It’s About Damn Time

Sometimes my own inertia drives me nuts.

I’ve been trying to get this blog up and running for what seems like eons. The idea started forming around 2009, I think. Four years later I actually bought the domain name. Woop!

While ideas ruminated at the back of my mind, the site sat in limbo for several more years, feeling all neglected. Wah waah.

Another thing that drives me nuts is the opportunities I’ve let slip by. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy with many things I’ve done. I don’t mean to be all negative or down on myself, but I’ll just explain.

I feel very fortunate to have done a bit of traveling in my lifetime.

Queen Elizabeth 2 docked in Lae, Papua New Guinea, 2004

I just wish I had kept a journal or blog during my summer on Crete, my six weeks in Amsterdam, the seven years on cruise ships, or that time I drove across the US when I was twenty. Not to mention those three cold winter months learning German in Germany, in an intensive-language program where I was the only American in a class full of Russians.

Jawohl! Fun times. 

And then there are the more recent travels I wish I had documented.

This June I returned to Seattle after six incredible weeks spent in Europe, starting in Istanbul, followed by travels in England and Wales, then Switzerland and Italy. Not long before that I was lucky to be able to spend ten days in Paris celebrating my 40th birthday and running the Paris marathon.

2016 Paris Marathon

Yippie! My bucket list felt very fulfilled that week.

And last November I got to spend a week in Cuba (una semana en Havana!) exploring the most unique, historically- and culturally-rich, as well as the largest city in the Caribbean — while also trying to improve my rudimentary Spanish skills.

The question now is, did I take full advantage of those amazing opportunities? Did I share pictures on my blog? Or any of the day-to-day stories? Did I even get my blog up and running in time? Did I?  

Nope.

[Insert heavy sigh of regret here.]

Well, at least not yet.

In my defense, I did keep a detailed journal while in Cuba, and I hope to share some of those stories soon.

The Malecón in Havana, Cuba

I also took less thorough notes during my recent travels in Europe. And I suppose the good thing is that these missed opportunities have made my resolve grow stronger.

So here I am, writing my first blog post!

[Insert me giving myself a pat on the back here.]

Travel has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember, so I thought it was about time I take more care in documenting and sharing the little lessons, personal pilgrimages, humorous stories, and cultural exchanges I’ve been experiencing along the way.

Our little planet has so many unique and amazing spots just waiting to be discovered and shared. Some of them are right in our own back yard! And for me, the greatest reward of travel is the people I get to meet along the way.

It’s the people we meet that open our minds to different ways of seeing things. It’s the people that make travel so memorable and worthwhile.

As Mark Twain once famously wrote: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”

So here’s to less vegetating, and more exploring! I’d be so pleased if you’d join me on this journey. I’d also be pleased if you’d share your own thoughts and experiences with me in the comments section. What is it about travel that you love most?

34 thoughts on “It’s About Damn Time”

  1. Here’s a little story about keeping a travel diary. My husband’s grandmother work as a nurse in Nice during World War I (yes, I. Not a typo!) She kept a diary. Her account of the transatlantic ocean crossing was minutely detailed. Funny thing. The day she arrived in France….the diary stopped! She was much too busy working to document anything anymore. I was given a travel diary as a gift some thirty years ago. It remains blank, despite dozens of trips taken in the meantime. You are not alone! Failing to document is a common problem. Celebrate your initiative rather than regret your late start. Bonne chance!

    1. Wow, Nancy! Thanks for sharing that great story! Yes, that’s something to keep in mind. Sometimes we’re just so busy living life, that we don’t manage to document it all! Hopefully I’ll manage a bit, though! 🙂

  2. Dear Stef,
    Well done, girlee!!!!
    This is what most of ud travelers would love to do, but Í am one of those with photo albums And few journals here And there:-)
    I also think to meet different cultures has been a big part in my travels/work. We learn so much everyday and somehow get more open and light to our daily life.
    Í am So happy Í met u…. Thanks to our travels😉
    You describe so well:-) fun to read and look forward to read more from you.

