It’s time to window shop for trip. The travel bug is in my DNA, courtesy of parents who lived all over the world and didn’t hesitate to take us with them. (It’s one of the greatest gifts they gave us, by the way; we’re adventurous when it comes to exploring this gorgeous Earth and its people.) If just a few circumstances were different, I’d more seriously explore living overseas, but am putting that on hold for now. Thinking about a new journey will more than fulfill for the near future.
After the Africa trip, I came home set on making my next trip as dynamic as that one. We were observers, of course, but we were actively exploring and always in motion when we weren’t sleeping. The same was true for Italy. Against the good-natured warnings of concerned fellow travelers, I saw not only the traditional splendor of Rome but walked the stone streets of Pompeii and the strikingly vivid hills of Amalfi, all in three days. No offense taken, says the lazy beach vacation, but I have done sandy relaxation for so long – early trips to the Virgin Islands, the college trips to the Bahamas and Cancun, 2010 in Hawaii with half the time spent reclined ocean side, 2012 in Bermuda, Florida trips too numerous to count. It’s a wonderful way to vacation, don’t get me wrong, but I can’t do it for weeks at a time anymore. I want to be doing.
I also want to be learning. We were amateur zoology students while in Africa and we loved it. Our guide taught us the different types of gazelle and the eating habits of the hippo (and to stay clear of the latter, and the convincing reasons why). We talked about the coming of age rituals of the Maasai and of the strategy of setting brush ablaze 50 feet from your lodge window. We never felt overwhelmed by information (maybe by fatigue, but in our defense 18 hours is a good bit of flying time), and felt a little bit like kids, back when we were excited and were open to learning about just about anything. It matters not if you remember all you’ve been told about a culture or a mountain or a meal; for that moment you were a part of it. I want that intoxicating feeling next time around.
So a trip to the Galapagos Islands is at the top of my list. In an ideal world I’d tour by boat as I love being on the water. I’d find a way to be close to those gorgeous tortoises and perhaps volunteer for a bit. I’d learn about the birds, snorkel and sneak up on penguins, strain to figure out the time difference from home. An active volcano would be an amazing plus. (Ok, and maybe a beach day.)
Other places on the life list? Finally being SCUBA certified and heading to Indonesia. A wildlife trip to Australia. The moai of Easter Island, a photography trip to the national parks of Alaska, the glaciers, falls and pools of Iceland. The cities of Prague and Hong Kong. And somewhere I can hold a sloth.
Where will you go?