People Pick Places: I have been a traveller since a teen. I spent a year in Australia with my wife, Trish, and we took in many countries on the way. I’ve been very fortunate to swim at the Great Barrier Reef and see the Taj Mahal. I’ve backpacked in Europe and saw some of the greatest cities – Paris, Rome, Stockholm, Zurich, London and many more. In Asia, I’ve visited Thailand, Singapore and Bali. I’m not bragging, had I not been there, they would be on my Bucket List.
What exactly would I put on my Bucket List?
1. Spend a weekend with ellen and Portia. I admire them. I would like to visit their farm and just ‘chill out’ with them. I would agree (ahead of time) to sign an agreement that the visit would be private and not published in any form.
2. Take the Highest Train Ride in the World. Qinghai, China to Lhasa, Tibet
You need emergency oxygen and your signature on a health registration card to travel, such are the altitudes reached by the new Qingzang railway. As the train climbs up 5,000m on its 2,703-mile trek, temperatures plummet so drastically that the water in the toilets has to be heated to prevent it freezing. This section is the world’s highest track and much of it is laid over permafrost. The highest drama comes as it broaches the Tangula Pass and crosses the Tibetan Plateau. International travellers will require a special visitor permit before disembarking in Lhasa.
3. Visit Lhasa: I have seen Lhasa in my dream in such detail that it makes me believe that in a past life I was there. I have only seen pictures of it -once or twice before that dream so I could not have retained such detail.A n architectural wonder even by modern standards, the palace rises 13 storeys from 130m-high Marpo Ri (Red Hill) and contains more than a thousand rooms. Pilgrims and tourists alike shuffle down through the three storeys, trying to take in the magnificent chapels and prayer halls. I would like to meet the head monk or Abbot for a spiritual meeting.
4. Return to Australia: Visit the Western Area and Revisit the Outback Trish, my wife, and I have visited Australia twice and both times it has been in a van. This time, I would like a nicely equipped caravan and opportunities to stay in hotels along the way.
6. Stay at a Wild Life Sanctuary in Various Countries: Trish and I would love to spend time working in various wild life sanctuaries. What a joy to be feeding baby elephants or holding a small orangatang. One of the sanctuaries would have to be solely dedicated to birds – I am ‘wild’ about birds.
That’s about it. Naturally, I’ll think about this Bucket List and probably add more – Trish will have ideas of her own. Have you got a Bucket List?
7. Meet the Obamas: Have dinner with The First Family. They are an inspiration to the world. I know this would be such a joyful meal. The dinner would be great, the conversations delightful and the humour from President Obama and Michelle would be memorable.