In her classic book, The White Album, Joan Didion shared her standard packing list for the period of the late 60s when she was traveling the country as a formidable cultural journalist. While observing the unraveling of midcentury America with her signature razor sharp wit, Joan kept her bag light. A few of those essential items? Two skirts, two jerseys or leotards, one pullover sweater, a robe, face cream and bourbon. Oh yes, and her typewriter.
When the basics are squared away, à la Didion, all that’s left is the destination. So where to?
Burn a Bijou candle, and get inspired as worldly scents begin to luxuriate about your home. If you're like me — a daydreamer who associates powerful smells with lived experiences — thinking about the globe and all that is has to offer invokes serious wanderlust. To add more fuel to that perfectly scented fire, here is The Ultimate Bijou Travel Bucket List.
Tabac Noir - Havana
Thawing relations between the U.S. and Cuba means this formerly isolated Caribbean city with a rich cultural history is a must. Get there before the tourism industry catches up and any authentic experience is bulldozed in favor of western-friendly resorts.
Wild Lilac - New Zealand
There are few places on in the world that features as many unique biomes as New Zealand does. From tundra to forests to mountains to waterfalls to boiling mud pools and wild fields of incredible blooms, it has the kind of geographical diversity that fantasy novels are made of.
French Lavender - Provence, France
Cliche? Maybe. But there is nothing more lovely than walking through a sea of French Lavender in the rolling hills of southern France. Everyone should experience it once in their lives.
Blue Bamboo - Aruba
Let’s be honest: Not every trip you take needs to be culturally stimulating or a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Art museums are great, and skiing from a helicopter sounds thrilling, but sometimes you just need a beach, a high UV index and a cocktail with a little umbrella. There’s many island nations to explore in the Caribbean, but this former Dutch colony — with its pastel buildings and its average annual temperature of 82 degrees — seems like the perfect combination of beauty and rejuvenation.
Bois De Vanille - Tahiti
Source of some of the world’s best Vanilla, Tahiti encompasses the 118 far-flung islands that make up French Polynesia. This remote paradise is tropical, incredibly beautiful and has become one of the most luxurious vacation spots in the world. A must visit for anyone who wants to feel like they’ve truly circled the globe.
Ambre Tubereuse - Florence
The birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, this Tuscan city — filled with towering cathedrals and exquisite art (think Botticelli, Michelangelo, da Vinci) — is the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen (with some of the most beautiful inhabitants).
Maple Apple - Quebec
If you’ve never been to a cabane à sucre — or at the very least, tried real maple syrup fresh from a boiling cauldron — you are missing out on one of Quebec’s finest traditions. Apart from its world class city (Montreal), the rural townships of this Eastern Canadian province are known for amazing local farms, and if you’re thirsty, nearly half of Canada’s top 100 beers are Quebecois.
Winter Pine - Utah
For any dedicated skier, nothing beats fresh powder. Skip the overrated Colorado hills and visit one of Utah’s 15 world class ski resorts, which boasts some of the world’s best snow. And if you’re around when the iconic Sundance Film Festival hits Park City every January, you might just cross skis with some of your famous indie celebrities after you hit the slopes.
About the writer:
A typical Scorpio, Elizabeth is a
writer/producer/film snob from Toronto.