I am BARRY HESS > Blog

Where to Go

Shane at The Greet Machine asked recently where I would like to go. Well, where his readers would like to vacation was the actual question. I submitted a quick comment on his post, but in the spirit of “my blog is my journal,” I’m going to expound here for the archival bit.

As you can see, I try to keep an updated “vacations” page over on the right sidebar. In addition, I have a specific “Asia in Threes” page. Yeah, I haven’t updated that page much, but rest assured it will eventually fill out. Summer just doesn’t put me in the scan-some-pictures mood. Anyway, my trip to Asia way back when really was a life-changing event and instilled in me the desire to include world travelling as a minor goal in my life.

So where would I go?


Photo by M. Kuhn (some rights reserved)

The top two feasible destinations on my list right now are Toronto, Canada, and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Toronto is supremely do-able. I would like to get some feel of visiting a “real” foreign country through stops in the more largely French areas of the city. My understanding of Toronto is that it also provides some wonderful night life in terms of shows, comedy, and general “going out,” making it an excellent adult destination for The Wife and I.


Photo by aprillynn77

Buenos Aires is supposed to feel very similar to visiting a European city, but the cost is orders of magnitude less (after the flight is purchased). Around the year 2000 Argentina had a major economic collapse, resulting in their peso dropping from around even with the dollar to 1/3 the value of the dollar. This means $300/night-value hotels for significant discounts and pounds upon pounds of affordable, excellent Argentinian beef. The major sticking point is, after talking with a recent traveller, Argentinians tend to require their visitors to have a passing knowledge of Spanish. Unfortunately, The Wife and I have a passing knowledge of French and French only.

New Zealand

Photo by azmuskoka (some rights reserved)

I have a cousin who lives in Singapore. She and her family used to live in New Zealand, and they still own a house in that country. I have a strong desire to take a long, lazy trip to New Zealand someday, and Singapore would be a very interesting place to visit as well. Recently my Aunt and Uncle went out at visit and they spent some time in Vietnam. All wonderful experiences, I’m sure.

Machu Picchu

Photo by Trapac (some rights reserved)

In terms of “must visits.” I really want to see Machu Picchu in person someday. Fiji is probably my ideal island getaway, though I imagine I’ll find the cost of admission not worth the differences, if any, when compared to other islands. Oh, and ever since I first saw The Shawshank Redemption, I have wanted to visit Zihuatanejo, Mexico. I hear that location is becoming more touristy by the year. When I last looked at pictures of the Dalmation Coast of Croatia, I really started wondering if it should be added to the short list as well.

And, you know, I like some of Shane’s suggestions, too. Ireland would be a nice trip. I haven’t even been to Europe yet. Australia would likely be a blast. My understanding is that Istanbul is an excellent city to visit.

I can see further cities being added to this list as the world climate changes. It was surreal to visit China - to play the Chinese and American National Anthems back-to-back with a group of Beijing musicians. It was sobering to tour the demilitarized zone at the Korean division. It would not surprise me if cities like Baghdad and Beiruit become reasonable destinations in the next 30 years.