I never want to regret that I didn't see the world.
It's not that I haven't seen a good bit of the world already. Having anthropologists for parents, I started traveling abroad at a young age. The problem might be that I've already seen too much -- and it's shown me how little I've truly seen.
With the clarity that comes with receiving a scary health diagnosis, I realized that seeing more of the world is one of the things most important to me. So I made myself a list of all of the upcoming trips I want to take once I complete my year of cancer treatments.
The problem? The list kept growing. And growing.
- Whiskey tasting in Scotland with the Pens
- Putting my French to use in the south of France with the husband
- Eating my way through Simla and northern India with my parents
- Road tripping to Alaska with a friend
- Seeing the amazing sculptures of Angkor Wat in Cambodia
- Touring the castles of Slovakia
- Visiting Greece and Turkey for the first time (I missed them when I backpacked through Europe after college)
- The gargoyle photographer in me insisting on finding the Garden of Monsters outside Rome
- The adventurer in me thinking I shouldn't miss out on visiting China
- The romantic in me whispering in my ear about returning to Prague…
I could tell my initial scribbled list was just the tip of the iceberg. I knew what I needed to do: I'm using a three month sabbatical to take a round-the-world trip. Oh yes, I'm going around the world in 80 days.
Even though three months initially strikes one as a long time (airplane travel wasn't available to Phileas Fogg in Jules Verne's classic novel Around the World in 80 Days) I know it's not nearly long enough to see the whole world. Therefore I'm still going to take many of those trips above as their own in-depth trips. But taking a round-the-world trip has made me free to keep adding to my list. I can now write down new destinations that intrigue me. And since it's going to take me a little while to save up for this trip, I have a feeling it's going to be a long list.
My goal is to take this trip at the five-year mark of being cancer free. That's the date they say is the big deal to know if you're cured or not. Either way, I'm taking this trip.
So what do you think? Where in the world should I be sure to include on my list?
Should I take a train trip on the Orient Express? Visit Tokyo's intriguing themed restaurants? Stay in a treehouse in China? Cancer has shown me I'm even stronger than I thought I was, so I'm up for anything.