Tea houses. Jiro Dreams of Sushi. Tiny shoes, in my size.
I love to ask people: “Where would you go — YOU CAN GO ANYWHERE! — …would you go…if someone handed you a plane ticket today?” (Assume all expenses paid, people.)
Mine is Japan. Hands-down. I feel like it would feel so OTHER than this. How I love and crave the other.
Lions. Tigers. Giraffes.
I would straight up feel terrible just being there — feeling like I’m at the world’s zoo; satiating my curiosity, my impulse, my eyes. But I want to be there. I want to see animals I have only seen bound by fences, just walkin’ the fuck around…stretched out on rocks…breathing their own air. I want to revel in their existence, their existence so very separate from me. I want to believe I’m helping, not hurting, by being there and I want to carry the orange hues around in my head and my heart forever.
Kangaroos. Pandas. Crocodiles.
I just want to go. Maybe it’s the absurdity of the flight time. This one’s got me intrigued, merely with intrigue.
Coffee plants. Flowers. Fruits.
I never wanted to go to Hawaii until I had a baby. People would talk of Hawaii and I’d be like, ‘Nah, dude; I just don’t get it.’ If I could pinpoint how the birth of my child resulted in a real, sincere desire to head to Hawaii, I would love to explore it. But I can’t. I just know I want to see it now.
My mother’s grandparents. Coke in bottles. Rice, beans, tortillas.
I don’t speak Spanish. My mother stopped speaking Spanish when she was a little girl and her parents divorced. “You’re American; and you will speak English,” my fiery grandma told her and her brother, when their father left. Lula & Antonio spoke Spanish together, along with their little kids, in the mornings, in the evenings, all the time. When he left, the language of love went right along with him.
I have no personal Mexican (/American) identity. But maybe I would find one there.
Tapas. Wine. Flamenco.
I want to get lightly drunk, while eating tapas – and then dance. Night after night after night.
French. Baguettes. Fashion.
I crave the sound of the French language and its ability to alienate me. The affordable and sufficient baguette for lunch. Watching the women saunter down the street in their scarves, effortlessly beautiful.
Friendliness! Beer. The accent.
Hot damn, are those people friendly. There for a 48-hour layover just once, I was engaged in conversation the entire time. People just stoked we were there!, happy to chat!, excited to have a beer! It was infectious, their kindness. I’d like a couple weeks, next go-round.
Italy (again and again.)
Gelato. Espresso. Affogato. (= espresso on top of gelato.)
After arriving there, years ago, I decided upon having a customary cafe, to which I would go each and every morning. It would solidify my presence there. There, you stand at the bar, and slam your wake up call. The cappuccino, even at a tiny four ounces, would have taken too much time. I like to sip beautiful things. So I made a commitment to the efficiency of espresso, and I dedicated myself to the act. Each morning, I would walk in and order one, and then take it down in two gulps. I walked in asleep, and walked out awake. Into a world unlike my own, which, for me, is the point of travel. Walk into a world unlike your own, for all you can do is learn there.