This is an entry for the Transun Travel competition, where one lucky winner will receive a chance to travel to see the Northern Lights! T&Cs here.
If you want to enter, you’ve only got until Thursday – simply write a blog post detailing your three dream destinations, and tweet your post to @Transun using the hashtag #TransunLights.
I never used to be a great traveller; I get very restless on planes, and even more so on coaches – especially one particular school trip which took me to Austria. From Yorkshire. Yep, that took a while. But actually I’m taking two trips in the next two months – three in three if you count the exotic locale of Manchester for a Comic Con in July – to Tenerife and Paris, and I’m very excited to take turns in the sun and the city of culture.
But this comp has really got me thinking – if money were no object, where in the world would I want to go? You’ve got your usual standout choices like New York and LA, and while they’d be brilliant cultural experiences I’m looking for something a bit different here.
I have always wanted to go to Canada; I don’t know why really but it seems like a very friendly place that’s got some great landmarks and activities. Toronto is Canada’s biggest city by population and as such, there’s got to be plenty to do there. According to Lonely Planet Toronto speaks more than 140 languages, quite a cultural blend! Of course in Canada ice hockey is a religion, and so I’d want to take in a Maple Leafs game – they’re one of the most storied clubs in the NHL’s long history so it’d be a great choice in terms of tradition.
Its art gallery is one of the largest in North America, so I’d definitely spend a good few hours browsing the various works, and if I could do the famous EdgeWalk atop the CN Building I’d be very pleased – albeit very scared too!
Figuratively a million miles away from North American culture, I’d love to visit Tokyo. One of my best friends has lived in Japan for the past year, and given his proud northern English heritage I was as surprised as anyone to find out he’d be moving there – the culture shock must be immense.
But Tokyo has always had this otherworldly vibe to me – even as Westerners get more switched on by each passing decade, Japan and especially Tokyo has a unique way of life for residents and tourists alike. Bright lights in the Shinjuku and Shibuya districts; diverse cultures and lifestyles; and a ridiculous but enthralling non-stop buzz about the place.
Like a lot of people I was turned onto Tokyo by the film Lost in Translation and have wanted to visit ever since seeing it for the first time. It looks like such an exciting city, and I’m such a fan of Japanese cultures and traditions that the NHK World TV channel is often watched at home!
The Northern Lights!
This might seem a bit hokey considering the circumstances for writing this post, but the Northern Lights is one of the most fascinating phenomena I’ve ever heard of and I would LOVE to see it in person one day.
Among other less likely places like Principal Skinner’s kitchen in The Simpsons, “AURORA BOREALIS!” is visible from places in high latitudes in Scandinavia and (here comes the science bit) is basically caused by radiation from the sun exciting particles in the Earth’s magnetic fields up in the atmosphere. Around the poles where the magnetic field are weaker than the rest of the planet, the radiation gets through and collides with airborne particles to create swirling patterns of light that are simply stunning.
Of course, up near the poles it gets a little bit nippy, and I’m not really a fan of the cold but I’m sure I could find plenty of other fun activities to fill the daytimes like snowball fights and maybe even an attempt at skiing.
So there’s the list! Glad to have got myself thinking about travel in preparation for where I’ll be going over the next few weeks.