Roads Not Yet Taken

During the past few months I’ve talked about places I’ve been, but only hinted at all those other wonderful places I’d like to visit on our beautiful planet.  With a new year fast approaching, it has come time to plan…and to dream…of future travels.

I don’t think of it as a bucket list. To me, that’s always sounded like you’re trying to score points in some strange competition just before you die. I don’t want to be one of those people who wait until they’re retired to go around the world (and around and around). After all, can you be totally assured that you’ll be able to travel when you’re 70?  You may not have the finances or the health (the physical mobility). As I once said to friends while explaining why I go the places I go: “I’m choosing the furthest destinations, the most diffcult to get to, now before I’m unable. I’ll visit places closer to home when I’m old and decrepit.”

Not that I won’t sneak in a short hop to one of my dream destinations: Chaco Canyon, New Mexico Image (home to ancestral Puebloan peoples between 850 and 1250 AD). As an archeaology major, I’ve always been fascinated by ancient ruins and what they tell us about the cultures who built them. Visit Chaco’s National Park Service website to learn more about this fascinating place. Maybe we’ll see each other there.

The other place on my short list is Mount Kilimanjaro (Tanzania). ImageClimbing to the summit  has long been a dream of mine, although I’m not 100% certain of the origins of that dream. I believe I was first introduced to the idea through Willard Price, an author I’ve mentioned previously.  Although I don’t recall his teenage heros, Hal and Roger, ever actually visitng Mount Kilimanjaro, many of Price’s books take place on the African continent (African Adventure, Elephant Adventure, Safari Adventure, Lion Adventure, Gorilla Adventure). Amazing how books we read as children can have such a lasting effect upon us!

While dreams are fun, and necessary!, we can’t just dream. We have to live. So Chaco and Kilimanjaro aren’t just on my list, they’re on my next-five-years list. Planning is under way.

Now, if I can just keep myself from getting distracted by all sorts of other interesting places which seem to continually pop up in travel brochures, National Geographic Traveler magazine, or on Discovery Channel specials. Does this happen to you? I see yet another new place, and my list just keeps growing: Mongolia, Bhutan,ImageEaster Island, Croatia, Churchill (Manitoba), Palau, Key West, Costa Rica, Belize, Midway Island, etc., etc., etc.

Where do you want to go?