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Friday, November 25, 2005

SEE THE WORLD WHILE YOU CAN!

"For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but go to.
I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move."
Robert Louis Stevnson 1850 - 1894 "Travels with a Donkey." 1878

The plans for Malaysia are taking shape. We're leaving some time in March. Six days of the trip are all expenses paid (first class!) and we will stay an extra four days on the tropical island of Langkawi at our own expense. So this is something exciting to look forward to over the Christmas season. A new destination, and somewhere I'd never have thought to travel to!

About a month ago I went to a media reception for Jordan Tourism. I've always been interested in the archaeological sites of the Middle East and in particular Petra, where a friend of mine has done some work. Browsing through the brochures I was amazed at the marvelous places there are to visit in Jordan. So I spoke to the tourism person at the meeting and she encouraged me to forward to her examples of my published work. I had decided that if a media "FAM" trip were available, since they are plannig to promote Jordanian tourism next year, then I would gladly accept an offer.

Then the bombs went off in the big hotels there and that was definitely a scare! Of course it may not happen again, but still...I'd have to think twice now, although if a courtesty media trip came up, could I turn it down?

Meanwhile, I have talked over some ideas to go back to Cuba next December for the jazz festival with my Havana Buddy, the one I met while there last December. I'd love to go back to Cuba and see a little more of that beautiful country.

Then, a few days ago, I was given another invitation which is one I feel I could not turn down...the trip of a lifetime, a sentimental journey for sure, to visit Chile. My friend A. who recently passed away was living here in exile from Chile and longed with all his heart to return. During his terminal illness I came to know his family, especially his wife and daughters. C. had flown up here to assist her girls in caring for their father. She and I became friends and she has invited me to visit her.

So many destinations...so little money to pay for travel...so I must choose. Lucky me that Malaysia is a 'gift' - a trip I won through the B.C. Travel Writer's Association. But come April when the tax refunds come in, I must make a choice of my next destination. I think it's going to be Chile.