I want to learn all I can, live as wisely as I can, and savor every moment on the journey.
1. Japan, ramen noodles. Need I say more?
2. I’ll list only one other item of food gratitude (otherwise I’d be here all day): Thai food. It is THE BEST.
3. Botswana (in Africa): reading about this country and culture through Alexander McCall Smith’s The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series has dramatically opened my eyes to the fact that not everyone in the world rushes around all the time like we Americans do. When I pick up one of those books, I get to sit and drink tea with Mma Ramotswe, and I’m inspired in my real life to slow down and listen to birds, look at grass, and breathe and reflect.
4. Russia gave life to Tolstoy: the more I dig into his works, the more I find them enlightening, moving, thought-provoking, engaging, and most of all, inspiring.
5. The rainforests in Brazil and other South and Central American countries, although I’ve never visited one, have been a source of fascination to me ever since my third-grade teacher led us through a semester-long study of rainforests, complete with our own elaborate paper-mache rainforest. The dense flora and brilliant fauna there are sources of continual enchantment to my inner-child mind.
6. Singapore gave me a good friend in a time of need when our paths crossed once, years ago. She’s not reading this, probably, but just in case: thank you, Raadthie!