On my About page, I mentioned that I have a ‘To Be Travelled’ list in my head that just keeps growing longer and longer. I stand very little chance of completing it in one lifetime, but I enjoy dreaming of those destinations and planning my future visits there. However, due to COVID, I have not had the opportunity to check anywhere off my list and now, thanks to this new job of mine, the list is growing to somewhat alarming proportions.
The list began with places I heard of as a child or read about and have always wanted to visit. Places like Cuba, Mexico, Nepal, Saint Petersburg, New Orleans …
And then the list grew as I travelled more and met people who told me of their favourite countries and cities and convinced me that I absolutely must see them: Iceland, Hawaii, Argentina, Jamaica, Dubrovnik …
Then there are the places that I have been to but feel like I missed important parts of. Like when I spent two years in Australia but never made it to Tasmania. Or when my travels in Canada never took me east of Toronto.
And some of the countries I’ve visited and loved will have changed substantially in the intervening years. Some – like India – are undergoing huge change right now and will be very different places when this pandemic finally ends. I want to return to these places, see them again, observe the changes, and find new parts to love.
I travelled through some places too quickly and would like to explore them more slowly, like Vietnam, where I’d love to wander further off the beaten track. I want to return to countries at different times: Western Australia when the whale sharks are there, Japan during the cherry blossom season, and Japan again for the winter.
Honestly, the list goes on and on and on, and every time I read a book, watch a film or talk to a new person, I seem to add a new destination to my wish list. And now, thanks to this new job, I am actively researching and discovering new destinations every week! Countries and cities that I had not considered visiting before but which I now have a burning desire to see.
For instance, last week, I was researching Dubai, a place I have never felt any urge to visit; its endless highrises and excessive, visible wealth have never appealed. But as I researched, I found myself wanting to see it. To visit the parts of Dubai that I hadn’t known existed, the old town, the souk districts, the riverside communities. To drive out to the desert reserves, watch for rare wildlife and camp under the stars. Or sleep in an underwater aquarium room and awake to see a manta ray flapping by.
This week, my assignment is a gem of a beach destination that has never really been on my radar before. Well, safe to say it is now, and I’m longing for its powder-soft sands and gin-clear waters. It has been firmly added to my wish list, right next to Costa Rica, which I recently learned has some extremely worthy eco-tourism practices that make me want to visit there too and … oh the list continues to grow.
Each article I write either makes me want to return to places I’ve already seen, to experience them all over again or adds a whole new destination to my already lengthy list.
And throughout it all, my passport still sits in its dusty drawer, waiting, waiting, waiting until the day we can pack up and get back out there.
Until that day, I suppose I’ll just have to keep adding to the list and finding more time to daydream.
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