Earlier today I came across one of those interminable self-help advice lists. One bit of advice was to “pursue a life dream”, while another was to “learn to be happy with what you have”, which seems a tad contradictory to me.

Clearly I’m not happy with what I have, but neither do I have a life dream. Dream Life Partner, yes…

‘Life dreams’ always make me think of ‘bucket lists’. I’ve never been keen on bucket lists. If it’s too difficult, I might die disappointed. If it’s too easy, I’ll have nothing left to live for. You need to time it just right, which means the last item on your list should be to throw yourself into a volcano. Not to mention that most people want to swim with dolphins, which can’t be much fun for the dolphins. If everyone I ever swam with died not long afterward, I’d be quite paranoid.

Holiday? Celebrate!

But, flicking through my bookmarks, it’s seems that I do have a bucket list of sorts; a list of places I want to visit. I could do that any time, of course, money permitting; it’s just that I want to share those experiences with someone. Dream Life Partner, preferably, but not necessarily. I’ve been to Luxor and seen the pyramids with a friend, back in 2002. She was tall and blonde, and I faded into the background even more than usual when we were out anywhere, but that’s another tale.

That said, travelling solo would provide me with yet more comedy material.

So here’s a short list of places I’d like to visit, trips I’d like to make, things I’d like to do. Let me know if you want to join me, I’m not getting any younger.

The Mid-Atlantic Ridge

Anyone can fly to Iceland (anyone who likes flying can fly to Iceland) as the many stag weekends have proved. But I want to visit the mid-Atlantic ridge, where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates connect, but are separating. Apparently there’s a National Park there, so a bit of light walking across two continents.


More volcanism. What is now Santorini was the site of the volcanic eruption that created the tsunami that did for the Minoan civilization and which may have given rise to the legend of Atlantis.


Canada always presents a small problem, in that I have lots of family over there, and if I don’t pop in and say “Hello” there will be trouble. This would be awkward for whomever I’m travelling with, my Canadian relatives aren’t known for their shyness.

But I’d love to get the train westwards from Toronto to Vancouver via Winnipeg, Edmonton and spend a few days wandering around the Rockies. Flying back from Vancouver might be a problem, it’s bad enough between Manchester and Toronto for me. I suppose we could always get the train back…


I’ve written before how much I’d like to see more of the night sky, and it turns out there’s a place in Northumberland where you can go. Even better if you can do it when a meteor storm is expected.

Hot-air ballooning

Now this I have already done twice, once over the Dales in a very strong wind and once over Egypt at dawn. It’s the only way to fly, really. It is odd that I hate flying in a mechanically-powered metal tube full of other people, whereas I’m quite happy to drift aimlessly supported only by an envelope of hot air and a wicker basket.

Hot-air ballooning over Niagara… there’s a thought. Add it to the list!