I’m usually too busy to watch television, so it’s perhaps not surprising I didn’t know who Samantha Brown was, when a friend told me she had her dream job. I may be the only travel addict who was not aware that Brown hosts a popular show on the Travel Channel chronicling her peripatetic pursuits, from basking on Barcelona’s best beaches to sampling exotic fare like cow-foot soup in Belize.
Now that I’ve discovered Brown and her show, I’d have to concur with my friend. Dream Job, indeed. But my life is not without its own gratifying slate of experiences collected while wandering around the world. Brown attempts to narrow down her Top Ten Travel Moments on her website and inspired me to do likewise.
I’ve posted mine here — albeit a somewhat arbitrary list. (Some are no-brainers; others — how on earth do I choose?). I’d also love to know yours. Will you add them to the comments at the bottom, to share with our fellow traveler-readers?
Wendy’s Top Ten Travel Moments
• Coming face to face with a polar bear in Churchill, bold enough to climb up on our Polar Rover’s windshield and peer curiously into our eyes.
• Staring eye to eye with a sea lion in the Galapagos, which swam right up to me as I was snorkeling and gazed into my mask, inches away.
• Hiking up a mountain in Africa to sit with a silverback gorilla as he stripped the leaves from bamboo fronds and munched nonchanlantly in front of us
• Hot air ballooning over the Serengeti as a giraffe raced our shadow over the plains
• Trekking along a 12,000-foot ridge in Nepal, cloaked in an opaque mist, then seeing it clear to reveal the ice-bound hulk of Annapurna I immediately across the valley.
• Riding 115 miles on horseback across the Mongolia steppe, camping and drinking fermented mare’s milk with nomads along the way.
• Descending the Yungas Highway in Bolivia, a 9,000-foot drop in 80 miles from La Paz to the Amazon Basin with precipitous drops from each single-lane switchback – and carcasses of cars and buses rusting below.
• Downing a Sour Toe Cocktail in Dawson City, Yukon: the drink of your choice with a pickled human toe dropped in for good measure. (Click the link for the full story!) The toe has to touch your lips to count. I’m official!
• Hiking among the impossibly turquoise lakes and waterfalls of Croatia’s Plitvice Lakes National Park – like a scene from a mythical fantasy.
I can already think of five or six others that really should be on this list, too. How could I leave off my trek to Machu Picchu, or watching massive icebergs birthed in Alaska’s Glacier Bay? Or standing among the humming wings of 10 million monarch butterflies in Mexico? And of course there are a whole bunch more from Explorers’ Corner’s repertoire of amazing adventures that would be contenders – which are on my bucket list! Camping among penguins in Antarctica, anyone? Trekking Ellesmere Island at 82 degrees North latitude? Kayaking Halong Bay’s limestone-studded lagoons in Vietnam?
The world is so big, and life is just too short. Here’s to making the most of it.
Yours for adventure,