Once, long ago, I adored travel and visiting other countries. I loved diving into other cultures, learning new things and meeting new friends. I made a wish list of places I would also like to visit if ever I got the money and the opportunity. The world was shrinking with the advent of reliable air travel and the introduction of package discount trips.
As the years rolled by various places on my wish list have been crossed out and not because I got to visit. I always wanted to go see the pyramids but I am the wrong sex and ethnicity to travel there and have been for years. I would prefer not to return in a bodybag, so that one is off the list. Oh well, there are those neat pyramids in South America. Um no, off the list because I am the wrong ethnicity and come from a rich country. I don’t think I would do well being held to ransom for money I do not have. Japan looked interesting right up until that disaster. I guess I would prefer not to come back from somewhere glowing in the dark.
Nevermind, I loved Europe and that is worth a revisit, or it was. I find I am probably the wrong gender and ethnicity to travel safely there, too, as a result of recent atrocities. Australia? Mmm, the cafe comes to mind. Perhaps New Zealand one day, if airlines ever become safe again and manage to stop falling out of the sky for one reason or another.
Now the world is shrinking in another way. Not because my reach has extended, but because it has contracted. Anger and fear often replace smiles and open arms. Thank the stars for National Geographic, who go boldly where others fear to tread. I will tour from my couch.