Welcome to the T-Boy Society of Film and Music’s latest poll, devoted to members’ top Bucket List destinations. To be honest, I thought our well-traveled group had been everywhere, and was delighted to read their informative selections, many of which I will add to my own list. Their selections were akin to Willie Mays naming his favorite baseball teams, Aristotle’s selection of most esteemed philosophers, and Frank Lloyd Wright choosing his top (non-Frank Lloyd Wright, that is) architectural wonders. As always, it was great fun, plus I learned a lot. I hope you feel the same way. So, here it is: the T-Boy Society of Film and Music’s most sought after Bucket List destinations. — EB
Ed Boitano – T-Boy editor:
- Provence, France – To walk the trails of Cézanne, Renoir, van Gogh and experience the intoxicating light and colors where they, along with an array of other legendary Impressionists and Post-Impressionists, found inspiration.
- Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, Montana & Idaho – To give thanks to Scotsman, John Muir, “Father of the National Parks.”
- Iceland – Thingvellir is the home of Iceland’s annual parliament, dating back to the time of the Vikings, from 930 AD to 1798 AD. Now a National Park, the site marks the crest of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the boundary between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. Thingvellir represents the founding of Iceland as a nation, where its first parliamentary proceedings laid the groundwork for a common cultural heritage and national identity.
- Hadrian’s Wall, Northern England – The largest Roman archaeological feature in Britain, where you can walk along the adjoining 73 miles of Hadrian’s Wall Path.
- Calais, France – During the Hundred Years’ War, an eleven-month English siege trapped Calais’ starving citizens behind its fortified walls. A deal was struck where Calais’ most prominent six nobles would offer their lives to save those of the city. In 1889 Auguste Rodin created a bronze cast entitled The Burghers of Calais to commemorate the heroic event, emphasizing the pained expressions, anguish and fatalism of the six men about to be executed. There are eleven other casts and endless copies, but to see the first one among the people of Calais, with possibly the White Cliffs of Dover in the distance, must be something to behold.
Richard Carroll – T-Boy writer:
- Tel Aviv – A dynamic city with incredible dining opportunities, award-winning chef’s, and noted as the World’s Vegan Capital, has a growing wine industry, and a vital nightlife, Tel Aviv is a top destination on my Bucket List with the other four a close second.
- Buenos Aires – Passionate and alive and where border-to-border tango rules, the city sits on a tango C chord creating a feel-good destination where dancing lifts the spirits, and a guitar riff brings smiles all around.
- French canals and rivers – A barge cruise on French canals is the glorious opportunity to experience the beauty, history and antiquity of France via historic waterways that Napoleon constructed. Barging is an inside look at a country with beauty to share.
- Porto – A view city overlooking the Douro River with the historic center a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a Portuguese National Monument, is a step back to another era. The Douro Valley is brimming with wineries and wine tasting opportunities. I’ve also found that the Portuguese are among the world’s friendliest people along with Fiji, Ireland and Mexico.
- Santiago de Compostela – The northern Spanish city is the final destination of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage or the Way of St. James, dating to Medieval Times. Zona Vella or Old Town highlighted by the Cathedral which dates to the ninth century, is considered among the most beautiful buildings in Europe.
Brent Campbell – Musician and composer:
- Trans-Siberian Railway, Russia – Moscow to Vladivostok.
- Former Soviet Republics – A driving trip through Eastern Europe, maybe start by taking overseas delivery of a new Audi in Germany.
- Remote South Pacific Islands – Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, Cook Islands.
