the trip of a lifetime?

you’ve all heard that saying, right?

but what does it really mean to ME (or YOU)?

i was thinking about this yesterday morning in a moment of quiet:

  • what would be MY trip of a lifetime?
  • somewhere i’ve been already?
  • a place i’m yet to visit?

it’s almost five years ago that my husband and i both got made redundant on the same day and, after an evening of talking it over, decided to sell our house in new zealand and go see some more of the world. since then, we’ve visited over 20 countries, some of them multiple times. if you’d asked me five years ago today what i’d be doing it five years time, i’m not sure i could have imagined up such an adventurous life, or that i’d be sitting writing to you here on gypsy girls guide.

i’ve been more places than some, fewer than others…. and i’ve made some amazing friends that i would never have, had i not left new zealand.

a few weeks ago a new friend emailed me… i’ve been invited to travel with them at the end of this year.

this is someone that, a few years ago, i would never have dreamed i would meet (let alone become friends with). since the trip has yet to be finalised, i’m not going to say where, or with who, but it’s certainly going to be an adventure.

the invitation was what started this whole thought process off – would this upcoming trip be MY trip of a lifetime?

 i actually don’t know the answer. it’s certainly not somewhere i would have imagined i would ever go.

have you ever thought about what your trip of a lifetime would be?

is it…

  • somewhere you have already been?
  • somewhere you have always dreamed of going?
  • somewhere you are already making plans to visit?

or… could it be the trip of a lifetime is already happening for all of us…

that it’s not a place, a continent, or one short holiday experience
it’s the life we are already living?



leonie wise is a regular contributor to gypsy girls guide and co-creator of the new zealand creative retreats
you can read more about her travels and random thoughts at

  • Love your background story! Opportunity comes in many forms… My trip of a lifetime would be a driving trip, cross country Canada… Or if I can back myself enough to do it, walk a section of the Pacific Crest Trail… I imagine I’d see myself differently after that, not to mention how i’d feel after being in so much nature for the extended period of time.

  • Cruise around the World, together with my husband whom I met while we were both working on the cruise ship over 10 years ago. Italy would have to be on one of the ports of call as I always dreamed of going there…

  • My dream trip of a lifetime would be to go to India. I have wanted to go there for so long, it enchants me. It is interesting because I don’t know if I will love it or hate it. It could go either way. I don’t know when I will go. It could be years from now. It probably will be. The longing used to bother me so much but now I have found there is a lot to be said for the anticipation and daydreaming, until it happens.

    Interesting what you said about maybe the trip of the lifetime is already happening, it is the life we have. I feel that is true for me. Living in France, with a wonderful husband, and two beautiful children is something I never, ever expected, and it’s the thrill of a lifetime.

  • Such a great question! I feel like our trip of a lifetime keeps changing once we’ve visited the current trip of a lifetime. Then there becomes another one and another one. Almost like a Bucket List. My current trip of a lifetime is Antarctica.

  • Excellent post and beautiful photographs. I’m living my dream, daily, at Thistle Cove Farm and have been to 29 countries, some of them more than once. I’m now working on a prospectus to teach in Cuba; will it happen? Maybe, but I know for sure it won’t happen if I don’t at least make the attempt.
    It’s not in the trying and not succeeding we fail; it’s in the not trying at all.

  • very cool. i am dying for a road trip around the states.

  • Your questions made realize that I’ve already had my trip of a lifetime — 5 years ago when I accompanied my mother back to Brazil for the first time in nearly 50 years. I grew up hearing her stories of her time there, and now that she is in her 70s, I’m glad we had the chance to create new memories together in such a special place.

  • A dream of mine has to one day simply travel out of the country. I was born in the U.S and I’ve traveled among it’s many beautiful states but never beyond their borders. I’ve had a few opportunities but either they’ve come at the wrong times or fell through. This is why I almost really can’t define what my trip of a lifetime would be. I would love to go see the town my great-grandmother was from in Italy, Machu Picchu, or for a reason I can’t explain since I was eight, to go to Costa Rica, but as a trip of a life time I feel we can’t really define it until we are on it, until one day we are traveling along and say oh my there it is here I am.

  • I had my trip of a life time in 2008. I live in Australia and had always wanted to visit America. One night my husband came home from work and announced that his work was sending us to live in America for 3 months, all expenses paid. We split the time between Pennsylvania in a beautiful old town and Nashville Tennessee. We were so lucky to visit so many places including NYC, Washington DC amongst others. We spent a weekend with a horse whisperer in Kentucky (my favourite memory)..At the end of our stay, we went to LA and visited Disneyland where our daughter got to celebrate her 11th birthday. WE finished up in San Fransisco. I still pinch myself that we had this experience and not a day goes by that I don’t think about it. It woke up the gypsy in me and since then we have visited Japan and have gone back to America, this time Florida. We are going on a South Pacific cruise this June, and Hong Kong next year….I think it’s safe to say my trip of a lifetime changed the way I look at the world around me and has made me hungry for more.

  • I don’t think we should limit ourselves to one trip of a lifetime in the regular way. That comment, after my first to weeks in Japan, from a colleague (“Oh it sounds like you’ve had the trip of your lifetime”) made me realise I want more of exactly that, all the time.

  • I would love to just travel. Hopefuly I will be able to do that one day or go to spain. I just have a calling to go but cant at the moment but those two would be a trip of lifetime for me.

  • Wow, this is exactly something like what I’m planning I’ve got quite a bit of wanderlust in me and I can’t wait to explore. Thanks for sharing! :)

  • I love the idea that our trip of a lifetime is the life we’re leading. I like to think and and enjoy all the little adventures :) {weirdly, my big trip is in reverse to you…I went on a big OE, got as far as New Zealand and am still here 2 and a half years later :) I never would have predicted I’d be here now but I’m glad I am and I took a big leap}

  • Gorgeous exciting wanderlovely post!

    My trip of a lifetime is happening next year, our last year in Europe before Statebound again. We’re taking several trips all year – to Switzerland, Prague, Wales, Iceland, Germany, Italy, Amsterdam, Ireland, and possibly a cruise beginning in Barcelona! I’m very excited. So far, my favorite place to travel in Europe is Guernsey – the channel island between the UK and France. I will always recommend that beautiful, peaceful, small, charming island with it’s gorgeous scenery and incredibly handsome men! ;)

    Tomorrow I go to Norway for the first time. Very excited. !!

    Ladaisi Blog
    Ladaisi Etsy

  • Ah travel, the one thing I must do in the future. Soon in the future. My dream trip would to hike/ backpack across the small European countries. I think just getting to know people far away from the tiny state I live in, seeing there culture, and learning there stories would be the dream for me. To know what connects us as human beings, maybe to learn to appreciate the things that I take for granted, and others dream of. I do agree though that the greatest adventure in the one we live every day. Blessings Rachel hope

  • How intriguing! I have only recently realized my wanderlust and that is becoming the one thing that I most look forward to right now. Your question has sparked a huge fascination for traveling and cultures in me – and I cannot wait for the summer to come so I can pack and GO.

    It’s too bad that the Gypsy Girls’ Guide stopped updating new posts, but I am new here so there is a whole archive for me to discover from the earliest posts back in 2006!

    Thank you for this amazing and inspiring website, or journal as I would call it.

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