Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Bucket List--A long way to go before I rest!

Ok. So here is my Bucket List. I'm not sure that I agree 100 percent with it, or that it may not be altered, but here it is. Basically, I thought of all of the places I would like to go--most of which I have not yet visited. I came up with a list of 30 places that can be categorized as a country, region, city, or site. On a spread sheet, I listed the 30 places down the left side and also across the top. I then compared each one to the rest by answering the question, "Would I rather travel here or there?" Thus, I compared Machu Picchu to every other place on the list and selected it 29 times (an obvious first choice). And when it came time to compare the other places to Machu Picchu, I still preferred Machu Picchu. That's how it got 58 votes. (It's easy to see on a spread sheet.)

I did have some anomalies; I noticed that I sometimes made opposite choices. For instance, I noticed that when I compared Samarkand to Viet Nam, I chose Samarkand; however, when I compared Viet Nam to Samarkand, I chose Viet Nam. I am not sure why that happened, other than to say that I took several days to do this exercise. Also, thinking back, I did not establish a firm set of criteria from which to make a decision. My decisions were mostly emotional and based on my readings and general interest in geography, politics, commerce, people, and history.

So in the list below, you see my choices ranked by priority. The number in parentheses following each location indicates the number of votes for that place. You may wonder how I came up with these locations. Some come from my interests, such as View Nam (I never served in the military during that conflict, but I want to go there), and Angkor Wat, which has interested me ever since I learned about it as a kid. Some come from my ham radio contacts that I've made around the world. I would make contact with someone in the Seychelles and then grab my atlas to see where it was. Same for the South Pacific islands. I realize that is a region, but I couldn't pick just one island. There are several archipelagos I'd like to see in that part of the world. Samarkand made the list because of a book I read, The Amulet of Samarkand, a fantasy about a young magician and a 5,000-year-old djinni named Bartimaeus (Book One of The Bartimaeus Trilogy). It seems quite exotic, has 2,500 years of commercial history, and is smack dab in the middle of the Silk Road, the collection of ancient travel routes from the Asia and the east to Europe.

Now you'll notice that Hawaii is not on my list. Turns out that we have been planning for some time to go to Hawaii in September for a couple of weeks. As long as those plans were already laid in, I saw no reason to included it in the list. However, I did include Rome, France, and the Caribbean Islands--places I have visited before. Rome is such a great city and I will one day travel there again (maybe on my way to Pompeii). France is on my wife's wish list, but as you can see, I would just about go ANYPLACE other than France. I included the Caribbean Islands because I've only been to the Turks and Caicos Islands (Providenciales and Grand Turk), and I want to vagabond from Trinidad and Tobago up the volcanic island rim to Cuba. Actually, when I look at my list, I could easily move island vagabonding adventure to number two.

So take a look. Tell me what you think.

1 Machu Picchu (Peru) (58)
2 Samarkand (Uzbekistan) (53)
3 Cuba (48)
4 South Pacific Islands (48)
5 Viet Nam (48)
6 Greece (47)
7 Caribbean Islands (45)
8 Australia/New Zealand (44)
9 Angkor Wat (Cambodia) (42)
10 Pompeii (Italy) (39)
11 Prague (Czech Republic) (37)
12 Namibia (36)
13 Morocco (35)
14 Egypt (33)
15 Galapagos Islands (Ecuador) (33)
16 Malta (28)
17 Nazca Lines (Peru) (26)
18 Dubrovnik (Croatia) (23)
19 Costa Rica (22)
20 Kenya (22)
21 India (17)
22 Seychelles (Indian Ocean) (15)
23 Belize (14)
24 Mauritius (13)
25 Easter Island (Chile) (12)
26 Montenegro (12)
27 Turkey (12)
28 Aztec Ruins (Mexico) (5)
29 Rome (Italy) (2)
30 France (0)