Friday, March 14, 2008
Where In The World Will Be Sorro Sandiego?
One of the things that I absolutely love doing is traveling. For the first 19 years of my life, travel consisted of going to one of a select few places:
St George, UT
Sure, I had been to Yellowstone, Idaho, and the Uinta Basin along with one trip to that most exotic vacation destination, Tijuana; but actually seeing new and exciting places was something that I had never been able to do. Fortunately due to the changing financial fortunes of my family and then of me (not to mention business travel), I've been able to go places I'd never thought I'd get to see - London, Paris, Rome, Florence, Venice, Vienna, Salzburg, Munich, Tokyo, Kyoto, New York, Washington DC, Boston, Hawaii, and more. Because I've been so spoiled with these opportunities, I've started compiling a list of places I want to go. Here are the top 10 in desirability order (listed in potential trip form), with comments (also, one trip - to Greece - isn't on here because it's already happening, so I'm not counting it):
1. Japan - Even though when I lived there the Cheeth famously labeled me The Most American Guy In Japan, I love it. I could go back there every couple of years because it just has that pull on me.
2. The Netherlands/Belgium/France/Switzerland - We got within about 50 kilometers of Switzerland on our Austria/Germany trip and were actually trying to fly out of Zurich or Geneva instead of Frankfurt, but award seats weren't available. I still would love to go back and see it, because everything I've seen from there is incredible. This itinerary, while long, would also let us see Benelux, go to Normandy (which for my money is the single best part of France - there are few sights more incredible than the cemetary overlooking Omaha Beach), swing through Paris and go down into Southern France to Switzerland.
3. Berlin/Czech Republic/Poland/Hungary - Except for the Berlin add-on, this is a trip that my parents took a few years ago. Prague is supposed to be incredible, Budapest looks awesome, and I would love to see Auschwitz. Dachau was sobering, but it wasn't the death factory that Auschwitz was. It would be an incredibly interesting experience.
4. Egypt/Israel/Turkey - I would love to add Lebanon to this trip, but I don't trust it right now (I don't know if I ever will - just when it seems like it's getting back to a "not killing each other" norm, they go right back at it. Who's going to be the first to say it's a conspiracy of building companies so they can perpetually rebuild Beirut?). Nevertheless, to see one of the great cradles of civilization would be an experience not to be missed.
5. Denmark/Sweden/Norway/Iceland - The Iceland add-on might not happen, but this is another Amazing Race inspired tour because they all look quite awesome.
6. British Isles - I've seen the London area, but I would love to go up to Scotland and see Ireland. I know this is a trip my wife wants to take too.
7. Austria/Germany - Maybe not an exact repeat of the trip we just took (I've heard Innsbruck is incredible, and I'd love to actually shoot down to Florence somehow on this one), but something pretty close.
7. Singapore/Thailand/Malaysia/Cambodia - Now that Cambodia's settled down, I'd love to see Angkor Wat. The other areas would be interesting too, although if I had to drop a country from it, it'd be Thailand.
8. Australia/New Zealand - My parents just got back from Australia and said it was great. I'd add on New Zealand and skip Perth if it was my trip though.
9. Spain/Portugal - There are some things I'd love to see (the 100+ years in the making church in Barcelona, some parts of Madrid, Porto, and some parts of Lisbon), but at the same time, it gets kicked down because I don't know nearly as much about this area as others.
10. Russia - There's some things in Russia that I would love to see (St Petersburg, the Kremlin), but at the same time, it's just not terribly high on my list. I wouldn't consider this a firm position by any means.