Vignettes from a Lifetime of Travel


K is for Komodo Dragon


I’ve had a travel list – mostly in my head – for a long as I can remember.   Like all meaningful travel lists,  its constantly evolving and never shortens.   There are destinations on it now that literally did not exist for me as a traveler even a decade ago.  In particular,  I’m now looking forward to visiting some of the ‘Stans’,  Ethiopia and Persepolis in Iran over the next few years.

But doors also close.  Sometimes an opportunity  is missed.   It may be due to natural disasters- hurricanes,  tsunamis,  etc.  or medical warnings – Zika,  measles….  And of course,  there is civil unrest and political upheaval.   Being ever mindful and respectful of the residents of such places who are left dealing with terrible situations,  it’s disappointing when somewhere you dreamed of visiting is no longer accessible.   For me,  it’s happened twice in recent years.   We were considering visiting Aleppo and Palmyra in Syria when the war began in March,  2011.   Myanmar was at an advanced planning stage when news of the Rohingya crisis broke.

Of all the animals on earth,  the one I most want to see in the ‘wild’ is the Komodo Dragon.   I really want to go to Komodo Island.   Now it seems that authorities are going to close the island to visitors for at least a year.  Compared to Syria and Myanmar,  this is trivial stuff – this is not a humanitarian crisis and nothing has been destroyed.   It seems to be part of the tourism backlash – too many visitors – which coincided with the bust up of a smuggling ring.   Not all of the 6000 dragons living in the wild are on Komodo Island itself – they are also found on other islands that make up the national park …. but that’s not the same thing is it!!!

I hope its only for a year – I can wait a year!


9 thoughts on “Vignettes from a Lifetime of Travel

  1. It’s on our list too! We nearly made it there last year. I hope the closure helps in the survival of those gorgeous Komodos. 🙂

  2. I’m currently watching BBC’s Life series and just watched an episode yesterday about Komodo dragons. I can’t imagine what it would be like to see these in person. I would probably piss my pants with fear. Hopefully you’ll be able to make your way to Komodo Island soon!

    1. Ha! Must have a look at the programme – as near as I’ll get to the Dragons for the near future! Saw one in Sydney Zoo years ago – couldn’t believe such an animal existed! And then discovered there’s a whole island of them! Considering I can’t cope with spiders or mice, I’m sure I’m well up to the challenge!!

  3. Thanks for stopping by my blog to take a look. Is your blog relatively new? If so, it’s great so far. I look forward to hearing your stories.

    I have a question for you. I spent two weeks in Myanmar in 2018 and it was one of the best trips I’ve ever had. Can I ask if your decision not to go was due to safety concerns, or moral concerns? Some of my friends criticised my decision to spend tourist dollars in a country killing its own citizens, so I completely understand that decision. If your main concern is safety, I’d like to reassure you. It is absolutely safe for tourists, and I saw police only once in two weeks (unlike Cairo or Santiago, where you’re surrounded by them every day). The people are unbelievably generous and loving to complete strangers, and the country is insanely beautiful, with mountains and lakes and forests.

    1. Lovely to ‘meet’ you and thank you for your support!

      Re Myanmar, while I see that its still a very popular tourist destination, for us it was a moral concern as you say. One thing I’ve learned in life however, is ‘never say never’ and I’m absolutely sure that I will get there some day. It looks stunning and everyone speaks so positively about the people they meet. You must have had a great experience there.

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