Bucket Lists, Vegemite, and Luggage

I thought it was about time I did a travel post as most of the entries before are about the paranormal or writing or both. But to be honest, I’m a bit all over the place just rambling a mite; hope it all makes sense in a strange sort of way.

The first time I traveled outside the continental United States, was in 2005. I was entranced by Cinnamon Bay, as told in Kenny Chesney’s Old Blue Chair (yes, I like his music). I liked the peaceful lull of the song. The idea of having a place, a space in time and in the world, that was all mine. A place where I could see the world differently. It was something I didn’t have at that time in my life. I had just put myself through college, worked my ass off at a job I disliked, and had my share of blind or otherwise horrid dates that went absolutely nowhere (I still panic every time I smell a particular Victoria’s Secret because it reminds me of a blind date). So it was only natural that I wanted somewhere to go to get away from it all. That was—and still is—ruled by relaxation.

And rum.

Lots of rum. Especially when my luggage decided to take a detour until the next day. They even deliver said missing luggage to your location. Too bad they didn’t tell me that when I put in the ‘missing luggage request’ because I took the ferry back over to St. Thomas and a taxi back to the airport wasting about $18 I could’ve spent on RUM. Lesson learned. (I like rum, if you haven’t noticed.)

So I settled in for the week. The beach there had been a two minute walk from my site. I camped by myself in one of the platform tents at Cinnamon Bay Campground. Everyone was so kind and helpful there, even the taxi drivers. And locals whom I hitch-hiked with (what can I say? I’m a risk-taker) went out of their way to show me around and point out all the local spots. All the food was fresh, the sun just absolutely stunning. My sister was jealous of the tan I wore back. But my favorite thing about that campground—and St. John in general—was the nights.

The stars were so clear, so thick in that unpolluted, black sky that I could see the Milky Way. I would go out there, take my towel, or not, and a bottle of rum (or two) and walk out to the beach and just stare at those stars and our galaxy. It put everything in perspective. And just like Kenny sings, “nothing compares to the way that I see it” down there. Nothing really does compare. Every time I feel a bit stressed I close my eyes and look at the Milky Way the way I saw it those nights when that sky gave me such peace.

The last time I left our states, I flew all the way to Australia. In 2009 I had gone a whole year without seeing one of my best friends. We met here in Delaware and he went home to Australia. I missed him and didn’t know when he’d be returning here, so I went to visit him. I could go on and on about how great Australia is, but that’s a post in itself (maybe my next travel one). I met so many nice people and tried so many different kinds of food (Kangaroo tastes very tasty and lean, by the way). I also tried the much loved Aussie spread, Vegemite, an acquired taste I acquired quickly! It’s very salty and has its own distinct flavor. My friend’s girlfriend made it for me one morning with butter on a crumpet. Although I brought a small jar of Vegemite home with me, I’m currently out and am craving it so badly. We have crumpets here, but *sad face* no Vegemite (in fact, I’m craving it so much I think Vegemite was the real reason for this post).

But it was official: when I got back from Australia, I had the travel bug. I want to go everywhere in the world!

If you don’t have a bucket list, make one. They are a real motivator. As is history. I’m obsessed with history. I adore history. I am constantly adding things to my bucket list, which from now on out I’m calling my “Kick It List,” or things-I’m-going-to-do-before-I-kick-the-bucket. Yesterday I added Bucharest and Bran Castle to the list. While it’s always been in the back of my mind as a place I would want to visit some day, yesterday, after picking up a new copy of Dracula by Bram Stoker (an old favorite I have wanted to reread), it was solidified. Now, where exactly to put it on the growing list…?

Do you have any places that you miss or think of when you’re down/stressed? Or things from places that you miss? Any places you think I’d enjoy seeing?


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