Unlike many avid travelers, I didn’t grow up with an urge to explore. Family vacations were always visits to far-flung relatives in small Midwestern towns. I can recall my father barking, “No stopping for the bathroom until I need gas!” Perhaps yours did the same.
Later, as a young adult making my own leisure-time decisions, all I needed was a beach. Any beach. My ultimate goal was a year-round suntan. Then I was talked into a group tour that sounded like the ultimate beach vacation: the French and Italian Riviera. It wasn’t, but it was so much more!
On that first “real” trip, I strolled the harbor in Portofino, one of the most romantic spots on earth. I played slot machines in Monaco and bought a darling cashmere twinset at an outdoor market in San Remo. And I developed a passion for trompe l’oeil, especially on building facades. That was the beginning of my explorations.
So far I have ventured to more than two dozen countries, territories and colonies. Whenever I don’t have a trip or two in the works, I develop a condition I call “itchy feet”—curable only by an itinerary. I prefer cushy beds and recognizable foods, so I’m a bit of a diva. But I’ve been up in a hot air balloon over the Masai Mara, and I swam with whale sharks in Cancun. I don’t mind climbing 300 stairs to, say, the Basilique de Sacre Coeur in Montmartre or the Potemkin Steps in Odessa.
And now, I’ve got many more places to go. This blog shares my discoveries with you.