A couple weeks ago, I got that vibe — the one that says “Run away for 6 or 9 months, explore the world, and ‘find yourself’!” It didn’t take long for my practical side to kick in and tell me that I really couldn’t run away; I have work now and school starts up again in September. That said, I do graduate from school next April and it’s looking like I might have a little down time then, so why not run off? The question remaining then is, Where to go?
My first thought was to go back to my roots:
- Upstate New York — religious roots here.
- The Holy Land — ditto, although I hear it’s a little crazy in this part of the world.
- PEI (Prince Edward Island, Canada) — the Minchin’s came to Canada in the 1860’s and first farmed here.
- Ireland — both sides of my family go back to the Emerald Isle. Supposedly, there’s a castle on my Mom’s side of the family here, and I like the idea of kissing the Blarney Stone while I’m at it.
I wondered if you can still catch passage on a sailboat from Halifax (or Montreal) to England.
Road trips are always fun, although high gas prices might lead to some reconsidering here. Part of the trick is most of the “close” places I’ve already visited, but possible destinations include:
- Montreal — supposedly the city has a very European feel to it. Another option is to catch a cheap flight to Paris from here.
- Old Quebec City — with Montreal, it’s filled with history.
- Ottawa — why not see Parliament while out and about?
- PEI — see above.
- Minchin Cove, Terra Nova National Park, Newfoundland, Canada — perhaps out of the way, but distance was never a consideration in making this list anyway.
- New York City — specifically, the Statue of Liberty.
- Upstate NY — see above.
- Washington, DC — no real good reason other than it sounds cool, and why not check out the White House and the Smithsonian?
- Cape Carnival, Florida — where they launch the Shuttles from
- Houston — can you take tours of NASA’s mission control?
- Minchin, Texas — just north of Fort Worth on I-35, I believe; see ‘Minchin Cove’ above.
- The Grand Canyon, Arizona
- The Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California — I tried this once, but when I got there, it was shrouded in fog.
- The Inside Passage, British Columbia — more of a boat ride, but they have a ferry and they say it is some of the more beautiful scenery in the world.
- It’s a completely different direction than everything else, but if you wanted to just drive and get away from it all, there’s also the Alaska Highway which, from what I’ve gathered, is pretty empty most of the way, but gorgeous scenery.
Another option is Shanghai, where I have some friends that would love to have me visit, and have offered their place for me to stay if I come and visit.
There’s a few other place that come to mind, mostly under the “just because” category:
- Minchin Pass, New Zealand
- I think there’s a Minchin Lake in the Andes somewhere
- Bunbury, Australia
- The Great Pyramids in Egypt
- Alert, Nunavut — I don’t think you can go any further north; probably someplace to visit in the summer.
The roadtrip is the most likely possibility, so let’s do a little napkin math: ignore Alaska and the round trip distance is approximately 20,000 km, so at 800km/day (which is a ton of driving), you’re looking at 25 days of driving, and more if I stop anywhere for any amount of time, and about $2,800 in gas at today’s prices ($1.30/l), about $1,000 for food ($40/day) and $2,000 for hotels ($80/night), if I go that route. A fair chuck of change, but doable…tempting…plus, if I can find anyone to come along, all but the food costs get split, making it that much more affordable.
There’s a million other places to visit and among the most noticeably lacking from this list is an African Safari, but these are the places that catch my eye today. Any place that you would suggest I visit? Tips for exploring? Adventure stories of your own? Anyone want to come with me? I’d love to hear it all!