Where I Would Go If Money Were No Object
What's on your list?
How many of us have ever said, "If I won the lottery, I'd go to . . . "
I don't know anybody who dreams or fantasizes or wishes for great things to come their way and doesn't include imagining the places in the world they'd love to see sometime in their own lifetime. Many dreams are simply synonomous with travel. If I only had the money - If I only had the time - If I only walked away from the old 9 to 5 -
My personal wish list for travel may be a little out of the ordinary because I have been blessed with opportunities to travel already in my life. You won't find Paris or Rome or Sydney or Nairobi or Santorini on my list only because I've already been on more than one "trip of a lifetime" and received the thrill of seeing those places. I'd certainly be willing to return to any of those amazing locations, but there are always more discoveries to make.
Wanderlust is the perfect word to describe the condition that afflicts those who desire to see the world. From the first trip, you are hooked. You can ask anyone even freshly returned from their most recent adventure, and they can probably tell you without a moment's hesitation, where they want to go next. The more you see, the more you want to see. So, here we go:
This location is probably number one with me because of the temptation to just go out to the garage, get in my car and go. As the airline slogan says: There is nothing stopping me. No passport, no boarder crossing, no ocean to cross. It's right there in Montana. I literally can get there from here.
Of course, if I'm really going to do it right, and in a dream there is nothing to limit you, I would start out by heading for the upper peninsula of the Great Lakes. From there I would work my way over to Banff, Canada (so I guess I would need a password) and end up at Glacier Park.
OK. I gave it away with the cutline for the photo. How many knew Dubrovnik was in Croatia? The only thing I knew about Croatia was we were involved in a war there in the 1990s.
My husband and I decided a great reward for his spending 18 months on a contract in Kuwait in 2009 would be a Mediterranean cruise with a couple of our best friends. The first thing out of his mouth was - I want to go to Dubrovnik, one of the best preserved midevial cities on the planet. So, of course, the cruise we ended up selecting went from Rome to Venice, with many ports of call in between - but - we sailed right past Dubrovnik in the middle of the night.
After seeing pictures and reading how this is one of the 100 best drives in the world I said - good. I'm glad we sailed right by because this is not a place to spend one day with eight thousand of your closest friends when the cruise ships dock for six hours. This is a place to spend a week - at least. No missing the night life, no judging the food by one, single lunch; no cramming onto a tour bus and trying to take pictures through the tinted windows. Go. Spend some time. Soak it in. Dubrovnik.
3. Saint Petersberg to Beijing on the Orient Express (Does it still exist?)
Of course if money were no object I'd arrive in Saint Petersberg via a cruise of the Scandanavian fiords. After spending at least a week in the city of the Winter Palace and the wandering spirits of past czars, I'd see the best of the northern Asian continent in the depths of winter from the toasty hovel of a compartment on a steam engine train, bellowing its way through a vast wonderland of first-time sights - first time for me anyway. All I'd have to do is look out the picture window and drink tea - with cognac.
Where I really want to go is Antarctica. I've gotten as close as Christchurch, New Zealand. But - I know I can't get there from here. Why? Two words: sea sickness. A patch works for me on big, steady cruise ships. But the crossings to Antarctica from either South America or New Zealand are known to be the roughest rides on the planet. I couldn't do it. I'd ask them to throw me overboard before I got there.
So, first runner up: Iceland. A five hour flight from New York. No sea sickness - or not much.
Glaciers, floating icebergs (remember The Titanic?) the largest waterfall and geyser in Europe. Five hours from NY !!!
You might have figured out by now: I love beautiful scenery. But I need some advice on this one. I think I'd be happy just to cruise the fjords of Scandinavia and enjoy the view. Cogenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo: these must be amazing cities, but I need to learn more about them to lure me away from the breathtaking views of the natural landscape.
So far, this is all I've learned:
Kronborg Castle is one of the top sights in Denmark. This impressive castle was the actual inspiration for "Elsinore" in Shakespeare's Hamlet.
The Øresund Bridge is reported to be one of those can't-miss sights in Denmark. The scenic 10-mile bridge connects Sweden and Denmark, carrying more than 60,000 travelers by car or train daily.
In Norway, the North Cape is a monumental natural experience offering breathtaking views, unusual climatic conditions, the dramatic cliff itself, and the fact that you are standing at Europe's northern end.
The Royal Palace in Oslo offers a "royal" event at 1:30 pm - 2:10 pm daily. In the summer, mounted police officers and a Norwegian military band lead the guards through Norway's capital.
Göta Canal appears to be the place to see in Sweden. This 150-mile canal was built in the early 19th centuryand stretches from Gothenburg on the west coast all the way to Söderköping on the east coast of Sweden.
The War Ship Vasa was built by King Gustavus Adolphus II in 1628 and is billed as a major attraction in Stockholm at the Vasa Museum. The king made his ship much too shallow and it had major design flaws. On her virgin voyage, the Vasa tipped over and sank only 900 feet from shore where the public was watching.