I don’t know about anyone else but I’ve always had a ‘To Don’t’ list, that is, a list of places that I don’t/didn’t want to visit. The list was never written down but it was one of those things that if someone said, how about going to xxx I’d say something along the lines of ‘oooh no, I’ve never really wanted to go there.’ In most cases my reasons, if I could even come up with any, have proved unfounded.
So, hopefully without offending anyone and with apologies in advance to the residents of these places, most of which I’ve changed my mind about completely, this WAS my ‘To Don’t’ list.
- Bali – friends and relatives have been going to Bali since the 1970s when tourism was very young there. It’s not a place I ever wanted to go. I didn’t like the idea of less than hygienic conditions, ‘foreign’ food or the crowds of youngsters on cheap holidays. Ok, I was wrong, I admit it. I finally made my first visit there between Christmas and New Year two years ago. My cousin’s travelling companion had backed out almost at the last minute and she gave me 15 minutes to decide if I wanted to take her place. I did. Three weeks later I was having a brilliant time and within six months I was back there again – says it all I guess.
- India – this one is almost impossible to explain. Not why I didn’t want to go but why I am going (well, Nepal is near enough to India and much the same reasons for not wanting to go apply). I’ve always watched travel shows and The Amazing Race and thought ‘no way’. This is simply not my type of holiday. The apparent dirt and squalor and lack of sanitation, the smell, the chaos and the crowds are/were not for me. But then out jumped the trekking opportunity. Now, I know that once I get on the trek we’ll be heading up into cleaner air and less crowded places but I’m also very aware that the villages we’ll pass through are likely to challenge me and that Kathmandu will provide me with a case of ‘here, cope with this.’ I’m going with an open mind and a very different attitude to any that I’ve previously had and I’m hoping that my pristine mind will allow me to understand and appreciate the cultural differences that I’ll encounter. Don’t forget if you want to encourage me on this mad adventure head to the ‘Donate’ button up the top there and sponsor me. You’ll be helping out a very worthwhile cause.
- America – I’ve never had any desire to go there, don’t ask me why, it’s just one of those places I’ve never had the urge to visit and the big American cities still hold no attraction for me. But, I’ve been following some blogs of Americans lately and the photos I’ve seen on their pages of their local areas, the countryside, the mountains, the scenery, it looks awesome and these people are gradually changing my ideas about the country.
- Cairns – It wasn’t so much that I didn’t want to go there, it was more a case of I’d rather have gone somewhere else. I was outnumbered though and am so pleased I was. We had a brilliant holiday, snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef, which is as blue as the pictures you see, taking underwater photos and doing a 4 wheel adventure tour to the Daintree Rainforest. I’d love to go back there one day just for a relaxing break in a secluded rainforest resort. Hmmmm….
- The far North West of my home state – Too hot, too dry, too isolated. So why did I enter the radio competition offering a trip to Kunnunurra? Long story short and all that, I actually won it. What a holiday that was! Fishing for Barramundi on the Ord River while crocodiles lazily watched our progress from the nearby banks, staying in tented cabins at the El Questro Gorge Resort, flying over the Bungle Bungles in an open sided helicopter, hiking into Cathedral Gorge. The whole thing was spectacular and if you ever get the opportunity don’t pass it up.
So much for my ‘To Don’t’ list, I no longer have one, not even a mental one. Do you, or did you? What places are or were on it?