“Much of who we are depends on where we’ve been.”
Is there a statement more true? We are all a compilation of our own life experiences.
I write this post today in celebration of completing the travel portion of Once Upon A Frittata. Finding myself grounded in 2020 gave me the time I needed to sit down and put my lifetime of travels onto a page.
It was a labor of love, one that took me on a journey back through every place I’ve visited. Over the course of the past month it has taken me to build the travel pages I’ve fallen in love all over again with the smell of salty-sea mornings on Middle Caicos, with the scent of the sweet and tropical Ylang Ylang flower that permeates Costa Rica, with the unparalleled beauty that is the pastel landscape of dawn in Santorini, with the memory of European breakfast buffets and with the feel of a baby lamb snuggled up against me in an Irish farmhouse.
I thank God every night that I decided to start keeping a travel journal long ago, because not only did it make the process of telling my travel stories easier, my journal remembers what my mind had filed away – the names of the hotels, the tiny villages, the guides, the meals. I am also grateful for all the pictures I took and for Shutterfly, Google Photos and the cloud where if I search hard enough I can find every last moment.
I could not possibly share these travel journeys without recognizing three men without whom many of these experiences – the experiences that formed me – would not have been possible.
First, I thank my Dad. He was the parent with the sense of adventure. He traveled to the Orient in the early 80’s for work and returned with exotic gifts that got me curious about what the rest of the world was like. He was the driving force behind our summers in Ogunquit, Maine. He taught me first how to navigate the subway system in Boston and then how to not just navigate air travel, but how to dominate it. He’s the reason I never check bags (no matter where he went, his bags always ended up in Denver).
Secondly I thank Rick Steves. For those who know Rick, you get it. For those who don’t, Rick Steves has spent a lifetime exploring and documenting pretty much all of Europe and his guidebooks, maps, interviews and audio tours are the root of any trip I’ve taken there. After spending 2 weeks relying on nothing but Rick’s recommendations in London, Scotland and Ireland he affectionately became known as “Uncle Rick” in my family. My European destination pages all have a link to an overview of Rick Steves Audio Europe – an app you simply can’t do without. If you are someone who has NOT traveled, much because you fear the time it will take to do the research or you get lost in the planning, I encourage you to start fresh with Rick. Go to Europe. You don’t have to plan, Rick has already done it all for you. I wish Rick had done India or Africa (hey Rick, I’ll do it with you!)
The other man who must be given due credit is my ex-husband, Larry. Much of our ten years together was spent as “students of the world”. Neither of us had done much traveling when we met, but we found common ground in our zest for life and for new experiences. I was the trip planner. We’d sometimes discuss destinations, and sometimes I’d just put an entire trip together and tell him “that’s where we’re going”. He was always a willing partner. He was also the financier of these trips which can not be taken for granted. We were not married for many of those years and while he can be quite frugal Monday through Friday, he was generous and free when we traveled. From the first night in Costa Rica when we discovered “suicide showers” to traipsing Corcovado National Park hoping to avoid the Fer de Lance to the time I nearly died of kidney failure after a little overdose of scapolomine travel sickness patch while on a catamaran somewhere in the Caribbean, Larry was my wingman. I will be forever grateful for the decade of life that was spent exploring the far corners of the world with him. It was Larry who turned the disappointment of a canceled trip to Paris (thanks to a strike by Air France) into a last minute decision to attend Okotberfest in Munich, Germany. He was also the person who put a deposit down on the Royal Suite on the Celebrity Xpedition 4 years before we actually sailed to the Galapagos.
I hope you enjoy the travel destination pages. Part of this site was born of the many requests I’ve gotten over the years for itineraries of places I’ve been, most notably of Boston which is my hometown. Now I have a place to direct friends and something they can refer to even mid trip. I also hope this site will reach new friends and help me to find more people who thirst for their next adventure, who are always planning at least 3 different destinations at any given time and who can share the unique places and experiences that they’ve seen so that I might benefit from their stories much the way I’ve grown to trust Uncle Rick.
I’ll be digging into the juicy parts of each trip in future posts, so subscribe and stay tuned!
Until then, Bon Voyage!