I enjoy travel. I mean, I’d pretty much have to, or it wouldn’t make much sense for me to work as a trainer who travels all over the USA two thirds (if not more) of each year, right?
But even though I take pleasure in memories of places I’ve been, I spend as least as much time fantasizing about places I haven’t been, and feeling inferior because of the relatively pedestrian accomplishments I have on that front.
I’ve been just about everywhere in the USA. All fifty states. I can stand in front of a departures board at a major airport and count on one hand the domestic airports on the list that I haven’t been to.
I’ve never been to the Southern Hemisphere — I know several people who’ve been to Australia and/or New Zealand.
I’ve never been to east or southeast Asia — I know people who go to Japan and Singapore and places like that for work all the time.
I haven’t been to Antarctica or to the Arctic. One friend of mine from work has done both — visiting Barrow, AK one year and Antarctica another year.
I’ve never been to Israel or anywhere else bordering the Mediterranean. Some friends have done the standard Holy Land tours and others have done the Barcelona-to-Rome Mediterranean cruise thing. My sister, who served in the US Army in Germany, got to do a bona-fide Aegean vacation at one point, even.
Certainly, I’ve gotten around more than some, but again, only to pretty easy-to-get-to places. Curacao (for a week), the Bahamas, Jamaica, and the Cayman Islands (a Caribbean cruise) England (London only, for four days or so), France (Paris and Normandy, for eight days), Denmark (five days) and a bunch of coastal stopovers on a Baltic cruise (Germany, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, and St Petersburg in Russia). Many places in Canada. Tijuana and Cozumel in Mexico. Nothing that required 12 hours on a plane. Nothing that required packing winter clothing for a July vacation.
So… this coming year, unless something happens to change our plans dramatically, we’re going to, um, Wyoming and South Dakota.
We thought about doing Ireland/Scotland or Switzerland/southern Germany/etcetera, but when the smoke had cleared, I had reservations in hand for June flights to and from Rapid City, so I guess it’s pretty much decided. My family did a big driving vacation around the Black Hills and Yellowstone when I was in high school, but Carole’s never seen that area, and for some reason, the thought of renting an RV and driving around appealed to us enough to go ahead and confirm the trip.
This whole thing came up, for me, this morning in the shower when I absent-mindedly found myself wondering which was further north, Porvoo, Finland or Juneau, Alaska — and which, therefore, would represent my northernmost point. (I remembered later that I actually made it to Fraser, BC and Skagway, AK on that Alaska trip, both of which are further north than Juneau.) The answer turned out to be Porvoo.
Furthest north: Porvoo, Finland (60.3932° N, 25.6653° E)
Furthest south: Jan Thiel Beach, Curacao (12.0802° N, 68.8780° W)
Furthest east: St Petersburg, Russia (59.9343° N, 30.3351° E)
Furthest west: Koloa, Hawaii (21.9067° N, 159.4692° W)
I take casual note of the fact that Koloa and St Petersburg are more than 180 degrees of longitude apart going west from St Petersburg, so I’ve spanned a bit over half the Earth’s circumference.
Sigh. So many places to go, so little time. And money. And sanity. Maybe one year I’ll make it to Switzerland and Scotland and Australia and New Zealand and Ouagadougou.