When fellow adventurer Traveling Ted asked me to share my “bucket list”, that started me thinking as to what places I would really really want to visit.
In the Bucket for Monsieur
If I were a decade or two younger, my bucket would be full as I would have wanted to visit at least one country in every continent. But the flush of youth has long waned, so the number of desired destinations have decreased.
I’m considerably lucky because working as a journalist has allowed me to travel to many places in North America and in Europe. These travels, though, were before I discovered the exhilarating fun of easy hiking.
With easy hiking in mind, my holidays are now done differently and, frankly, more interestingly. My approach to holidays, too, would be different. It will certainly not be a continent-hopping frenzy. I would choose to live in each destination for at least 3-6 months at a time.
… would be top of the list. This is certainly not easy hiking territory but almost everything about the country, the people and its culture is so different from what I know.
I feel that it’s still one of those places worth going to for their sheer exoticism, one of the few places that have not sold their soul to Western movies, gigantic flyovers and bacon-flavoured crisps. I may be totally wrong, of course, but I would take the risk of finding out for myself.
2. Arizona and the Grand Canyon
Among the places I’ve been to, I found the Grand Canyon has the biggest Wow Factor. On my first visit, I was not even aware that one could hike there.
The next time I go there, I would like to stay in Arizona for a few months and dedicate at least two weeks of this time to do as many different hikes in the Canyons that would stretch the principle of easy hiking to its limits.
3. The Lake District
Years ago, our small family spent a week in the Lake District. Hiking was not even a twinkle in my eyes then. But I loved the place. I now know that the Lake District is famous for its scenic easy hiking trails.
It would definitely be worth embedding myself there with the family again for at least 6-8 months. We loved staying in one of the Grasmere cottages the first time, and we would love to do it again.
4. New Zealand
I confess that since I saw the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, New Zealand and its awesome landscapes beckoned. It’s certainly going in the bucket.
The choice has also been bolstered since starting this blog. I’ve had at least 3 guest posters writing about the great easy hiking possibilities in the land of the Kiwis.
Someone once asked me where I would want to spend the last of my days if I knew I would be croaking it in a month. My reply: it would have to be in a place so wretched and miserable that it would actually be a relief when it all comes to an end; a place where it is cold (I actually like the sunshine), dreary and dark: where they have about five minutes of daylight at this time of year. A place bereft of any natural beauty or graceful old buildings: a gigantic council estate that a sadistic town planner has once (in the 1960s, presumably) planted into the middle of a vast expanse of flat, barren countryside.
In one word, a place, that saps one’s will to live.
From the dark corners of my memory, I seem to recall a place called Murmansk, whose photo I fleetingly once saw in the Internet while searching for something. I would give it a place in my bucket just to see if it is really as I imagined it to be.