When I was in grade school, I remember making top ten lists with my friends. Top ten boys, top ten songs, top ten movies, etc. The order was susceptible to change at any moment, but the idea was popular for years. I still find myself making similar lists today–facebook asks for my favorite movies/books/etc., my significant other and I categorize which house projects need done in what order, my Friday nights often consist of me outlining what top few things have to be achieved during the weekend, and on, and on.
The idea of making lists, especially top ten lists, is also popular with the media. Through video, photography, illustration and more, any topic in the world can fall under some top ten listing for people to consider and debate. If we don’t agree with someone else’s ranking, we create our own.
Case in point, my boss recently forwarded me bing.com’s top ten videos related to travel. We have two main categories: Top 10 Worst Tourist Destinations and Top 10 Most Popular Tourist Destinations. There are others you can peruse, but these were the kick-offs.
The top ten worst seemed somewhat obvious given the current safety issues of the areas included, except for Antarctica. That one is actually on my list. I wouldn’t say it’s high on my list, but it’s there.
During my time at Kent State University, I attended a lecture by a visiting speaker, Dr. Jerri Nielsen, who lived with a team in Antarctica as the only physician on-site. I attended her lecture for my Intro. to Psych. class because there are a lot of psychology and sociology studies of individuals who live in Antarctica given the living and working conditions, the emotional impact of remaining in close quarters without much outside communication for at least six months, the body’s response to the continued darkness and location on the planet (the sun circles in the middle of the sky rather than rising and setting, etc.)– which leads to disorientation and memory loss– and more. Her lecture was fascinating. If you’ve not heard of her, you can check out her autobiography, Ice Bound, which details her time there, how she self-diagnosed with breast cancer and had to operate on herself with the very limited resources they had in the camp. Sadly, she passed away in 2009. I will never forget listening to her telling her story. I was inspired to see Antarctica myself one day.
The top ten most popular is not really disputable since it’s based on the actual number of visitors each country receives. I’ve been to eight of the 10– Malaysia and Turkey are still on my list. Turkey’s up there.
If I had to list my top ten favorite countries (based on the full experience of each place I’ve visited), it would look something like this:
- Northern Ireland
- Republic of Ireland
- The Netherlands
- Czech Republic
The next ten I hope to hit?
- New Zealand
- South Africa
What are your top ten in travel, whether it’s countries, cities, sites, or other? What are the ten places you hope to visit next?