challenges

road trip!

travel
why i’m handcuffed to the USA.

Day 5: Write about five places you want to visit.

JUST five?! I have so many. Basically, I want to go to places that are way older and far more exotic than America. I realize, to some people in some of these other places, America and Americans may seem very exotic. It is not, we are not, I promise you. I mean, we have orange oompah loompahs running for powerful positions and stuff, yes. But we also spend a lot of time sitting around in our PJs all day reading books and writing blog entries and checking Twitter and Facebook and watching Netflix. (Or is that just at my place in America?)

At any rate, here are five places I intend to visit should I ever (a) get my credit card paid off so I can start overcharging on it again but this time for foreign travel, (b) marry a very very very very very rich person, (c) marry a foreign diplomat and have the US government foot my travel bills, and/or (d) win the $600 billion lottery.

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1- The UK. On my Pinterest account, I have a board called UK Trip. It currently only has 17 pins and that’s because I’ve been spending more time over there pinning quote memes as a psychological soothing experiment. But basically, I’ve always wanted to visit England/Scotland/Wales/Ireland (yes, I know there’s a North and a regular Ireland and regular Ireland is a separate country) since I can’t even remember. I want to have tea with the Queen (or near Buckingham Palace if she’s unavailable, whatever) and it is very important that I eat fish-n-chips out of a newspaper in a sketchy area of London. At least once. I want to have a REAL Guinness in a REAL Irish pub. I want to run into Sean Connery in Glasgow. I want to stand in the middle of the West Yorkshire moorlands on a dark and ominous day with the wind whipping my hair about my face while I cry for my Heathcliff. That kind of thing. Oh, and! I want to find a blue tardis so I can look like I’ve watched all of Dr. Who, when really I’ve only gotten through the first season. But it’ll get me in good with my nerd friends.

2-Spain. I started learning Spanish when I was in 8th grade and fell in love with the Puerto Rican boy band sensation Menudo. Later, in 9th grade, I was in love with the Norwegian boy band sensation a-ha, but I remembered how much I’d loved the sound of Spanish and so I took it instead of German which would have been the closest I could have gotten to Norwegian, which no one except Norwegians speak anyway. And I loved it. I love everything about Spanish. I took it all four years of high school and minored in it in college. I lived 8 miles from Mexico for 3 years. I love how they roll their Rs and just the lilting quality to it. My favorite Spanish word is “mantequilla,” which just means “butter.” But I think it pretty much sums up the entire beauty of the Spanish language, because if you really say it right, you say it like MOOOOHNT-ay-KEEEE-yah. And you sound very refined and fancy. I say.

Actually, Spain Spanish is very different from the Spanish I learned. I learned North American Spanish, which is mostly what they speak in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean…with different accents, slangs, etc., of course. Spain Spanish is usually referred to as castellano (after Castile, Spain) and they trill their Rs, but also pronounce the “ll” (double L) sound that North American Spanish speakers pronounce as Y like in yellow like the S in measure. So instead of saying the word “amarillo” like ahmahd-EE-yo like they would in Mexico, Castellano speakers say it ahamahd-zhEEo. Or something like that, since I haven’t got a clue how to speak Castellano. They say their Cs, Zs, and Ss with a “th” sound. Because King Ferdinand long ago had a bad lisp, and nobody wanted him to feel bad and now hundreds of years later, everybody who speaks Spain Spanish has to have a lisp. If this happens when Donald Trump declares himself King of America, hundreds of years later in America everyone will just have to wear bad combover wigs and have orange skin. (Thus concludes your off-topic linguistics/history/modern political humor lesson for the day. You can put your notebook and pencils away now.)

At any rate, I’ve been to Mexico and everybody down there speaks English. So now I want to go to Spain and be totally confused by Castellano. But I also want to see the Alhambra, the cobblestone streets of gothic Barcelona, and eat tapas in Madrid. And maybe watch some crazy guys get gored to death in the running of the bulls. And channel my inner Hemingway with some Spanish beer. And stuff.

travel53-Tuscany. In the 2003 movie Under the Tuscan Sun which was based on a memoir, Diane Lane plays a recently divorced writer who impulsively buys a Tuscan villa to change her life and in the end she wins. While drinking a lot of wine. I really have no other reason for wanting to go to Tuscany beyond that. I’d also like to see Rome and Sicily, but mostly I just want to drink wine and maybe buy a Tuscan villa on a whim and never come back even though I’m sure there are visa laws and everything I’d have to work out and I’m not sure how I’d earn money to pay my bills and renovate my dilapidated Tuscan villa. And also Miss M would need to learn Italian and go to school there. And I’m not sure how her dad would feel about that, or the rest of my family. But it would all be okay, because I’d be doing it all under the Tuscan sun.

4- The Middle East. I’d like to go to Egypt and Israel, specifically. Both ancient places where civilization began. I’ll be honest though: both Egypt and Israel scare the holy beejeesus out of me. I know lots of people go and are just fine, just fine and dandy. People come and go from visiting the Middle East every day, even when Hamas has gotten its panties in a wad for the billionth time and has decided to launch rocket grenades and stuff. Even then, travel is uninterrupted and fine; this is just how they do over there. But knowing MY luck, I’d go when Americans are being kidnapped, raped, and beheaded and…I’m sorry, the Sphinx. We’re going to keep you a dream for a little bit longer.

5-Australia. Really, I just want to hold a koala bear. And eat oysters by the Sydney Opera House. But mostly: hold a koala bear. I’d also like to go to New Zealand while I’m there because every time I see pictures of New Zealand, I think: wow, that’s stunningly beautiful. And the Maoris are attractive people. I like anybody who can rock a facial tattoo and not even care what the rest of the world thinks about it.

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