Where would you most like to go and get outdoorsy?
I’m lucky enough to have seen a lot of the world, but let me tell you, I still have a wish list of places to visit that’s a mile long. Recently I’ve been getting really itchy feet – there’s been a whole lot of outdoor dreaming going on. Here’s my top three I WISH! destinations (now, just to find a way to make it happen!)
1) Surfing in Mexico
There’s so much about this country that fascinates me. Let’s just start with the food…REAL Mexican food. In NZ there’s been a plethora of ‘Mexican’ food outlets spreading like a rash lately. Dodgy empanadas from a greasy food truck in Queen St. Ick. Wheat flour tortillas? No thanks, imitation chain restaurant. Would you like deep fried chicken with that? Um, is that even Mexican?! Call me a food snob, but I JUST WANT TO GO THERE AND GET THE REAL THING! And eat lots and lots and lots of it. Preferably on a beach, after a surf, with cold beer.
That’s my next point…the surf. Mexico’s Pacific coast is legendary for consistently good swell, and laid-back towns like Puerto Escondido are beckoning. A friend has also recommended Cabo San Jose in Baja.
Thirdly – the art and culture in Mexico are such a contrast to what we have in NZ. I’m fascinated by Frida Kahlo – both her art and her persona, both of which are interwoven. You can visit her old house, La Casa Azul, which is now an art museum dedicated to her life and work. The ancient cultures are also part of the fabric in Mexico, with many historic sites open to the public. Tulum looks stunning. I’d also love to hike to some of the Mayan ruins that aren’t on the tour bus circuit. I think my son would be entranced. Arriba.
2) Snowboarding in Japan
The mountains in Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido see up to eleven metres of snow a year. That’s just about all I need to write. But aside from the epic snowboarding, I want to gorge myself on delicious, meticulously presented, traditionally prepared Japanese food. And beer. (Do you see a theme here?)
I would love to take my family to stay in a customary ryokan (inn), bathe at a time-honoured onsen, and attempt to speak the language. And then there’s the monkeys. The eminently sensible Japanese macaques spend most of the winter hanging out at volcanic hot springs, just grooming each other, catching up on the latest news, and soaking in the warm, healing waters. I think I want to come back as one in my next life.
3) Finding grizzly bears in Alaska
Watching my son’s face as he watches grizzly bears catch salmon in a river in Alaska would be memorable. He is obsessed with looking it up on YouTube. We really, really want to do the real thing. There will be a seaplane in there somewhere, maybe a few orcas and the odd humpback whale, some stunning day hikes and a fishing trip, a spot of sea kayaking, and the highlight will be a professionally guided trip to watch the bears safely from a distance, where we are not disturbing their daily routine. I imagine there will also be some delicious salmon on my plate at some point. And, quite possibly, some quality local beer.
Right then. Best I take my dreaming hat off, and put my thinking cap on. Where do you want to visit, and how do you plan to make it a reality?
Calling all outdoorsy mamas!
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