Published on January 4th, 201310
You Simply Can NEVER Keep a True Nomad Down!
Don’t get me wrong. While I’m decidedly happy to be settled here in beautiful Dalat, Vietnam, that by no means would suggest that I’m likely to stay put here perpetually for the entirety of 2013. Indeed, for a wanderlust like me, not exploring a new corner of the globe at least a smidge every few months is just plain crazy talk. And of course, exploring this half of the Planet is precisely why I moved over here to Asia to begin with.
So… on these first few morns of the sparkly New Year, I’m already pondering where I might wander in the not too distant future. For starters…
Given my somewhat obsessive fascination with the magic of total solar eclipses (instigated by the singlemost amazing travel experience of my entire life: witnessing a SEVEN-MINUTES-long TOTAL solar eclipse on a sunny beach in Costa Rica in 1991, along with the near total eclipse I witnessed more recently in Oz), my first bit of dreamy Googling involved of course pecking “2013 eclipse”.
And the result? Well it turns out that total solar eclipses are most rare indeed here on planet Earth, and there are but two such spectacles predicted for 2013. Alas one happens to be viewable only on a distant continent from the one I’m currently perched on, and worse – the solar eclipse will appear total only along a thin corridor across the Atlantic, the path ever narrowing as it diminishes across the somewhat dicey African countries of uh, Gabon, the Congo and the tippy top of Uganda. This on 3 November, with a predicted duration of totality whilst over the African continent of a whopping whole minute at best.
Clearly not a prime candidate for purchasing a $grand+ air ticket.
Ah but the other… Yes, yes, the other lies at least in the vicinity of the Asian continent, albeit out in the middle of Nowhere. Then again, I am nothing if not quite familiar with said middle of FREEKIN.NO.WHERE so the solar eclipse on 10 May looms a bit more promising.
With a near 200 mile wide path, and totality lasting a sweet 5 minutes or more, the destination choices for the May solar eclipse include a trio of relatively nearby options. I could view it in northern Australia of course, but I’ve just recently pretty much “been there, done that”, so that leaves but two other options. Both decidedly obscure, but hey – I rather favor obscurity in my travels:
Either a teeeensy remote isle at the southern edge of Papau New Guinea, else… an even more remote isle to the east in the Solomon islands.
Suffice, with but a smidge of preliminary research, the latter (Solomon isles) looks most promising (indeed, even Lonely Planet has them listed among their Best in Travel for 2013). Even better, check out THIS most intriguing cave lodge for a sleep option. I mean, sleep in a CAVE for 60 bucks – now how kewl would THAT be?
Then again… While total solar eclipses don’t come around often (the next after 2013 isn’t til 2015 – in the ARCTIC OCEAN) but still…
May’s a tad early for a new TL adventure as I’m presently negotiating a new teaching gig here in Dalat (more on that soon) that won’t start ’til after the Tet festivities (Feb 9-14) here in Vietnam. So might be more prudent to grab a 6 month contract and then look at the possibilities for… say August/September.
Which brings me to… a whole ‘nuther fantasy option I ran across (coincidentally just south of the Solomon Isles) – a a volunteer gig in Vanatu (yes, yes, as immortalized in Survivor, Season 9 “Islands of Fire”). This, I could do in September, and I must say – as I’ve had a good bit of experience gawking at sea turtles nesting along moonlit shores in Costa Rica, the thought of a near month of assisting in sea turtle research surely tickles my travel toes.
And finally (leastwise in my dreamin’ research to date) just this morning, yet another tantalizing option fell into my lap. A chum in Bhutan just returned from a visit to Japan to witness the Snow Monkeys frolicking in the hot springs at Jigokudani Park near Nagano, Japan:
Now I ask ya – is that not enough to make you drool with wanderlust?
In any case, sooooo many wondrous choices. The globe, a most delicious sandbox of new sights, experiences and challenges. Just dreamin’ here now. Preliminary research.
I mean – the last time I was in this mood, I ended up milking yaks in Mongolia, so g-only knows where I’ll actually end up next.