Richard Frisbie – T-Boy writer:
As a voracious reader in my boyhood I consumed everything I could on the South Pacific, from Thor Heyerdahl to Robert Louis Stevenson. As a young teen I was hooked on the prurience of Gauguin’s voluptuous South Sea paintings. Later in life I found a new author that pinpointed Tahiti for me as my ultimate destination – Robert Dean Frisbie – my distant cousin. He was gassed in WWI. After the war ended, for medical reasons he decided to live, love, and write in the South Pacific. After moving to Tahiti in 1920 he established the South Seas News and Pictorial Syndicate and began sending stories back to the U.S. for publication. He sailed throughout Polynesia and sired many children, supplementing his disability pension with jobs for trading companies where he was sometimes the only white person on the island. He died the month after I was born. I’ve always wanted to go to Tahiti to see how much it has changed over the years, and look up some long lost Tahitian cousins.
His titles include:
- The Book of Puka-Puka (A Lone Trader on a South Sea Atoll) (1929)
- My Tahiti (1937)
- Mr. Moonlight’s Island (1939)
- The Island of Desire (The Story of a South Sea Trader) (1944)
- Amaru: A Romance of the South Seas (1945)
- Dawn Sails North (published posthumously in 1949)
Rourke – Musician & composer:
Destinations inspired by these movies:
- Champs-Élysées, Paris (Breathless)
- Havana, Cuba (Godfather 2)
- Ischia, Italy (Talented Mr. Ripley)
- Tokyo (Lost in Translation)
- Salzburg, Austria (Sound of Music)
James Boitano – T-Boy writer:
- French Polynesia
- Newfoundland, Canada
- Cabo Verde, central Atlantic Ocean, Republic of Cabo Verde
Ringo Boitano – T-Boy Writer:
- Temple Mount Sifting Project, Old City of Jerusalem – An ancient guarded complex, venerated as a holy site for the monotheistic religions of Islam, Judaism and Christianity. My dream: to participate in the Temple Mount Sifting Project where one collects buckets of earth, rinses with water and then hopefully discovers an artifact that might have important religious and archaeological significance.
- Montmartre, Paris – A return for a third visit, but this time to explore its rich history of struggling painters & writers, little working-class homes & windmills, cafes & cabarets, and Montmartre Cemetery & Musée de Montmartre.
- Mississippi Delta – Robert Johnson and where it all began.
- The Philippines – To understand its culture and see the beauty of its 7,100 islands.
- New Zealand – Often on a group press trip, civilians will address our team with, What is your favorite place to travel? It is a question that I would ask. Many fellow journalist would enthusiastically reply, New Zealand! Then followed by descriptions of its diversity: rolling green hills, breathtaking fjords, temperate rainforests and an unique Māori culture all packed into an accessible 103,798 square miles. And that is why this small island nation of 4.84 million people is on my Bucket List. Plus, I’d like to shake hands with PM Jacinda Ardern.
Greg Aragon – T-Boy writer:
- A cruise down the Amazon River – The mighty Amazon is the largest river in the world by the amount of water discharged and the second longest river in the world. Since boyhood I have dreamed about taking a boat down this legendary waterway to explore and experience lush jungles and forests, fascinating local peoples, exotic animals such as piranha, pink dolphins, sloths, monkeys and giant snakes, and more.
- The Great Pyramid of Giza – As the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza pyramid complex in Cairo, Egypt, the The Great Pyramid of Giza is one of the ancient Seven Wonders of the World. The incredible structure, built more than 4,500 years ago, stands nearly 500 ft tall. While here I can also get a glimpse of the Sphynx!
- The Summit of Mt. Kilaminjaro – It might be a pipe dream, but I’ve always wanted to climb to the 19,341-foot summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. I know it would take an incredible amount of determination, preparation and training, but the long 9-day journey up to the very top of Africa is on my travel bucket list.
- An African Safari – Another African dream of mine is to take a real-life safari. I want to ride in a rugged four-wheeler and get up-close to elephants, lions, gorillas, rhinos, hippos and more. I want to sleep in a modern, mobile tent beneath the stars.
- A Cruise to Antarctica – A cruise to the ice-capped bottom of the world has always been a dream of mine. Here, in one of the most remote places on earth, I would love to cruise across the Drake Passage from the tip of South America to see penguins, killer whales and elephant seals in their natural, freezing habitat. I would love to sit aboard a ship and watch immense glaciers drift past in icy waters.
