Sunday, September 27, 2009

Travel Much?

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?


  1. Istanbul and Oman? What about Maui or Grand Cayman?? Or a wild weekend in Vegas... I guess maybe there's a difference between "traveling" and "vacationing"?

  2. Anne, I never really thought of it like that, but yeah, I guess there is a difference. I would like to go to Maui and Grand Cayman too. But they're not in the top five (today).

  3. My dad was in Turkey a couple of years ago for several weeks (maybe a month) as team lead for a Rotary International exchange. He had a great time, and returned with a lot of excellent pictures and stories.

    So, here are my five, in no particular order:
    1. Bali - north shore area, or less populated areas of the's a small place.
    2. New Zealand - Fiordland National Park, mainly.
    3. Southern South Korea - Changwon, Busan, Cheju/Jeju-do, but not until I've learned more of the language.
    4. Northern Italy / Toscana - If you enjoy cooking northern Italian food, and have never read 'Heat', I highly recommend it. I'd like to live in or near Parma for a year or so (Firenze, Parma, Bologna).
    5. Tanzania - any place where I could get to know both the Maasai and the African Driver Ant is somewhere I want to be!

  4. Tough, tough, TOUGH decision to pick only 5! Here are no particular order...
    1. Norway...I also sneak a peak at Kady's blog occasionally....ok, all the time...I'm a blog stalker. Her pictures are gorgeous and it's somewhere I have always wanted to go.
    2. Ireland...the movie "Match Maker" had awesome scenery and since I first saw that movie I have wanted to go there...during a match making festival, of course. AND...I LOVE Gerard Butler (yes, I know he is Scottish, but parts of the movie PS I Love You was filmed in Ireland.
    3. London....all that cool touristy stuff in that area.
    4. Prince Edward Island...again from a movie/book...Anne of Green Gables.
    5. Somewhere tropical...haven't narrowed it down.
    6. Sorry...I couldn't stick with 5, the NE Coast of the the fall.

  5. Since I was a history major in college (didn't graduate, but bite me anyway...), most of my dream trips are "historical" in nature:

    1-All the Romonov family castles. I actually have that itinerary all mapped out; mostly in Russia and a few other spots on the Black Sea. Just waiting for a travel companion because Andy would rather eat glass than go to Russia...Sarah, you up for it???

    2-Scotland. OK, I'm shallow: love the accent.

    3-Egypt. Pyramids, sphinxes, burial chambers, hieroglyphics...sign me up!!

    4-Chichen Itza. The best Mayan stuff anywhere.

    5-Istanbul. Had an "Internet Friend" there a few years ago and have wanted to go ever since. He claimed they had far better 'ruins' than Italy, Greece, and Egypt COMBINED. Check out And just look at Pamukkale!!!

    OK, I'm also an armchair traveller, just waiting for the right travel buddy to come along. Sarah, you might be it! Kids stay home!

  6. Wow! What great ideas!
    Jared, I totally forgot Africa (I'm American, what do you expect?) but I also would like to visit the Okavango Delta in Botswana. However, I think I would prefer to avoid the African Driver Ant. EEEE!!!

    Jill, London. I could spend a month in London and still not be done.

    Dana, I'm afraid I'm with Andy on Russia. It's a nuclear wasteland. BUT Turkey sounds fantastic! Let's go! Or Egypt!


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