My readers will know that as an Occasional Traveller, I’m always in some state of wanderlust. I saw a picture of the Bolivian Salt Flats the other day and started dreaming of South American exploration; another day a colleague described her recent Barcelona trip and I was already thinking of starting Spanish classes to pave my way in future; my current wallpaper on my desktop and phone are all pictures of past trips.
But right now, my wanderlust is inspired by an old childhood dream I’m sure many of you share – I want to go further than just South America or Europe, or anywhere on earth even.
This is where I want to be right now:
Yes, I’m wanderlusting about travelling to space!
One of the notable events in the 1960s was the height of the Space Race between USA and the Soviet Union, where both countries laboured intensively to be the first ones to break new ground in matters of space. Since Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s first successful launch in 1961, there have been over 500 men and women (the first lady in space was also Russian – Valentina Tereshkova) who have accomplished this feat. Singapore has even jumped on the bandwagon, with an announcement last year that they would have the first Singaporean astronaut in space by 2015.
Space seems like a rather lofty goal for an ordinary traveller – I was one of those children whose various childhood ambitions included becoming an astronaut (among others of course, I was a fickle child. Most often I wanted to be a policewoman), but while it’s a little too late to fulfill that dream now, it has always been a small, fervent hope that one day in this lifetime, I will be able to casually hop on a rocket and launch into space, perhaps even set foot on the moon.
And commercial space tourism is not that far-fetched these days, there have already been a handful of very rich people who have visited space to date with the Russian space agency, and private companies like Virgin Galactic are now offering a chance to visit space if you can afford it… at $250k per pax!
This particular train of thought of travelling to space was partly inspired by the frequent facebook updates of Colonel Chris Hadfield, a Canadian astronaut born in the 60’s and one of the few kids who actually made good on his dream to became an astronaut after witnessing Neil Armstrong’s landing on the moon. He was the first of his nation to go to space, and perhaps the most social media savvy one to do so as well. With the help of his sons, he sent back various interesting updates from the space station. My favourite posts are the ones featuring the aerial view of specific countries and cities – it takes my love for maps and cartography to a whole new level.
I travel to see new things, to experience the unknown and be inspired by foreign cultures and lifestyles. Space travel is the ultimate destination on my bucket list, to suspend myself weightless in the atmosphere and see the earth from a distance. Who knows, maybe one day it might actually become a reality, but for now it remains a little inspiration, I’ll stick to exploring planet Earth more thoroughly, and hopefully more frequently than occasionally.
This post was written for the Singapore Blog Awards 2013 and used as part of the judging criteria for the overall score – I am one of the top 10 finalists in the Best Travel Blog category.