Jim Gordon – Co-host & co-producer Travel Guys TV:
- Berlin, Germany (must film there one day)
- Lake Como/Lombardy Region of Italy (you’ve got us there, Ed)
- Stockholm, Sweden (Copenhagen, Denmark would also be included on that trip)
- Warsaw, Poland
- Lake District of England/Wales (been near and at times all around these ones)
Tom Weber – T-Boy writer:
- Havana, Cuba
- Taj Mahal, Agra, India
- Petra, Jordan
- Etosha and Skeleton Coast, Namibia
- Okavango Delta, Botswana
Fyllis Hockman – T-Boy writer:
- Scandinavia – because I’ve never been and the fjords are calling to me.
- Another Safari – because I have been and it wasn’t enough.
- China – because my husband, after 10 trips (I’ve only been 4), wants to go back just one more time (but probably not now…).
- Wyoming – because it’s Wyoming.
- Yellowstone and Yosemite National Parks – because everyone should at least once – and I haven’t.
Weave Cleveland – Cinematographer Travel Guys TV:
- A one week drive through Quebec’s Eastern Townships – In the ’80’s I spent a few days in a place called North Hatley, Quebec and I thought I was in the most enchanted place ever. There has to be more to experience there. It’s a must to explore further.
- Suriname – I was invited to come here and never embraced it. Now I am curious.
- Savannah, Georgia – Friends have told me to go to Charleston, SC, but after seeing Clint Eastwood’s Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil, I have never stopped thinking about this destination. The architecture , the cuisine, I must go visit this town.
- Uruguay – I have learned that it has one the best standards of living on the planet. A very low unemployment rate. Plus I like soccer and they like soccer.
- Erie, Pennsylvania – Because I secretly have a crush on a girl there.
T. E. Mattox – T-Boy music critic:
- Machu Picchu – I have always been fascinated by the Incas and would love to make this trek. The mountain panoramas around these ruins are breathtaking.
- Aurora Borealis – The thought of exploring the Northern-most realms and experiencing the ‘lights’ has been a life-long desire since I learned of them. One day.
- Mississippi Blues Highway – This is my most personal destination. I’ve done it once, but traveling down Highway 61 from Memphis to New Orleans, there are so many back roads to take, juke joints and roadhouses to explore that it will require a much longer vacation next time. And there will be a next time!
- Yellowstone National Park – I want to see more of our country’s beauty before it disappears. At the rate protections are dissolving I’m afraid I may not have that chance.
- French Polynesia – Have you seen the photos? Snow white sandy beaches, palm trees forever and clear, sky blue water. Who doesn’t want to experience that?
Allan Smith – Artist & T-Boy writer:
- All the Standing Stones in Brittany (Bretagne) and Great Britain
- Loire River, on a luxury cruise ship, (if Covid ever disappears)
- Paris, again. (first visited in 1972)
- And, last, but not least, if I ever go to China again, the Karst formations in Guilin
Deb Roskamp – T-Boy photographer & writer:
- Tanzania – Mt. Kilimanjaro, Lake Victoria, the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Zanzibar island, Swahili culture, the Maasai tribe… the names alone conjure up such vivid imagery! Definitely at the top of my list.
- French Riviera – Do a house swap for a month to stay anywhere along the French Riviera and explore all the villages.
- Galapagos Islands, Ecuador – Cruise the Galapagos Island.
- McNeil River Game Sanctuary, North End of Alaska Peninsula – To see bears catching fish in the river.
- The Ahwahnee Hotel, Yosemite Valley, California – Stay at the Ahwahnee Hotel for a week in the winter.
Raoul Pascual – T-Boy co-founder, illustrator and art director:
- Italy – Rome, Venice, Florence (with my wife who has never been). Set up a caricature booth in Florence.
