It’s apparently quite trendy to have a ‘bucket list’ – a list of things you want to do or places you want to visit before you die. I realise I need a very big bucket indeed as my visit list is so long. Whilst some say the world’s a small place, I for one wouldn’t like to paint it.
It’s not that I’ve been a recluse, in fact I have been fortunate enough to have already experienced places and things that many would still have on their own buckets lists.
As a child I was taken on many foreign holidays by my parents where invariably I would have a completely different type of bucket on my mind, one that came with a spade and was used to make sandcastles on the beach.
I realise now in my later years that I was too young to experience the true culture of these many places I found myself at. In fact no matter how much my parents tried, ‘culture’ always ultimately lost out to the pull of the sand and surf. I guess in many ways that’s exactly how as a young child it should be, after all life is short enough already not to enjoy play whilst you can. But don’t get me wrong, whilst they didn’t force culture on me, they had the benefit of years to know what I was missing and tried wherever possible to expose me to it knowing it would shape my view and tolerance of others in years to come.
My wife and I had a meal with a couple of friends on Friday and one of them mentioned how she was envious of me. How not just because of holidays throughout my life, but also because of my job and the travel that has entailed, that I have experienced many different places and cultures through the countries I had had the opportunity to visit, that this was something she could only dream about.
And it got me thinking that whilst I have travelled a lot and probably lived out many others’ travel dreams, there are also those places where as a child I visited and saw with different eyes, places who’s culture I bypassed through the indifference of youth, places I would like to return to and so these too form part of my own long bucket list….
….only this time I’ll be travelling without a spade.