The most dangerous thing in my house is not the chainsaw. Not the stockpiles of Semtex. Not even the cigars.
The most dangerous item in my house is a piece of paper, attached to the wall, showing the map of the world.
It hangs on the wall of my dining room and I often find myself drawn to the map, standing before it and starting to dream.
On the map, I explore the continents I haven’t visited yet (South America) or those which I just briefly set my foot on for a few days (Africa, all of Asia east of Iran). I reminisce about the time when I was at the other end of the world (in Australia) or when I was hiking in California or when I took a cab from Beirut to Damascus in a snow storm. I marvel at the vastness of Russia and Canada, wondering how much of it I will ever be able to see. Plans of walking from Germany to Israel come and go, battling with plans to explore the islands of the Caribbean, the Indian subcontinent or the wonders of Zambia or Bolivia. Names that ring a mystical sound to me get connected with places, immediately triggering a thought process on how to get there: Zanzibar, Mogadishu, Kandahar, Suriname, Vladivostok, Timbuktu. I am fascinated by the tiny specks on the map like Bouvetøya, Saint Helena or Easter Island.
Noticing how relatively small Europe is, I am overwhelmed by the size of the continents I still wish to explore. Seeing that islands as far away as Saint Martin in the Caribbean or Réunion in the Indian Ocean are part of the European Union make me wonder why I don’t simply move there for a while, as I require no visa to do so. But then, looking at the boot and the football that Italy and Sicily, my current place of residence, form on the map, and knowing how much there is to see here, I wonder for how many countries and places I still have time left.
And thus I am dreaming… But if only one out of every fifty dreams will get fulfilled, it is still better than not dreaming at all.