Travel Bucket List, Updated
Oh, my, but I had such thrilling plans at the start of 2020. The places I'd go, the people I'd meet, the things I'd see! Regrettably, the Calamity Fairies so enjoyed causing worldwide havoc that year that they decided to stick around for the next year, too. But I'm a forward-looking, glass-half-full kind of person, so I'm bravely thinking of adventures again. Since visiting the stars seems unlikely, this is my terrestrial travel bucket list, updated.
Traveling to the Land of Oz
- Koalas! Wallabies! Flying foxes! The opportunity to see some of the most iconic wildlife on the planet.
- Author pals & readers! The chance to meet Australian author and reader friends in person would be amazing. I'd look for book-lover conventions in Sydney or Melbourne to include in my itinerary.
- Beaches! I've led a sheltered, land-locked life, so I look forward to the chance to visit a famous beach or two. Yes, I will pack lots of sunscreen.
- Uluru! I will absolutely make time to make a side trip to the Northern Territory and take an Aboriginal-guided tour around this famous sandstone formation. I love learning new cultures up close and personal. However, the tours where you ride camels might be a bit too adventurous for me.
- Did I mention it's a 22-hour flight? When my back complains about sitting for so long, I rather doubt the flight attendants will let me stand in the aisle to do Tai Chi exercises.
- Jet lag! The first day or two there will likely be a lost cause. I'll plan to stay as long as I can because it's the trip of a lifetime. However…
- My kitties! I'll need a pet sitter (or two!) if I'm gone for 2 or 3 weeks. They'll be unhappy to have strangers in the house and will probably hide. I'll worry about them.
The Land of Fire and Ice
- Puffins! They're my favorite bird, ever. I must visit the puffins in person!
- Natural wonders! I'd pack my sturdiest walking shoes and take all the tours I could. Probably pay someone else to drive, though. Those roads look challenging.
- Entertainment! Reykjavík packs a gazillion festivals into its short summer.
- Language! I'd get to hear Icelandic*, and maybe pick up a few words here and there.
- Long-ish flight. See note above about sitting, and Tai Chi is probably forbidden on this flight, too. The jet lag will be anti-fun for the first day.
- I'll miss the Northern Lights if I go in summer, but I'd be miserable in winter.
- Volcanoes that erupt with molten lava and ash clouds don't care about flight plans and itineraries.
Britain and the Continent
- Entertainment! Pandemic permitting, I'd love to see top-notch theatre productions and visit fabulous museums in London. (No, Calamity Fairies, you aren't invited.)
- Education! I'm hoping the educational tours are still around to take me all over the countryside and tell me about history, feed me well, and let me gambol over the moorlands.
- Music and castles! Scotland, Ireland, and Wales are right next door, and have fantastic music traditions and lovely castles to visit.
- Book readers and author pals! I could time the trip so I could attend a book-lover's convention to meet readers and authors.
- Puffins! The northern coasts have puffins, too. Might be harder to find, though. Must investigate.
- Branching out! I could add selected side trips to EU countries. For example, my ancestors left the Netherlands centuries ago, so I'm sure it's changed a bit since then. And I hear Belgium has chocolate…
- 9+ hours is still a long time to sit. Jet lag will be no fun, either.
- Absolutely no driving on the left side of the road for me. Public transportation and hired drivers only.
- Bad-tempered Calamity Fairies and opportunistic politicians who start wars don't care about flight plans and itineraries.
*Fun fact #1: At least 27 Oz books and five films are now in the public domain. A bunch more are still under copyright protection, especially the movie with Judy Garland and Margaret Hamilton. The copyright owners have their hands full in blocking copyright infringement. Baum's son got sued by his own mother for writing a new story set in Baum's universe. What a fun family dynamic that must have been. 😉
**Fun fact #2: Luka Foxe, the hero of Overload Flux, the first novel in my space opera romance series, speaks Icelandic as his primary language. I worked with a bilingual Iceland resident to include some phrases for him in the story.
All photos from Unsplash.com