In search of Carmen Sandiego

As a youngster, I was fortunate enough to travel to — and live in — several exotic locations, thanks to the U.S. Air Force — of which I was a dependent for the first 15 years of my life.

Ironically, as an adult, I haven’t again left my home country. I haven’t even ventured out of my adopted home state of California for more than a week or two at a time. I satisfy most of my residual wanderlust by watching the Travel Channel.

Not that I have all that much burning desire to return to my globetrotting childhood, but if I ever luck into a multimillion-dollar disposable income (or, alternatively, an overwhelming abundance of frequent flier miles to burn), here are some of the places to which I’d journey.

London, United Kingdom. The heart of English-speaking culture, with a history stretching back to the Roman Empire. I’d be willing to tolerate the dreadful food — or just eat plenty of fish and chips — just to wander the streets singing “London by Night” and “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square.”

Barcelona, Spain. One of my interests is unusual architecture — I should post about my Googie fetish sometime — of which Barcelona is a world capital, thanks to the work of Art Nouveau pioneer Antoni Gaudi.

Cairo, Egypt. A wealth of uniquely Islamic architecture. It’s also just a quick trip to Giza, home of the greatest architectural wonders of the ancient world, the Pyramids and the Sphinx.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Let’s see… the world’s tallest structure (Burj Dubai), the world’s tallest hotel (Rose Tower), the world’s tallest hotel shaped like a ship’s sail and built on an artificial island (Burj Al Arab), the world’s largest shopping mall (the prosaically named Dubai Mall), and one of the most unusual developments ever conceived (the Palm Jumeirah)? Yeah, I’m there.

Nairobi, Kenya. Where else in the world can you walk through a wild animal habitat immediately adjacent to a major city? I’ll take an empty suitcase just for bringing home coffee.

Hong Kong, China. Blending the best of Eastern and Western culture. Plus, they have their own Disneyland. How cool is that? While I’m in that part of the world, I might as well check out the Great Wall too.

Agra, India. A hub of historically beautiful buildings from the Mughal era, of which the Taj Mahal, the Agra Fort, and Fatehpur Sikri are the best known.

Sydney, Australia. They’ll slip a shrimp on the barbie for me. And there’s also that Opera House.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Doesn’t everyone have to experience Carnival once in a lifetime? Watch yourself, though — Rio might be one of the most dangerous metropoli in the world.

Rapa Nui (Easter Island). I’ve been fascinated by the moai — the 887 massive stone statues that dot the island — since I was a kid.

Machu Picchu, Peru. The fabled Lost City of the Incas, Machu Picchu offers an excellent opportunity to gain insight into what the New World was like before the Europeans invaded.

The Panama Canal. One of the most monumental feats of engineering in human history, it’s hard to fathom (no pun intended) that the Canal is nearly 100 years old (it opened in 1914).

Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. Cancun, Cozumel, and the ruins at Chichen Itza. Need I say more?

Tomorrow, I’ll list a few places right here in the good old U.S. of A. that I’ve never visited, but would like to someday.

Explore posts in the same categories: Aimless Riffing, Listology, SwanStuff, That's Cool!

One Comment on “In search of Carmen Sandiego”

  1. […] SwanShadow Thinks Out Loud Just another weblog « In search of Carmen Sandiego […]

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