One of my personal ways of knowing if my life is going “according to plan” is the answer to Where Is Acacia, hence the name of my blog. (The more wildly fascinating the answer, the better). Currently, the answer to that question is most often “in a dental office, scanning insurance paperwork, in Anchorage Alaska”. Clearly this is somewhat below satisfactory, but at least there is an epic mountain range in my backyard. Luckily, these at-home phases never seem to last for long, and indeed, another departure rapidly approaches as I type this. (Anyone who lives here can attest to the health benefits of traveling in the winter). A newer, greater-than-ever adventure is about to unfold. Behold, my Winter 2010/2011 Epic Adventure Plan!
PHASE ONE: BRAZIL
Fly from Anchorage, Alaska, to Seattle, Washington, to Los Angeles, California to Lima, Peru, to Sao Paolo, Brazil, to Natal, Brazil. Stay with my lovely friend Natasha, who is half Brazilian and half Norwegian, and whose father owns a tourist resort there. She’s currently taking a year off of school to go on a meditative, spiritual journey reminiscent of the storyline in the book “Eat Pray Love”, and her first stop is her home in Brazil. I know close to nothing about where I am going or what we will spend our time doing, but am actually pretty thrilled by that fact. I do know that the weather will be warm and sunny, I will be in the inspiring company of a good friend, lots of pictures will be taken and that we will probably eat lots of fresh fruit and do yoga. The rest is a mystery, but that makes it all the more exciting.
PHASE TWO: ARGENTINA
This phase of the trip is not exactly a mystery, but falls more into the “undecided” category. I’ll fly from Natal to Sao Paolo to Buenos Aires, Argentina, and meet up with my family. We then have a week or so to do whatever we want before we have to be in Ushuaia, in Tierra del Fuego, basically the ends of the earth. (It bears a striking resemblance to Narvik, which I find entertaining). The thing is that Argentina is a very big, very long country, with a huge variety of climates and attractions. Patagonia is obviously enticing, but as Devin says, “Why do we always go places that look just like Alaska?” This is a valid statement, and so we remain ponderous of where to go. However, I can’t imagine how we could pass up the opportunity go to go Patagonia. We will see.
PHASE THREE: ANTARCTICA
Yes, it is actually happening. After years of dreaming of it, we are finally taking the trip of a lifetime, and boarding a boat to Antarctica and the Falkland Islands. I know. The Alaskans are taking their winter vacation in Antarctica. Can you tell what our favorite season is yet? Our extra camera batteries have arrived in the mail, our winter gear is out from storage. We are ready to brave the bitter cold and PHOTOGRAPH! And really, it will be summer when we’re there. It shouldn’t be that cold. We are beyond excited!
PHASE FOUR: THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Considering my newfound skin cancer tendencies, the Carribbean doesn’t seem like the most logical choice of travel destinations. Yet there is a reason for this! Two of my good friends from home, Reid and Maddie, are currently studying in Santo Domingo. I also have a friend, Koral, a Santo Domingo local, who was a fellow exchange student in northern Norway back in the day… I haven’t seen her since the summer of 2008! With three friends living there at once, I can’t miss this opportunity. Again, I’m not too sure what exactly I’ll be doing there, but with those three, some of the most lively people I know? It’s sure to be an absolute blast, and a good final dose of vitamin D before my return to my frozen arctic home.
Anyone have any recommendations of what to do in any of these locations? I can’t really be much of a lay-on-the-beach person anymore, so adventurous suggestions would be awesome. I’ve already been tipped that the gelato in Buenos Aires supposedly has the Italians beat… could it possibly be true?