I haven’t logged that many miles on my personal travel-0-meter. I used to dream about hopscotch traveling, living out of a backpack, trekking through Europe and parts of Asia and the Middle East. I could list a lot of excuses for why it never happened. Money. Timing. Obligations.
But now I have a new dream… I desperately want to take my kids and live in other countries for a few months at a time. I think as
Americans United States-ians we become too insular, too locked in on our particular country, and we forget what an amazing, beautiful, culturally diverse world it is out there. Part of it is the nature of geography… up here in Montana it used to be unheard of to make bilingual adjustments. The other day I saw a Spanish version of a popular magazine in the checkout stand at a store. (I’m ashamed that I’m ignorant enough to not know if it should be called a “Spanish” version or a “Latino” version.) It caught my attention because I never saw such a thing as a child. We now have at least two elementary schools (one private, one public) with dual-language learning, and my hope is that despite the ridiculous “This is ‘Murica, and English is the only language” attitude that crops up, that such education will continue to proliferate. I firmly believe that learning to see through someone else’s eyes, in their language, makes for a more well-rounded, level-headed individual. It is okay to disagree – but it should never be done out of ignorance.
Gee, am I opinionated much?!
The Tuesday Ten topic this week is “National Tourist Appreciation Day – Ten Attractions you’ve seen or would like to see.” So in no particular order, here are ten places I would love to experience!
1. The Lost City of Petra in Jordan – This place has captured my imagination ever since I first ran across pictures of it about 8 or 9 years ago. There’s more to see in Jordan of course – and I’d love to have time to explore, but for a “solid” place to start (no pun intended 😉 ) this is it.
2. The Yunnan Stone Forest – I’ve wanted to visit the Stone Forest ever since seeing a photo taken on a misty, cloudy day. The entire feel was evocative and mysterious…
3. A Lord of the Rings tour in New Zealand. Okay, this one is probably the MOST commercial of them all, but I can’t help it! I would really love to visit Hobbit Town. Again, there’s LOTS more in New Zealand I’d love to do… they have a wide range of beautiful natural places to visit and things to do.
4. The Rio Carnival in Rio de Janeiro caught my attention after reading a National Geographic article a while back. And if we were there for that, we’d have to…
5. Take Argentine Tango lessons… I don’t have a particular country that I am set on for this. I’d talk to our (much missed) tango teacher in Seattle (oh, for the days of traveling without children!) and ask her where she’d recommend going as she’s studied with various teachers in different countries. But to spend so much time focused on dance again would be so lovely…
6. A bit closer to home, visiting the rain forests in Costa Rica is high on my list. There’s several options here, from eco-tourism, to volunteering there, to doing it the plain old-fashioned way…
7. Machu Pichu in Peru has been on my list since I was a teenager. Unfortunately, I struggle to justify visiting a place when it’s already in danger of deteriorating from the pressures of tourism. This is a place I’d love to explore though.
8. Just prior to my labor with Munchkin, I’d read a National Geographic article about the Hebrides Islands, off the coast of Scotland. The accompanying pictures – like those of the Stone Forest – drew me in. I used the photos as a focus aid during labor and have wanted to visit ever since.
9. This one is a bit funny considering my fear of deep water and sharks… but I’d love to dive the Great Barrier Reef. Again, this is a place is grave danger from environmental change and I can’t imagine people visiting help any, but it’s on my list – Great White Sharks non-withstanding!
10. Andalusia. My interest in Andalusia might be rooted in my girlhood obsession with horses – I love Andalusian horses – but I still think this would be a lovely and culturally rich region to visit.
Thank you to Lisa of The Golden Spoons and Rabia of The Lieber Family for hosting and coming up with questions! If you were entertained by my answers, pop on by their blogs for more participants or search with the hashtag #TuesdayTen.