Last night, my wife asked me where in the world I would most like to travel if money were no object.
This should have been an easy one for me. I subscribe to two or three travel magazines. I sometimes buy guidebooks for places I have no immediate plans to visit just to enjoy some armchair traveling. Occasionally I map out itineraries to places far away and exotic, just for the fun of it. Really, there are very few places on the globe I wouldn't want to visit--and so that was why when the simple question was put to me about my top choice, I just gaped.
I can't narrow my travel goals down to just one because I like traveling equally in different styles and with different objectives. I loved escaping to The Caves, a small boutique hotel in Negril, where we were able to shut out the rest of the world and recharge amid beautiful surroundings and a spectacular level of personal service. On the other hand, just 18 months later, I loved getting to El Castillo, Nicaragua on a launch crowded with farm animals and cases of beer and staying in an inexpensive posada where the electric service was uncertain and dinner was anything you wanted as long as it's chicken. Choosing between those two trips would be like choosing between a Porsche 911 and a Leica M8: apples and oranges.
Still, the question my wife asked me was a good one, and it set me to thinking how best to answer it. I can't narrow my travel jones down to just one place--but here are my top eight, chosen because they are places I have not yet been to and because they are so different from one another. In alphabetical order:
Alaska--Cycling from Fairbanks to Anchorage
Argentina & Uruguay--Buenos Aires and Punta del Este
Chile--Torres del Paine National Park
Iceland--Reykjavik and the Ring Road
Sri Lanka--Beaches on the southeast coast