Last Friday, as I was in the teacher’s lounge, grading grammar workbooks, and chatting up with other teachers, I learned one of the fifth grade students would not be returning for the remaining of the school year. Supposedly, classes officially end on July 5, but in reality, we have like two weeks of work left, before we focus our attention on working on this year’s end of school project, dedicated to some important passages in Mexican history.
Anyway, I asked this student where she was going and she told me that she would fly that very night to London and then to Kenya, because she and her family would go on a safari. I was dumbfounded and yes, a bit jealous. It got me thinking though, are there any places I’d like to visit? I have been blessed with the opportunity to travel to other countries and interact with different cultures and ways of thinking. However, I realized there are places that I am really looking forward to one day visit.
I guess I would have to say that I very much want to go back to Ireland. I went for my honeymoon and loved it. Nothing compares to standing at the top of the Cliffs of Moher and feel in awe of such beauty. No wonder writers have set their stories there, there is a sort of mystical element, almost as if you can hear Irish music play with the wind that blows in your face, while that elusive sun comes out for a few seconds before giving way to yet another light drizzle. Dublin seemed to me a very nostalgic city, the kind of place to get lost in and blend in quite easily. I would like to travel to the south, visit all those castles and maybe go back to Galway, rent a nice cottage and just spend a month in pure bliss. And maybe after that month in Ireland, I could continue to Scotland, then to England. London is one of my favorite cities.
I am also curious to go to the Arabic Peninsula. I’d love to visit Saudi Arabia. Being an international relations major, one of the classes that I enjoyed the most was my Middle Eastern studies course. I find the culture fascinating and respect the religion, which makes it even more interesting. I suppose I am the kind of person that thinks that not all muslims are terrorists. The same as not all of us Mexicans are drug dealers! I know SA is one of the most restrictive countries regarding the way they follow Islam and its rules, but I read once an article in Vanity Fair and found the writer’s whole experience fascinating. I know it’s impossible, but if I could just go to Mecca, then I’d be a really happy person. There’s a National Geographic documentary called “Inside Mecca” that takes you inside Hajj, the peregrination to Mecca, truly worth watching. There’s also the small but very rich countries next to SA, UAE and Qatar. Ever since the last Mission Impossible movie and the Sex and the City movie, I have written down these places on my bucket list. I have visited other muslim countries, like Morocco and Turkey, and have found my time there enriching and interesting and yes, confusing. However, I guess if you go on a planned trip, with someone who knows the area and who will make sure the things you do are allowed (visiting some mosques, walking down certain neighborhoods, etc), then you’ll be okay.
Also, I want to go Germany, and maybe go up north to Norway, Finland and Sweden, just to see how the most human developed countries live like.
China is another place that I would like to go someday. My parents had the opportunity to travel there several years ago, and they still talk about it. I guess I am curious to see how a country that is competing in economic dominance with the U.S is like, culturally speaking. The Great Wall, I mean, what would it feel like to stand in such a place!
Then I would like to take some time to visit certain places in the U.S like San Francisco, New Orleans, Savannah (Georgia), North Carolina (thanks to all those Nicholas Sparks’s novels), Alaska, and Hawaii, though I am very excited because we are going to Hawaii in July! And I don’t care how many of you frown upon the following, but I am dying to visit Boonsboro, Maryland so that I can stay at NR’s Inn and visit Turn the Page Bookstore and maybe, maybe, run into Nora Roberts and oh so casually ask for an autograph and a photo.