Travelling is like finding precious stones

Do you like jewels? I personally don’t like them very much but I understand the value of precious stones and how complicated the competences, skills and abilities that humans must have to put a piece of stone into a precious necklace, a ring or a bracelet. Jewels are to me pieces of stones that humans decided they have a special value and placed them around their neck, fingers and wrist.

However, when thinking about travelling, each place has a value. Be it big or be it small, it’s just up to our perception of it and how much it impacted on out lives. Therefore I decided to pair precious stones to each continent, based on my personal perception of them. It’s not a scoring of possible travel destinations but the impressions I got after exploring quite a big portion of this planet.

Asia – The Spinel Stone

Spinel stone. Photo from the web

Asia is the biggest continent, thus it is home to several different cultures, spanning from the Russian/Siberian to the Mongolian and Chinese, down to the buddhist traditions and principles applied in the South East such as such as Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and to the incredibly colourful India which shows a completely different and unique way of living and believing, The Spinel Stones is found commonly in several Asian Countries. Its colour range covers black, pink, purple, red, blue and a number of shades in between. That is why, in my personal opinion Asia is a Spinel Stone.

The Americas – The Rudy

Rudy, Photo from the web

I travelled to both North and South America and I enjoyed it a lot. Together with the big cities where I spent some nights, such as New York, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Buenos Aires, Salta, Santiago, Lima, Quito, Cuzsco and others, I pretty much enjoyed the mainland of the Americas. What attracted me to those Countries was the unparalled value of their natural heritage. From the so called Red Rocks area to the Grand Canyon, from Monument Valley to Bryce Canyon in North America and from the Hornocal to the Salar of Arizaro, from the Labyrinth Desert to San Pedro de Atacama, most of the lanscape I saw were coloured in red and provided me with very precious emotions that I still keep into my mind even though I visited some of those places long ago. Ruby is among the most precious stones on Earth and to me is well defining the atmosphere of the Americas.

Oceania – The Sapphire

Sapphire – photo from the web

Is there anything that is more blue than the Pacific Ocean? From the marvellous Great Coral Reef of Australia to the most relaxing views over the the small islands of French Polynesia or the Cook Archipelago, there is nothing as blue as the water that embrace these places. These are among the most breathtaking and relaxing places one could ever think of visiting and spending some time at. People are also very relaxed, they live at a pace that we cannot even think of and they have the freshiest food ever. Therefore, Oceania is a Sapphire to me: the bluest precious stones on Earth.

Middle East – The Emerald

Emerald – photo from the web

To be honest I still lack visiting quite a lot of Countries in the area. I have only been to the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Jordan, Israel and West Bank. However if there is something that impressed me much of these places is the incredble atmosphere of the deserts, the sense of emptyness you get while walking on te sand dunes of Oman, your incredulous eye that makes you hardly understand how they managed to build the old city of Petra, and the amizing view over Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Green to me is the colour of hope and I hope that one day the people here will manage to live together well by respecting each other and get a sense of harmony for themselves. That is why the Middle East is a Emerald to me.

Arica – The Diamond

Diamond – photo from the web

You already know that Africa is my favourite travel destination, especially the sub – saharan portion of it. The reason is that once you get there (to any sub – saharan Country) you immediately get the feeling that you belong there. It’s not just the lanscapes that vary every now and then and shows you colours you have never even imagined they could be so intense, it’s not only the magnificent sunrises and sunsets that illuminate the sky with so many shades of red and orange any painter would ever be able to capture. It’s the mix of all these things: the wildlife, the odours, the vegetation, the landscape and the crystal clear feeling that you won’t forget the sense of peace and tranquillity you get on your first night here. Diamonds are commonly found in Africa and to me, there is no other stone that can explain the value of a trip to the wild continent better than that.

Europe – Every Stone

Precious stones. Photo from the web

Yes, nothing is like Europe! The smallest of the Continents is such a melting pot of so many differences that no other place on Earth even get to an appoximation. More than 50 languages are spoken in a territory that is smaller than Australia, archeologic sites spanning from the early human settlements to the Roman, the Paleochristian and the medieval times. An immense heritage of arts and crafts that have never been equalled, the clearest waters of the Mediterranean and the Egean sea and the Mountain landscape of the Alps, the fertile flats of central Europe and the Fjords of Scandinavia, the desert lands around Zaragoza in Spain and the vineyards landscape of Italy and France, not to mention an incredibly rich cooking traditions that influenced culinary arts in the rest of the world. Still today several word in many languages comes from the Latin, while an enormous number of English words are rooted into old Greek. There is so much to see, experience and live in Europe that its value cannot be expressed by one stone only but by a mix of them. It is not by chance that the motto of the European Union is: “United in Diversity”

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