What’s on Your Travel Bucket List?
While the character of Stan is loosely based on a friend of mine, he is fictional. There may be a man (or men) out there in the world who are similar to him, in terms of age, interests, and world views – but I don’t know them and did not pattern this book after them. Likewise, the character of Paula is based loosely on aspects from my past. However, she’s a fully drawn character, a fictional person. There may be a woman (or women) like her out there – but I don’t know them and am not writing about them.
The point is that I made it up – this story about a guy who travels around the world. Yes, there are actual historical references, real people are mentioned, and as much as possible, I’ve fact-checked the details. But the travel plan, how Stan gets from place to place, sneaking his dog into places he couldn’t possibly sneak a dog into, and all the characters he meets on his journey are straight out of my own imagination. So it makes sense – to me – that Stan visits a couple of places I’ve visited or that are on my travel bucket list, chief among them Greece and Australia.
But there are more places than those on my bucket list. For one thing, I’d love to do a tour of Ireland, Scotland, England, and Wales. I’ve never been on a cruise, so one of my travel bucket list items is an Alaskan cruise. I’d like to get that one crossed off by May 2019.
When I was in third grade (a loooong time ago), my family did a brief tour of Western Canada that included Alberta and British Columbia. Then we visited Toronto when I was about 12. (My dad was Canadian.) However, I’d love to do a tour of the whole country. My husband and I are thinking about buying an RV trailer – so that would definitely be the way to see our Neighbor to the North!
I’d love to travel to the interior of Mexico, as well as the beaches, and see South America. Gotta dust off my Rosetta Stone before we do that, as my rudimentary Spanish probably will not suffice for a trip of that magnitude – but if immersion works, I’ll be better at the language by the time I get home.
Most people list travel as the thing they’d do if time and money were no barrier, and yet surprisingly few ever do. Estimates put the number of Americans who travel abroad at about 10 percent annually – and the majority of those never stray further than Canada or Mexico. My friend Janet has been all over the world. A number of years ago, she went to Peru – has pictures with the llamas at Machu Picchu. A couple years back, she did a river tour of Viet Nam. Most recently, she took a trip to Bali this summer. She says her kids know she’s not leaving them an inheritance because she’s traveling every chance she gets.
So where will your dream trip take you? How’s the planning coming? Is it a dream that will become a reality, or is your travel likely to remain virtual? Visit Twitter to give your answer on my Travel Bucket List poll.
Laura’s first novel, Stan Finds Himself on the Other Side of the World is forthcoming in early 2018. Watch here for updates – and prepurchase your signed copy here.