    1. Thank you, dear Anja! I am also so happy we met during our travels sailing around the world! 🙂 It’s been a wonderful experience, not just because of the amazing places we’ve been able to see, but because of the wonderful people we get to meet — like you! 🙂 🙂 It brings “light to our daily life.” What a wonderful way to put it.

  3. Great reading Stef! Kudos to you for doing this blog! I guess one of the things I love about travelling is that I can get away from myself! Or – maybe I’m actually connecting to my true self…in any case, I always feel so fulfilled and happy.

    1. Thanks so much for checking out the blog, Anne! Yes, maybe it’s a combination of the two! I always feel so fulfilled and happy when traveling too! 🙂 <3

  4. awesome. i am a stuck in Atlanta mom that hasn’t traveled in 3 years and can’t wait to reminisce with you. plus, you’re funny as hell and as i remember always smiling, too. can’t wait to read more.

    liz v

    1. Haha! Thanks so much, Lucinda! Love the idea! Will have to get onto that ASAP!! 🙂 🙂 Thanks so much for your encouraging words! 🙂

  5. You have such a talent for writing Stef, wishing you immense luck for what promises to be a very interesting blog! Enjoy your continued explorations of the world and the stories that have yet to be written. 😀

    1. Adele! It’s wonderful to hear from you, and it means a lot to me that you’ve chimed in with your comments of support and encouragement! Thank you SO much! Hope all is going well for you and your family on the other side of the pond! 🙂 🙂

  6. This was very entertaining! I look forward to future blogs. As you know, I love to travel and don’t mind it if it vicariously through you! Good luck getting it all down “on paper”!

    1. Thank you so much, Brenda! So glad to hear you found it entertaining! 🙂 🙂 I appreciate the words of encouragement! (And I’m sure you’ll be off traveling again soon. You were a great travel buddy in Italy!)

  7. Hi Stefanie! I think most of us become complacent with our lives after a certain point and stop striving for more. I still remember fondly those years we spent in Germany all together studying and partying! I would love to keep traveling like I used to, and you’re still going strong! I’m glad you decided to go forward with your blog. Reading it is like sitting on a cozy couch with a good book, keep them coming!

    1. Lina! (My flower girl!) 🙂 🙂 It’s so good to hear from you! Yes, our times together in Germany were epic, weren’t they?! Always brings back wonderful memories when I think of those days! Thank you so much for the kind and uplifting words on my blog! 🙂 Take care, my dear! 🙂

  8. Love it Stef! Can’t wait to hear more. My favorite thing about traveling is learning about new cultures and just absorbing the atmosphere/feeling of being in a different world from my ‘normal’. And, most of all, the friends I made and still feel so close to after so many years apart. I will be forever grateful for those friendships (yours included). I tried to keep journals during ship days, but it always seemed to turn into a diary. I had no interest in that! 😃 I just use my photo books to tell my travel stories and hopefully that will be something my boys enjoy looking at when they are grown. So many of those photos include you as well. Hope we get the chance to have another adventure together, sooner rather than later. Miss you!

    1. Laura! Thank you so much for commenting! I also totally love learning about new cultures (but you knew that!) and am so grateful for the wonderful friendships that have developed along the way, especially yours! 🙂 I’m sure your boys will love hearing all about your travels and looking through the pictures when they get older. You’ll be introducing them to the big world out there! I really, really hope we’ll see each other in person soon. Hoping our planned reunion will see us all together in 2017! Miss you too. xoxo

  9. Love it!!! Soo, very well articulated. So far so Wonderful. Throughout the years, I wanna say that I’ve been your companion. The post cards I’ve received, post, and pictures are all so exciting. To be able to see everything through your eyes and heart has been an experience. Soon, I hope to be your companion, right there by your side in one of your many adventures. But for now, your Blog I will follow you 😉

    1. Thank you so much, my dear, dear friend for the very kind words! I also hope we’ll be having an adventure together very soon! Miss you! 🙂 🙂

  10. Stef, it is said that everyone we meet has a purpose for crossing paths with you- I am traveling the world through your posts and seeing the world through your eyes!!!!! I look forward to reading your adventures!
    Adriana

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