Thursday, November 13, 2008

Travel Enriches My Life

My wife and I love to travel. Since we've been together, we've been to many cities in North America, including San Francisco, Savannah, Las Vegas, Toronto, Charlotte, and Orlando. We've been to Europe three times, visiting Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Estonia. Next year, we hope to take a trip to eastern Europe, as finances allow. As long as our jobs are still safe, which so far they seem to be, then we should be on our way!

I love to travel overseas because it's just so fascinating to see how other people around the world live. I listen to the languages, even if I don't understand them. I observe the people and culture. I take in the sights, and take lots of pictures. Two of our three trips have been escorted tours, but with plenty of free time to explore on our own. Both times we have taken such trips, we have been the youngest on the tour, but traveling with retirees is fun too. It's kind of like having lots of grandparents with us! It's fun when we are on our own walking around a foreign city and a local asks us a question in their native language. That happened to us twice in Stockholm, my maternal grandfather's city of origin! (No, we had not idea where the nearest gas station was, as it turned out.) Apparently we blended in so much that they couldn't tell the difference, which to me is a compliment. You won't catch us walking around in Hawaiian shirts and fanny packs!

It's great to have that international perspective. It doesn't diminish my appreciation for the good old US of A, but traveling reminds me that there are some really amazing countries out there that if I had been born there instead, I am sure I would have been just as happy. I am actually off to visit my sister and her boyfriend on the east coast of Florida tomorrow morning and won't be back until Monday. I may blog a little between then and now, but may not. Here are some of my favorite pics from my travels to enjoy until then.

Tallin, the capital of Estonia.

Helsinki, the capital of Finland.

A mountain goat in the Swiss Alps.

Lucerne, Switzerland, from the top of the Medieval wall around part of the city.


peter said...

I liked your pics which you have posted here.If you are willing to visit Europe then visit Sunny Beach Hotels which is located in Europe.I spent my last vacations there and I really enjoyed my journey to Europe.

nicnerd said...

I feel like that mountain goat at times.

Anonymous said...

Many years ago all of my family got passports and off to Europe we went, France, Portugal, Spain, Gibraltar, and even to Northern Africa ,Morocco. No guides, no plan, damned little money. But since i work for an airline and our tickets were free.... I have never looked back since, seeing the world as more than just my immediate neighborhood, more than my city, and , I believe, more than is percieved by many myopic Americans. There are places where ,in the words of Thornton Wilder in "Our Town", 'people don't speak English and don't even want to'. I've been lucky enough to been to some of those,in Europe and Africa. I have since been to many more European destinations, Latin America, and my children have been to far north Canada, extreme Southeast Asia, Japan and more.Did I , like nicnerd, feel like the mountain goat? NO, not until I returned to Houston where my politics make me feel like a foreigner in my own neighborhood.

like you say, where you are born often determines what the best place on Earth is....but when you visit other places, you can get a glimpse of why others feel the way they do about their homelands. Southwestern France is amazing, foie gras, caves with 20,000 year old paintings and carvings, great wine, a beautful climate. ANd Ireland is so bleak, and yet at the same time so filled with soft greens and the warmth of its people. And good Beer. Some say not as good as Belgium, but I'd hate to make a choice.

have great fun in Florida. Last time I was there I celebrated an election. And great fun if you get to Eastern Europe. My next plan is China next year for the total eclipse and Easter Island the year after that for another. Hopefully a trip sooner than that to Washington D.C....if my Congressman gets me some tickets. Not holding great hope for that though, as his do-it-for-the Democrat ratio is pretty low.
Anyway, have fun.


Greg Witt said...

Great photo of the Chamois in the Swiss Alps. I guide on the Haute Route with Alpenwild and we see ibex freqently, but chamois are more rare. They can climb a 1000 meters in just 15 minutes Incredible.