There are two kinds of travelers, those that immerse themselves in new cultures and experiences with an inherent ability to soak up every ounce of the journey as though it were to be measured later in gold, and those interested in the simplicity of time spent away from home. The latter will shop and dine, always with a readiness to return home and inventory their souvenirs and selfies. Neither form of travel is incorrect.
My friend Allison is among the soakers, her sense of wanderlust is tangible to those that know her well.
She recently revisited one of her favorite cities abroad ~ Paris. Her love of the City of Romance becomes clearer each time we get together to swap our favorite nuances about France. We most recently likened our love affair with Paris to a classic movie quote, “Gertrude Stine said America is my country and Paris is my hometown, I'll always feel that way about Paris. Across the street someone is playing La Vie En Rose. They do it for the tourist but I'm always surprised at how it moves me. It means seeing life through rose colored glasses. Only in Paris where the light is pink does that song make sense, but I'll have it in my pocket when I get home, and carry it with me where ever I go!”
Allison and I could spend hours dreaming about past and future travels. Among our many agreements regarding travel is the difficulty to put into words the transcendence one experiences through travel. How after immersion into another culture, you search for the words, trying to arrange a private narrative, an explanation to self of where you have been and whats happened, a comfortable way to frame the recent events. In the end, we are just happy we were there- eyes open, heavy breath, holding yet another memory.
Among her travels include: Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, U.S. Virgin Islands, France, Italy, Czech Republic, Spain, Switzerland, England, and Ireland.
2018 for me will be a season of travel. My focus will be on family and friendships.
Best wishes to all for a safe and happy 2018!
2018 Travel tips from Allison,
Eat like a local, eat what the locals are good at or known for, and where those locals like to eat it. Don't ask your concierge for dining tips!
Show appreciation. We all like to be appreciated. When dining, smile, try to look happy with your meal, even if you do not like it. If you do like it, let them know with words or a gesture.
Visit local markets. Rise and plan to dine early, or at least grab an espresso and check out the local food market. Immersion of any sort requires that you experience local culture through the basics of cuisine.