Thursday, May 25, 2006

Anywhere but Here...

Anywhere but Here...

It's a beautifully grey morning outside that fills me with wanderlust. I'm anxious to pack, to hop in my car and then in a plane, jetting off to, well, anywhere else. The damp chill of the morning air reminds me of London, of walking on old streets, seeing so many beautiful places and people, smelling so many beautiful smells; listening to a plethora of world accents, and touching things that are so ancient, my mind can't wrap itself around the concept.

So I retrieved our list of Places To Go, a list we compiled a few months back, out for lunch at the pub. The List is written on a piece of used notebook paper,* folded three times. ** We each made a list, and a few of the places overlap -- we both want to go to Istanbul and Cairo.

The rest of the List (John's entries in black; mine in pink):

Agra, India
Machu Piccu
Ho Chi Min City (Hanoi)
Paris, France
Florence, Italy
Srebenica, Bosna & Hercegovina

There are so many other places I want to see as well, and generally, my longing for Capri replaces Andalucia or Machu Piccu. But then, I can't remove Machu Piccu, or the feeling I've always had about it, ever since I first saw a National Geographic about it when I was six. And I can't erase "Andalucia" from the list, or my desire to walk all over Spain, exploring the Alhambra, Gibraltar, and sipping Sangria on the beach.

When we finished writing our individual lists and then comparing them, John asked me to fold it up and keep it somewhere it would be safe for years to come. In forty years, we want to be able to retrieve the List and look at the series of check marks, each replete with scores of memories, running alongside the lists.

So days like today, I pull out the List and pick a random entry, imagining it with my whole being; the sounds, smells, sights, and the taste of the food; the feeling of lying on the sand, the sharp then sweet taste of the Sangria, the sound of Spanish-accented voices a beautiful background to the day.

* notes about Bosnia are on the other side, as well as a line that says, "You look very Aztec." Don't ask; I don't remember.
** in half the short way, then each end folded in, like folding a towel.

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