What Makes People Travel

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.

Eiffel Tower, Paris France

Eiffel Tower Paris, France

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.

Monet's Home And Garden

Monet’s Home And Garden

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.

Arc de Triomphe

Arc de Triomphe, Paris, France

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.

The Brandenburg Gate, Berlin

The Brandenburg Gate, Berlin, Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle Built by Ludwig II

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.

Bavarian Folk Dancing

Folk Dancing In Traditional Bavarian Dress

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.

The beauty of nature has me wanting to travel to places both far and near.

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.

Chateau de Chenonceau Gardens

Chateau de Chenonceau Gardens

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.

About Karen

I travel the back roads of New England and beyond, sharing great food and interesting places.
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156 Responses to What Makes People Travel

  1. This is lovely Karen. You are right, I love travel as most people do. Part of the reason is it gives you something to look forward to. The planning and anticipation. France is one of my favorite places too. Great photos, thanks for sharing this wonderful post.
    Cheers,
    Carolyn

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Carolyn, I’m glad that you enjoyed the post. We both enjoy traveling near and far and you are right the planning and anticipation…it is part of the overall experience.

  2. Karen, I fear we are soul sisters when it comes to travelling for I too was bitten by the wanderlust bug in my childhood. I remember watching a Nature programme on TV when I was 6 that was showing the flora and fauna of the Orinoco in the Amazon forest and I said to myself that I would visit one day. I haven’t made it there yet, but I have visited many of the places you mention here and we do spend a lot of time in France every year. This summer, we hope to see the Tour de France in Alsace before moving to Germany and Austria; maybe this time I can see those dancers!

    • Karen says:

      I think you are correct about us being soul sisters, Fatima. You are going to love your time in Alsace, it has so much character. And the dancers in Germany and Austria, if you happen to be there during a festival I’m sure you will see them.

  3. Darlene says:

    You said this so well, Karen. It was a grade three teacher who did such a great job of teaching us about other countries that made me want to travel the world. I also travel to see the things I have read about, the food, the historic sites and the culture. The best thing about travel is meeting the local people and learning first hand about the place. The world is an amazing place and the more I see of it the more I love it! I love the fabulous picture of you at Chateau de Chenonceau Gardens

    • Karen says:

      I appreciate your kind words and lovely compliment Darlene, thank you. I think our grade school teachers would be happy to know that they inspired our desire to see and learn more about the wonderful countries in our beautiful and interesting world.

  4. Such a beautiful photo of you Karen. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all of fabulous posts.
    Have a great and happy day.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  5. You really have been to EVERYWHERE! That’s a gorgeous photo of you, Karen, and Thank YOU so much for sharing your adventures!

    • Karen says:

      While I’ve been fortunate to travel to lots of wonderful places, there are still more I would enjoy seeing so not quite everywhere. 😀 Thank you so much for the lovely compliment Angie and it has been a pleasure having you follow along on my adventures.

  6. I love traveling with you Karen, you have showed me so many incredible things and places with your beautiful photos! I admire your wanderlust, I am such a homebody, I just enjoy traveling through my friends!
    Jenna

  7. Ingrid says:

    Delightful post! I can relate and was bitten by the travel bug at a young age as well. My mom used to tease me by telling me I had gypsy blood in me.
    Wonderful collection of photographs.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ingrid, thank you for your nice compliment…I’m glad you enjoyed the post and photos. Following along on your travels, I would say your mom was right. 🙂

  8. Penny says:

    Lovely post Karen. I agree with everything you have said. Travel opens our eyes to our fabulous world. I loved the story of the women at the Chateau de Chenonceau when we visited. Little has changed in the human drama.

    • Karen says:

      I’ve enjoyed your travels as well Penny…we seem to like the same places. Chateau de Chenonceau is stunning, like out of a fairytale with a history to match. Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

  9. kitchenriffs says:

    Great post! Love your recipes, but your travel posts are totally my favorite. You bring such joy to travel! Looking forward to reading all about your next destination. And the one after that. And the one after . . .

