After last year’s aborted trip to Tibet–thanks to the royal shenanigans of King Gyanendra– I ended up with the wonderful consolation prize of visiting Jim and Melissa and their trinity of darling daughters for an epic adventure through the hinterlands of Ethiopia’s ancient cities.
Once the Tibet trip was a no-go (and before I had figured out what to do next) I held a “Tell Scott Where To Go Pint Night” at The Local. I invited a variety of friends from various backgrounds. I also brought a globe that I asked people to point out where they thought I should go and where in the world they wanted to go most. It was a great night and everybody had either been somewhere, was going somewhere or wanted to go somewhere. Stories were exchanged, tales were told, scars compared, glasses hoisted, swear words in at least five different languages learned and, I’ve been pleased to discover, more than one person actually acted on their dream trip.
But now I find myself at a bit of global crossroads once again. The Scottdometer rolls over to 40 next year and I want to take a trip to mark the occasion properly.
But first, I want you, the Base Camp faithful, who have steered me so right for so long, to let me know your thoughts on my destination.
Tell me where to go.
There are already a trio of contenders that I’ll need to be talked out of. If you want to weigh in (metrically, please) on a whither I should wander from this list, please feel free to add suggestions…
Yes, the journey is back on. The mighty Warren Storkman was there last year and says there was no trouble from the Maoists whatsoever. We’d get up to almost 19,000 feet, but the true high points would be a kora around Mt. Kalish and several days in Tibet’s capital city of Lhasa. There’s just a real spiritual connection I have to this part of the world that makes me want to go back.
Go: The f’n Himalayas, momo madness, seeing a vanishing culture before it disappears under Chinese oppression, an outside chance that I might be recognized as the next Dali Lama.
Stay: Have already been to Nepal, don’t want to be a tool of the Chinese exploitation of Tibetan culture, Maxican food, Maoists might get bored with politics and want their guns back.
A friend tossed out this possibility that has been on the list for awhile and why shouldn’t Europe shouldn’t get some love? I believe she can keep up with both the wine and the walking side of the equation. Plus, I know an architect and a rectal/colon surgeon who will let us stay at their seaside villa.
Go: Hiking the Pilgrim Trail to Santiago de Compostela. tapas, wine, olives, Penelope Cruz, flamenco dancing, Ibiza, siestas, free prostate check with seaside views.
Stay: My Sesame Street Spanish, dinner doesn’t start until 10pm, too mellow a hike, genitals bursting into flame on nude beaches, American dollar now being used as TP in the EU.
Australia & New Zealand:
A twofer involving the countries that gave us Foster’s and Flight of the Conchords. I will admit I’ve wanted to put the zeal in New Zealand for quite awhile. Perhaps a sign was when a friend’s wife recently got a year scholarship for a work/study program in Wellington. (Damn! How did he get hooked up with that kind of sugar mama?) They’re both into the outdoors and have given me the ‘come on down under’ thumbs up already.
Go: Some of the world’s best hiking, biking, snorkeling, surfing, beer, rugby, scenery and a culture that lives for that shit. Mountains, deserts, oceans anything you want. Plus, I have invites from friends in both countries. There’s also the chance to pretend I’m Aragorn AND Mad Max. It’s a short jaunt to Antarctica and endless opportunities for jokes based on Crocodile Dundee and Men At Work’s “Land Down Under”.
Stay: Fuck long ways away, vegemite, not being able to say “G’day, mate.” with a straight face. Sheep outnumber people. Six of the top ten deadliest snakes call it home. Platypus venom.
Enlighten me with your wisdom my friendly friends. Tell me where to go. Here, the world is yours…