Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Travel Fantasies

Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale
Her infinite variety. Other women cloy
The appetites they feed, but she makes hungry
Where most she satisfies...

Shakespeare, of course, was talking about a lady--specifically Cleopatra, I believe (moment of tribute to the late great Elizabeth Taylor) but he could just as easily have been talking about travel. Going places is, for me, one of those rare experiences that, the more you do of it, the more you want to do of it. I never do get tired of journeying and, just having gotten home from a Major Trip, my mind inevitably turns to the next trip I can take--where? and how soon?

Now, if we're being honest, we will admit that most of our travel fantasies, especially about places we've never been, come from the images we have of places from books and movies. So, without further ado, my current top five international travel destinations--along with admission of their somewhat embarrassing antecedents:

Tokyo. Almost entirely because of Lost in Translation, one of my all time favorite movies. Not that I want to go there and be morose with an older tragic clown of a man--I imagine trotting around quite cheerily with Bill and Mabel--but still, my image of the city is certainly heavily influenced by Sofia's dreamy vision.

India. Some places, on the other hand, you want to go for the clothes. For the color. And just for the general so-completely-someplace-else-ish-ness of them. Though of course a number of films have evoked India in recent years, my real fascination derives from several Indian weddings I've attended stateside.

Botswana. Another embarrassing admission: my desire to go here springs almost entirely from watching The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. Not that I expect the clothes to be as preposterously stylish as they are in that show--but wow would I ever like to see that landscape.

Iceland. This one I come by honestly--having heard stories and seen photos from several people who have been there. Majestic landscapes made of volcanic rock! Tiny farmhouses! Endless day or endless night, depending on when you go. The northern lights! What's not to love?

Venice. I've actually been to Venice, briefly, in college, and loved it and would love to go back. My desire is regularly fed, however, by reading Donna Leon's mysteries set there. Oddly, I have the yen to go in the winter, in the hopes of getting caught in aqua alta. No one seems to understand this desire. But a girl can dream

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