It’s always been my ambition to go round the world. I’m not sure when *exactly* I got the travel bug, perhaps it stems from my ‘Forces family’ and seeing my dad go off on exercise. He’s been to so many cool places, from trekking through Canada to living in snow holes in Norway and taking baths in ice water….not QUITE my cup of tea, but still very cool. His father was in the army too, he fought on the beaches in World War 2 and then went to be a ‘Desert Rat’ in North Africa. He doesn’t talk about his army days much, which is a shame because I bet the stories would keep me entertained for hours! My Grandfather on mum’s side was in the RAF. He was the navigator in a crew that flew a Vulcan over Kilimanjaro, Got in the paper and everything, what a dude!
Here he is, Colin Forrester – Last one on the left :) Looking very smart!
Anyway, I went on my first ‘non family’ adventure in 2002 when I was chosen to represent my school in a Rotary Club exchange. First of all a group of Americans from North Carolina came to stay with us, we took them camping in Scotland, on a day trip to Dublin and of course several places in England and Wales. Then it was our turn to go to sunny NC. It was my first taste of freedom with people my own age and I loved it. The following year I took part in another exchange with a girl from Italy and the year after I saved up to visit my American friends again….I had ‘the bug’. So when the Daily Post suggested we blog about ‘our top 3 places to go’ my thinking cap was firmly on my head!
Not that it’s going to take much thought to be honest, except for maybe narrowing my list down to 3. I decided around 2 years ago that I’ve rather had enough of Europe now, it all just seems the same to me. Although this might in fact be cities in general, seen one, seen ’em all. You need to get out there, into the communities and actual culture of a country to experience it for real.
That being said, here’s my list:
Maybe this shouldn’t be top of the list, as I have actually been there already, but I literally fell in love with the land of smiles within hours of getting off the plane. From the bustling streets of Bangkok to the tranquil rainforests of Khao Sok national park, I was hooked. I enjoyed every second of my 3 week holiday and have been suppressing the desire to jump back on a plane and move there for good since I left. I’m really hoping that after I’ve gained some work experience and my boyfriend finishes his degree, we can get teaching posts out there and really experience life in Thailand. I also want to explore the mountains of the North and adventure into Laos and Cambodia which we just didn’t have time for. The people, the food, the weather, the culture, it all just ‘fit’ me, I want to go back. I want to go back now!!
We studied this amazing country during my Year 9 Geography class and I’ve wanted to go ever since. For a while it was specifically Rio that attracted me, the colourful and vibrant carnival and that impressive statue of Christ the Redeemer watching all the city folk below. But then I learned more about the country, the Amazon rainforest fascinates me for a start. I really want to see trees with buttress roots taller than me that have stood there for hundreds of years…then there’s the goliath bird-eating spider which is the size of a dinner plate and something I wouldn’t mind missing 😛 It’s an area of our planet that is still relatively untouched, with indigenous tribes who have still never met a white man or been ‘tainted’ by the West. There was a program (programme?) on a few months ago where people took their families on gap years and one family actually went to stay with a tribe like this, learned how to live off the land, learn new games (for the kids) and traditions and how to hunt and cook. It looked like an amazing experience.
3. The tough one.
I’m really struggling with this one. I’ve always wanted to go to Australia, to hire a car and drive across America…I want to climb Table Mountain, see the Sahara, visit the Pyramids, trek to Matchu Pitchu…the list goes on. I’d say if I had to prioritise then Matchu Pitchu would win, just because of all the rumours that they’re going to shut it soon and the opportunity will be gone forever, not unlike Ayres Rock which fascinates me.
To live…perchance to dream. I’ve got the dreams, have even turned them into plans. Now for the living part. Bring on 2012!