Following on from the last blog about the 5 best places I’ve been to so far, its now time to think about where Nat and I going next. The list is substantially longer than this and its taken an awful lot of time to cut down to these – 5 places I want to visit on holiday and 5 places I would love to live
5 places to live (in no particular order)
- Perth, Australia – Top of the list and the first port of call on our Worldwide Adventure. Nat is planning to be a marine conservationist and Western Australia has a lot of coast which will need conserving. Perth is also big on Chemical Engineering so that’s my career box ticked too. Plus England’s recent record at Perth in the Ashes is so shoddy (P12 W1 D3 L8) that they are almost bound to win there soon!
- Vancouver, Canada – A colder and less Australian version of Perth. Sea, check. Engineering, check. Amazing scenery, check. Plenty to do in and around, check. I’ve always wanted to take the train coast-to-coast from Vancouver eastwards to might as well live here for a bit before attempting that. Additionally, I have it on good authority that you can get a bucket of BBQ wings in Canada for essentially peanuts, so I’m there.
- London, England – Wow that felt very American writing that :-s Despite being technically a Northerner there is something about "dahn sarf" and London that always draws me back. It is basically open 24 hours a day and has lots of things that I like doing in it. It has the minor drawback of being in the UK (which I have become distinctly less fond of over the past few years) but if you close your eyes it sounds like a foreign city so it is a small price to pay.
- New Zealand – Ok, I appreciate that NZ is a very large place but I couldn’t get too much more specific than that as I basically the whole place looks inviting. I might attempt to recreate Frodo and Sam’s voyage to Mount Doom when I’m there but hopefully it’ll be less arduous and I’ll encounter slightly fewer Orcs.
- Er................................ Right I admit it, I can only think of 4 main candidates off the top of my head. There are actually many others on a kind of "sub-list" but currently these stick out clearest. By the time I've spent 5 years in each I'll have had time to think of a few more I reckon :-)
5 places to visit (in no particular order)
- Tom Owens Island, Belize – Yes you read that correct. While it isn’t strictly mine, I don’t care because there is actually an island with the same name as me which I can try to annex when I go (http://www.reefci.com/the_island.php). Nat and I are planning a substantial trip through Central America at some point but this particular place is obviously very high up the list of places to go. The Belize Barrier Reef is also supposed to be even more beautiful than the Great Barrier Reef and so (as a keen SCUBA diver) that’s another reason to go.
- Rio di Janeiro – Most particularly around the New Year celebrations. I like parties, I like drinking cocktails on beaches and I like big vibrant cities. I don’t like being shot at but hopefully I can avoid the areas of Rio where that is likely to happen!!
- Iceland – Northern Lights, active volcanoes, unspoilt wildernesses, heated thermal lagoons, lots of snow and ice. Iceland really does sound like heaven on earth. Admittedly there have been some issues with Icelandic banks and volcanic ash clouds recently but I think I can overlook that on this occasion. Also need to watch out for those cunning white bears that disguise themselves as big bits of ice :-)
- Barcelona – I’ve never made it to mainland Spain but Barcelona is Nat’s favourite city, so it’s very high on the list of places to visit. I love Spanish food and wine but mainly I want to test if the only Spanish phrase I know, “el buro es malo”, actually means “the donkey is sick” or if it’s something more sinister. I suppose I technically know how to order two beers in Spanish too but my “donkey” phrase is clearly more important here.
- The Trans-Siberian Railway – While technically not a place, this is something I would love to do. Admittedly it’s cold and takes a while but there is something romantic and other-worldly about a journey that takes this length of time. It harkens back to the “good old days” of exploration when it might take you months to get somewhere and all you had to entertain you and keep you sane was your imagination and your travelling companions. Boat voyages to places like the Caribbean must have been similar to this back in the day; months travelling with only the waves and nature to keep you company. Not a DS or an iPad in sight, bliss (if you overlook the potential for scurvy and pirates of course!)
- Petra, Jordan – Okay so neither of my "Top 5" lists actually contain 5 items. Well that's just tough! The Ancient Empires of Rome, Greece, Egypt, China and Central/South America have fascinated me from an early age. I would love to see Machu Pichu, Chichen Itza, the Mayan ruins on the Yucatan, the Great Pyramid at Giza, the Great Wall of China and the Parthenon (and I’ve already been lucky enough to see the Coliseum and Forum in Rome) but if I was allowed to visit one ancient site only it would be Petra in Jordan. The architecture is stunning and the engineering skill and innovation there is phenomenal considering it was built over 3000 years ago. For me, Petra just sneaks in ahead of the other ancient sites – but it’s a very very close call.
So there you have it, 4 places I want to live and 6 places I want to visit. To be completely honest, both lists could be significantly larger due to the fact that the world is simply fun of amazing places to see. Isolated wildernesses, places of sheer natural beauty (both above ground and under the sea), man-made wonders old and new, vibrant hubs and places named after famous people (he he he) are all out there waiting to be visited.
Till next time,