I love packing for a trip, and the anticipation that goes with thinking about where you'll be soon and what you might need there.
I love driving around the airport (this part blows my husband's mind - I know a lot of people get stressed when driving around an airport, but I enjoy the excitement buzzing all around me - plus it's fun to think about all the exciting places those planes could take me!).
I love being in the airport - checking my bags, successfully making it through security with all my medicines and nebulizer, buying something to munch on, and then anxiously waiting at the gate.
I love being on an airplane (though, admittedly, this part can get old around hour 5 or 6) - there's this moment when I sit down in my seat and buckle my seatbelt that I smile and think "Yes. I am in my element."
I love retrieving my bags from the carousel, then stepping outside in a new location for the first time and breathing in its fresh air.
I love staying somewhere that's not "home," be it a hotel, rented apartment, friend's house, etc. I love having a new space to claim and make "mine" for a brief amount of time.
I love learning the transportation routes of new places, be it navigating a city subway or driving through curvy mountain roads.
I love getting to know new places - everywhere you go, even if its within your own country or even state, there is a unique vibe and culture that is different from your own hometown. My favorite trip is one that's a perfect blend of "seeing the sites" and finding some local culture to blend with. I view seeing the historical sites as getting to know the city as it once was, and hanging out with the locals in their vie quotidienne as getting to know the city as it is now - both are equally awesome and important!
If any or all of the above resonates with you, my guess is that you're probably a wanderluster, too. Welcome, friend! Let's talk a little more, then, about one of my (our?) favorite conversation topics, then: traveling!
I've had a good deal of opportunities to travel in my life, for which I am exceedingly grateful. Early on, my parents didn't hesitate to send me to visit relatives during the summer by myself, which I think really contributed to my comfort with traveling. In fact, my first flight by myself to go visit family happened just a few weeks after I turned 6! I remember being chatty with the flight attendants and telling them about my Barbies, and laughing when we landed because the plane bumped up and down - obviously I wasn't too disturbed about traveling alone. My dad also traveled a great deal with his work when I was growing up, so my mom and I often accompanied him (which worked out for us! It meant free hotel rooms and some free meals, which can be a bulk of the expense of a trip!). We traveled both domestically and abroad in Europe, and somewhere in that process I fell in love with travel. I couldn't get enough of it, and still can't.
My most recent adventures took me and my husband on a trip to Europe with my parents. We stayed in an apartment in Rome for 8 days, and a hotel in London for 3 days. This was my first time to Italy, and I was super excited to go! I'd been to London several times before, but my husband had never been, so I had a list of places to show him during our short time there.
Rome was amazing! I took a Roman History course way back in the day during my freshman year of college, and a Latin course even further back in the day during my freshman year of high school. Needless to say, my history was a lllliiiiiitttle rusty, but taking those courses was enough to instill in me a true interest in ancient Rome, so I LOVED seeing all the ancient ruins, just scattered randomly throughout the city. Then you have the entire history of the Catholic church layered on top of the ancient Roman history, plus the Italian renaissance - the place is positively seething with history, and secrets, and absolutely amazing architecture...and also pasta and pizza! Love, love, LOVE it!
Ancient Roman Forum:
More of the Forum:
State Monument of Sorts:
PIZZA!! It was everywhere!! Seriously, it was almost cliche - we were hard-pressed to find any restaurants serving food other than pizza, pasta, or sandwiches in the entire city...
Vatican City and St. Peter's:
Ruins at Pompeii - seriously amazing! That floor is 2,000 years old!!
Pretty Ceilings in the Vatican
View of Rome from an elevated park near the Borghese Galleries:
Political Rally in Piazza del Popolo:
Aaaaaand, then we got to London, which apparently was an epic fail on my part in terms of taking pictures. Boo! But the city was amazing, as always. Unfortunately, on the flight from Rome to London I must have picked up some kind of germs, because our few days in England marked the start of my really not feeling well (which led to my subsequent hospital admission upon our arrival back home a few days later). This really stunk because I had so many places I wanted to go and show my husband.....but at least we got to check out a few highlights. (And I'm hoping it just whet his appetite to go back sometime soon ;) ).
Our 1 year wedding anniversary actually happened while we were in London, so I was in charge of planning something fun for us to do to celebrate. The highlight was our "champagne tour" in the London Eye - we did a round in the huge ferris wheel by the Thames and were given glasses of champagne to enjoy during our ride. It was really cool!
View from our London Eye capsule
The next day the family rented a car and my dad drove us around the lovely English countryside. We drove from London to Oxford, attempted to see Highclere Castle (aka Downton Abbey - but the grounds closed literally 10 minutes before we got there :( ), then out to Stonehenge. (P.S. Between being stationed in England for a few years during his military days and his lifetime work travels, my dad handles british cars and driving on the "wrong" side of the road like a champ - I'm always so impressed how easy it is for him!) It was cold and rainy that day (surprise, surprise), but I just accepted it as feeling super "Britishy" and loved it all the same. :)
Stonehenge (from the car window)