I'm sitting at home today being totally lazy. The most productive thing I've done (so far) aside from reading blogs, is clean out between the keys on my computer with a corn holder. There was a shocking amount of hair stuffed down there. And food.
One of the blogs I read is Kady Hexum's. She is on a trip to Norway right now and I am so jealous!
She has been all over the world. I fancy myself a traveler, although I haven't been anywhere abroad in 12 years. (stupid kids)(just kidding kids! Love you to pieces!) That was a trip to Oxford, England to take a Shakespeare class at Worcestershire College. Fancy huh! I also lived in Australia for a year when I was 12. I told my parents, "I'm out! Gotta see the world!" Just kidding. They came with me.
The thing about traveling is that actual traveling is so much different than the idea of traveling. I watch travel shows and the people are trying new food, and they are bragging about their accommodations, whether it is a hostel or a fancy hotel. The travel shows never talk much about jet lag or how traveling totally screws up your poop schedule, or how the foreign food that at the beginning of your trip was novel and interesting, makes you want to cry at the end of your trip. And they never tell you about the things that most Americans would think are totally fun. Like taking your picture in front of a sign like this:
I'd be willing to bet all the money in my wallet that Rudy Maxa and Rick Steves both have pictures of themselves in front of signs like this. This is Kady on her trip in Norway.
When I went to England I stayed in a beautiful room on the college campus in what they called the "new" building, which was built in the 1700s. The "old" building was built in the 1000s. I always feel like such an ungrateful baby when I travel because I tend to focus on the problems and get homesick for stupid stuff. For instance, although my room at Oxford was beautiful, the bathroom was down one floor. I have to pee during the night every night, so I would have to get up, put on a robe, march down a flight of stairs, pee and then march back up. By the time I got back I was wide awake. That made me very tired and cranky so to solve my problem, I found an empty peanut butter jar (don't ask) and when I'd have to pee in the middle of the night I'd pee in that, and then in the morning I would have to scout out the hallway to make sure nobody was around so I could bring my full-to-the-brim pee-jar down to the bathroom to empty it. Not very glamorous, and at the time, highly stressful. Thankfully, I never got caught.
We took our meals at Oxford in a dining hall that looked just like the dining hall in the Harry Potter movies. So nice, right? But about half way through the second week I was so sick of lamb that every time I saw lamb with gagorific mint sauce I wanted to stab someone's eyeballs out. How many lambs can the English eat? Judging from those three weeks you'd think there should be an international lamb shortage.
See, I'm a total crybaby. I shouldn't be allowed to travel. Now, when I think about that trip, I wish I would have quit being such a baby and just relaxed and enjoyed it more.
But, thanks to Kady, I have the travel bug and I think now, with 12 more years of life experience and 12 years of eating truly disgusting things off my children's plates, or that I've cooked myself, I would be a much more appreciative and mature traveler. I'll just plan ahead and bring a laxative and an empty peanut butter jar, and a bag of candy bars and then I'll be happy, and comfortable. Right?
These are the top five places I want to go:
1. Italy - because I would love to see the Vatican, and the Colosseum, and Venice.
2. Jerusalem - I want to see The Old City: The Dome of the Rock, the Temple Mount; all that jazz.
3. Istanbul - because it's half in Europe and half in Asia! Super cool! I want to see Hagia Sofia, the Hippodrome and take a boat tour of the Bosporus.
4. Oman - I'd like to see huge sand dunes and travel on camels and stay in a real Arabian tent. Think I'd find something to complain about? Oh yeah! But I'd still like to do it. Unless there are scorpions. Then tent-living is OUT.
5. Australia - I'd like to see it now that I'm an adult and I'd like to have a couple of months and tons of money to do it. I want to go to Darwin, Ayers Rock and Sydney.
So, my friends, are you a traveler? Where are the top five places you'd like to go?