What’s on my bucket list?
You may find it surprising but there are places I haven’t been, many places in fact –entire countries actually! I love to travel so much that I even dream of travel WHILE traveling. For instance last year at this time I was on my way to Vietnam (a dream of mine) and while on a layover in Hong Kong I walked the entire airport terminal checking out all the gates and what exotic destinations they were steel and glass portals to. I’m used to seeing places like Rome, Brazil and Prague but now I was staring in wonder at the names of Phnom Penh, Mumbai and Jakarta. “Jakarta,” I mused. Wooooooow. And I actually found myself a bit envious of the people lining up to get on the plane. Like they were a group of VIP’s invited into the hip club of the moment and I wasn’t.
That’s the thing about travel. When you start, the world doesn’t get smaller, it increases in size. And the list of places you want to see and the cultures you want to experience in dress, food and way of life only grows. So here’s what my list looks like now:
1. A river-cruise through Europe, preferably through France. Stopping at small unpronounceable Hamlets like Les Andeleys and Chalon sur Soane. Exploring by bike adorned with a large woven basket in which only decadent or highly caloric items would be allowed.
2. Africa. Yes I am deeply embarrassed to admit it but I’ve never been. My husband, Kevin, and I had plans to go to Cape Town for our honeymoon back in 2006 but when I was only given 5 days between shoots we changed the itinerary to … wait for it … Key West, Florida! Really it’s hard to differentiate the two, don’t ya think? South Africa has Safaris to view wildlife; Key West has the Fantasy Fest where wildlife comes to you. Africa has Lion Kings, Key West has Drag Queens … okay, I’ll stop.
3. Bike the Whites. This is a bike tour through the White Mountains in my home state of New Hampshire. I’ve always wanted to do a Bike tour through one of the countries of Europe but know due to time commitments and weakening knees I will never make it. So as I always recommend when it comes to bucket list travel, don’t make it all “climb Mount Everest” big. Think about something you’ve always wanted to do and see if it can’t be accomplished closer to you — even in your own state!
4. Lapland, Finland, to see the Aurora Borealis. I want snow, I want reindeer, I want to see what happens when charged particles riding on the speed of polar winds crash into electrons and protons!
5. Kurdistan, Iraq. The incomparable New York Times travel section describes this as a visitor friendly stable corner of Iraq. So that would be a great place to start in a tour of the so dubbed Axis of Evil countries. I’m sort of exposing myself here but I always thought my purpose in this travel world was to be that bridge that connects the known to the unknown. To shine a light into what we fear and see if we don’t both have misconceptions about one another that can be rectified. It’s a bit lofty, I know. Idealistic, sure, but I think I have it in me. My mom will never sign the permission slip though.
6. Boat trip through the Grand Canyon on the Colorado River. I did this with my dad and sister. It was the 7-day camping trip on motorized pontoon boats and it was glorious! This time I would actually like to attempt the 14-day trip on the original Dories with only oar power. I’m a lot tougher than you think!
7. Zanzibaaaaaaar. Just for the warm, lulling, exotic sound of it.
8. Toronto, Canada. For no other reason than once I go there I can officially cross off my list my very first grand dream of travel hatched back in 1984 with my best friend. We both had perms, loved Wham and thought it would be wicked cool to travel the world going to all the destinations immortalized on a Hard Rock Café T-shirt. If a Hard Rock Café was there, my god, it had to be awesome. Elaine, in the words of you know who: Let’s Go Go, and I’m not plannin’ on going solo.
I’m sorry; I should probably have a 9 and 10 since lists always work in top 5s, top 10s and 20s. So just think of it as my top 5 with 3 extras thrown in.
Now for your part, cuz I can’t stand one-sided blogs where people Blah, Blah, Blah in some egotistical monologue about their self. I would love to know your traveling dreams big and small, crazy and totally sincere. Do you want to change the world or chug frozen drinks? Is it a place you’ve been dreaming of since you were a kid or some whim that won’t go away. It doesn’t matter that you can’t go there, sharing it, talking about it, allows you to BE there. So let’s Go Go!