Five places I'd like to visit.
Five is an awfully short bucket list. There are so many places I'd like to visit--as close as the historical Jonah's Run church I pass every time we are on our way to visit Barbara's mom, and as far as the Seychelles out in the Indian Ocean--which as about as close to the other side of the world as you can get. Narrowing it down to five was no easy task. There are at least four locations on the African continent alone that I want to visit and I ended up eliminating them all from my top five rather than choosing one. Then there's places I've already been that I want to return to, spend more time in or explore different parts of--Japan, France, Austria, Thailand, Australia and other parts of the Pacific. I decided to leave those off the list as well.
That said, here are five destinations I'd really like to see in this lifetime.
5. Trinidad & Tobago: These islands are my roots on my mothers side. She was born in Tobago, raised in Trinidad. I've heard many stories about her childhood there and I would love to be able to experience those places myself, preferably with her as my tour guide. I want to visit Elizabeth Gardens, see Maracas Bay. This is one trip I hope to make a reality within the next few years.
4. China: This is one part of Asia we always thought we might visit while living in Saipan, but never got to. Just this past summer one of my former students Cui Xian Xian, invited us to Beijing to attend her wedding. If we'd had the money, I'd have gone in a heartbeat. Here too, I have roots. My grandmother was Chinese (though she was born in Trinidad), and I would love to visit her ancestral homeland.
3. New Zealand: Between the way cool Kiwis I've had the privilege to know and the dramatic beauty that can be found there, New Zealand has long appealed to me. We actually got close to taking a group of 8th graders there some years back, but it was just a little too pricey to get there. We even have friends living there right now, the Bautista family. Malou was a church member and a good friend, and two of her three sons were students of mine. It would be great to catch up with them. I'm happy (and not a little jealous) that Mai and her husband will be visiting New Zealand soon.
2. The United Kingdom & Ireland: Okay, I know I'm cheating here. But I'd like to think that if I went to visit one of these places, I'd plan a side trip to the other since they aren't so far away from each other. I've long had a "thing" for Ireland. I love everything Irish from the accents to the traditional music to the brilliant green landscape. My favorite band is Irish. I just love the whole mythology of the place, and I'd love to visit even it meant the mythology was dispelled by the reality of Ireland as it actually is. Somehow, I don't think I'd be disappointed.
1. The Holy Land: If someone offered me a ticket tomorrow to anywhere in the world, I'd book a flight to Tel Aviv. I'm not much of a pilgrim, but I'd find visiting the actual locations described in the Bible fascinating. Jerusalem. Jericho. The Sea of Galilee. I don't think I'd read the Bible the same away again after seeing all those places for myself. And while I'm at it, I'd have to sneak in a side trip to Cairo to take in the pyramids as well.
I love to travel, and while we haven't done much since the kids were born, I have a feeling we'll be back on the road and up in the air in the years to come. Hopefully these will be among our destinations.