is best seen in person.
5. CLIMBING THE HIGHEST POINTS IN EACH COUNTRY OR STATE VISITED
Even for non-climbers the goal of seeing a country from its highest point is often just too irresistible not to try. From small elevations to points that take days to reach, the lure of the summit motivates many travelers.
6. ACQUIRING CERTAIN PASSPORT STAMPS
Yes, for the travel-obsessed passport stamps can be like paintings in a museum with some being more prized than others. Those with unusual marks (like a train instead of a plane) or those that are from unusual places (like Lichtenstein) are among those most valued.
7. SEEING THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS (WITHOUT THE USE OF PLANES!)
When Jules Verne wrote his classic 1873 tome, the idea of completing this kind of travel was almost unthinkable. More than 100 years later, many find this challenge so appealing they're willing to forgo the conveniences of modern travel (and use up a LOT of vacation time) to try it.
8. SEE ALL SEVEN CONTINENTS
This might not be so unattainable if it weren't for that pesky, cold, and hard-to-get-to one at the bottom of the globe. In fact, this particular goal may be about to get harder as many companies that offer trips to Antarctica begin to limit them in an effort to preserve the integrity of the area.
9. DRIVE ROUTE 66
The lure of this particular open road has grabbed many a traveler, inspired many a writer and tested the mechanics of many a car. Whether it's the long stretch of highway, the fact that it spans the length of the United States, or that it passes by some truly unique attractions, it's tops on the list for those who want the ultimate road trip.
10. SEE THE NORTH AND/OR SOUTH POLES
Some people just can't resist going to the ends of the earth -- literally! There's not much to see in either place and it can be very pricey to visit, but still, the appeal of seeing those points far eclipse the negatives for those willing to make the trek.
© VirtualTourist.com, Distributed by Tribune Media Services Inc.
Travel | Top 10 Travel Goals for Serious Travelers