“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” You may have heard this question before; it’s borrowed from the poem A Summer Day by the American poet Mary Oliver. It’s a simple enough question, but it does speak to the core of those of us who are soul searchers and explorers in our own way. But, thirty-one years on this planet and I still don’t know the answer. I do know, however, that two weeks in remote Wanaka, New Zealand brought me closer to finding out.
When I first started working for Backroads, I remember flipping through catalogs, stunned by the photographs of the places we visit. And I remember my eyes lingering a little longer on the page for the Santa Fe & Taos Biking Tour, drawn in by the warm colors of the adobe. So when a friend encouraged me to visit her in New Mexico, I jumped at the chance to explore the Southwest.
After spending four years living abroad, I came home wanting to rediscover the American West with a new fervor and appreciation. Somewhere along the way, I heard you could take a train from the San Francisco Bay Area to Seattle: an overnight, day-long, 22-hour journey past mountains, woodlands, lakes, rivers, cities and small towns.
It was like yesterday. It was almost yesterday. But it was actually 7 months to the day that I left London, my home for four years, to return to the Bay Area. England, however, has woven itself into my being and I still feel within me the madness and wonder that life in London brings… I can’t tell you what it all meant to me, what it means to me, but I can share with you some of my favorite places that moved me to love London over reason. You will find them a great addition to visiting traditional tourist attractions. They are places that I and other Londoners enjoy over and over. Which ones will keep you going back?