Last year I had three different jobs in three different cities. Work and work life and work travel consumed my life. Last year from February to June, I was traveling back and forth between San Francisco and New York about twice a month. Then I spent six days on the road moving cross-country from New York to California. After that, I had to travel twice to Canada (Vancouver and Toronto) for work. Furthermore, there was one week back in November where I was in four different cities and did four different presentations. Needless to ay, but will do so anyway, I racked up a lot of miles and hotel points. Question is: when will I use these well-earned points?
At some point last year I got tired. Really tired. And I didn’t really give myself a break. Still haven’t. And despite being on the road so much, I longed to go on a trip just for fun. I only got to do one personal, fun trip last year and that was for my son’s birthday where we went on a very quick trip to Hawaii’s big island. However, even in a far off, secluded beach strip off of a lagoon in Hawaii, work followed me. While my son was rolling around in the water, I was busy putting out a work inferno and firing some staff over text. Wish I had a selfie-stick by then where I could have documented that surreal moment. This year, leaving behind such crazy moments (or so I hope), I want to reignite my travel fever in a good way. I believe work travel will ease tremendously and as such I need to take advantage and refocus on my travel dreams. Traveling is an essential part of my being and I can not let that fade away. Many years ago, my mom had a dream to travel to Texas. Its a rather simple dream. I promised her we would go together if she went and got certain health checkups. She hemmed and hawed but eventually got the screenings done but we didn’t ever make it to Texas together. She died without realizing her travel dream. I still can’t get over that. I don’t believe that I ever will and thus I can’t stand still.
This year, I hope to make it to South Africa. It will be work-related as that is where this year’s International AIDS Conference will be taking place. I have wanted to go to South Africa and thus I will be able to hopefully take this off of my travel wish list. I also hope to finally make it to Alaska, as that is my last remaining state to hit before I can say I have been to all 50 states in a meaningful way. Hopefully, I can do this for my son’s birthday. Now, I am hoping for another grand international adventure. And where that should be I don’t know. Here are a few of my choices:
- Ecuador: The country is supposed to have a growing culinary scene and as a foodie I can appreciate that immensely. I have not really done South America yet in any great detail or effort and this could be a great, slightly untraditional entry into the continent. Further, after having experienced the march of the penguins two years ago in Melbourne, I would love to experience the Galápagos Islands. I am also fascinated by the city of Cuenca-an old colonial style city I believe my son would be thrilled to explore this grand country. Another plus? I wouldn’t have to do any currency exchange as their official currency is the American Dollar.
- Thailand: I am thinking that not only is Thailand beautiful but it will be a great weight loss tactic for me as I have a severe shellfish allergy an shrimp paste is in a lot of foods. When I traveled to Japan a few years back, I ate well but cautiously. I lost 7 pounds on that trip. Unheard of! Beats Weight Watchers!
- Northern Japan: I love Japan. I would be thrilled to return and go north this time. The voices in my head are saying: Go North Mimi, go north! I am feverishly obsessed with Hokkaido. Once there I hope to proclaim I can see Russia from my balcony. I jest….
- Ireland: My son is obsessed with a youtube blogger that is from somewhere in Ireland. It was the weirdest conversation when one day my son asked if we could travel to Ireland. I was excited that he came up with a trip on his own. I felt I had succeeded in passing on the travel gene/bug. I was a bit dismayed at first as his travel request was about finding a youtube blogger named Jacksepticeye. Then I thought of the documentary called Searching for Sugar Man and thought we can film our own family adventure searching for and set off on our own you tube channel. I am still trying to convince myself this is a good idea. We shall see what comes about.
- Croatia : It is supposed to be one of the beautiful places on earth. I must as a result go there at some point in my life. Not much more to say there. Who doesn’t dream of going there?
- Brazil. BUT not this year actually. Millions of visitors are supposed to land in Brazil in 2016 for the Summer Olympics. I can do without an extra large crowd. I surely do want to visit sometime. As a result, this year Uruguay replaces Brazil on my list. Its a quiet, not-making-any-waves yet beautiful country. Its what I picture as the place one wants to be if a massive alien invasion hits the Earth. One can hide out in peace and beauty. Recently, the CDC and other scientists noted we are not ready for a zombie apocalypse. I say, head to Uruguay. You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.
- Cape Verde: Also known a Cabo Verde. Oddly, I feel like I have family members from there although I have no proof of this. Thus, I must go investigate. Random people on the street and in stores have stopped me to ask if I was from Cape Verde. When so many people have asked, there has got to be something to it. I can perhaps take with me an ancestry.com toolkit. Can I get a tax write-off as well? Oh, did I mention they have a wine industry? It is a bit off the beaten path but I bet the food is good and the people are nice.
I have many other countries on my list. To be honest with you, I would go anywhere. I love travel and I want to see as much of the world in my coming years while I still can undertake strenuous hikes, be out traipsing about for over 29,ooo steps and hours on end, as well as have a quick-witted mind to find amusement in the many predictably harried situations that will arise.
Do it while one can and a dream deferred turns to dust