What makes people travel? Whether backpacking in Europe after college, cruising to a far off exotic port or heading to a sunny beach to escape the cold, people everywhere love to travel.
If you have followed my writings for the last eight years, you know my love of travel. Our friends and even you, my readers, more or less presume that in the course of the year I will be planning a trip and it is usually to Europe.
You might wonder, what is it that makes me want to travel? I would say it is wanderlust, a “strong desire to wander or travel and explore the world”. I like to see what is down the next road, across the country or on the other side of the world. The feeling started while in elementary school studying world geography and grew stronger as each year passed. My first flight was from Texas to California after graduating high school. My first international trip was two years later on a two week guided American Express tour through Europe and since then that desire to travel has never stopped.
The most visited country in the world is France and I can count myself as one of the millions of tourists who has visited, in fact I’ve probably visited France more than any other European country. Who can resist wanting to see Monet’s garden, the grand chateau of the Loire or the quaint sunny towns of Provence.
Click on any photo in this article to enjoy and see a slide show.
Many people believe Paris is the most beautiful city in the world and I think I would agree. I’ve panicked in a narrow winding staircase inside the Arc de Triomphe and yet still got to its top (convinced by my husband) to be able see across that most beautiful of cities.
I believe movies, tv, books and photos from travel magazines have spurred my desire to see world famous monuments like the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin and the Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria. How wonderful it is to actually see them in all their glory.
I enjoy traveling to distant lands to discover other peoples cultures and how they celebrate their special holidays. We love visiting Bavaria as it still holds tight to its traditions, costumes and dance and of course, Munich is world famous for its Octoberfest celebrations.
Perhaps some of us travel to challenge ourselves. I have a fear of heights yet I keep planning trips to the tops of mountains. I still cringe as we encounter narrow hairpin turns on a steep mountain road but don’t be surprised when I plan another visit to the Alps.
Some of us travel for adventure, while for others, it is the love of food. I enjoy trying different cuisines…whether street food in Bangkok or at a Michelin starred restaurant that has to be booked months in advance. I had my first croissant and escargot in Paris, ate delicious chocolates in Belgium, learned how to twirl pasta in Italy and decided that I didn’t care for sushi after trying it in Tokyo.
Many people travel for a change of climate. I live in Florida where the “snowbirds” flock to escape the snow and cold, returning to their northern homes when spring flowers start to bloom. We used to travel to Florida each February for some warm sunny weather.
Some of us travel to spend time with our loved ones perhaps to celebrate a special occasion. A trip to Disney or to a nearby summer lake creates family memories that will last a lifetime. We have wonderful memories of our family visiting us in Maine.
Each time I look back at the places my husband and I have traveled to, it is not surprising that I start thinking about another trip. It seems like yesterday that I was visiting the Chateau de Chenonceau gardens designed for Catherine de Medicis and Diane de Poitiers.
It has been eight years since I started Back Road Journal and I have loved having so many of you follow along on my adventures, thank you. If you are thinking about planning a trip, I do hope that my travel stories and photos might give you some ideas of where you might want to travel in the future. I hope to have you along on our coming adventures.