Friday, June 19, 2009

My Dream Vacation

~ So here’s a question for you.

If you had $100,000 and six months to spend it on your dream vacation, where would you go, and what would you do?

And just so you know: No, I don’t have a spare one hundred grand, either for you or myself, but I did think it would be an interesting intellectual exercise to fantasize about my dream vacation for a couple of hours (yes, I know, I do have too much time on my hands). Oh, and just for the record, I am not an intellectual!

Alright… I’ll go first. Let me see…

First up, starting from here (here being Adelaide, Australia), I would travel by merchant ship to the USA, island hopping my way across the Pacific Ocean. Stops along the way would include New Zealand, Tahiti, and Mexico, before disembarking in San Francisco.

From San Francisco, armed with a copy of Jamie Jensen’s Road Trip USA I would begin my long dreamed about road trip across the United States – first down the Pacific coast to Los Angeles, San Diego, and Tucson, Arizona catching up with relatives along the way (making sure I visited Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon of course).

Most serious road trip enthusiasts dream about driving the length of the famed Route 66 at least once in their lives, and I’m no exception. From Tucson, it wouldn’t be to hard to head north again and join Route 66 at Flagstaff. However, being a ‘completist’ (is that even a real word?), if I was going to drive Route 66, I would have to head back to LA and start the journey proper from there.

Now those of you familiar with the song, Route 66, will immediately realize that would be doing it all wrong. According to the song, Route 66 “Winds from Chicago to LA,” but do I really want to fly or drive all the way to Chicago, just so I can spend several weeks singing the lines of the song every mile along the route in the proper order they were written?

Of course, you are right. Am I a completist or aren’t I?

Ok, so I’d fly to Chicago and drive Route 66 north to south (or to be more precise – north to south-west), and make sure I have lots of great adventures along the way. Unfortunately, that means I am back where I started – sort of. I now have to get from LA to New York City. I could fly, but where’s the fun in that? So after resting my numb bum in Los Angeles for a few days, it’s back into the hire car for the long drive across the American south and up the east coast to New York.

After spending a couple of weeks in New York City, it’s on to the Republic of Ireland – via Niagara Falls and Canada. Well, why not?

Now, relax. I don’t mean to bore you with every stop along the way, so here in some sort of order is the rest of my fantasy vacation: From Ireland I would go to England, France, Spain, and Morocco. The north African leg of my trip also takes in Senegal, Mali, Algeria, Libya, and Egypt. From there it’s on to Turkey, Greece, Italy, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Germany, and the Netherlands. Now it’s time to rug up and head north into Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Russia. By train we cross the Russian steppes to Mongolia and China. We’re on the homeward stretch now. Just a few more countries left (Japan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Thailand) before finally setting down in Darwin, Australia.

From Darwin I would drive back to Adelaide the ‘long way’. That is, via Kakadu, Alice Springs, Mount Isa, Brisbane, and then down along east coast passing through Sydney, Melbourne, and finally on to Adelaide.

Whew, that is a sum total of 33 countries in six months, and more miles than I care to think about.

Is it possible? Would $100,000 be enough?

Hey, what do I know? This is a fantasy vacation after all. A pipe dream. A flight of the imagination. A meditation on the possible – or if you insist, the impossible. But who knows? Maybe, just maybe, if I can’t do the whole trip I can do parts of it. Maybe I don’t have to complete the whole journey in six months. What if I only do the ocean voyage and the road trip? That would be a good start in anyone’s book – wouldn’t it? I can always tackle other parts of the journey later.

So what does your dream vacation involve?

Don’t hold back. Let your imagination run wild, and let me know via the comments section below. Alternatively, you could write a longer piece and send it to me. With your permission I might republish it here as part of my blog.

Go on, share the dream.

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