MotherTongues: Wear Words, Celebrate Cultures

about words, languages, cultures, travel

(Unusual) Places to Go April 5, 2012

Ha Long Bay in Vietnam, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From Wikimedia.

I watched the Emilio Estevez / Martin Sheen movie The Way this week. It is about an American ophthalmologist whose son dies while walking the Camino de Santiago, a pilgrimage route to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Spain. The dad (Martin Sheen) decides to complete the 500+ mile walk, and meets interesting people along the way, as he grieves his son’s death while walking. It is a wonderful movie about grief, searching for meaning and finding your community.

I would love to walk “the Camino”, as it is affectionately known by modern pilgrims, one day. Watching the movie made me realize that again. My sister has walked it, as well as other friends and acquaintances. It was a life-changing event for all of them.

I do wonder how many Americans know about the Camino de Santiago, and know that thousands of people walk it every year? It seems like it is well-known elsewhere, but not where I live in the Midwest. I wonder how many other places are revered by others, but unknown to Americans. Other pilgrimages or unusual travel destinations that I know of, is visiting John of God – the miracle man of Brazil, visiting Machu Picchu in Peru, and the more well-known Stonehenge in England.

There are so many places that I would like to visit. Ha Long Bay in Vietnam, the Maasai Mara in Kenya, Iceland, Tasmania, Morocco, the Panama Canal, the pyramids in Egypt… The list goes on!

What travel destinations or experiences are on your bucket list?

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