Happy New Year, y’all. As I reach for my Excedrin after a night of sending 2011 out on its ass, I can’t help but revel in my New Year’s dinner conversation with my sweetheart about all of the places we want to travel to this year. Those conversations with me can be crazy because my list is so long it really does require a lifetime to actually make a dent in the list.
But seeing that we are all on limited time due to the pending doom coming our way on December 21, 2012, I guess I better try to tackle my short list of places to see before my Mayan ancestors pull the plug on me.
First up: Oahu. No, seriously. I love Oahu. Many poo poo it and call it nothing more than New York City on a beach but I have always enjoyed Oahu and Waikiki Beach for the simple fact that it is an easy destination to get around in, has snorkeling, nightclubs, surfing, and poolside bar service in a relatively small area, and Waikiki Beach is undeniably a beautiful beach. Of course, I want to visit other islands in conjunction with Oahu, but I have always appreciated how huge Waikiki Beach is and how shallow it is for quite a long stretch. It makes it easy to just wade in the water all day long and feel completely relaxed, in spite of the amount of activity going on along the beach. Oahu also houses Pearl Harbor, which I think is necessary for all Americans to experience if you haven’t already, as well as the Dole Pineapple Plantation. I know it’s not old Hawaii but it still provides that necessary break we all need and it is America’s paradise. I love it. Always have, always will.
Next on the race against death: Thailand and/or Bali. It’s a tie between these two for me. I have been wishing to experience these two destinations for years now and just haven’t had the time to do so. I predict, (acting as my own Nostradamus) that I will see at least one of these this year especially, since my beloved and myself, love Asian and Southeast Asian cuisine. For that matter, we’ll eat almost anything you put in front of us but we tend to lean towards Asian cuisine more than anything else. I would love to experience the sights and sounds while enjoying an authentic Indonesian or Thai meal with my honey before my time runs out.
Africa-Oh Africa. The life-long dream. When ever will I make it there? Where do I start? There’s so much to see, I think the best way to see it is the way my friend saw it years ago. He went to South Africa on holiday, and stayed for three months. That is the imprint that has been left in my head and I have been subconsciously planning to experience all of Africa in that same fashion. Which is why I haven’t seen it yet. I know, I need to start small because for God’s sakes, it took more than one trip to experience Europe all of these years, but like my friend, I know that once I get a taste for it, I won’t want to leave. But it’s coming. I guess I better squeeze that in before December 21st, huh?
Italy-I have to see Italy again before the Apocalypse. I don’t know when, but I have to. I’ll never go back in the summer because as much as I love Italy, I hate that friggin’ heat. I know all of the cool stuff happens in the summer but I also like to interact with the locals when the overall atmosphere is calm instead of experiencing death stares because I’m just another Californian pronouncing everything in Spanish instead of Italian. I totally get it. High season tourist overload. They, like the French, tend to be a little more forgiving off-season just as San Franciscans are with them when they visit in December instead of July. Interactions aside, I want to meander through the streets in Florence with a large scoop of gelati, and I want my honey to experience how special San Gimignano and Siena are. (There is also a torture museum in San Gimignano I haven’t seen yet which really piques my interest.)
Yes, the world is too big, too interesting, and too vast to experience in less than twelve months. With any luck, my ancestors were cracked out on some ancient peyote when they threw some numbers into the mix and created THE CALENDAR. Should that be the case, then we all have a little more time to experience those dream trips we all want to take. I believe that life is short anyway and we don’t know what is around the bend from one day to the next so in general, I think we have to participate in life when we can, and not put off the things we want to do. I don’t make resolutions but my overall goal for this year is to create those opportunities for myself, the best way I know how and live life to the fullest! I wish the same for all of you and hope you all get your wish list going!
Here’s to beating the Mayan Calendar!
P.S. Weren’t we supposed to expire at the millenium?