Dreaming of travel (again)

We all have travel dreams.  Thinking of my next adventure always captivates my attention for rather too long a time, but I’m sure you will forgive me!  Reading about other people’s journey’s abroad, or pulling a Lonely Planet guide from the bookshelf always gives me inspiration to plan my next trip… or the next… and the next after that.  So, on that fine note, here is my list of the next five adventures which I dream of turning into a reality, soon.

IMG_6183

  1. In the path of ‘romance’

My main hobby in life is studying and interacting in French and Italian, but I just love learning about the Romantic languages in general.  My linguistic side also crops in, and I long to investigate more than just the standardised romantic language.  Not to mention, that many of those minority romantic languages that currently still exist throughout Europe, may not (depending on their government) be in existence in the near future.  Therefore, hearing and notating them is high on my list.  The minority languages I wish to hear will therefore lead the path to the location!

France

Occitan (Langue d’Oc)– found in the south of France, fast becoming harder to discover as most Occitan speakers are proficient in both French and Occitan, and generally only speak Occitan at home.

Walloon – A language which can only scarcely be found in the north of France, in Botte de Givet in Northern Ardennes.  It is currently being kept alive only by the people of the town.

Spain

Basque – can still be found highly spoken in the Northern Alava or central Navarre (North East)

Aragonese – found in the valleys of the Pyrenees in Spain, throughout the valleys.  Apparently in the towns of Somontano de Barbastro, Jacetania, Alto Gállego, Sobrarbe, and Ribagorza.  This language is meant to be quite differentiated as it was developed from the medieval Navarro-Argonese.

Asturian – in the Asturias region of Spain. (North)

Leonese – found in the towns of Castille and Léon in Spain down south. (North)

(Will possibly explore a lot of the northern regions where there a many minority languages)

Italy

Arpitan (Franco-Provençal) – mostly found in the Aosta Valley around Foggio (bordering Switzerland)

(Regional languages of Italy will be explored at a later date, which will be a completely different trip!)

Switzerland

Romansh – found in the canton of Grisons, the Surseleva or Cadi regions, and Val Lumnezia.

IMG_1041Gubbio, Italy – The small town in Umbria where my grand-parents were born.

          2. Exploring Les Antilles

Maybe because I’m Australian, but I have always been interested in the vast spread of European languages due to past colonial powers.  The Caribbean islands are an amazing spread in a small area, of the use of English, Spanish, French, and Dutch which have since developed into many creoles, encompassing their own pre-colonial languages.  Some are still under foreign administration.  So, which islands have which official language?

French – Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico

Spanish – Guadeloupe, Haiti, Martinique, St. Barthelemy and St. Martin

English – Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, Puerto Rico, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, Cuba

Dutch – Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, St. Eustatius and St. Maarten

Haitian – Haiti

Papiamento (Portuguese/Spanish creole)  – Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire

(Taken from the Wikipedia site – Languages of the Caribbean)

However, there are many creoles and patois which are mixed within these countries which I would love to explore.

map antilles

           3.       ¿Habla español?

Mexico and South America would be a large area to cover, but to explore the vast use of Spanish across this exciting country would be incredible.  Firstly, starting the trip in Mexica and walking history along the Inca trail.  To then find your way working south through South America.

Any suggestions on the best form of transport through South America?

Machu-Picchu

           4.       More about food

Central-Asia is so close to come, and influences Australia so greatly, that it is a must visit.  I would not necessarily see these countries in the same trip, but high on my list are Japan, China, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos… not to mention their surrounding countries…

            5.       Deserts on camel-back

I would love to see the life of Northern Africa, travelling from Morocco to Egypt.  Eating my way through exotic spices, and moving through desert sands on camel-back.  Exploring the Casbah, eating ochre in Marrakech, getting lost in a souk, staring at Egyptian antiquities, and sidling through Fez…  I want to be transported to another world.

20090528-morocco2

If I could, I would travel to the four-corners of the world to meet people of different cultures, and learn their many languages to truly understand their vision, their thoughts, their experiences… but you have to start somewhere!

What has been your most wonderful adventure, and what are your tips for my plans as of above?

________________________

Image Credits

3. Map of Les Antilles – http://www.swaen.com/antique-map-of.php?id=17228

4. Machu Picchu – http://newsdesk.si.edu/photos/machu-picchu

5. Moroccan spices – http://mexicomeetsmorocco.blogspot.com.au/2010/09/food-recipes-and-spices.html

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