Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Experience traveling...

I've been traveling from as far back as I can remember - first in those dreaded (now looked upon with fond memories) road trips in the station wagon with my brothers, then on my first flight to Japan, first solo trip (sans parents) to Hawaii, and beyond. Through all my years traveling, I've learned the difference between being a spectator and being a participant. It took me a heck of a lot of years to know the difference and to finally understand why being a spectator isn't nearly as much fun as being a participant (i'm very, very slow).

So my new resolve was to try to experience something unique about the region I'm traveling to. It's what I do for my incentive trip guests, so why shouldn't I travel that way on my own?? It's crazy not to!!

Take this photo below, for instance. This was in Langhirano, home of the Prosciutto di Parma festival...all tours conducted in ITALIAN only. Do you think Erin & I understood Italian? Heck no. But once the owner's son clued into the fact that we didn't understand a word of what was going on, he ran to get his girlfriend so that they could walk us through step by step! Wonderful couple, wonderful experience!

Mixing perfume has got to be one of my favorite things to try! I discovered that while I don't have a "nose", I can at least mix up something that I like...and I finally came to understand how perfume is made and what I like!

No visit to London is complete without having High Tea. It was probably the most expensive meal of our trip, but so worth it! Lots of food...lots of pretense...lots of fun.

Ok, admittedly, this next one did not pan out well. I hated paddling and i just didn't have the leg strength to stand up. As you can see, it was pretty sad overall. I had high hopes for myself that one day I'd be the Big Kahuna of surfing. All I became was...well, Big.

Dancing at my cousin's wedding was truly a privilege. It was great because I didn't really have a call to be nervous. After all, I didn't know most of those people at the wedding and those I did know, I was related to so stress levels were very, very low. How often can you say you've danced in a kimono (worth more than my car) in Japan at a wedding??

Oh, ziplining in Costa Rica. Now THAT experience is the top of the top. I'm terrified of heights but thankfully, I didn't let that stop me. My fear would've forced me to miss out on one of the most breathtaking (literally) views and activities I'd ever had in my life. I had a great time traveling with these friends (former co-workers) and I will always cherish our quick weekend in Costa Rica together!! ahhh...the memories!

I love parmesan. Why wouldn't I go and visit the factory where the original big mama was made?? Of course I would!! Wow. I was considering stuffing one under my protective clothes but those suckers are HEAVY. and expensive.

Ok, we all know I don't know squat about cooking but seeing as how I love Italian food, it also made sense to me to learn how to make it in ITALY! It gave me a chance to meet other people from all over the world!! and now I know how to make Gnocchi!!
I don't know how this mess became gnocchi, but it did. Best gnocchi I've ever had!!

All that to say, it's great to just go with the flow and VIEW the historical monuments, famous paintings, temples, churches, blah blah blah...but be sure to schedule some time to interact and experience the real culture and lifestyle of where you are visiting. It's never been easier to gather up free, timely information off the internet! Even for obscure locations, you'll be surprised how much information is out there. Go forth and conquer!

Good luck and happy travels!


  1. That's my objective too, with all my travels. I only hope it will not be the death of me! :P

  2. You & me both! Admittedly, it's much more fun to be daring and death defying than safe and watching from a distance!!


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