The other day a teenager in my class asked me what is the one place i wanted to see in my lifetime. I didn’t really have an answer on the spot so i turned the question around. His answer surprised me a bit: London. I did not want to come off as a snobbish well traveled rich foreigner but my first thought was “..really, why?!”
First time i was in London i was 19 and yes, i remember the excitement of seeing Big Ben from far away, it totally looked the same as on TV..maybe a bit smaller than i had envisioned. But after having been there a few times i try and avoid it, there are too many people, it is noisy and rainy, everything is overpriced etc. I can imagine London being awesome if you have lots of money, 1-2 weeks and a local person showing you around. But i swear to God, the boy’s eyes were so lit up when he was talking about London (and no, he was not high) that i just had to bite my lip. You wouldn’t want to ruin Santa for someone. And maybe he was right and it was time for me to rediscover my inner kid who would get so excited about fulfilling a dream. So i started thinking, where do i definitely want to go before i die?
The truth is-picking one place is incredibly difficult. As i have eternal love for film and television, the most obvious choice would be Hollywood. I would love to see the Hollywood sign, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, Walk of Fame etc. But i think because i have such expectations towards this place i would end up being disappointed realizing it was just a town like any other. Therefore, the current dream is Shanghai. Something about the old meets new is intriguing. Just once i want to feel like an ant in this huge maze of 23 million people (btw i realize i just bitched about the size of London).
Want some inspiration for discovering your dream location? Check out the series “1000 Places To See Before You Die“. It showcases countries in a light you would have never expected and proves the diversity one can enjoy with a little money, travel spirit and a pair of sturdy shoes.