We ticked off the places that we wanted to see some years ago, and, with each place named, wonderful images came to mind: “New Zealand …Venice and the Dolomite Mountains … Vietnam … Costa Rica … Arches National Park…” How did we choose our next destination from so many places? Money and time limited us, for sure. At some point we realized that we should move the more physically challenging trips to the top of the list and save the less active vacations for our later years. Only recently did we add another factor to our considerations: TIMELINESS.
We know poachers seriously endanger elephants and rhinoceros. Tourism is down in Africa now resulting in better opportunities for poachers. More tourists may reduce their opportunities. For anyone considering a safari, maybe the timing should be sooner, rather than later.
Venice, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, floods about 100 days a year. Rising sea levels may threaten the city. We chose a dry month for our visit.
We visited Everglades National Park and were astounded with the ease of seeing so many birds and animals. It’s one of many national parks facing a crisis due to global warming and other environmental issues.
Worldwide, glaciers and snow caps are shrinking, and New Zealand is not exempt. (Photo: Glenorchy, South Island, New Zealand)
We lived to regret travel opportunities that passed us by, or rather, that we took a pass on. Friends generously offered us their home in the Caribbean, but we already had another trip in mind. “Thanks, but not now,” we said. What were we thinking?! Even after that, another friend suggested we stay at his cottage on the coast of England. We didn’t. Another blunder!
Over the years, we hope we’ve learned from our mistakes and experience. We still dream of places to go and still add to our list, but, when it comes time to choose, we now consider places to go that are threatened and may be a diminished experience in the years ahead. We’ll try to go with a light footprint.
We’ve planned a timely trip to the Galapagos Islands in 2016, another place to see endangered and threatened species. (Photo is not from the Galapagos, but is an African spurred tortoise we saw at the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo.)