To travel the world
Joseph Monardo | Monday, February 10, 2014
To “travel the world” is a grand sentiment, one common in the stated desires of teenagers, young adults and aimless middle-aged individuals. The statement is an acknowledgement of one’s own limited experience with foreign cities and cultures. From an individual perspective, the world can at times seem infinite.
With the Winter Olympics bringing international diversity to the forefront and with my hopes mounting for a post-graduation travel period, let’s roll through a list of places I would like to visit. I have done some international travel in the past (notably Italy, London, Belgium and El Salvador), so this list will focus only on as-of-yet unseen countries. Most of my motivations are based only tangentially on evidence or experience. Highly unscientific, far from comprehensive and probably not that different from what most of my peers would construct, in no particular order:
First, Ireland. Because I go to Notre Dame, duh. Dublin sounds like a cool city and I think Ireland possesses more than enough impressive countryside and dramatic coastlines to satisfy my imagination. Corned beef and colcannon would probably be enough to lure me to Ireland anyway.
Next up is Spain. Spain seems wrapped up in its own culture more than most countries. To walk the Spanish streets would be an assault on the senses. The country holds its cuisine in high regard, and with Barcelona and Madrid as high points of the visit, I would also like to encounter smaller Spanish cities.
Third, Croatia. I’ve been sold on the serpentine country to the east of the Adriatic since I saw Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations” episode set in the Croatian coast. The many sea-front cities promise beautiful views, and the country’s culture and cuisine are supposedly intriguing mixes from multiple European sources.
Fourth, Greece. For all its well-publicized problems, Athens still has considerable draw for me, especially remnants of Greece’s civilization. The many islands dripping away from the mainland are also plenty attractive.
Fifth, Japan. Mount Fuji is there. Also, the Land of the Rising Sun has a culture and history quite distinct from many of my other proposed destinations.
Sixth, Australia. Cool terrain, fun people and nice cities. It would be like America.
Seventh, Portugal. Again compelled by “No Reservations,” I have developed a view of Portugal as a highly desirable destination. Lisbon is beautiful based on what I have seen.
Eighth, South Africa. Going on a safari would be really enjoyable.
Ninth, Russia. Relax, Vladimir Putin. You made the list. The sheer size of this year’s Olympic host is such that I could hardly to have claimed to travel the world without having touched Russian soil at least once.
Contact Joseph Monardo at
The views expressed in the Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.