“How can this be the fourth Big 50 post when it’s only the third Big 50 article?”
See? I knew you were going to ask that question. I tried this Big 50 idea with my Stolen Inspiration post and enjoyed writing it so much that I wanted to keep going. I just wasn’t feeling the second topic, so I skipped right to the next, Places I’ve Been. I even put a big “no rules” picture on that post. I’m such a rebel.
This post is supposed to be about places I want to go, and since its bad etiquette to break the rules two posts in a row, that’s what I’ll write about.
“I want to hang a map of the world in my house, and then I’m gonna put pins into all the locations that I’ve traveled to. But first I’m gonna have to travel to the top two corners of the map so it won’t fall down.” – Mitch Hedberg
I want to go everywhere. I want to travel the world. I want to go to Caribbean getaways, I want to spend time in Europe, climb Ayers Rock in Australia, adventure through the busy streets of Hong Kong and even see the man-made islands of Dubai with my own two eyes. The problem with all that stuff is that I’m American, and most of the rest of the world either hates Americans or would kidnap me assuming someone out there will pay a ransom for me. (Good luck with that one. I have a better chance turning into Liam Neeson and busting skulls on my out of captivity than kidnappers have of milking a few hundred grand out of people I know.)
Don’t we hear stories like that all the time? I do. A friend of mine visited Brazil and was warned not to leave hotel grounds without an escort, and not to leave at night even with one. Or that exploring the Dominican Republic from your cruise ship can turn into craziness if you take a wrong turn or get led out to a cane field, only to disappear into Haiti. Maybe we can plan a trip to Mexico, just don’t shop at that place where they found all those headless bodies. I wouldn’t go to Mexico right now if you paid me. Holy crap.
Europe doesn’t seem so bad, and its even likely that things would be spectacular, but how easy would falling into dire circumstances be? Just like you want to avoid rough areas of your own city, you want to avoid those areas of other cities, too. Except in a foreign country everything is, well, foreign. The smallest slip in decorum could end up pretty bad, and explaining yourself to a cop in Harlem is pretty different from explaining yourself to a cop in Italy. Just ask Amanda Knox.
I’m not even going to pretend like going anywhere in the Middle East is safe in any way. Even a trip of a lifetime to somewhere that gets along with the U.S. Could get you caught up in a revolution. (See also: Egypt).
We haven’t even talked the pirates. Pirates! There are actual ship-hijacking modern-day Jack Sparrows out there that will take you and everything you have to some movie set looking harbor and keep you under lock and key. I’m in constant awe that most of Africa is a humongous civil war, run by generals of armies that don’t actually exist and freaking pirates.
That’s a pretty big list of places that I want to go, but don’t want to go. What I really want to do is go see games. Browns games, Cavs games, Indians games. Follow them on road trips and write their stories. I want to see them win championships, and I want to feel the energy of the city during those big games.
There is no feeling in the world like the buzz before just before a big game. The music starts, the fans stand up, the players are introduced… it gives you goosebumps, hell, it gives me goosebumps just thinking about it. I want to go to pressboxes and sidelines, city rooms and studios, and all the places in between that house the stories I want to tell.
Maybe someday a couple of those dreams will come true, and maybe I’ll get to do a little traveling because of them. I’ll go, but no matter how much of a tough guy I act like when people are around, there’s no way I’m leaving the resort.