|the pictures were taken
in places other than
the ones described
in this story.
It has been three weeks since social distancing went into effect. It feels like forever. A lifetime compressed into a few short weeks. For those of us who are extroverts, this is just really hard, especially if you don’t have companions in your living space. What do you do? Well, I tried wallowing in self pity but the refreshments offered at the pity party, having been soaked in my tears, were too salty and were borderline inedible. Bad tasting refreshments just made me feel sadder.
So I was thinking that, instead of a pity party, how about an imaginary trip around the world? This is something that you could do, too! It would be great fun with the kids. It even qualifies as schoolwork because it’s geography. And it’s fun geography because you’re planning the vacation of a lifetime!
I’ve studied all of the maps and it is time to get going! I don’t need to pack much because it’s an imaginary journey. If my clothes aren’t right, they will magically transform into something more appropriate for the culture and the climate of the place that I am visiting.
On my imaginary trip around the world, I am going to head west. North west. I leave western New York by bus and go to Toronto, where I visit friends, eat in Chinatown, and go to the theater. They leave me at the train station and I hop on the train, traveling across Canada! I’ll take the lowest price ticket, which means that I will make stops in Winnipeg and Jasper. I’ve got friends in Winnipeg! We will celebrate and do fun stuff, such as visiting the Human Rights Museum. I don’t know anyone in Jasper. Just looked at pictures of Jasper. Like whoa!!! It’s in Alberta in the Rocky Mountains! It looks… awesome! I’m all in for Jasper, Alberta! Then there is the last stop on the train. Vancouver, British Columbia. There are awesome things for me to visit there. Because I will be spending time in China, I thought that I would prepare by visiting the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden. Then there is a suspension bridge for me to walk on, called the Lyon Canyon Suspension Bridge. It’s a pedestrian bridge, and the most important thing for me to bring is a camera! There’s a botanical garden to visit. I am definitely all in for Vancouver, British Columbia!
After a fun experience in Vancouver, it will be time for me to leave North America and head west, across the Pacific Ocean. Do I want to stop in Hawaii? Yeah, why not. I could go for a luau, and wearing a lei would be great fun! And then, back on my adventure. By ship! That’s the great thing about an imaginary journey. You can take the slowest transportation possible and still have a great time. Okay. It’s a ship. Not a kayak. I’m not crazy enough to traverse the Pacific Ocean in a kayak, even in my imagination. I could readily imagine myself to be shark food, and that’s not good.
I watch the water and eat delicious food aboard this ship. And then, after… uh, I don’t know how long, I have arrived on Angaur Island, also known as Ngeaur Island. It’s part of the Palau Archipelago. It’s one of sixteen islands in the archipelago. It’s a wonder of nature, with beautiful beaches and traditional villages. I ride on boats to some of the other islands, such as Melekeok (a nature preserve).
And then, I’m back in the ship and on my way to Japan!!! We head north and land on the coast of Hokkaido, which is Japan’s northernmost island. At that point, I take my leave of the ship. I stay at a lovely guest house and hike in Daisetsu-zan National Park, where I can see the high mountain peaks. I then leave Hokkaido and head to the island of Honshu, where I visit Mount Fuji and eat delicious Japanese food.
And, of course, I ride on a bullet train because bullet trains are on my bucket list. I will try to learn a little Japanese because I only know a few words and they are mostly connected with, “Where is the bathroom?” or something like that.
And then it’s on to Mongolia! Because Mongolia is definitely on my bucket list! I start in Ulanbaatar to see museums and monasteries. And then I go on to the ancient city of Karakorum, which is full of wonder and history. And, of course, I stay in a yurt, also known as a ger. And I see the wild horses. I then have an awesome adventure in the Gobi desert. After that, I travel south, headed to China. I travel by train this time.
In China, I visit some incredibly beautiful places. There are the Yellow Mountains with their peaks and valleys. I can hike through the Zhangjiajie National Forest. Well. Some of it. It’s huge. Monumentally huge. After the massive park, I then will visit a beautiful town. Lijiang. It is an ancient city and a great place to make a painting. Yes, I would happily travel to China to make a painting! And then, I will take a cable car to the top of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. (And my bucket list has now grown to include these beautiful places in China!)
I am thoroughly happy in China but my adventure must continue. I travel by train to Vietnam, where there is a walking adventure that is on my bucket list. The famous bridge that is held up by a giant hand! Called the Golden Bridge, it’s near Da Nang, Vietnam. It’s for pedestrians only. No cars! How awesome is that? It connects a resort with a cable car station, and the view is spectacular. So I’m going to visit the resort and ride on cable cars. This is as good as it gets. After a day tour of the Imperial City of Hue, I leave Vietnam and travel through southeast Asia. On my way to Luang Prabang, Laos. I stop in the capital city, Vientiane, for a meal. I might try some Laos Pho, larb (minced meat salad), Lao sausage, and Khao Poon, which is a noodle soup. It might be too spicy for me, but I can eat spicy food in my imagination. And then, off to Luang Prabang, where I visit Buddhist temples and stay for a while because it’s what I need.
Back in my “real life,” the unrelenting aloneness pushes me off balance. Getting centered at a place with all of those Buddhist temples could work.
After I leave Luang Prabang, I prepare for a long train ride, traveling through Myanmar (formerly known as Burma), to Nepal, where I walk toward the base camp, but climbing Mount Everest is a bit much, even in my wild imagination. And then, I go to another place that sits high on my bucket list. Bhutan!!!! Sits high is right. It is in the high Himalayas. It is a Buddhist kingdom and it’s a country that really values the environment. It is also called Druk Yul, which means “Land of the Thunder Dragon.” I visit the Paro Taktsang, which is a cliffside monastery. Nearby there are caves to explore.
And I leave Bhutan and head into India!
To be continued! Because, even in my imagination, I can’t take a round-the-world trip in one day.