by Chris Goff
I am lucky. I’ve been to a lot of places. My folks were responsible for my visiting forty-nine of the states, Canada, Mexico and thirteen European countries – either by taking me there or helping finance the journeys. Since then my family and friends have helped me add Israel, Jamaica, Morocco, Puerto Rico, UK, Scotland and Ireland; and my career has added Alaska, Ukraine and Poland.
For my latest book, RED SKY—launching June 13th—I had the pleasure of spending two weeks with my youngest daughter, Addie, scoping out the backstreets of Kiev, Krakow, Gdańsk and Berlin. The last city didn’t make the cut for the book, but it did put a dent in My Bucket List.
The same can be said for the time spent walking over 40 miles around the city of Kyiv, strolling Old Town Krakow and buying amber in the market, listening to the chatter of school children touring Auschwitz, eating ice cream on the Royal Way in Gdańsk, or being terrorized by a bicycle-gang in Berlin—the latter weaving in and around the pedestrians on tricked out bicycles, wearing leathers, boom-box blaring and beers in hand. A little research turned up that earlier in the year, a bicycle gang of left-wing activists calling themselves the Social Democratic People’s Bicycle Commando had claimed responsibility for torching 48 luxury cars parked on the streets as a political statement against gentrification.
The message for thriller writers and readers: you don’t have to make this stuff up. But the fact remains, in spite of having been fortunate enough to see a lot of the world, there are many more places and things left to see. Here’s the top-five on my list.
Ever since I was a little girl and read about the Romanovs and the possible escape of Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna (a rumor I know has been proven false in recent years), I have wanted to visit St. Petersburg and the Alexander Palace.
4. The Egyptian Pyramids.
Specifically the ones found at Giza on the outskirts of Cairo. The Pyramid of Khufu is the largest, and the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World still in existence.
5. The Galapagos Islands.
The volcanic archipelago in the Pacific Ocean is considered one of the world’s foremost destinations for wildlife-viewing and shelters a diversity of plant and animal species, many of which are found nowhere else. A province of Ecuador, it lies about 1,000km off its coast.
The largest living thing on earth, it’s situated off the coast of Queensland in northeastern Australia and is even visible from outer space. I’ll admit to being a little scared of the Great White Sharks, but then I should never have watched the movie Sharknado (joke). It was actually JAWS that made me afraid of the water. Of course, I don’t let it stop me. I’m just a bit of a nervous Nellie.
So what’s on your Bucket List? I’d love to know. Maybe it’s somewhere I’ve never thought to go.