Saturday, December 15, 2012
Make the Most of Your Time on Earth
That is the title of a book I couldn't resist picking up at the library despite its considerable heft and size. I even took it a step further and charged it out. Perhaps if I had considered more thoroughly the subtitle--a 1000 ultimate travel experiences--I would have realized that this would be an exercise in frustration.
It's a little like the time I speculated that visiting the world UNESCO heritage sites would be an interesting way to make vacation choices. I've seen and been impressed and even enthralled by some spectacular ones: the pyramids at Giza, Tikal, Panama Canal, Antigua, Portobello, the Ngorongoro crater in Tanzania. But, alas, when I go to the website with the Unesco list I soon realize that there are, if not 1,000 locations, then very close to it. I would have to travel to a destination every month for the rest of my life yet I would not complete the task. And it would likely become a task as world travel is strenuous and best spread out with intervals of quiet daily routine interspersed. I know there are some round-the-world travellers who manage a lot in a year, although probably not anywhere near all 1,000 places, but they are younger and have the stamina this requires. I also have a sneaking suspicion that like being 'castled out'-- and anyone who has seen more than five English or European castles on one vacation will know what I mean--the thrill of these locations is enhanced by being surrounded by 'white space'.
Sometimes favourite movies, my own or a family member's, can provide the inspiration. So, some years ago I visited the sites where Harry Potter was filmed and a few years later New Zealand's South Island and The Lord of the Rings film locations. But one thing I discovered is that considerable computer generated imagery (CGI) takes place so that the "If you want him, come and claim him" river is a very small stream that I can step over. Still, it was a thrill to be there and the tour company even transported us there in jeeps with license plates that read Frodo and Bilbo!