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).
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.
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.
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.
Egypt: The majesty and sheer size of the pyramids and sphinx taught me that we humans are capable of great things.
London: Who doesn’t like castles?
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.
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.
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!
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)
Turkey: Istanbul, Ankara, Cappadocia, Pamukkale, Ephesus and more