Travel Thursdays: Where Would You Go?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Almost exactly four years ago, I was sitting in Chicago's O'Hare airport, waiting for my Aer Lingus flight to London, England, via Dublin, Ireland. I was participating in BUNAC's "Work Abroad" program, which provided me with a U.K. student work visa for six months. I'd booked a week in a downtown London hostel and I had a single job lead, but for the most part, I was heading off, all by my lonesome, to foreign shores, assuming everything would work out fabulously. (I think I was a lot braver back then.)

If you've been hanging around my blog for a while, you know everything did work out fabulously. Despite an unexpected return home at Christmas and more shuffling around through temp jobs than I really cared for, it was a wonderful six months of making new friends, sightseeing and life lessons.

But here's the rub: after wrapping up the adventure with a whirlwind tour through Ireland and returning home, I have yet to see foreign shores again. Various circumstances -- being a 20-something in a less than great economy, not exactly having a backpacker's mentality -- have kept me stateside since April 2008. Sure there have been other travels, but I haven't left the contiguous United States in 3.5 years!

The other night, as we sat around a campfire, my brother asked where I'd go if I could go anywhere in the world. He wasn't terribly impressed with my list (I've always been a rather elitist traveler) but here's my top 5 "to-see" list du jour.

5) Antarctica

I've been fascinated by Antarctica ever since reading the Shackleton/Endurance story in middle school. And also, who doesn't love penguins?

4) Alaska
 I think I'm drawn by the sheer magnitude and majesty of the place. I am admittedly, a little nervous about the grizzly bears.

 3) Australia
While both Alaska and Antarctica serve up plenty of snow and cold (which I'm all too familiar with), I've always wanted to see Australia because it seems like such a drastic departure from everything I know both from a climatic and cultural point of view.

2) Prince Edward  Island, Canada

When I first read the Anne of Green Gables books, I knew I need to go. What's not to love: beaches, countryside, wildflowers, Lucy Maud Montgomery. Sounds like just the sort of place to let your imagination run wild.

1) Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen's been at the top of my "to see" list for quite some time. I'm not really sure why. Despite the pickpockets and repeated vandalism of the Little Mermaid statute, I think it sounds quite lovely. I'd hate to say The Prince and Me had some influence in this matter, but perhaps on some unconscious level, it has.

If you were sitting in an airport today with the ability to go anywhere in the world, where you go?!


  1. You know I can't resist commenting on a post that mentions PEI! It really is as beautiful as LMM says it is.

    You should definitely come to PEI some summer when I'm out there - I can show you all the sights and where to get the good lobster (or potatoes if you're lobster-averse ;)

    And I understand your love for Antarctica. I, too, went through a major Shackleton obsession in high school. It was preceded by an obsession with the Russian Revolution and succeeded by World War I.

  2. Aside from Canada and Mexico I haven't been anywhere. Yes, i feel deep shame in this. I don't even have my passport...

    My husband has been all over south America and Australia. I have no desire to go to either of those places...

    My list though would be:

    1: Venice/Tuscany/Rome
    2: Paris
    3: Ireland
    4: Germany
    5: Alaska

  3. Ask this foreigner to the US where she would like to go!
    France (ok, this is not the USA)
    West Coast
    San Francisco
    walking the Appalachian Trail

    I love Copenhagen. It is a very free thinking, liberal, beautiful, charming city with incredible museums and countryside. Anytime again!

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  5. I'm with you- after living in Spain in 2006, I haven't been out of the country either. It must be 5 years now. I don't know what it is- maybe its the money, but that is pretty lame. Now my latest excuse is that I have had to be home since my surgery and used up 4 weeks of PTO by the time I"m done... back to square one. ARGHH! Italy, Argentina, and France are the tops of my list!

  6. Oh I have PEI on my must go to places too. And you have already been to my other two. Ireland and England.

  7. My husband really wants to go to Alaska. It's his dream, one day...

  8. My husband really wants to go to Alaska. It's his dream, one day...

  9. My husband really wants to go to Alaska. It's his dream, one day...

  10. My husband really wants to go to Alaska. It's his dream, one day...

  11. My husband really wants to go to Alaska. It's his dream, one day...

  12. Um, I haven't been out of the US since I was 5 years old. I'm in my mid-40's now. Travel is not a given!! That cracked me up when you said 3.5 years!!! Ok, anyway, Ireland, England, Scottland and Wales. Someday...


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