EXPLORATIONS

I am a student of the world. I travel to meet the people, understand their history, admire their arts, and view new landscapes. And I find extraordinary beauty!

I hope this inspires others, young and old, to explore.

In middle school, my middle daughter (below in red) said, “Mom, I’m going to study French in high school and then go to UC Irvine, which has a Study Abroad Program. I’m going to live in France for a year.” She did just that. All three daughters travel (and they find deals so cheap, I wonder why everyone doesn’t do it).

3 Ts Bali
My three daughters in Bali. They too thirst to see and meet their world.

As for me, I wasn’t always a traveler. By the time I was 21, I’d barely been out of the state of California. After reading James A. Michener’s The Drifters, about six young, disenchanted youths kicking around Europe, I had to see it. I saved my money and took a month-long tour of Europe. It rocked my world and changed my life! I could no longer ignore the global news, as I’d gained a one-world view. We are all interconnected. A ripple in our pond affects others. A ripple in a foreign pond, affects us. Here are some of my explorations that I hope will inspire yours.

Please leave a comment–what was your greatest adventure?

Saudi Arabia: I camped in the desert, learned to dive in the Red Sea, and sat on carpets to feast with friends.

SA Kings Camel Race Riyadh
King’s Camel Races outside Riyadh

SA Camels on the Run

Peru: Nothing thrilled me more than the immense Andes Mountains. To walk in the clefts of them and explore the Incan ruins left me breathless (literally and figuratively). I walked to the Gate of the Sun, imagining those who had walked the Inca trail. I can still hear the flutes.

Peru Macchu Pichu
Machu Picchu
Peru Mountain Women
Women who live among clouds.

Costa Rica: Walking in the Rain Forest is, perhaps, the favorite walk of my life. Ziplining over the canopy is one of the most thrilling.

Costa Rica Park

Costa Rica Ziplining
Ziplining over the canopy of the Rain Forest in Monteverde

Egypt: The majesty and sheer size of the pyramids and sphinx taught me that we humans are capable of great things.

Egypt Sphinx Pyramid

Egypt Man on Camel
A Bedouin and his camel near the Giza pyramids
Egypt Two Boys on the Nile
I shall never forget these smiling boys. They came along side our faluka (boat), and I bought everything they had to sell.

London: Who doesn’t like castles?

London Castle Kids

London My Girls
My daughters before Big Ben
London My Girls Stocks
Of course, castles came with stocks and racks and dungeons.

Alaska: I did not expect Alaska to inspire me as it did. It’s vastness, harsh terrain and weather have forged some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met, from native Indians, to the bred-and-born, to those brave enough to live here by choice. I’ve never breathed air so clean and tasted water so fresh.

Alaska 2008 Bute
Me, overjoyed at having reached the summit of a butte. Now, I had to hike back down.
Alaska Fijord 2
Being raised in sunny California, I do poorly in cold weather, but the fjord and its wildlife made it worthwhile.

Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro and Herzegovina: I walked the walls of a medieval city overlooking the Adriatic, listened to the sounds of the sea organ in Zadar, Croatia, walked among waterfalls at Plitvice Lakes National Park, and crossed the bridge that brings two cultures together in Mostar.

Croatia Man in Souk
A vendor in the souk (marketplace) in Mostar
Croatia Zagreb
Overlooking Zagreb.
Croatia Plitvik Lakes
Plitvice Lakes National Park is known for its waterfalls.

Barcelona, Spain: Gaudi’s art and architecture, his colors and textures and shapes, left me breathless. The Park Guell and The Sagrada Familia are over-the-top amazing!

Spain Park Gruel
Gaudi’s Park Guell in Barcelona
Spain Sagrada Familia
Inside the Sagrada Familia.

It may be too many pictures for you already, so I’ll simply list other places I’ve recently visited. In my twenties, I trekked through Europe (way before digital photography). Maybe later, I’ll add more pictures.

Italy: Rome, Naples, Herculaneum, Venice, the Aosta valley, Sorrento

United States (still need to get around more): Washington, D.C., New York, Michigan, Iowa, Florida, Tennessee

England: I lived in London for two years; also visited Bathe and Stratford Upon Avon (I had to see Shakespeare’s birthplace, after all)

Ireland: Dublin

Turkey: Istanbul, Ankara, Cappadocia, Pamukkale, Ephesus and more

Andorra

 

 

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