If you didn’t get the Wayne’s World reference from the title don’t feel too bad (you should still see if it you would like to see a mocking satire of Middle America in the Early 90s or just want a silly laugh). The sentiment is, rather than wishing my travels to come to fruition, is see them as a very deliberate and calculated plan of my life choice. Wanderlust, isn’t lustful in that it is unattainable, it is so because it is unquenchable. Whether these places come into play on this World Tour or my next or next transcontinental excursion doesn’t matter, because for me, they are eminent either tomorrow or the near future. For me, the near future is in the context of the greater scheme of this universe, so 20 or 30 years, compared to millions, is blip, so small it is unavailable to the human eye. Wow. Deep intro mannnnnn. Without further adieu, in no order my travel bucket list at this second. Just to let you know, the pictures are simply things to look at from my past travels, not actual representations of the places on my list.
The Southern States
Now, I have been to So Cal, so let me clarify. When you think of Southern America, THAT’S the South that I would like to see. I needn’t say more to aid you in filling in such archetypal blanks. Not only does the South contain a very interesting history, seem to seethe with unpretentious swagger and have the coolest accents in North America, asides from Newfoundlanders, they also have a culture, that that contains many mouth watering, barbequey components. To be blunt, a trip down South for me, would be a 24 hour “stuff my face with all the food I see” kind of trip. Oh yeah, Graceland….BUT FOOD, OY VEY, FOOD. I wouldn’t expect leaving there without uncontrollable meat sweats and at least an appreciation for radio stations that do NOT play Kenny Chesney.
Italy – All of It
Continuing the theme of food, Italy has been on my radar for a long time. In fact, my first solo European bike trip was supposed to be through Italy. In a crumpled, well loved Michelin Map Book, I have outlined a route that would take me somewhere between 5 months to ten centuries to complete. Every town is dotted and jotted with notes about what to see, what to eat. The notes are additionally highlighted, bolded and underlined to express the importance and dire need to see and eat these places. Each small town has it’s specialty, that’s why it seems so unfair to blanketly describe it as all Italian food. It seems to disregard the intricacies of each region’s own flavor, each one’s own take off or complete abandon of an Italian culinary through line. History is also important to me, especially the detailed specifics about certain famous or infamous characters of the past. The histories written by Plutarch and Herodotus are rife with gossip, hearsay and blatant fabrications, but the stages for all these described events, still exists to be explored. Italian pride in it’s glorious past has left much of it intact and yet I always have this fear that I have to see it sooner than later, before a natural disaster or violent upheaval takes them from us. I was in Rome for a month and I still feel like I didn’t see enough. I felt I merely glanced upon the surface without fully diving in. I think I would require forever times two to fully get the all-encompassing Italian experience.
If having some of the oldest and grandest cities in the world and being the cradle of one of history’s most powerful empires doesn’t spark any interest in you, then we probably wouldn’t make good travel buddies. Ancient civilizations fascinate me, in part due to their epic mythos, but also that their legacy is still prominent, echoed in large scale building projects that have stood the test of time and now act as story tellers for new generations who visit them. The centre of this world was Persepolis, where the seat of Darius the Great once sat, only to be topped by another great, a curly haired Macedonian, named Alexander. Iran is the classic new meets old, as a modern version of itself struggles against it’s ancient stereotype to be global relevant, as well as accepted. Iran is North Americancentrically portrayed as a bad guy and a generic one at that, similar to the Russian bond villains. This is also why I am interested in visit Iran and many other countries that are unfairly categorized as such. Because I am told not to go and when I ask them “why?”, the usual response is, because “they say it’s dangerous”. Who are these “they” that I am trusting? What’s at stake for them to keep me in line as such. Selfishly, I feel as it is a minor act of rebellion to do so. Or at least, that is how it could be perceived. Simple and plain, I don’t buy into the hype, unless I hear of it first hand.
Again, I will be posting my own wishlists throughout this process not to hint at where I’d like the bike trip to proceed to, but simply to spark ideas and create a dialogue between lovers of bikes and far off lands (or not so far off places). What’s on your wishlist? Post it in the forums and/or in a comment below!
Ira – The Misguided Guide of Each Mile