Oh, the Places I’ll Go

It’s another dreary day in Northeast Ohio. This week is getting me down, and talking to out-of-state clients and vendors is not improving my disposition when they tell me about the pleasures of their climate.

To make myself feel better (worse?) I decided to log a couple of places I would rather be than here. To keep this reasonable, I’ll stick to just three of each.

Top 3 Places I Would Rather Be
Climbing the surrounding hills in Edinburgh
Climbing the surrounding hills in Edinburgh
Edinburgh, Scotland

While I was studying abroad, I took the opportunity to travel to as many countries as I could afford during my free weekends. One of my favorite weekend trips was to Scotland. It was late-January/early-February so the sky was a Gothic gray and snow dotted the grass surrounding the city. My friend Bryce and I flew into Edinburgh, and I didn’t want to leave. We explored the city, toured the castle, laughed over my huge order of haggis, tatties and mash, and took a breathtaking hike up toward Arthur’s Seat in the hills. Every picture I took showed less and less how magnificent it was to be folded between mountains and sea. We headed off to Glasgow before I was anywhere near ready. I can’t wait to go back. I am certainly a Celt at heart.

Train ride through the Czech Republic
Train ride through the Czech Republic
Prague, Czech Republic

I didn’t do enough research before entering the Czech Republic. As we rode the train from Vienna north, I was bracing myself for what I envisioned to be another part of eastern Europe. I awoke from a nap to this beautiful view of the Czech countryside with a rainbow arching overhead. I quickly snapped some pictures before my first look at this country faded away. My youngest brother and I arrived in the late evening and got off at the wrong train stop. We had to walk for miles along a highway in the dark, following the bright lights of the castle, to even get into town, let alone our hostel. In the morning, we climbed to the top of the hill for pictures and a visit to the castle and then explored the bridges, Jewish Ghetto, clock tower and shops. It was another couple days gone by too fast.

Blarney Castle in the Republic
Blarney Castle in the Republic
The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland

I would go back to Northern Ireland in a heartbeat. There was no way for me to see and do everything I wanted while I was there, and I would love to go back with friends and family, despite some of them dropping over to see me while I was there, so I could show them more of the places that touched my heart. I would also love to go back to the Republic. I only spent a couple of weeks there on two different occasions– Galway and Dublin for St. Patty’s Day week and Cork and Waterford with my parents for a week– so my list is already started for the hundreds of other sights I missed. One of my favorite stops was Blarney Castle where we explored the beautiful old building and grounds. As we walked up to the castle, we crossed over a bridge, and underneath in the water were two little boys picking up coins people had tossed in to make a wish. It was cute. 

Top 3 Places on my Bucket List
Athens, Greece

I’m both jealous and really excited for my friends Candis and Sean who are headed on their first European adventure together to Greece in mid-September. I am acting, whether they like it or not, as somewhat of a freelance travel adviser for their trip and possibly researching more for them to do than they are! I was supposed to go to Greece in the fall of 2007, I had my flight and hostel booked, but then the forest fires swept across the country, and I had to make backup plans. I ended up in Poland instead, which turned out to be amazing, but I’ve always kept this destination in the back of my mind. The combination of history and beauty, the artifacts and the sea, is not lost on me.

Mumbai, India

I think everyone is getting tired of me rambling on about India and how much I want to go. I just think (and I know I end up saying this about everywhere I go, but it’s true) it’s going to be so different from everywhere I’ve been. It’s a culture I know little about, and although I plan to start researching, my real plan can be summed up in two words; Spring 2010.

Istanbul, Turkey

I have wanted to visit Turkey since I first read Dracula and The Historian. I went so far as to review the new Eurorail maps last year, plotting my perfect trip from Greece over to Turkey and then up through eastern Europe, especially Bulgaria and Romania.  I haven’t explored too much of that slice of the world, but from what I understand, Istanbul is such a melting pot that you must see it at some point in your life. So many cultures combine from years of historical trade, political overthrow and position as a gateway to both Africa and the Middle East. I am going to get there someday.

Where are some of the place you’ll go?

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