Monday, December 28, 2009

Quote of the Week

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

Monday, December 14, 2009

MARCO! (Polo!..Anyone?)

We all had to sit through social studies/history classes back in the day (possibly even currently), so we have all heard mention of some of our travelling forefathers. I'm talking about those brave men who risked falling off the face of the Earth when it was still flat, who now have cities and holidays to celebrate their adventures, who now have rusting bronze statues of themselves around the globe, who....!

Alright, so the life of our original travel nuts may not have been the most glamorous or fashionable for that matter, but they did rock the boat when it came to exploring new worlds. We owe them a little thanks for helping to inspire us to get out there and see the world, so here's some brief recognition to a few of our late-travelling buddies...

Explorers for Portugal
-Vasco da Gama
-Prince Henry

Explorers for Spain
-Christopher Columbus (Best non-school day of the year)
-Ferdinand Magellan (Are you gellin'?)
-Ponce de Leon
-Hernando de Soto
-Francisco Vazquez de Coronado

Explorers for France
-Giovanni da Verrazanno
-Samuel de Champlain

Explorers for Italy
-Marco Polo (Creator of a favorite summertime water sport)

Explorers for England
-Sir Francis Drake (Like "Mr" only better)

Explorers for America
-Lewis and Clark (inspiration for a much later heroic couple, Lois and Clark)
-Amelia Earhart (foremother of travel)

Quote of the Week (Double Whammy)

I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move.

~Robert Louis Stevenson

When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money.

~Susan Heller

Take a Picture, It Lasts Longer

If you have ever travelled and forgotten your camera, I would bet that you were pretty upset with yourself. If you often travel and purposefully neglect your camera, I shake my head at you. Being able to look back at your "pieces of work" years after your trip or even the day after your trip is part of the joy of travelling. Capturing your memories not only helps you remember and relive those moments later on, they can also be help little inspirations to go back.

Is there any picture from one of your travels that you are really proud of? If so, care to share it?

Photo-taking skills a bit on the rusty side? Check out this link for helpful tips to help capture your memories in a way to your liking! (

Travel the World for Free

I know it sounds ridiculous--believe me, that's how I viewed it at first too, but it's really all just perception. We have this mindset that we need to travel luxuriously, to travel at a certain speed, but this is all just what we've been exposed to, what we've come to believe.

I came across this article and really want to share it with you to help erase this mindset that travelling has to be done a certain way or only when it fits within our budget. Although I don't recommend travelling without any money to your name, I do recommend checking out these tips to make travelling much more accessible and less stressful.

1. Embrace the Simple Joy of Travel
2. Keep Your Needs To A Minimum
3. Go Slow
4. Leave Your Possessions and Obsessions Behind
5. Trust People and you will Receive Free Food and Lodging
6. Learn a Useful Craft or Skill
7. Get Out of the City
8. Find A Job You Love That Entails Travel
9. Embrace Serendipity

For a more in-depth look into each of these tips, check out:
Inspired by a good friend of mine who has a slight Disney obsession (yes, it's an obsession), the themepark's ride "It's a Small World" came to mind. Although the song gets under your skin after a couple of minutes, the ride itself is probably an inspiration to the young minds who traverse it in their time at the Happiest Place on Earth. For some at least, it may be a seed for their travel urges to sprout, a source of inspiration to not only see the places that they first view on the ride, but also to experience all that the cultures have to offer. Betcha we didn't look at the ride in that light when we were kids!

How about you? What first inspired you to see the world, to experience the cultures and people that world is full of?

Can't remember the song? Watch with caution!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sometimes we forget about how many things our own country has to offer; how, even though it is a relatively young nation, it has it's own identit(y/ies). While exploring online, I came across a list of "strange facts" about the US of A. Here are some of my favorites...

1. Yes, Kansas IS flatter than a pancake. Anyone crossing I-70 swears by it, but a 2003 study using a cross-section of a flapjack actually determined Kansas flatter. It failed to mention that Delaware and Florida are actually flatter than Kansas.

