I just returned from a visit to Detroit. I had a somewhat surprising, incredible experience and will post an article about it on Monday. It's great to be back in Milwaukee for so many reasons, and yet, I noticed that traveling didn't cure me of the travel bug.
I logged 950 miles on my van and yet I'm still feeling wanderlusty. Good travel is like good sex: the more you have the more you want.
Today, I'm daydreaming, thinking about all the places I want to go, both realistically and unrealistically. So I decided to make a list and limit it to five. They are not in a particular order.
1. Any place that confuses the crap out of me on multiple levels. I want to go somewhere that is so unlike the United States, so truly foreign to me, that I can barely navigate myself to a plate of food. I'm thinking maybe Tokyo. I want to get on the wrong subway and have no idea how much money to pay while teenaged girls with stuffed animals for backpacks giggle at me. I want to be rattled and turned inside out. Disoriented and yet so deeply wowed I actually shut up for a few days and just observe – wide-eyed, blown away, a little scared.
2. Somewhere insanely tropical. I also really want to go somewhere like Belize and completely shut it down on a beach for a few weeks. I have been to Jamaica, but I spent my time doing way too much: scuba diving, mountain biking, record shopping, clubbing – I didn't allow myself enough soaking time. I guess I never thought of myself as a "beach person," but these days, I think a stack of books and the sun on my midriff would be a divine vacation. Maybe, if I got really lucky, a coconut would fall on my head and turn off my jammin' brain for an afternoon or two. Or maybe that's what the pina coladas are for. Make mine a double.
3. Iceland. I have been intrigued by Iceland for years and find it, thanks to Google images, incredibly beautiful. Also, I want to visit a place where it's been reported that more than 50 percent of the natives believe in fairies and elves. Maybe they're just ingesting hand fulls of magical mushrooms, but I think these folks might be able to infuse my increasingly cynical self with a heavy dose of "anything is possible." I had that once. I think it went away with my Suzuki Sidekick.
4. Guatemala. I was in the country in 2002 and 2003, visiting and later adopting my kid. I want to return with him so he can see the country where he is from. I would visit Antigua, Tikal, Lago de Atitlan and Guatemala City, where he was born and lived for the first nine months of his life. Perhaps, if he wanted, we would try to find his birth mom. At the very least, we would shop in the markets and ride the crowded, wildly painted busses and talk, just for fun, how his life would have been different – not better or worse, just different – if he never left this beautiful, bird-filled country.
5. Buffalo, New York. I love Milwaukee, and for the many of the reasons why I love Milwaukee, I realized I also love Detroit. And the reasons I love Milwaukee and Detroit make me think I'd really love Buffalo, too. Buffalo is another city trying desperately to revitalize in the midst of a crumbling economy. I'm not really into the pretty Portlands – other than for a visit. I'm just not comfortable when things are too nice. I see beauty and hope in imperfection. Maybe it's because I'm deeply flawed. Who knows.
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