The question continues to be…how to approach my last—of three?—big life tasks of these next (and last) 20 years. Before that it was all about raising children and working and paying bills and getting degrees; getting through all that is simply one big first half of life goal. Once that lengthy stage of life is completed individual, certainly more considered, probably more selfish, goals can emerge. My first goal of this new era was to be a better grandmother than I was a mother. In this I have at least succeeded in the travel department since I am working hard to get all grandchildren to distant places as often as financially possible. My poor sons were only treated to long rambles across country (which generally included many miles of Kansas and the Panhandle—sorry guys!) in wretched old cars with a dog or two sharing their back seat space.
The second of these three goals was to make a program something like Global DanceFest although I really was not aware of that as a major goal until now. Did that!
NOW for Goal Number Three: To go to every country in the world before I die. It seems that I have been working on this every-country-in-the-world thing since, at about age 5, I started obsessing over the photos in Essentials of Geography/Brigham and McFarlane/First Book, Copyright 1916 (I hasten to add I am not THAT old…it was my mother’s in elementary school.). In a cabin in the snows of northern Minnesota that book was my magic carpet to the outside world.
This goal and this ‘starter’ book have been mentioned in previous blogs. However, NOW, in the summer of 2011, it is really time to get serious. The first time it seemed likely that this pipe dream could actually become reality may have been in 2010 when I crossed the border into Burundi on the bus to Bujumbura and chalked off country #68.
Suddenly the whole idea appeared possible—far-fetched—but possible. 194 countries to go (I think that is counting South Sudan) minus 68 is 126. I can do this I said…I say. I work 10 more years and I go to 12.6 countries a year (during 3 weeks’ vacation time!). A goal. A reason to work and go to the gym and not eat too much butter. A reason to have a blog. SO HERE’S TO THE BOOK THAT STARTED IT ALL!