â€ś1000 Places To See Before You Die: A Travelerâ€™s Life Listâ€ť
Written by Patricia Schultz
During a Christmas shopping trip to a mega-bookseller in 2003, I noticed a display promoting the newly published â€ś1,000 Places To See Before You Die: A Travelerâ€™s Life Listâ€ť by Patricia Schultz. It brought to mind an old Life magazine story I loved as a kid about a man who, as a 14-year-old, listed the things he wanted to do during his lifetime and then methodically checked them off over the years. His list included things like â€śbecome a doctorâ€ť and â€śbe a father,â€ť but also â€śsee Victoria Fallsâ€ť and â€śclimb Mt. Kilimanjaro.â€ť
The notion of taking an active role in planning life experiences appeals to me now as much as it did then, so I bought myself a Christmas present.
When I brought the chunky book home, I checked to see which local places were included. Schultz mentions only two spots in Maryland â€” the Chesapeake Bay communities of St. Michaelâ€™s, Easton and Oxford and Obryckiâ€™s, the family-run crab loversâ€™ restaurant in Baltimore. Her choice of that atmospheric eatery in the residential section of Fells Point convinced me that she knew what she was talking about, and I was hooked.
At times, I can spend hours looking through its pages to see whether she includes some of the places I have loved over the years. I was pleased to see Route 66 through New Mexico, the Adirondacks town of Lake Placid, and Californiaâ€™s Monterey Peninsula to name a few. Internationally she agreed with me about spots like the coastal town of Biarritz in France, the Canadian Rockies and the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland.
But I was surprised not to see a blurb about Portland, Maine, and the charming coastal towns east of it or more mention of the quirky, laidback towns of Floridaâ€™s west coast.
The book comes in handy when Iâ€™m thinking about trips to new destinations, with Eastern Europe topping my current list. Schultzâ€™s descriptions are so wonderfully detailed. She has introduced me to many spots Iâ€™d like to include some day, like the spa town of Carlsbad in the Czech Republic about which Goethe said, â€śI feel as if Iâ€™m in some paradise of innocence and spontaneity.â€ť When in Budapest, Iâ€™d love to have a meal in the elegant Gundel restaurant or in its popular but more cozy sister restaurant next door, The Owlâ€™s Castle.
This book certainly brings out the adventurer in me, so just for fun, I closed my eyes, opened the book randomly and pointed. Now I need to warn my husband that one January day (the suggested visiting month), I might pack up my bag and head out for Tromso, Norway, 1,084 miles north of Oslo, to watch the northern lights. Sounds good to me.