Most people who know me would say that I’m well travelled. My general response to that is that I travel well. And, for sure, I do.
But looked at in either context, a simple fact remains the same; the more we experience of the world, the more we become painfully aware of how little we actually have seen. Travel is like peeling an onion; just when you think you’ve got down to the heart of it, you find another hundred layers, lying in wait to be unravelled.
And that is exactly as it should be, too.
To truly travel, the mind should always be constantly exploring new horizons and, at the very least, contemplating new stuff. Many of us have what we call a ‘bucket list’; a set of trophy things we want to do, sights we yet want to see,
Trust me, I’m no different in that regard. So, without further ado, here’s some of the adventures I still want to experience at least once in my lifetime. Hang on- this could get messy….
TRAVEL BY RAIL ACROSS THE USA
From sea to shining sea. West to East. Starting in Los Angeles with a stay on the dear old Queen Mary, and then making my way on those fabulous Amtrak double decker trains, all the way to New York.
I’d make a two night stop in certain cities along the way; New Orleans, Chicago, and Philadelphia come first to mind. There would be a final couple of nights in New York and then- as a truly grand finale- I’d sail back across the Atlantic to England on the Queen Mary 2.
That’s living, all right.
THREE WEEKS IN THE GREEK ISLANDS
This would be the complete opposite to my normal, organised routine. Just an open return flight ticket to Athens, as little luggage as possible, and then just island hopping for three weeks, using the local ferries like buses.
Where to? Wherever the mood and the music takes me. A day here. Three days there. Two days anywhere. Repeat as necessary until you become so chilled out that you’re almost liquid.
So many choices, and all dependant on a mood, a whim, People watching and drinking wine in the sun. Repeat as necessary. Jacket and tie? I don’t think so. Not for this one, Colonel.
SAILING DOWN TO RIO
Anyone with even a hint of romance in their soul has a sacred duty to sail down to Rio; the most sultry and sensuous city south of the Equator. Why sail? Because tourists fly. And you are not a tourist; you’re a child that has to follow the sun. We don’t ‘do’ mundane, chico. That’s not what we’re about, is it? That’s not how we roll.
And, if you are going to arrive in Rio, you want to make that spectacular, dramatic entry from the sea. Sailing in past Corcovado and the statue of Christ the Redeemer. And do it in style; arrive on the biggest, most swaggering and spectacular ship you can find. You owe it to Rio. And you owe it to yourself. Don’t let me down.
PADDLE WHEELER ON THE MISSISSIPPI
In the immortal words of Churchill, D; Oh, yes…
I want to sit on a rocking chair on some huge, hulking great wedding cake of a paddle steamer, and pretend I’m Huckleberry Finn while I sip on a mint julep. I want to swagger down one of those impossibly over fussed, Gone With The Wind style grand staircases. To roll on out of New Orleans, with the paddle wheel thrashing up the river behind us, and a dixieland jazz soundtrack ringing in my ears. I still want to be able to hear that music until my dying day. Yes sir, I’ll take some of that Mississippi mud pie, with a big slice of old style steamboating.
Is there more? Oh Lord, yes. Lots. But these are the brightest stars I’ll be aiming to reach for. Bucket list? The only thing that I’m sure of with any real certainty is that I’m going to be needing a bigger bucket.
How about you?