Are you a closet geek whose prime focus is to visit the world's literary destinations? Are you at one in the wild watching the animals roam free? Or are you a beach bum who likes to chill on the sand and swim with the sea turtles? I tick all those boxes so I'm taking off on an epic world adventure to experience the lot. I want to absorb all the nature and culture my overloaded brain will allow and I want to take you along for the ride if you'll have me.
A friend recently asked me what I'm most looking forward to about the New York component. "Visiting the public library," I replied. She giggled mockingly and delivered her best American drawl: "Lemme straigh'n this ou'; you wanna visit 'the concrete jungle where dreams are made of' [she sang that bit] to see a whole lotta books?" Hells yeah I do, sista.
And not only do I want to check out that library (which houses a plethora of literary goodies, including the original stuffed animals that inspired A.A. Milne to write Winnie the Pooh), I also want to pay homage to every other writerly reference I can wring out of the world. Which is why New York is just the beginning.
From the time I stepped back to the southern hemisphere after a three-month jaunt across Europe last year I've yearned to return to that roving way of life. If you're a fellow travel addict, you'll sympathise with my hankering for the delicious uncertainty about where to rest my head of a night. I daydream about what brand of neighbourly hideousness will disturb my repose in chosen dirt-cheap digs. Basically, and I'm sure you can relate, I want to suspend reality indefinitely. Since I left my fiancé behind last time, I couldn't possibly go without him now.
And where, you ask, will we go? He's into notes, I'm into quotes. Music is his thing; mine is books. Travel-wise our hobbies make for a harmonious relationship, as most musical destinations also offer at least a history lesson, at most a setting from a favourite novel. So we will do the American South: Atlanta, Charleston and New Orleans of Gone with the Wind fame, Savannah of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil repute, and all the way up the Mississippi we'll immerse ourselves in smooth-talking, syncopated jazz. We'll celebrate with New Yorkers on the fourth of July, visit Edinburgh for the Fringe Festival and London during the Olympics. We'll go on safari in South Africa and watch toucans winging their way through the Mexican jungle.
All up we'll take about six months to cruise through four continents (Central and North America, Europe, Africa and Australasia). We'll quit our jobs, chuck in the lease and sell the car. In the words of Sinatra "I'm leaving today, I want to be a part of it..."
Do you have a hobby you have to indulge while on the road? And how much influence does that passion have on your choice of destination?
Picture of New York Public Library: PFHLai
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