Monday, January 11, 2010

Where In The World . . .

Over the weekend I went to see Anthony Bourdain speak. For those of you who are unfamiliar with him, he is an accomplished chef who now hosts a show on the Travel Channel. The main focus of the show is not just traveling to various exotic locations around the world, but to try to eat as the locals eat - in small restaurants, carts on the street ("street food" as he calls it). In the question and answer section he said that he thought Americans don't travel as much as they should, and when they do travel, they don't take chances with food (he would be ashamed of me if he knew I ate at Chi-Chi's twice when I was in London!).

Listening to his lecture made me think about the different places in the world I want to visit in my lifetime. So, in no specific order, here they are:

1. Paris: Well, I guess I did tell a little fib when I said "no particular order" - Paris is #1. For my 50th birthday (YEARS from now!) I want to wake up there, and turning 50 won't seem so ugly anymore! I also want to take a romantic walk over a bridge in a snow flurry, eat in the restaurant in the Eiffel Tower, and eat lots of bread!

2.  London:  Having only visited London for three days over 20 years ago, it is one of the places I can't wait to return to.  There is so much to see - it is an amazing city.  It is also the first foreign city I want to take the kids to since they speak the language and won't be too confused!

3.   Austria:  As a huge "Sound of Music" fan, Austria has to be on my list. To spin around on Mellwig Mountain like Maria did in the opening number, to bike around the lake district of Salzburg, and to visit the church where Maria and the Captain were married would be a dream come true!

4. Norway: As from being a beautiful country, one of the biggest reasons for visiting Norway would be to see the Northern Lights. Also, I would like to be in a place where there is 24 hours of darkness - something that everyone should experience at least once!

5.  Italy:  Venice, Rome, Tuscany - the adventures would be endless. Riding in a gondola, seeing the Vatican and the other sights of Rome would be inspiring. As for Tuscany, I would love to rent a house is Tuscany for a month; I would spend my days walking to the local shops, buying local produce, and cook fabulous meals every night.

6.  India:  When I think of the most exotic place on Earth - it has to be India. The culture is so completely different from the one I live in - it would be fascinating to see India - the good and the bad.

7. Ireland: The land of my ancestors - a visit to County Cork(Skibbereen to be exact) would have to be on my list to visit. Showing the boys where their ancestors came from would be a great history lesson for them (and me!).

8. Hong Kong: One of the most exciting aspects about visiting Hong Kong to me would be landing at the airport. It is located on an island (Chek Lap Kok) in the harbor and it seems like you may land in the harbor before you actually see the landing strip. The lights, the sounds, the people - Hong Kong seems like it would be one of the most exciting cities to visit.

9. Egypt: Another destination whose culture is so different from where I live, which is why it is so attractive to me. Walking around pyramids that were built so long ago would be surreal. Just hope there are no snakes!

10. Quebec: A close to home destination! An ideal visit would include a stay in the Hotel du Frontenac with room with a beautiful view!

Now I just need to get that Passport photo taken and the application mailed!  And the photos are courtesy of family members who actually do get to travel the world!

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