I spent 6 years living overseas. I lived for extended periods of time in 8 countries and visited 12 more. That impresses some people. At one time, it impressed me. But that was 10 years ago and there are 176 countries I’ve never set foot in. 176. And Antarctica. I’ve already been alive 37 years so it doesn’t seem to me like my countries-visited to traveling-years-passed ratio is very good.
Eastern Europe and Central Asia are very high on my list. The first is likely to happen soon but the second is not. Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan are not very easy to get to, and when I go, I’d like to go for a long time. Well, I’d either like to go for a long time, or I’d like to race through them on the Peking to Paris Motor Challenge. Either way.
Africa is also on my list but who can say what “Africa” is? Look at the diversity in just the United States. New England, the Mid Atlantic, the Great Lakes region (aka the Rust Belt), the South, Florida, Texas, the Midwest, the Great Plains, the Rockies, the Southwest, California, the Pacific Northwest, Hawaii, Alaska. I’m not just talking about geographical differences here. Culturally, each of these places is unique. Africa has roughly three times the land mass of the United States. I’ve been to Egypt, but I would never say that I’ve been to Africa. What a bizarre thing to imply. And yet everyone does it. They speak of Africa as if it is a country, a small indivisible entity. I want to go to Morocco, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Kenya, Zambia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Swaziland, and more places. Meeting just the Tigrinya of Ethiopia or Hutu of Rwanda or the Zulu of South Africa will not be enough. No one of these countries is like the other.
Life is too short. Time to get moving.
What else are people writing in the A to Z Blog Challenge? Check out today’s featured blog, sponsored by the letter Z: Zulu Delta 45. This was an easy choice given the name of the blog and my theme for the challenge. And it just so happens to be an interesting blog as well, quite the hodgepodge of everything from conspiracy theories to obscure music to a discussion of Betamax.