To be honest, I haven’t given much thought to my “bucket list”. I find it somewhat morbid and somewhat pointless. My theory is that if you want to do something you should either just do it or figure out a way to make it happen in the near future. Waiting around until you have enough money or enough time is sort of unreasonable and lets face it, typically never happens. If you waited around for all the stars to align and everything to be perfect you might have to wait forever for your life to really begin. According to my mother my Great Aunt Anne, who is 100 going on 101 (in January), has always wanted to go for a ride in a hot air balloon. Although she lived a very full life and traveled to many far off places her book of experiences has now closed. Going on a hot air balloon ride has always fascinated me as well but I have never been presented with a good opportunity to take a ride. When I arrived in Cappadocia I was bombarded with signs and people asking if I was going to take my turn in the sky? For budget trip standards this is well above my daily food and fun ration, but I remembered something a wise friend told me before I left on my journey. She said I shouldn’t deny myself by being a penny pincher along the way; that I should seize every moment because if not now, when?
I really find the whole idea of a hot air balloon romantic; I always pictured it to be something like a fairy tale with my prince charming and a bottle of champagne at sunset. Instead I shared my chariot with 6 other passengers; a young Argentinian boy who forgot to charge his camera batteries (rookie move), a “couple” who were having a rendezvous in Turkey (the older man was from the States and the younger, pretty girl from China – I didn’t ask questions, but trust me I had plenty), the guide and two guys from the company for extra ballast. Regardless of the company in my basket once we left the ground nobody really mattered but me. We sailed above Cappadocia and watched the sun rise above the horizon; the only sound we heard was from the tank as the guide took us higher and higher above the land. Seeing this mysterious landscape from that vantage point was inspiring and intriguing all in one breath. We did pop a bottle of the bubbly when we landed safely after about an hour in the sky and toasted our voyage together.
From new heights; wishing everyone a happy and healthy new year in 2012!