One of my topics in this blog has been to cover fun travel destinations. I wrote a series on my family’s trip to Fontana Village in the NC mountains and a post on my hike in Tallulah Gorge near Toccoa, GA. I hope to cover other destinations when I have the opportunity. There are a few destinations that I think would be fun and would make great posts, but I am unlikely to visit them due to finances and the demands of my job.
I think it would be fun to visit the island of Iona. I visited Scotland in (I think) March of 2001 for a church history tour. I was deciding where to pursue my PhD, and so this also provided a chance to visit the universities in Edinburgh and Aberdeen. It was an incredible trip.
The entire trip focused on eastern Scotland (Stirling, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dunkeld, and St. Andrews). This left many places I would visit if I could. Iona is one of the top locations. This island is off of the west coast of Scotland. It is historically significant because Columba built his monastery there while in exile from Ireland. The Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript of the gospels from around 800 AD and a significant example of Celtic art, may have been written on Iona.
I do not know why, but an idea has been on my mind lately. I imagine myself staying on Iona for a month and blogging my experience each day. The island is only about 3.4 square miles with very few cars, and so I would need to walk or bike everywhere. I could learn the history of the island, explore the landscape, and learn about the people and businesses. I could visit surrounding islands (such as Skye and Mull) and write about those places and about traveling on the surrounding waters. I would also try to visit Shetland in the far north of Scotland and Loch Lommond on the main island. I loved visiting Edinburgh during my first trip, and so I would need to fit that in somewhere. Exploring the Royal Mile was one of my favorite parts of that trip.
It would be nice to visit major biblical sites in Israel – Jerusalem, the Mount of Olives, the Jordan River, Bethlehem, Galilee. All of those would be great destinations, and each one would provide opportunities to learn so much more about history. When I went to Kenya in the summer of 1997 I had the opportunity to spend a few days in Israel on the way home, but I did not have the funds for that part of the trip. Instead, I stayed a night in the Zurich, Switzerland airport with several other people from my group. We slept on benches and then flew home the next morning.
I also want to travel the Mediterranean and visit key sites of Greek and Roman history and mythology. Greek mythology has long been interesting to me, maybe because of the adventure and fantasy aspects. They are stories of monsters, heroes, and magic. I would have some nerdy fun visiting the sites attributed to key mythological events.
Greek and Roman history are also interesting, partially because of their relevance to biblical history. There are so many places I could visit that would provide enhanced perspectives on history. Athens is a must. Walking the streets and eating the food would be an incredible experience. The same is true of visiting Rome, and of course I would need to spend some time at the Coliseum.
I do not know why, and it might sound weird, but I have sometimes thought it would be fun to see Antarctica. Maybe because so few people see it. I would not enjoy the cold, however, and there is not much to see there, and so I will probably pass on this one. Still, I would enjoy telling people about my time there. How many people get to do that?
I could go on. There are other places I want to visit, both in the United States and around the world. The places listed here are some of the ones that catch my imagination the most. The Antarctica idea is probably unrealistic, but the others are possible with the necessary finances. Where would you visit if you could? What would you do there? Please leave comments telling where you would go.