Thursday, January 13, 2011

Top 8 Travel List

When I talk with friends at home here, they feel like I have traveled everywhere. I am the first one to say that is not the truth. I find traveling to be comparable to Socrates quest for wisdom. Within that quest the first thing he realizes is the more he learns, the more he realizes he knows nothing. In the same way, the more I travel the more I realize I have been no where. Everyone else who I meet while traveling have seemed to travel everywhere I have traveled and a ton of other places as well.

I thought I would add a different post to my blog about what I want to do as opposed to what I have done. In some ways the following list will be unique, while in other ways it will be pretty cliche. A lot has been knocked off the list during my summer in Europe, like Prague, Rome and The Vatican, Paris, the Alps, but perhaps a lot of places have been added. This is due to people I have met and stories I have heard.

The list is in no order of importance, but I am sure you can probably learn a bit about me from the list and the reasons I have for wanting to go to different places.

1. A professional hockey game in one (or more) of the four major leagues outside of North America. This includes the KHL in Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Latvia, the Swedish Elite League in Sweden, the SM-liiga in Finland or the Czech Extraliga in the Czech Repulic. Realistically, the or should be an and. I would love to see what hockey is like overseas and what it is like to be a fan as well. I wouldn't mind getting a chance to have Prague beer again.

2. The Great Wall of China. I did a group project on China when I was in the third grade and have wanted to see this very large wall ever since. I'd also love to see parts of the rest of China. I read a great book in a first year History Class about 3 generations of women growing up in China. I enjoyed it so much I actually reread it. As a result I would be interested in seeing the country in person.

3. A World Junior Hockey Tournament in Europe. Perfect to go with number one on the list. My favourite thing about Christmas time is this tournament being played. I was fortunate to see one game in Ottawa, on New Years eve. It was an amazing game and a great atmosphere. The United States was up on Canada 3-0 but John Taveres scored a hat trick to lead Canada to a 5-4 victory. The tournament has been in North America several years in a row now. It will finally return to Russia in 2 years and then will be in Sweden the year after. I could knock quite a few goals off this list with a trip to either place during those holidays.

4. Russia. The history geek in me also fell in love with Soviet history. I know it is the largest country in the world so perhaps I should be specific. Perhaps Saint Petersburg, or Leningrad or Petrograd. I'm trying to be funny as that is all one place. Most importantly would be Moscow. Russia works with a couple of my other top 10s as well, like number 1 and number 3. I just thought it deserved its own mention.

5. A baseball game in Japan. I also really want to go to Japan, but why let it take up two spots on the list. For a country like Russia I would be happy to go in the summer but see no point in going to Japan during the winter. I have an admiration for Ichiro Suzuki, always have. I'd love to see where his career started. Other favourite players careers have taken off in Japan as well. I used to have a poster in my room that was bigger than me of Cecil Fielder. He found his game in Japan. I also love Korea and want to see how much better Korea is than Japan.

6. The Pyramids.Just a fascinating connection to the old world. Being in Egypt, seeing the land where Moses supposedly set his people free. Every connection to the biblical world. I guess additionally it would be cool to see the Holy Land in Isreal, but I think I find the Pyramids and the history behind them every bit as exciting.

7. Canada. This one may seem kind of comical. After all, I am in Canada and have been here for about 23 years of my life, or 92% of my life. But all of that 92% has been spent in Ontario. I spent a couple hours in Vancouver airport on my way to and from Australia, but I do not count that and nor should I. Canada is a huge country and it is kind of shameful I have not seen much of it at all. I'd love to hang out in the Rockies and see the beauty of the East Coast and everything in between.

8. Every Major league baseball stadium, in one long, fantastic, perfect trip. I am a huge fan of baseball, and I cannot think of a greater trip than traveling the United States and visiting every ball park. An expensive trip I know, but one I would never forget. I've been to The Rogers Centre in Toronto and Comerica Park in Detroit. I go to both these stadiums every year and usually make a trip several times a year to Comerica to see my favourite team. When possible on this dream trip, the Tigers will be the visiting team. In addition, a visit to the baseball hall of fame in Cooperstown will be included in the trip as well as seeing some of the worthwhile sites America has along the way.

And that is my top 8. I'd love to see some reader comments as to what they think of some of my choices and tell me your own top picks. I'd love to get ideas on where else I should and could go!

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