As I may have written here before, I try to write something everyday in a sort of electronic journal I keep. There are times, though, when I simply run out of things to write about and go looking for a prompt or two, usually from the Word Press Daily Prompt feature. Today was such a day and this is nothing more than my impromptu response to today’s prompt: Tell us about five places you’ve always wanted to visit.
I’ve been lucky in that, between the Air Force and work and just plain wanderlust, I’ve been able to see many parts of the world. I’ve visited nearly every state in the Union, being, at the moment, six states short of the goal. I can say I’ve set foot in Japan, the Philippines, Viet Nam, and various points around there. In my working career I managed to get to Alaska, including the island of Adak, on the Aleutian chain, to Puerto Rico, and to Germany. I’ve been to Mile One of the Alcan Highway in Canada. In fact, I’ve visited all of Canada’s provinces except the Maritimes, one place I’d like to visit before I shuffle off this mortal coil. I’ve been to Scotland, twice, to Britain, to France, where I had the great privilege to look out over the invasion beaches of Normandy and contemplate the bravery that was displayed on that June day in 1944.
But despite having been to so many places, there are still a few I’d like to visit, some just because I’m flat curious about what they’re like, and others for perhaps deeper reasons.
First on the list, Ireland, both for it’s beauty and to have a glass of freshly drawn Guinness, to be downed while listening to some Irish band in a local pub. I think there’s nothing more civilized and, well, comfy, not to mention fun, than sitting in a pub in the British Isles, a real pub, not the modern contrivances they’re beginning to foist off on an unsuspecting public.
I’d like to visit Australia, having tried to get there since my Viet Nam days. I served with some Aussies at different times during my tour and, while they were a bit wild at times, I enjoyed working with them and wanted to see their homeland. I tried to take R&R there one time but it was a spur of the moment thing, I couldn’t get stand by seating on a plane and ended up just going back to my unit until my tour was up. I’ve tried once or twice more in my life but much the same thing happened, work and life interfered with travel, and the trip was never made. Now, at my age, when I have the time, the trip seems just too long and daunting and I probably will never be able to visit.
I mentioned France above, and another place I’d have to say, I’d like to go back there. The French have developed a reputation as being very hostile to Americans and universally impolite. Don’t believe a word of it; if you are courteous to them, they will return the favor. While in Normandy, I was amazed that every shop and hotel had at least one sign in the window thanking Americans for rescuing them during the war (couldn’t possibly be for crass, commercial reasons). It must have been a great thing to have remembered it after all those years. Besides, the food was unbelievable; we never had a bad meal anywhere in France, and seeing Notre Dame, and getting to go inside, was an experience not to be forgotten. I’d go back there in a heartbeat.
In the spirit of pilgrimage, I’d like to visit Rome, the heart of the Church. I’ve been cautioned that, as far as liturgy and worship goes, I might be in for a disappointment, but still, being Catholic, I can’t not have the ambition to literally cross the Tiber and see that most beautiful of cities.
Finally, saving the best for last, I’d like to go to Colorado. I mean that, despite having lived here for 15 years or more, there’s much of my newly adopted home state I have yet to see and I mean to see it before too much more time passes. I want to see the Colorado National Monument in the north west part of the state, I want see Sand Creek, in the south east, and Great Sand Dunes National Park in the south. I want to see it all because, as they say, there’s no place like home.