The 'Want to Go, But Not Now' List
In 1944, who would have thought that American tourists would soon be flocking to Berlin and Tokyo? Or in the 70s, that Vietnam would one day be considered one of the 'hip' places to travel for its cuisine, scenery and coffee culture? South America in the 80s, the Balkans in the 90s. Politics change, alliances shift. Here are five places I really hope to see someday, Just... not now.
The karst areas of Southern China were actually at the top of my list a few years ago, until the Chinese government started kidnapping Westerners (even Canadians!) because one of their corporate spies got caught in Vancouver. Plus, recent aggressive actions in the South China Sea, Taiwan and Hong Kong make me worry that this is a country headed in the wrong direction. Take the politics out on the politicians, and leave the rest of us in peace!
From everything I hear, the Iranian people are some of the friendliest hosts on the planet, and the history and architecture of ancient Persia is something at the top of my list to eventually see. But two stubborn governments and religious zealots make traveling there difficult, if not impossible right now. Sigh.
If my destinations were based on desire to see amazing scenery alone, Myanmar would be at or near the top of my 'wish list'. But ethnic cleansing? Um, no thanks. Hopefully, the insanity will end soon.
My first thoughts on this one are with the Venezuelan people, who are suffering tremendously at the hands of a madman dictator at the moment. But once they've restored democracy and recovered, Angel Falls and the rest of this beautiful nation will zoom to the top of my destinations list. Remember... Colombia, Peru, and Chile were all once considered no-go places... and are all bouncing back nicely today.
I have high hopes for getting to the first four eventually. This one... not so much. I consider Vladimir Putin to be the most evil man in the world right now. Stealing territory from Ukraine and shooting down passenger jets is bad, but trying to destroy Western democracy and helping to elect the most criminal, vile man in America as president is beyond the pale. Once he's in the dustbin of history where he belongs, I hope to see St. Peter's Square. Until then, nyet!