And Places I’ve Been
My travels outside the US started in 1995 with a trip to balmy Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
Sigh. Warm sandy beaches. Snorkeling in the Sea of Cortez. Visiting the Hotel California. Eating so, so well—fresh fish like never before! Cabo was a terrific excuse to get my first passport.
That experience launched what I consider a healthy addiction to passport stamps. Trips to the Caribbean and Canada followed Cabo. (Seems I had a “c” thing going on!) Each excursion made me want to take another one to another new place.
Back in Pennsylvania after ten years in Montana, I worked for a German company. That led to my first (of many) trips to Germany and following in love with castles. And my first jaunt to Italy. Oh, sigh again—Cortona, Radda in Chianti, Pisa, Siena. Don’t you fall in love with the names?
Travels went a little differently when I left Pennsylvania, shot back to Montana, then came back to Pennsylvania.
From that point, Alex and I started traveling. For a few years, his job was based in Europe. My work allowed me to go with him part of the time. Using his many points, we took vacations to new places.
Each time trip photos pop up on my screen saver, I count my blessings.
Some of The Places I’ve Traveled*
- Arizona – Flagstaff, Phoenix, Tempe, Tucson, Winslow
- California – Kings Canyon & Sequoia Parks, Los Angeles, San Diego
- Colorado – Denver, Fort Collins, Rocky Mountain National Park in Estes
- Delaware – Dewey Beach
- Florida – Coca Beach, Orlando, Daytona, St Augustine, St Petersburg, Tampa
- Georgia – Jekyll Island, Savannah
- Hawaii – Oahu, the Big Island, Kauai, Maui
- Indiana – Terre Haute
- Kansas – Kansas City
- Louisiana – New Orleans
- Massachusetts – Boston
- Montana – Billings, Bozeman, Flathead Lake, Fort Peck Dam, Livingston, Red Lodge,
- New Hampshire – Portsmouth
- (Hot) New Mexico – Albuquerque, Santa Fe, El Moro, Grants
- New York – New York City, Western NY, Finger Lakes
- Ohio – Stuebenville
- Pennsylvania – Lancaster, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, State College, Tionesta, York (and lots more—I grew up here, after all!)
- South Carolina – Greenville, Charleston, Myrtle Beach
- South Dakota – The Badlands, Black Hills, Wall
- Virginia – Alexandria
- Washington, DC – all over the city
- West Virginia – Wheeling
- Wyoming – Grand Teton Park, Cody, Heart Mountain, Sheridan, Yellowstone Park
- Belgium – Brussels
- Czech Republic – Prague
- France – *Lyon, *Milan, Toulouse, Paris, Wissembourg
- Germany – Cologne, Hanover, Heidelberg, Mannheim, Munich, Nuremberg, Sinsheim, Speyer,
- Italy – Bologna, Camogli, Cortona, Florence, Gaiole, Genoa, Milan, Parma, The Cinque Terre, Siena, Rapallo, Pisa, Radda in Chianti, Santa Margherita
- Netherlands – Amsterdam
- Spain – Madrid
- Switzerland – Cham, Lucerne
Mexico – Acapulco, Cabo San Lucas
England – Bristol, London
Ireland – Shannon
Wales – Cardiff, Fishguard, Goodwick, St David’s, Newport, Pembroke, Saundersfoot
*This site has many blogs on these places. Just go to the search box and pop in a place.
That’s it? There are continents I haven’t traveled to! Yet.
You might think that’s a big list, but via TripAdvisor, I’m informed I’ve only covered 14% of the world. How distressing!
Heck with Freddie Kruger. Terrifying me is the thought of never getting on a plane or seeing new sites and sights again.
This world is such a vast and fascinating place. There is much to learn from the planet and the remarkable people inhabiting it. I must keep seeing the new and revisiting certain favorites.
A few years ago, I completed, The Artist’s Way, fifteen years after the first time I did the class. A first lessons? Off the top of your head, what are five careers you wish you could have?
- actress (my personalities could play—legally)
- professional traveler
- literature professor
- missionary providing clean water
Turns out I listed similar goals the first time around. What does your list include?
PS. I didn’t say writer, because even as an unpublished novelist (for now), I am a writer. That’s simply a part of me.
Okay, enough of that, let’s go with travel!
What Countries are Included in Your Travel List
Traveler is who I am as well. If you know the Zodiac, I’m a June baby—Cancer the Crab—and have emulated the crustacean throughout my life. I carry my home with me wherever I go. Goals are approached sideways rather than head-on. I grow a new me when something that hasn’t been working falls away.
A friend once told me she was stressed about having to sell the first house she’d bought. I shrugged and said, but you will make a new home in a new house.
We reinvent what home means wherever we live—your own home, an apartment, or a rental cottage. Home is about relaxing into your surroundings. On our recent trip to Wales I whirl-winded through my nesting at our vacation home. Jackie remarked, “You amaze me. How do you settle in so quickly and get organized, making it comfortable with our things?” I grinned, declaring, “This space is mine. For now.”
After a flurry of trips one spring, I was ready to be homebound for a while. At about week six, my wondering/wandering spirit was antsy to go again. (Stuck at home, I rearrange furniture.) My cousins call me a Bohemian and I take that as a complete compliment. They don’t always understand my journeying DNA, but they accept it as a trait of their sole redheaded cousin.
Travel – Distinctions Between Us
The world is full of people—you know who you are—who have lived in one town their entire lives. People who don’t venture farther than a four-hour drive away for vacation. My love of being a vagabond is as foreign to you as your desire to be sedate is to me. And of course, if we were all the same, what a boring old earth it would be!
Why I’m like this and my siblings are calmer—liking to travel, but not at my pace—who knows? Let’s blame Dad. His pictures and stories of being stationed in Hawaii during the Korean War (tough gig, he always said) set me off. As a child, it was magical that Dad lived in this exotic island covered with pineapple fields and sunny beaches. Dad went there and back again on a ship, under the Golden Gate Bridge, passing by Alcatraz. Amazing. Yep, let’s blame Dad. If I know him, he’s laughing at me right now, asking, Where are you going next, my crazy child?
I have to travel. It’s that simple. There is no real choice for me. I will enjoy journeys until I am no longer able to board a plane or drive a car.
What about you? Traveler or homebody? Are you a bit of both and enjoy being a tourist in your hometown?
*Read Travel Blogs here