- Japan – Tokyo, Kyoto,
- Alaska – cruise
- Bible Land Tour – put the climate, the smell, the culture, the people, the feel of the distances between landmarks to all my Biblical studies
- Cebu Islands, Philippines – supposed to be better beaches than Hawaii plus underwater caves and hiking trails – a lot cheaper too.
- Road trip across America with whole family
- Submarine adventure ala National Geographic
- Sky dive
- Watch the Olympic Games live
- A blimp ride over Los Angeles
- Visit the moon
Skip Kaltenheuser – T-Boy writer:
- Kashmir – Some places I’d like to go to are off-limits, at least to my sensibility, because of internal political strife or potential international conflict. And in this case, the tensions are between nuclear powers, Pakistan, India and China. I hope they find a way to work it out and the whole region becomes travel friendly, I’ve heard its beauty is awesome.
- Palestine – I’d like to explore all of the Palestinian territories, in part because I’d like to see what’s is being done with US complicity. Maybe there’s too many poison pills for a viable Palestinian nation to take shape, ideally all those lands would become part of Israel, with Palestinians getting full citizenship and legally solid property rights. Dim prospects, alas.
- Vietnam – Once the part of the world I most wanted to avoid. In my military draft lottery Nixon was close but no cigar, so I never really had to make the tough decision over what I’d do. I did continue efforts to keep others from going into that dreaded insanity, but I was in the clear. Now Vietnam ranks high on my wish list. It’s most recent impressive accomplishment involves minimizing Covid-19 impacts.
- Morocco – I’ve wanted to go ever since I saw the Crosby, Hope and Lamour movie Road to Morroco, and of course Casablanca.
- Nicaragua – Friends have recently raved about the Aqua resort on the Emerald Coast. My last time through the country was traveling overland to South America in ’75. In a hurry, I didn’t get a chance to give the countryside a close look amid the lingering chaos from an earthquake and the Somoza regime’s corruption. I’d like to give it another chance and catch the beauty I missed, including some of what’s underwater.
- Tierra del Fuego – A law prof always posed the problem what if your client gets screwed and the perp absconds to Tierra del Fuego, so it’s singed into my mind. I’d like to see how all those miscreants in exile are doing, and also travel a bit up nearby regions of Chile and Argentina, which share the island at the end of the world.
- Cuba – This quasi-forbidden fruit remains on my wish list. Its history and culture are fascinating and I’d like to see it overcome its problems, some of which the US has exacerbated, and explore it before it changes too much.
- Thailand – I’ve been fascinated by the mystery novels by John Burdett, starting with Bangkok 8, that wander about Bangkok’s underbelly. They’ve wet my appetite to explore the whole country.
- New Zealand – How could one not want to explore a beautiful country that so obviously has its act together?
- More of Africa – I was privileged to travel large swaths of the continent. I’d like to see more, including of the cultural mix and the wildlife. I was only briefly in Zimbabwe, long ago, on the way to Zambia to raft the river. The desperation was very unsettling. I hear both countries have great wildlife potentials, I hope they can pull their act together and end the corruption destroying that potential and eating the countries’ future.
- Canada – So much of it left to see, including in its far reaches. I’ve done hell-hiking. This tin man would like to do heli-skiing while he can still find the oil can.
- A more leisurely return to the Balkans – Years ago I supervised or observed elections in Bosnia and Macedonia, and took note of the beauty. I’d like to see how they’re faring now in, I hope, more relaxed circumstances, and more of the region generally.
- Explorations of the locales for the well-researched, atmospheric WWII espionage novels of Alan Furst. Though they often overlap in occupied France, they branch out to the whole European theater of the war, and would be great starting points for travel perspectives.
- Other than travel with my now young adult kids, my favorite travel pursuits have always included festivals, particularly Carnival across different cultures. I look forward to continuing that exploration, when crowds no longer generate health worries. Until then, road trips are moving up the list.