Ever since I saw on twitter that Chi-chi Ekweozor is mustering Herculean levels of endurance to visit all 7 wonders of the world in just 7 days, all for charity, it’s really got me thinking about some of the incredible journeys we make and how much we’re prepared to do for the promise of experiencing something amazing. It’s also made me wonder what it is that makes something wondrous to us; the sight itself, or something more.
The ‘7 wonders’ accolade is after all a deliberately bold statement. It’s basically saying that, on the whole of our pretty huge planet, these 7 sights are the greatest things you’re ever going to see. They’re incomparable. You can believe the hype. They’re guaranteed to take your breathe away.
The very fact that there are places out there that are capable of inspiring such awe among so many people is in itself pretty incredible. After all, 100 million votes were cast back in 2007 to create the official list. But I can’t help but think that it takes more than the simple vision of a place to leave an imprint on our minds for years to come.
A couple of years ago I went on a road trip across Australia with two of my oldest and best friends. On this one particularly beautiful day we were driving down the Great Ocean Road towards the Twelve Apostles which, we had been told repeatedly, were ‘a must see’ .
They were gorgeous. I have about 50 photographs to prove it. But the wondrous moment for me that day wasn’t seeing those stone structures jutting out of the sea. It was later that night in Port Campbell, sat with our legs dangling over a deserted pier, cracking open a bottle of champagne we’d bought in the Yarra, drinking out of plastic cups and giggling about our efforts to persuade the waiters at dinner that it was my birthday (it wasn’t), in an attempt to get some free dessert (in which we succeeded). The sun was setting and there we were; three best friends sat on the edge of Australia with a feeling that we were surrounded by magic.
It’s wonderful to know that there are places out there that most would agree are awe-inspiring; and I hope I’m lucky enough to see all the official 7 wonders too someday. But it’s also good to know that amazing moments are just as likely to happen when you least expect it, perhaps with some good friends at the end of a long day. I’m pretty sure that if I asked you to name 7 places that mean the most to you, your list would include places unknown to most of us – special only you. So, give yourself a treat and try to think of a few of them – 7 of them if you can.
You can track the 7 Wonders in 7 Days adventure at @7wondersin7days, and hwww.7wondersin7days.com/