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Everyone talks about places to see before you die. But what about catching up on your wish list after you kick the bucket? The deals are incredible, the accommodations are whatever you want and you can pack very light. Best of all, no reservations, no money to change and no sunscreen. And should you forget anything, no problem. You’re dead – you can laugh it off.
Here are suggestions for some lovely excursions you can take on the other side… provided that 1.) we still have some form of consciousness in the afterlife and 2.) we can whiz around like the Flying Nun in the great beyond. There’s no reason to believe otherwise, so if you haven’t covered everything on your bucket list, just consider these recommendations to be the… après-bucket list.
Your Customized Itinerary:
Is there anything more ethereal than the early morning plains of Africa? You’re already there at first light… because you can. Enjoy the golden sun spilling onto the tall grass – you’re in the middle of a herd of gazelle – they don’t seem to mind… although they know something’s up. Go ahead, frolic with them. It’s your party.
Nearby, enjoy rhino, elephant and leopard. If you’d like you can even pet the leopard. It will be a first… for both of you. Yes, now that you’re dead the entire world is your petting zoo!
I recommend Krueger National Park in South Africa, but if the animals aren’t in the mood to play, just hop up to Kenya, to the Masai Mara. You’ll find lots of lion, cheetah and hippo. The Masai people believe in guardian spirits, so be sure to whisper to them in their dreams. Fun!
You’ve had a busy morning in Africa, so freshen up with a light al fresco lunch (burrata?) on a terrace in Amalfi, overlooking the Italian coast. If you’d like, you can zip out to the sea and look back to the beautiful shoreline… then zip back to your table for a bite. Out to the sea… table. Sea… table – keep changing the view. Has travel ever been so entertaining?
Spread your angel wings and flit over to Udaipur, India, the Venice of the east, for raita and baked keema samosas. This beautiful city is crawling with palaces, but you can fly above them on your own magic carpet.
Then, I suggest Paris for dessert. Try the mille-feuille cake a.k.a. the Napoleon. Maybe you’ll get lucky and run into Napoleon himself. You can tell him how he’s been immortalized through this popular dessert. You can also ask him, what in God’s name was he thinking when he invaded Russia in the winter?
Since the idea of consuming actual food is well… unknown in your new non-corporeal state, maybe you can still absorb the rich aromas surrounding you. If I’m wrong about all this… just skip lunch and enjoy the wonderful acrobats in Xian, China. They can balance on a stack of 10… 12 chairs. How amazing is that?
Of course, you can now balance on the head of a pin. You might just be the best acrobat in the world. Are you Chinese? No, you’re just dead. The surprises keep coming. What a day.
We’ve got big, big plans for you this afternoon. How many items did you not complete on your still alive bucket list? It doesn’t matter – time and space are infinite now. Rules no long matter. You are forever free to do just as you please – whatever you want... whenever you want.
This is your afternoon schedule: (no substitutions)
1:00 Diving for pearls in Bora Bora
1:30 Cattle drive in Montana 2:15 Climb Kilimanjaro 2:45 Visit the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg - you know you need to get some culture (see, even when you’re dead you still feel guilty.)
Had enough art? Let’s whisk off to… Peru! Where fertile green fields spill down from the mountains like an emerald avalanche. Standing over the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu, we have made special arrangements to meet up with a mystical shaman. He is known to summon the spirits of the dead.
Spoiler alert: It’s you!
The shaman lights incense and does mystical chants. Ok, don’t laugh. Play along – whip up a little breeze if you can. Spook the shaman. The other tourists will get all excited. Now everyone has a story to tell.
This whipping up a breeze thing isn’t just a clever device left over from “Blithe Spirit” and “Ghost,” it really works. It’s one of the few corporeal levers at your disposal… that, and some cool lighting effects.
Go ahead and try it out – with just a bit of focus, your purposeful puff at twilight can bring lovers together on the La Plata River in Buenos Aires. Then, in London’s Hyde Park, be your own wizard, oohing a crowd of muggles with a fanciful light show over Buckingham Palace.
“Accio… Aqua Eructo!” Fountains in the sky! Just don’t blow up the place… or the Palace.
Back to Africa, in the dark Malawi night, a child is alone without hope. Over the waves in Greenland, another stares lonely into the cold northern sky; while across the Atlantic, a youngster prays for his family deep in the Ozarks - all fine places you can visit tonight.
Get on your Peter Pan wings my friend. It’s teleportation time. And you’ve gotten so good at it.
Your presence touches these children lightly. For the first time in their young lives they feel the feeling of hope. They know you’re there and look about for you. It’s almost amusing – now don’t go for some corny trick like making the candle flicker... Well, if you must…
Wrap yourself around these kids and maybe leave a little of yourself behind. They could really use your comfort, your ease, your peace.
They’ll awaken with wonderful dreams.
And you are a happy tourist on just about a perfect holiday. You can’t wait to start again tomorrow. Which has already begun… somewhere.
Would you like a wake-up call?
Happy New Year!
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