June 2017–Agra, India
It all started with a quick 36 hour escape to Delhi to visit a few temples, with a day in Agra to experience the Taj Mahal. I needed to cash in some Etihad flight miles… So what better way than to see a World Wonder?
In all honesty, I didn’t have a strong desire to visit India. I had a vision in my mind of crowded, loud, intense streets filled with people shoulder to shoulder, barely able to move. I blame it on movies…they always manage to put an unrealistic image into our heads. But even with these crowd-frightening thoughts, I wanted to experience India for myself and make my own conclusions. Plus, I’m a sucker for romance, so seeing this “Labor of Love” was right up my alley.
36 hours later, I was hooked. The Taj Mahal exceeded my expectations; the inspiration, the architecture, the reflecting pool, the outlying buildings, all were a vision of pure beauty.
It was on my plane ride back to Abu Dhabi, that Saturday night, I made the decision to experience ALL seven of the New World Wonders. I wanted to start jetting around the world at that very moment, and forget about work. But realistically, I only had a few more weeks until summer break, so I managed to suck it up and finish off the year.
If you’re not familiar with the New Seven World Wonders, let me lay it out for you. In 2000 a campaign was started to choose new world wonders from a list of 200 existing monuments. It was somewhat of a popularity pole with people voting by internet or telephone. Seven years later, how fitting, the winners were selected and publicly announced.
So here I am, ten years after the big announcement, making it my personal mission to visit each of the new wonders withing a twelve month span.
Just for clarification, because this was more of a private initiative, UNESCO has not jumped on board with affirming the list as scientific.
So here they are, the official, or unofficial, who knows…list of the NEW SEVEN WORLD WONDERS!
Great Wall of China (China)
Christ the Redeemer Statue (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Machu Picchu (Cuzco, Peru)
Chichen Itza (Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico)
Taj Mahal (Agra, India)
The Roman Colosseum (Rome, Italy)
I’ve had in my mind all this time that The Pyramid of Giza was a part of this list, but after a bit of research it turns out the pyramid received honorary status due to being the oldest and only surviving original Seven Wonders of The Ancient World. Since I’ve already visited Egypt and the Pyramids, I may try to go again, but it’s not at the top of my list.
Starting in June, on that exciting 36 hour visit to India, I’ve made it to the Taj Mahal, Petra, and Chichen Itza. I’m off to the Great Wall of China in January, and am working on plans for Christ the Redeemer Statue and Machu Picchu for February. That only leaves planning a trip to Rome for the Roman Colosseum, in April or May.
As I’ve made my way to each wonder, the history and story behind them is what has drawn me in and given me the desire to experience them entirely first hand.
Are you still curious about that 36 hour stint in June?? Stay tuned, I have plenty to share. It was an eye-opener to say the least, full of adventure, enlightenment, and forgetfulness.