What if time and money were of no issue? Where would you go and what would you want to see?
I saw this very question posed in an online competition a while back and my initial reaction was of pure excitement.
What an opportunity!
As I read into more depth I discovered that you had to answer the above question in 150 words or less and the actual prize was a choice of 5 ‘holidays of a lifetime.
It was still a great opportunity and all I had to do was write 150 words. Simple, right?
Out came my notebook and I was just about to start writing when it dawned on me. Given the opportunity, what would I do? It’s not that I couldn’t think of anything, it was the opposite. I could think of at least a dozen things. How was I supposed to narrow it down and decide which one I would write about?
The other problem was the 150 word limit. How on earth was I supposed to explain something I was so passionate about in less than 150 words?
I tried to approach it analytically; first I made a list of all the places I had dreamt of visiting. (It was a very long list). Then I made a list of all the experiences and things I would want to do in each Country.
What about the details? How long would I need? Was the plan feasible and realistic?
You have probably guessed by now that not only had I over thought the question massively but I’d also missed the deadline for the competition.
I recently found out that the winner of the competition wrote just under 100 words and had effectively explained that they wanted to visit Australia, cuddle a Koala at the Australia Zoo and visit the great barrier reef. Oddly enough that was close to one of the prizes they were offering, go figure.
I vowed never to be caught off guard again should such an opportunity present itself, I still haven’t picked a number one but I have set myself the challenge of picking my top 5 and describing them within 150 words. I figure I’m at least giving myself a chance that way.
1.) Antarctica – This would fulfil my dream of visiting every continent. Everything about this experience fires my imagination as no matter how much I read about other people’s experiences I can’t quite reconcile with myself how amazing it must be. The thought of travelling to Ushuaia in Tierre del Fuego, Argentina and then boarding a ship to one of the most isolated and inhospitable places on the planet sounds like the ultimate adventure. To set foot on such a place and even camp if the opportunity presented itself would be a true once in a lifetime opportunity. My other reason for wanting to take this voyage would be to see the wildlife such as Penguins and Whales. I once saw a photo of a man dancing with Penguins in Antarctica and its once I would love to add to my collection.
2.) Galapagos – You’ve probably guessed that I’m a lover of wildlife and nature so where better on earth than the Galapagos to experience some of the best and rarest wildlife. Tales of Charles Darwin’s time here inspired me as a child. I would love to visit the Darwin research station and see the wildlife here, much of which exists nowhere else on Earth. Although the Islands may not be the paradisiacal setting of a tropical Island they are an Eden of Ecology.
3.) Everest Base Camp – Another Childhood fantasy. A snow-covered Mountain reaching up above the clouds at the top of the World. I have no illusions that to climb to the top is likely to be beyond my reach however that being able to stand near enough to see the Mountain rise above me would be enough to satisfy that deep-seated itch. Whenever I think or write about Everest I inevitable dream about the bright colours of Tibetan flags & tents adorned with the flags of their occupant’s countries. When talking of Everest many people quote Mallory who was asked why he climb it. He said, ‘Because it is there.’ I prefer Jon Krakauer’s “Everest has always been a magnet for kooks, publicity seekers, hopeless romantics and others with a shaky hold on reality.” I feel I fit into that category well.
4.) Komodo Island, Indonesia – Komodo Island. Possibly the closest we will ever come to Jurassic park! Although the Islands in this Archipelago are stunning beautiful my interest here lies not in the beauty of the scenery but rather in the deadly beauty of the beasts that reside here. I am fascinated by Komodo dragons and the chance to visit their natural habitat and see them in the wild would be an incredible experience. The closest I’ve come to these amazing beasts was at Singapore Zoo. I’ve made a promise to myself that the next time I visit Indonesia I will take the time to travel to these remote Islands and see the Dragons of my dreams.
5.) Canada and into Alaska – I’ve been thinking about this one a lot lately. This would be an Epic journey. From one coast to another, taking a slow journey on the Rocky Mountain Railway, camping in Vancouver Island, seeing bears and wolves in the wild. Then onto the frozen lands of Alaska and its remarkable wildlife, Polar bears and perhaps even the opportunity to Kayak in the waters with Orca’s and other Whales.
So… Picking just 5 was extremely tough but the good news is that during my brainstorming I’ve come up with even more options. I had to leave a balloon trip above Mount Rushmore, visiting live Volcanoes in Hawaii, visiting Bhutan and even a deserted Island experience on the drawing board.
I’d love to hear what your number one travel experience would be if time and money were no option. Leave a comment below and I promise to read them all. You never know I may end up adding it to my ever-growing list.
Whatever you ultimate travel experience would be, go chase it! Fly into the unknown and enjoy the ride!