While lazily trying to finalize destinations, for a summer trip starting in 3 weeks, the procrastination gave an opportunity for my mind to wander and a question formulated. If I could return to only three places, knowing it was the last time I would ever go there, where would they be?
It wasn’t easy to come up with an answer, so I outsourced the question to five much-traveled people whose opinions I respect. Four responses came within two hours. The fifth, the following morning.
To say the responses were a surprise would be an understatement. I expected some totally out of the way places that were difficult to get to on cash or points. That wasn’t the case in any instance. Overall they would be considered surprisingly Vanilla and very accessible. Rome and Tokyo made an appearance on 3 of the lists.
It took quite some time to pick mine and they weren’t what I first thought they would be. Cities tend to win me over now. Getting older and less mobile, it’s often easier to have several sights within an area rather than spread further afield. Then I considered how much each of the places meant to me. It would be an opportunity to relive many fond memories.
My choices ended up being as follows:
Exmoor and the North Devon coast, England (1962-1973)
This is a big bias as it was where I spent my childhood and formative years. It’s as stunning a seascape as it is a landscape. Verdant, green valleys hiding glorious beaches and sedimentary rock formations. The speckling of farms throughout the pastures and the lush green coverlet. Deep, rich, loam, feeding gorse and heather to color this stunning moorland.
Lizard Island, Australia (October 1988)
My first miles earning trip. I dove the Cod Hole, some amazing bommies and photographed in the Tridacna clam garden. It was also my only true big game experience as we were fishing for Black Marlin.
The “Roof of Norway” Oslo to Bergen, stopping to visit Fläm (Feb 1977)
This train ride was the steepest in the World at the time. Passing through a plethora of snow sheds in the dead of winter, the air and vision were stunningly clear and crisp. Within the waters, enormous starfish decorated the inlet. I’d like to see if they have survived.
I was fortunate to experience each of these unappreciated times, over 30 years ago. Obviously, I was pretty clueless as to how fortunate my life really was then and how it was to become.
When you look back and consider all of your past travels, which 3 places are on your current bucket list and where would you choose? Remember that you will never get to return to any of these places ever again.