From the Canadian Rockies to Costa Rica: My Travel Wish List for 2016

The year 2015 was quite eventful to say the least. I got married on the island of Crete and spent 14 amazing days of our honeymoon exploring Greece. I moved to New Jersey, the one state where I thought I’d never live. I spent three-fourths of the year planning the Greek wedding and Long Island reception that followed. Both were exhausting. Last December, I had no idea I’d be doing any of these things and made a long list of places to visit. While I didn’t get to most of them, I enjoyed a couple of Caribbean trips to Barbados (where I tried surfing) and Grenada (where I tasted some awesome dark chocolate). My husband and I went on a few road trips with the dog to a lake house in the Berkshires (thanks AirBnB) and Cavalier Cottage in Massachusetts. We spent a week in Scottsdale, staying at two amazing resorts and loving the desert from a hot air balloon. It was an amazing year, with travel near and far, and many changes in my life.

In 2016, I hope to revisit my favorite country, Costa Rica, and take my husband with me. He’s never been! I want to set foot on the Hawaiian islands and explore more of our beautiful continent, visiting the National Parks of Utah, Wyoming, and Canada.  

1) Yellowstone & Grand Tetons National Parks

Bison, elk, geysers, and unlimited hiking trails in stunning settings. What more could an outdoorsy, animal-loving gal want?


Photo courtesy of

2) Utah’s National Parks and Best Friends Animal Society in Angel Canyon

Utah’s Parks have some of the most breathtaking vistas in the country. A trip to the Beehive State wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Angel Canyon’s Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, where more than 1700 rescued animals, including bunnies, pigs, and horses live in peace. They even let you borrow a dog to go on hikes. Now that’s awesome!


Photo courtesy of

3) Costa Rica

Volcanos, tropical beaches, eco-lodges, and adorable sloths. And another visit to Tabacon, my favorite resort featuring natural hot-springs. I can go back to Costa Rica over and over again and will never stop loving it. If only I could motivate myself to learn Spanish!

Costa Rica

Photo courtesy of

4) Hawaii

I haven’t decided which islands I want to visit but, after watching and falling in love with LOST and Hawaii 5-0, I have got to see these heavenly isles.

Hawaii 5-O

Photo courtesy of Hawaii 5-0

5) Banff and Jasper National Parks

I’ve spent just one day in Canada in all my travels and I hope to change that in the new year. A road trip from Jasper to Banff is just what I need for this Canadian Rockies adventure. The mountains are calling… and I MUST GO!


Photo courtesy of Banff Lake Louise Tourism / Paul Zizka Photography.

What’s on your travel list for 2016?

Published by Lavanya

Lavanya Sunkara is a writer, animal lover, and globetrotter based in New York City. She has written for The New York Times, Fodor’s, Architectural Digest, Shermans Travel, The Dodo, and many more in a career spanning eight years. She covers travel, eco-lifestyle, culture, pets, and wildlife conservation.

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