The world is huge. There’s no denying it. I read an article on CNN recently entitled “Give Children the Gift of Travel” and while reading it, I couldn’t help but nod my head. As a child, my parents took me everywhere, from weekends in the Drakensburg Mountains to the coastal towns of Margate, Ramsgate and Port Elizabeth, to overseas destinations like Mauritius and India. There were many small trips like those to the beach on the north coast of KwaZulu Natal such as Richards Bay and St Lucia. I can’t forget Cape Town of course, which wasn’t so small since it takes more than a day to drive there. We never drove though (except when I was 3); we flew instead. Every trip fascinated me, and I never knew what influence all those trips had on my thinking until now.
Like the mother in the article says regarding her children, “They learn that exploring is a must. They learn to ask questions. They learn how to navigate cities. First and foremost, they have to know the name of our hotel and how to get back to it if they were to ever get lost. They learn that life must be lived and not watched on TV or played on a video game.”
I don’t know if its only me but it seems like everyone is so caught up in the rush of the world and chatting on BBM and updating their Facebook status that they think that that’s all there is to life. I know many people who cannot function on the road without a GPS navigator. They think they don’t need to know where they are in relation to everything else. What will happen if you’re walking around somewhere and you get lost? What happens if your phone battery dies and you can’t access Google Maps? Do you know how far the closest metro station, highway or petrol station is? Not to mention, which direction?
I’m glad to say that unlike the hundreds of people who move from Durban to Johannesburg, I have not yet bought myself a GPS navigator. If I am going somewhere I’ve never been before, I Google the route beforehand, then print out the directions just to keep at my side in order to remember the road names. Getting lost sometimes is a good thing because it makes you aware of your surroundings and you can find your way back by tracing your steps. So no, you can’t fix the fact that your parents didn’t take you anywhere as a child, but at least don’t be a dumbass about it and think that technology is gonna get you out of every situation. No matter how advanced technology is, it can never outsmart the human brain.
Having said that (and I know I rambled quite a bit here), here is my list of the many places I want to visit and why. They are in no particular order.
|Alaska||I have not seen a single ugly picture of Alaska. Its definitely not a place I’d want to get lost in (I don’t think anyone would) but I think you can get a sense of peace there that you probably wouldn’t be able to get anywhere else in the world.|
|The Golden Temple, India||I feel like I have some Punjabi blood in me and want to go for this reason. It will be a great place to do seva (charity work) and just pray, even though I’m not much of a temple goer.|
|Giza, Egypt||I’ve had a fascination for Egypt ever since I was a kid. I remember doing a speech on Ancient Egypt to my grade 7 class. Nothing can be compared to the great pyramids of Giza. The fact that they were built in accordance with Orion’s Belt thrills me. Up till now, I smile at that constellation whenever I see it because I know that’s exactly how the Egyptians saw it thousands of years ago.|
|Berlin, Germany||I think Berlin has a vibe about it that only few places have. I’d love to experience it for myself.|
|The Grand Canyon, USA||Do I really need to give a reason why? That place was probably the inspiration behind the creation of the word “awesome”.|
|The Dead Sea||I’m not much of a swimmer, so I love the idea of being able to float without even trying. I know I’ll have lots of fun plastering myself with the therapeutic salt, too.|
|Montenegro||Ever seen the advert on the Travel Channel? They say, “Experience wild beauty”. Montenegro has the most gorgeous landscape and I feel like I was there in some past life. I think its expensive as hell, but surely 2 or 3 days there won’t kill me?|
|Southern Alps, New Zealand||Beauty, what else? Ok, Lord of the Rings, too. But beauty first and foremost. No other reason, really.|
|The Northern Lights, Scandinavia||The greatest light show on Earth. I think everyone should see that at least once in their lifetime.|
|The Vatican at night||The photos say it all.|
|The Vatican on Christmas Day||It will probably be freezing, but its something I’ve been wanting to do for years, even though I’m not a Christian. I can only begin to imagine the vibe you’d get in St Peters Square on Christmas Day, because even on a normal day, its there.|
|Dubrovnik, Croatia||As a child, I read a book called Matt the Goose-herd. It was based in Dubrovnik and back then I never knew where the hell Dubrovnik was, but because of that book, I wanted to go there. I don’t think I’ll rest in peace until I do.|
|Salzburg, Austria||“The hills are alive with the sound of music”. I’m a huge fan, what can I say.|
|Toronto, Canada||I have some family there that have been bugging me to come for years. I may end up living there one day, who knows? Though, I can’t deal with cold so I’m not sure how that will work out for me.|
Should I refer to it as a bucket list? Perhaps. What the hell. I hereby proclaim it to be a bucket list, even if it isn’t a complete one but rather a snapshot of it.
I will end with a nice quote that I read which is very true:
“Travel is the only thing you can buy that will make you richer”