How far can we go? I ask that question everyday when I have a minute to daydream at work.
There’s a map of the world above my desk. Originally I put it there because I was sick of staring at something that’s oozy, sticky and drippy on the wall behind my computer. It was just going to cover the mess that I couldn’t remove from the wall.
That map has become so much more than a wall covering. It evokes memories and generates ideas that turn into fantasies and hopefully, in time, realities.
Closest to the top of my computer is the tip of South America. I look at that and pine for the blizzard we got caught in while stuck on a ski lift at Cerro Castor outside of Ushuaia in Tierra del Fugo, Argentina last August. I can feel the crunch of my hair as it froze in horizontal snow. It wasn’t as cold as you would think but a cup of hot chocolate at the top of the lift was a welcome warm-up.
Shift my eyes to the top of the map and I recall flying over the desolate Brooks Range of Alaska and standing on the frozen Arctic Ocean with wind chills that dropped the temperature to 44 below zero. I was doing the morning show at the Classic Rock station in Anchorage at the time. BP was giving us a tour of their operations in Prudhoe Bay. We took a power drill so we could say we drilled in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (even though we were technically not in ANWR but pretty close). A long way to go for a stupid radio bit but lots of fun.
Shift your eyes to the desert sands of the Middle East and you’ll find another one of my favorite places on the planet. The 3000 year old, formerly lost city of Petra in Jordan. Wow! As impressive as it was in the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, there’s nothing like renting a horse from the Bedouins as you ride to the entrance. You dismount your amiable steed and start walking through the siq with walls on each side that are several stories high on each side. After meandering through the rock corridor you catch a glimpse of the Treasury Building and it momentarily takes your breath away. Everyone takes a picture there (look at the Wikipedia link above). What I find as impressive is the view from inside the Treasury looking back at the siq that you just walked through. That’s a tour group in the bottom right corner of this picture. No wonder it was lost to the western world for so many years. And yet this is just the entrance. Around every corner the city unfolds and yields more architectural eye candy.
The Moai head that I picked up in Vina del Mar, Chile reminds me of his Easter Island home. I silently vow to find a reasonable ticket to go see the real thing. While working on a project for a company in Sydney I wonder how I can work in trip to Australia and New Zealand into the timeline. While I’m there, can I get to China? Japan? Thailand? Whoa Jill! I rein myself in.
Lately my eyes drift north to Scandinavia. It will be a short trip so we can’t get too far flung from the major cities. But it’s all relative. Those cities are somewhat far flung for most American travelers. What treasures await there? Surprise me Scandinavia!