July 10, 2009

A to Z and Love

I finished reading, in about an hour last weekend, CS Richardson's beautiful and elegant The End of the Alphabet. It is a story of travel and memories; however, as The Washington Post says, "Above all else this is a story about love, something longer than the alphabet and wider than geography." The writing is ethereal ... transcending the narrative to explain the relationship. And it is wonderful.

I have always had a list like Ambrose's. If I had a short time to live, I know where I would like to go. My list did not cover every letter of the alphabet from A to Z, but I have always known where I want to go before I die. After reading this, I decided to expand my list and include a place for every letter.

Here is my list:

Athens (on my original list)


Cairo (on my original list)

Denali National Park


Fez (C for Casablanca and M for Morocco were already taken, so this part of the world gets F)

Galapagos Islands

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Istanbul (on my original list)

Jerusalem (on my original list)

Kenya (I would love to take one of these safaris)


Machu Pichu

Northwest Passage

Oregon Coast

Plymouth Rock (I have stood in the church where the men, women and children worshipped before leaving for a new world on the Mayflower, but I have never stood where they landed. I would like to complete that journey.)


Rome (on my original list)


Taj Mahal





Yellowstone National Park

Zion National park

You might wonder why some rather obvious locations are missing from this list. Where, for instance, is The Great Wall of China or Bangkok. I have been lucky enough to live on 4 continents and have travelled extensively. A place that would have otherwise made my list - such as Paris - has already been checked off. That is also why there are a number of National Parks on my list. I have travelled the world, but I have not seen as much of my own country as I would like to.

I think my list looks like fun. However, as I was working on this post and dreaming of adventure I realized something. If I only had a month to live, I don't think I would really want to travel. I would probably spend most of my time planning for my boys life after me. I would write them letters and buy them presents for future events. I would spend every moment with them, and I wouldn't want to spend those moment stuck on an airplane. Boy-Oneder and Sonshine are my greatest adventure.

Now if there was a year ... I would stick to my original list. I would visit the centers of the great ancient cultures: Rome, Athens, Istanbul, Jerusalem, and Cairo. I would take the boys with me and take a million photos.

Where would you go ... from A to Z? Post on your own blog and let me know or post in the comments.


  1. What a wonderfully fun idea. I love your post and your thoughts. Found you through Semicolon this week and I'll be back around for sure!

  2. I think I'll work on this list. I read The End of the Alphabet a few months ago and wrote about it here.