It's not really what it sounds like. I have no intention of telling myself to eff off. Well, not in the traditional sense. No, as part of my 101 Things challenge I decided that I needed to figure out ten places that I want to visit in this lifetime. It's taken me a while to decide because various items crop up and bump others off the list, but I've finally pulled something together. I guess the list can change because it's not like I have to actually visit these places during the lifetime of this challenge, but it's a good starting point. Bear in mind also that I haven't included places that I am fairly certain to visit in the next year or so, or places (like Mexico) that already appear on my list (Africa is on the list, but I meant "safari-style" Africa, not "spectacular monuments and lost civilizations" Africa).
Without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, this is how I plan to increase my carbon footprint (and Frequent Flyer status! And personal debt!):
1. Santorini, Greece. There have been a number of movies and books that make the Caldera region sound like quite an appealing place for a holiday - good food, beautiful weather, stunning scenery (honestly, you could have sold me on the good food!). I am vaguely ashamed to admit that one of those movies was Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants... but only vaguely.
8. Turkey. I think the fact that it is perceived to be both Asian/Middle Eastern and yet European enough to be visitor-friendly contributes to this one. I have also seen photos of Istanbul and am keen for a visit. This photo of a market does a lot to sum it up - I have had a thing for the smells and colours of markets ever since my mum took us to the Preston Market as kids. And don't get me started on the food...
|From The Guardian|
9. India. I read Shantaram, by Gregory David Roberts, the first time I was on my @rse with this stupid heart of mine (thanks for the lend, John! You can come get it any time, you know - I've had it for four years now...), and something in it kindled an interest in observing the chaos and the noise and the colour. Add to that a few movies, including black-and-white-tiger-hunting-colonial-era ones as well as Bride and Prejudice and Slumdog Millionaire; the fact that my favourite book ever (The Secret Garden) starts there; a brief stop in Sri Lanka at the age of ten, en route from London to Melbourne, which gave me a small glimpse of the region; and the memory of an Indian workmate of my parents cooking us the most delicious meal have all converged into a storm of wanderlust for this place. Plus of course seeing the Taj Mahal, and the Ganges, and the Golden Temple, and the crazy-packed trains...
10. Hawai'i. I'm not sure whether I inherited the desire to see this place genetically (my nanna was apparently completely obsessed with the place), or if it was the Brady Bunch Goes to Hawai'i special, or Elvis' Blue Hawai'i, but the place looks like somewhere I would like to visit. Beaches, plus national parks, plus cool stuff (=volcanoes!!!), plus food, and I'm happy :) Oh, and I hear they do a mean roast pork there. When they're not eating Spam.
|From AOL Travel|
Did anyone else notice that I seem to be guided by my stomach??
There are other places I would love to see. The Cinque Terre in Italy. Disneyland. The Red Square in Russia. Neuschwanstein Castle (or any other Disney-esque castle, for that matter). Anzac Cove. Easter Island. Re-visit a lot of the places I visited on my trip to Europe and spend more time and more money there (gondola ride in Venice. Going to the TOP of the Eiffel Tower. The Moulin Rouge. The Sound of Music tour. Eating more than just cheese sandwiches...). The Trans-Siberian Railway. Japan. Morocco. A million and one places in Australia, mostly (but not all) in the outback. I don't know whether I'll see them all in this lifetime, but I'd sure like to try!
So, dear readers, what's your Top 10?