10...no, 6...Places I Would Love, Love, LOVE to Visit!

Linking up with A Happy Girl for her Blogember challenge. Day 22: 10 places you would love to visit. Of course this is a prompt that I am excited to do! I reduced the number to six because these are the six places currently far and away at the top of my list; there are about a hundred more that are much harder to choose between for those last four slots.

1. Persepolis, Iran
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I think it might surprise people that the number one place on my list of places to visit isn't a mountain peak (though I would love to also trek through the Zagros Mountains), but I have wanted to visit Iran for as long as I can remember. I was an International Studies major with an emphasis in the Middle East, and although I learned Arabic (not related to Persian), I have even made my husband promise to take me to Iran before I die. Explaining this one might be a topic for another blog post, but suffice to say, sometimes you don't choose your adventures. They choose you. And Iran has had a firm grip on my heart for as long as I can remember, not only for its historical sites - such as Persepolis - but also for its modern culture.

2. Landmannalaugar, Iceland
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Iceland seems to provide some of the most beautiful landscapes imaginable. After seeing a friend's photographs from his time there, I just can't imagine my life will be complete until I go.

3. Krogerata, Telluride, Colorado
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The Krogerata is a via ferrata (iron road) that is accessible to even the most novice climbers. And what a backdrop you have as your make your way across the traverse! This is one that we have tentatively scheduled for June 2014 and I cannot wait.

4. Pichincha Volcano, Ecuador
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Who doesn't dream of bagging a beautiful mountain peak that doubles as an active volcano? With its most recent eruption being in 1999, Pichincha affords its hikers (who must double as rock scramblers) with incredible views and the thrill of coming face-to-face with a natural force to be reckoned with. I can think of no better way to feel small and powerless!

5. Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Las Vegas, Nevada
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Red Rock represents a departure from the fast life of Vegas and a little piece of natural heaven. While others may want to indulge in all that the Strip has to offer, I dream of going there only to escape to a rock climber's paradise. There are multi-pitch routes here that are accessible to the beginner outdoor climber, but there are also opportunities to establish new routes and challenge yourself physically and mentally on difficult climbs.

6. Huashan Trail, China
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Another via ferrata-style hike that has been dubbed "the most dangerous hike in the world" by some, though that has to be taken with a grain of salt. I've read some reports that the local people do this one like it's a walk in the park, but I imagine myself struggling, crying, and trembling from fear the entire time. Check out some of the scenery you could experience here.

What places would you like to visit?