11. It’s said the Maine Coon Cat are descendants of Marie Antoinette’s pets. She apparently wanted them to live in America, and lost her head for it.

13. No one knows what state was inaugurated first, North or South Dakota. In one swoop in 1889, both were blindly signed in back to back. In books though North gets the nod as the 39th state, South the 40th, due to the alphabet.

16. Most disparate temperatures in the US: Fort Yukon, Alaska, where it reaches 100 degrees in summer and 80 below in winter.

17. Rhode Island’s real name is Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, which is just absurd. And should be mandated to be, in full, on their license plate.

19. The ice cream cone is, some say, a St Louis accident. When cups ran out during the 1904 World’s Fair, an ice-cream vendor lifted some Belgian waffles when the Belgian waffle vendor was flirting with the Swiss chocolate exec, and tailor-rigged ‘cones’ in real time.

For the entire list:

SOOOO....since we're on the topic of the USA, what are some fun facts that you've learned about the Land of the Free in your travels?
I know, I know, it's been awhile since I last updated this. It's just so easy to get caught up in the things going on around you sometimes. One of my fondest memories of Rome was losing track of any sense of time (and even location at times) and just exploring the city without any restrictions. I was able to soak in so many more things by not constantly looking at my watch or worrying about sticking to any schedule...

When have you allowed yourself to lose all sense of time and just get caught up in the moment/in the place you were? How did that feel?

Friday, November 27, 2009

Quote of the Week

A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.
John Steinbeck

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Turkey Day Stuff-ing

Turkey Day is finally upon us! Time to stuff our faces, enjoy some quality family time, and just relax for even a day. We've just entered into a busier part of the year chock full of festivities and traditions.

In light of my upcoming trip to Belize (and the holiday season, of course), check out this photo gallery about how the Belizeans celebrate their "Thanksgiving Day". (

Fun Fact
Honest Abe is responsible for making Thankgiving an official holiday in 1863. National Geographic hosts a blog on some surprising facts about the holiday and notes tha Lincoln may have been swayed by magazine editor Sarah Josepha Hale, the author of "Mary Had a Little Lamb." Historians say she was a big proponent of making Thanksgiving a national holiday. (Source: Y! Buzz)

Food for Thought (mmm...thought food)
-What traditions do your family celebrate for Thanksgiving?
-Of everywhere you've been, what is your favorite tradition of the culture that you were able to experience?
-Where are you for Turkey Day?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Around the World in Six Years, Ten Months and Seven Days

Ok, so talk about a dream come true (well, for some anyway)! The man featured in this article ( spent the last almost 7 years travelling to every country in the world just to prove it could be done! Sounds like something straight out of a Jules Verne novel if you ask me.

Check out the article for yourself to read about some of the experiences he had (dodging bullets, etc.) and enjoy sharing (vicariously at least) in his long and exhausting journey.

Note: As the article states, don't expect to be too impressed with his photo taking skills...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sponsors needed: Apply Here

I found this video a few weeks ago and can't help but share it with others since. I absolutely LOVE the very thought of being able to do something like this--not only to see the world round, but also to connect and interact with people from ever corner of the globe. I hope you enjoy this celebration of life and interconnectedness as much as I do!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

When I Think Back...

I couldn't help but enjoy this simple cartoon. Have I been a travel bug all my life? Hardly. I've traveled around the country with my family on vacays, but not until the past year or two when I started to travel on my own have I been truly bitten. Now I'm hooked:)

When were you bit by the travel bug?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Quote of the Week

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
St. Augustine

Thoughts? Comments?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

And Away We Go!

Let's start out with an easier topic...where in the world have you been? (Sites, countries, etc.) Maybe you want to list your top 10 favorite places. Maybe you want to keep it simple with a few places. Be creative!

Where's the Travel Answer Man