Where I'd Like to Travel To

Sunday, July 19, 2015

A few weeks ago, I had dinner with Legacy on my calendar. After 40 minutes of rain and traffic, and a text letting them know I would be late, I got to the restaurant. We met at Blue Moon Pizza, which thankfully was/is not too far from my house. It was our coordinators R & L (husband and wife), Y and myself. We sat outside, under a cover of course, and had a couple hours to catch up over delicious food. Of course the topic of my trip to abroad came up, as we hadn't seen each other for a while. When I kind of finished speaking about it and mentioned where I had been, L asked Y where she had traveled to and if there was any place she was interested in traveling to. She said it wasn't something that she necessarily thought about or was keen on. That reminded me of even further back when I was chatting with another friend, K, about goals and dreams. She said her fear was never traveling and seeing the world, and I thought "well that's a good point". Back to dinner after the two seconds it took me to remember that time and dwell on Y's statement, it came to me that "traveling" was also a thought I hadn't necessarily thought about often.

Yes, I know. What?? & I mentioned that, that I hadn't given traveling too much thought. And I want to know why? I initially said it was because I was more interested in culture through people. But I am not sure that is necessarily true. I think to fully understand a peoples' culture, you have to see their country. Their history, politics, landscapes, architecture, even weather affect the evolution of their identity. When you're put in the middle of it all, you can see the why and have a deeper personal understanding. But, I digress. I am still young, and I think after I hit that initial wave of self awareness and clarity of my interests, I worked then on a basic understanding of Middle Eastern (for lack of a better word?) culture. In my opinion, and maybe not everyone else's, I did it in a very natural manner. As opposed to introducing myself academically, I did it through blogs, Netflix films, YouTube documentaries, and following simple news stories. Not only because the latter is more accessible, but I can barely read academic papers assigned to me in class. And this was over the course of a year and some change, where the information came to me gradually. OK, so I did that for a year. Then came my interest with Oman and I think I really just devoted my time to that and day dreaming of traveling there. So there wasn't much room for thinking about other countries and say "oh I want to visit here and see these peoples and landmarks." But now, thanks to being able to mark Oman off the list and people at the IRC who have mentioned details of places I think I would really enjoy visiting. I present to you my (very short) list.

(just a BTW I've visited to Germany, Belgium, France, Argentina, Nicaragua, and of course Mexico)

  1. Ethiopia, why? well I want to visit an African country next. Just this Thursday too, I read an email from someone who is currently there. Blogging style, it was so well written I wanted to just appear in Ethiopia in the middle of a herd of cows. I heard the food is bomb. It's one of the few countries not colonized by Europe (except for like mid 20th century) and it'll have a very distinct culture than to what I have encountered thus far.
  2. Nepal, why? I have a friend at work who is from there and of course I hear all the good things. I also think it would be a country to expose me to a new culture. I really want to witness the landscape and monuments first hand. It looks like, and I'm sure it is, such a beautiful country. I'd like to do more rural and nature tourism, and if I'm not mistaken that is there specialty. Especially after the devastating earthquakes and what followed, it wouldn't be a bad idea investing into their economy and get it back to it's formal glory. So, let's go soon yeah?
  3. Spain, why? This is a trip I'd like to take a little later in life (5 or 6 yrs?). Everyone knows I have no big interest in Western Europe. Mainly because I want to deviate from Western culture. I know every country is unique and has something to offer, but it is just not a priority for me. Plus with my winter trip to Europe I feel I got that little bug out of me and I am satisfied. I would want to take a all inclusive European trip in the far future though. Anyways, Spain is some place I'd like to travel to with my family. I remember my dad mentioning wanting to visit Spain when I was little and it has been my dream for us to all go together. It'd be cool to see Spain in concentrate. That makes no sense, but what I mean is because I'm Mexican and because of Spanish colonization, we speak (mostly) Spanish, are (mostly) Catholic, and the rest of our culture has Spanish characteristics, but isn't Spanish. And believe it or not, it's easy to forget that. It'd be interesting to see the differences in culture although sometimes we believe we know what it is. Also to visit Basque Country and Barcelona and see their rich and unique culture in comparison. And it wouldn't be easy, but in a dream world we would separate and leave our parents in Madrid, and go, with my then older siblings, to spend a summer night in Ibiza. 
These are a few for now. I can think of a few trips I'd like to make before Spain (Peru, India, & Malaysia). I always thought of myself as settling down a little earlier in life than would be the norm in these times. But thinking of these possibilities makes me want to put it on hold! I think it'd be nice to travel with a husband, but I think there'd be something beautiful about going to these places knowing there is so many more possibilities ahead. What makes me happy about this, is knowing that these are not only far away dreams, but very much attainable. It's not about if but when. If you constantly remind yourself of what you want to do, you can make sure it happens. 

So now my question is, am I still young and naive that I think this can happen? Maybe. Actually, probably. But I am young and naive and going to be living in Oman and visiting UAE. So I'm going to make sure I make it happen while I am still in this state of mind.


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