In this piece I must say the worst of goodbyes. Writing for The Blue and Gold has been, for me, that one activity I looked forward to partaking in more than an afternoon nap – that’s saying something. This time of year, the largest dilemma faced by the graduating cohort is this: focus on planning a grad trip, or focus on the looming future? I’m currently preoccupied with the former, of course. For those in the same predicament, here are some of my trip suggestions!
Below, I have listed and elaborated upon some prospective destinations that you may enjoy visiting. You will either need a time-machine or fabulous imagination. Possessing only one of the two, it is up to you to believe my accounts as reliable or not – I haven’t been known to possess a particularly creative mind anyway.
1. Aboard a Maori explorer vessel
Before Captain James Cook became a legend, there were several Polynesian settlers who beat his feat with their canoes. With their exquisite beats and the un-crackable warrior will, the Maoris (now best associated with New Zealand) undertook a most exciting water journey. Rowing with them to New Zealand’s North Island in 13th Century AD, you are certain to view a large number of beautiful, now extinct, birds like the Haast’s eagle or the less fashionable Moa.
2. The New World, before it was called so
Until the year 1523, before Mr. Pizarro (an accomplished conquistador), decided to embark on the daunting journey to Peruvian coasts, the Incas were thriving in their new settlement lifestyle after centuries of wandering about the continent. Cuzco in the early 1500s is certainly a sight to behold. Perhaps Mr. Pizarro and his companions were lured by all the wealth for a solid steal; back to Charles’ court in Spain. Perhaps I would be too, save for the fact that I only brought a tiny rucksack on this journey – too small to house even a feather that had taken me with its charms.
3. 15th century Florence
I make no claim whatsoever that I support the Italian bourgeois’ ways of societal segregation, but being a Medici in 15th century Firenze is certainly not something I would complain about. Despite disagreeing with the Italian bourgeois’ rigid social segregation, I can’t help but romanticize the life of a Medici in 15th century Firenze. The opportunities exclusive to me would include access to Dante’s Divine Comedy, in italian of course, and at the peak of its popularity. I would also be just a stroll away from the eccentric and brilliant Galileo – who spent his time in what is known now as the Academia Riaci. If these riveting options aren’t quite enough to satiate your thirst for adventure, let me just mention that it was in this era that Tuscany’s finest wines were strictly contained within the confines of its soft, rolling hills. Gaining access to the precious intoxicant today is thus far more arduous, and I definitely don’t currently have access to the Medicis.
4. Lose my musical soul to Igor Stravinsky
The sounds of Firebird’s symphonies continue to resonate even over a 100 years since it premiered in Paris. Although today’s orchestras do considerable justice to Stravinksy’s genius creation, it puts me on another plane of excitement imagining being able to argue over his bold compositions on the opening night of The Rite of Spring at the Théâtre des Champs Élysées in 1913.
5. Halong Bay in the 21st Century
My list thus far is obviously enchanting, but, taking into consideration Einstein’s theory of relativity rules that keeps the universe logically sound and in shape, also quite challenging to get around. I also bear in mind school’s tendency to drain one’s creative juices for further use sprinkled over PowerPoint slides, so fret not if you aren’t up for a vastly mentally-strenuous journey through time. I suggest instead, an easy-on-the-wallet flight to Hanoi – where islands of paradise are still accessible, and very close to home.