Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Is the world too big?

I have a confession to make. I have not been in the mood to write the past few weeks. The body worked against it. Nothing serious, but annoying nonetheless. RSI, repetitive strain injury, nose surgery, and RSI again kept me away from my keyboard. But it gave my time to look around on Flickr.com, and see what my contacts were up to. And that gave me time to make a list of the things I want to see.

My recent trip to Germany fuelled these thoughts too. For many, many years I wanted to see the Bavarian Forest. The pictures I saw in magazines and later on the web were so promising. After a few mandatory days in the Black Forest near Baden Baden – hey, you really find your rest there in the mountains and spas – it was time to move on. With no particular plan drawn up before the trip, all options were open. I need to say that the vacation was compromised by the fact that pain in neck, shoulder and arms – the notorious RSI – shortened the trip considerably, because we left days later as was planned. So, Bavarian Forest it would be. And it should be no more than three hours on the Autobahn, we figured. Wrong. Can’t remember exactly, but all in all it took six hours to get there. Road construction after road construction sabotaged forward progress, and upon arriving at the outskirts of the Forest, we kept going on. Because surely, it should all look better if we just continued to the next hill range? It did not. The Bavarian Forest turned out to be a deception if you are used to the Black Forest. No startling scenery. No nice towns. No restaurants. No gas stations. Luckily, there was Passau, a two hour drive from the hotel. After two nights, the bags were loaded in the MX-5, and we hurried back to the Rhine Valley. Always a safe option if you don’t know where to go.

I'd love to raft again. Did it five times, can be very scary, but the adrenaline... I'm on that raft here.

Years ago I did something similar, but it proved to be a success beyond anything I expected. I’ve written about this earlier on this blog. I always wanted to see Nova Scotia and Cape Breton, and when I did, it exceeded my imagination. So, it can de done. Going or doing something, and being surprised it actually is great. So, I started thinking. I don’t see myself camping on the banks of the Zambezi, but I do want to see Mont St. Michel in France. I want to spend a few days in Tuscany. I’d love to drive Stelvio Pass. But I also would not say no to visiting Wales, the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District. Northern Germany is still on my list. And I fondly remember a trip to New England – should do that again and stay in cabins. And do a rafting trip again. In 2007 I had to skip the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum in Auburn, Indiana. I simply had to catch a plane back home. So, that’s another place I need to go to. But the Pacific Northwest is calling me constantly too. Oh, how I love to see the Cascades again, and relax on a bench in Edmonds, overlooking Puget Sound. And there are so many spas around in Germany that I still want to experience. Barcelona, Andalusia, Finland, put them on my list. Did I forget to mention that I never visited St. Petersburg and the Hermitage? And not a destination, but I’d love to drive a couple of vintage cars, like a British roadster from the 1920s or 1930s, a Duesenberg or a 1963 Corvette. Anyone has one waiting for me? Most likely, only a fragment of the above will be realized. But dreaming is great. Isn’t imagination the only creative power we all have? But tell me, how does your ‘to do list’ look like?

Is the world too big for one lifetime?


  1. I understand where you are coming from. I had a conversation (that lead to many more conversations) with my wife a few years ago that led me to make the decision... West coast or Switzerland? You know the choice I made but the limiting factor in my decision was age. Im not a kid anymore and I wanted to make sure I could keep up. I still catch myself dreaming of the those early morning walks with the camera and the late afternoon descents back to the van or hotel but now the wet coast is calling. And again, time/age is a factor. So are the finances but... In the meantime, with the help of the www, I live vicariously through others. To answer your question... No. I dont think the world is too big. I do think we are not given enough time to explore it though...

  2. Matt, sometimes we just need to make decissions like this, that are maybe not fully rational, but answer to a call we hear from deep down inside. And if we do, it will stay with us for the rest of our lives as a valuable memory. Like when I took my nephew to go rafting in the USA. It was the time, he had the right age, the finances were there. I still cherish the memories.

  3. Rogerio Machado tried to add the following comment, but could not do so, because he could not change the Blogger language on the Balinese computer he was working on did to English:

    "It`s a very interesting subject. With all the electronics and globalization the trip plans remain a delicate inner impulse. Imagine that we have virtual relations all over the world like MCG, this goes faster then the personal meeting, so the impact cames after. I was in Asia in the past when all the big cities were hyper original. Today McDonalds everywhere and the cultural issues seems more “on the shelf” not fully spontaneous. I`m in Bali Indonesia and here in Ubud I found a great number of French and Germans. The business seems Europe orientated as the great number of customers are from abroad. We will survive or the world will became a single cultural mass?"

  4. As many of my contacts know, I have been fortunate to have seen all 50 states, 3 provinces, Mexico, many islands in the Caribbean, and 10 European countries, including Russia. I have distinct memories of each and every place and fondly recall my visits when a person mentions one of them. But I seem to come up with the same list of places that I have always wanted to see, with the level of desirability of them fluctuating. Number one? Unequivocally Australia has always been at the top. Its neighbor, New Zealand, has also been high on the list. Lush, laid back places like Fiji, Bali, and Samoa seem like paradise. Both Tokyo and Mt. Fuji in Japan have often been on my list of the top ten. Over time, Japan has faded on my list, but I think I would still like to see it, for better or for worse. Away from the Pacific, Greece and Egypt have been faves to see since I was a small child seeing the ruins and pyramids on TV. I think Rio de Janeiro, much of South Africa and a return to Berlin to see the changes after reunification would round out the top 10. If I marked all of these places off of my "Bucket List" I would return to many faves that I would love to see a again such as how I recently had done with France. I agree that the world is not too large...I like my elbow room, and I like the idea of places being out there yet to be discovered.