I grew up with a very simple life with very simple means. That is, vacations generally involved piling the family into the family van and taking a road trip across the United States, or going camping in the Mt. Hood National Forest in Oregon or to one of the Oregon beaches.
Fast forward to my first Thanksgiving as an adult–I was 21 and had just recently graduated from college and subsequently moved to the San Francisco Bay Area. I didn’t go home to Oregon for the holiday because I was dirt poor and so I was invited to Thanksgiving Dinner by friends I worked with at my new job. But this crowd I was having Thanksgiving with was what I called “well traveled.” The family was quite wealthy and the home I was at in Atherton, California had exotic travel souvenirs all over their home. No, not spoons that were bought at travel knick knack stores for a couple of bucks, but wooden carvings of dark wood with lightened stripes, Murano glass bowls that curved like ribbons, and masks that looked a little creepy. There were vases and urns and an elaborate looking chess set made of some stone I didn’t recognize. I would ask the host–the family matriarch–where each artifact was from and she would rattle off one exotic place after another. “Holy cow,” I thought to myself. “How amazing to go to all these places.”
At dinner I was seated next to another “single,” Malcolm, who was a relative of the hosts and also one of the well-traveled pack. As we began our feast he asks me, “So tell me, where have you traveled?”
Crap.” I thought. “I don’t have an amazing place to talk about.
“Well, I haven’t really travelled much.” I sort of turned away and shamefully looked at my sweet potatoes.
Thud. And that pretty much was the end of the conversation with Malcolm.
Ever since then I vowed that I would always have a travel story to tell. Little did I know then that I don’t have to travel to an exotic location to have a travel story. It could be a trip only 50 miles from my home or someplace near the equator. Or maybe on the other side of the planet. Whatever the case, this section of my blog will include my travel tales both from the past and the ones I’ll report as they happen.
I often think back on that Thanksgiving where I was in awe of my hosts travels and longing to have my own travel story. I didn’t go on my first overseas trip until I was 30. It was a last-minute decision for this Type-A overplanner, and once I landed in Rome I could tell that the soles of my feet were meant to travel to unfamiliar places. It felt goooooood.
And were it not for travel I would have never had the courage to get on a plane (also last minute) and fly off to meet a man in Scotland who would later become my husband. For real, guys.
If I could get a do-over, I’d say to Malcolm, “Well, I have to tell you about the time in Belize when we were in the jungle and needed armed guards to safeguard us….”
- Birding San Diego and chasing some lifers (Found on my other blog, The Accidental Birder)
- No worries on top of the world at Mauna Kea (Big Island)
- New Mexico
- Rescuing Larry the Loon at Cannon Beach (this is posted on my other blog, The Accidental Birder)
- Banff National Park
- Jasper National Park
- Waterton Lake National Park
- Niagara Falls
- Point Pelee
- Pelee Island
- British Columbia
- This is how I ended up in London
- Bath, England: An aphrodisiac for my long-distance love affair
- It’s about travel, saying “I love you,” and death (Cotswold and Bath region) This post was Freshly Pressed on WordPress.com home page
- Channeling Sting’s Fields of Gold
- Costa Rica