I inherited my love of travel from my parents. I grew up in San Francisco which is a melting pot of several cultures. We didn’t have the fanciest cars growing up or the latest trends in clothes, but the one thing we did do was travel. I was fortunate to spend six weeks in Europe every summer and skied several times a year in addition to trips to several places on the west coast growing up. We traveled on a budget, but I spent my childhood experiencing all that the world had to offer.
Dresden, East Germany – Visiting my Grandparents 1971
Both my parents share a love of languages and Europe. My mother is from Germany, so I automatically grew up speaking German, and our home was a blend of German and Scandinavian cultures. As a young twenty-something, my mother traveled as much as she could, lived in Paris for three years to learn French and ventured out to the United States to learn English and explore. My father saw a lot of the world while in the Navy and in the Korean War. Afterward he traveled around Europe with a friend and learned how to speak German. Although my parents divorced when I was 8, both always continued to immerse my brother and I in different cultures.
1971 – Beach in Brac, Croatia Sailing from Brac to Split, Croatia
My husband Michael’s passion is travel. He helped to further his travel bug by becoming an outside agent at a brick and mortar travel agency in his 20’s. He has remained immersed in the travel business and in 2004 went into business for himself opening Elite Travel Planners. Travel remains a passion for the both of us, and we intend to continue checking off boxes on our Travel bucket lists.
Visiting Finland 1974 My Great Great Grandmothers Home
So why the history lesson about me and my upbringing? Okay, I’ve decided to start a specific weekly blog post. My goal is to blog about all my favorite things that I love about various places around the globe. I hope to have a great compilation at the end of the year so enjoy. I’d love to get your feedback as we journey along, so as I blog about all the places I love, please feel free to let me know what your favorite spots are too – especially restaurants and local hot spots!
Windsurfing – Cefalu, Sicily 1986 Beach with Dad in Maui 1975
5 Things I love about Travel
There is nothing like that feeling of just having boarded the plane or just walking into my cruise ship stateroom. The excitement of it all. I love getting there. This started for me when I was young. I remember even in the car headed to the mountains to go skiing, my favorite part was usually about an hour from our destination, seeing what the countryside looked like, listening to my then Walkman and just getting excited for what lay ahead.
I always plan well – books (and now my kindle), Swedish fish, cards and a cribbage board, ipod, and of course dove chocolate. I’m famous for taking pictures along the way. I love the feeling of approaching our destination. The excitement for a few days or weeks of being away. Just the fact that you know you are away from the phone, mail, email and the day to day stuff that weighs you down. There is nothing like knowing your on your way or just about to get to your destination.
Ready for Europe 1971 Boarding Overseas National Airlines 1974
Phrasebooks are a must if I’m traveling somewhere where English, German or Spanish aren’t the spoken language. This is an essential part of traveling for everyone. I love learning all the must know phrases – Please, thank you, how much does this cost, excuse me, where is the bathroom, and of course the phrase I would like… I love phrasebooks by Lonely Planet and Rick Steve’s the most. For me they must be small and handy – something I can throw into my purse or backpack and they must have easy to find catchphrases.
Dresden, Germany with my husband 2000 Windsor, England 1985
What’s the point if we can’t relive our travels! I was so excited when the digital revolution came about. And I have been known for going overboard on pictures (900+ pictures on an Alaskan cruise). The beauty of taking pictures is that you get to remember the little things about your travels. I love taking pictures of the culture, food and atmosphere. For me it helps to capture the flavor of my travels. I used to scrapbook, but just don’t have the time to capture all the magic this way anymore. I don’t know what I would do without Kodak and Snapfish that offer a great digital option for putting your pictures into a bound book of your travels. For me, pictures are a must.
Skiing in Lake Tahoe 1987 Schloss Neuschwanstein, Germany 2000
Definitely one of my favorite things to do! I love experiencing a different culture through food. Now I’m not the most experimental eater, but I do love trying new things. And one of the perks of dining out is getting to know your waiter a little for some local insight. It’s a great way to get the scoop on that hidden gem or locale.
Dining out is a few hours of concentrated time in a local establishment. Michael and I usually get to know the owner or manager which generates fun memories for us. We love going back to a favorite spot either at the end of the week or next trip. On our last trip to Sorrento, Italy we returned to a favorite restaurant and the owner came out and said Paisan – so great to see you again – there’s nothing like that!
With Friends – Germany 1986 Sacher Hotel – Vienna, Austria 2000
For me, traveling is about getting away from home and looking out at a different landscape. There is nothing like going for a walk or run and taking in the new scenery. Some of my favorite landscapes include the ocean (doesn’t matter which one), any beach with palm trees, Yosemite, any mountain range, classical cities like Vienna, Rome, London, Paris, San Francisco – you get the point and small quaint towns. One of my favorite things to do on vacation is curl up to a picturesque window at sunrise with a good book. For me, this is one of the best parts of a vacation, as at that moment I truly know that I am away from it all.
Skiing in Obersdorf, Germany 1988 Eastern Caribbean Cruise 2007
So now you have my top 5 things that I love about Travel, what are your favorites?