Vanessa Lee, Publisher, Cruise & Travel Lifestyles Magazine

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list!”

I love this quote, attributable to Susan Sontag; it seems to sum up my own life of exploration and extensive travels to 92 countries.  I imagine it may also resonate in the thoughts of many other avid travelers – perhaps you?

As many of our loyal readers may recall, I am hard at work on trying to become a member of the Travelers’ Century Club which means you’ve visited 100 countries. Of course, I don't intend to stop when I do get to 100 - and note I say when, not if –  as I am nothing if not determined!

I certainly haven't been "everywhere" and I know I won't get to every "there" but it’s fun trying! For me, it's about the journey as much as it is about the destination. On the Road of Life, it's a remarkable privilege to enjoy different cultures, peoples and their unique ways of living, to greet others in some sort of version of their own language, to eat different foods, to learn about quaint customs and simply to revel in a different slice of life.

In those 92 countries, some of which I have visited more than 20 times, there are the most wonderful and amazing destinations and places full of wondrous sights. Sometimes, it’s a stop on the road with the most spectacular view –  literally making you pull over. Think of the Amalfi coast between Sorrento and Positano. Perhaps it’s touring the unforgettably beautiful Tuscan countryside, sailing into magical Istanbul at dawn, enjoying the impossibly idyllic beaches in French Polynesia, or cruising into or out of New York City, past the iconic Statue of Liberty and considering how many other millions of souls have been affected by that sight. Animals of any kind in Africa grip my heart – the majestic Rhino, an elusive leopard spotted in a tree with her cub, an elephant’s eyelashes seen in the dark of night through a small opening in a hide… unforgettable. Ballooning across the Masaii Mara, snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef, landing, from a sail boat on that small strand of uninhabited sand – an islet really – in a deep cerulean Caribbean sea. Feeling, at times like a castaway on the sea of life – but in the most positive sense! 

So much of who we are and who we become, is controlled by where we have been and what has been impressed upon our memories.  The images in our minds, even from years and years ago, can often be as crystal clear to us as the day we first saw them. It’s important that we afford ourselves a heightened consciousness and relive a particular scent or smell or taste - a remarkable sensory feat.  Many of us want stories to tell and not stuff to show. “Stuff” just isn’t so important anymore.

So, what's on your list - that proverbial Bucket List? Where's "everywhere" for you?

As I close in on my 100 countries it becomes more apparent that there are some places I have so far missed…for whatever reason. Here are some of my "must visit" bucket list places, in no particular order:

  • Antarctica
  • Borneo and the Indonesian Archipelago 
  • Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro
  • Iceland
  • New Zealand
  • The Galapagos Islands

If you don’t have a list then I urge you to create one now and share it with your travel professional so together you can work to ensure that you get to travel to some of your “Everywhere”.  It’s all out there just waiting for you to arrive.

Sincerely,

Vanessa Lee
Publisher, Cruise & Travel Lifestyles

P.S. – Please follow us on Facebook, if you are in twitter-land you can find me at @vanessaleesails. You can find our editor at @fleming_liz or on Instagram at lizflemingtravel.

 

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