  10. Sunnycovechef says:

    Karen, your blog has helped me in so many ways. Your scallop and corn recipe has become one of my go-to recipes. My Swiss girlfriend has taken it with her to Switzerland. I enjoyed your tips on traveling, especially Munich. I hope you get to travel many more times and enjoy it.
    Gerlinde

    • Karen says:

      Your sweet comment is so appreciated Gerlinde…thank you so much. It is always nice to know when my recipes are liked and shared with others. I’m also happy when my travel tips are useful…I only write about places that we have loved and think others will enjoy as well. 😀

  11. Penny at Enjoying The Simple Things says:

    I have traveled to France and Italy and loved them both. Here in the states I have been to wine country in California, NYC, DC, Santa Fe New Mexico and countless other states. I enjoy following along on your trips.

  12. I love this post because it hits so many of my travel buttons. I have to agree on France and Paris as being the most beautiful city in the world — at least from my travels! I love seeing things I’ve read about and being in historical places where our world changed. And of course every trip means meeting new people and learning things you didn’t expect. I look forward to seeing photos from wherever your upcoming travels take you!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Jeanie, It is a pleasure having you follow along. We both enjoy reading about the historical places we want to visit and then finally being able to see them in person. It is a real joy.

  13. Mad Dog says:

    I’m looking forward to your next one!

    • Karen says:

      I’m going to love having you follow along Mad Dog. Original plans were cancelled and now we are in the planning process again. 😦

  14. I love reading about your travels as well as your move to Florida (we have that in common). I love to travel to just EXPERIENCE what the JOURNEY has to offer as I adventure along. We are finally getting back to traveling this year and have taken a respite due to renovating the house we bought. It truly has been a labor of love in making the house our home to escape to when we need a much needed break. I think we are finally settling in a bit more and my parents are thinking about becoming Floridians too. Some family thought we were a little nuts moving South, however; it has them checking out Florida and finding places they love to come back to every year or every other year. Plus we are a little nuts – my spouse and I have both done three cross country moves. Happy Day – Enjoy 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Hi Renee, It is true that we both have living in Florida in common after making a big move. We moved from Florida to New England and enjoyed it for almost twenty years before heading back to Florida (which we said we would never do) so I guess we are a little nuts as well. Thank you for following along. 🙂

  15. lulu says:

    Travel, here or elsewhere, is a gift that expands our horizons.

  16. What a fabulous picture of you Karen, and what a fabulous post! Oh how we love to travel! There are so many places to explore. And I love reading about your adventures! 🙂

  17. David says:

    Having just returned from Easter Island this morning, I can honestly say, “Yes!” to all you stated above. I feel travel opens our minds to world cultures – the people, arts, history, and – especially – the food. I have a lot of the world left to see and the years are passing quickly. I am so glad I have you and so many fellow travelers/bloggers to show me places I just may not get to visit. Thanks, Karen – for your love of travel, cultures, and food.

    • Karen says:

      Hi David, Your trip was one that most of us can only dream about. There is so much we all want to see and so little time to get it done. Friends that enjoy travel, good food and wine are the best and I do appreciate your following along on all our adventures over the years.

  18. Eha says:

    *smile* Methinks curiosity and a personal desire to experience as much as what there was around the world has enthused me. Admittedly I have been lucky to have been able to combine necessary business travel with fitting in personal desires for months every year for decades of earlier chapters of my life. Meeting up with relatives and dear friends naturally has been part of the scenario, making lifelong new ones has been even batter. Am not so interested in ‘famous’ places and Europe was largely exchanged for the fascinations of Asia and beyond already in my thirties having visited the first since early marriage. Give me the delightful crowds of India and China, the fabulous foods and markets of Malaysia and Thailand . . . the noise, the colour, the history and culture . . . .would love to live in Kyoto . . .having been to unforgettable Japan over thirty times . . . my world . . . but the wonderful multiculturalism of Australia is also one I cherish in now somewhat slower times . . . 🙂 !

    • Karen says:

      Hi Eha, You have led a very interesting life and enjoyed much of what this world has to offer. I’ve been fortunate as well and have travelled to many parts of the world. I’ve also visited Asia and am happy I went but my travel desires always have me wanting to return to Europe. One country I’ve not been to is Australia and that was because a planned trip had to be rerouted because of an earthquake in Malaysia many years back. Now I’m lucky to have so many blogging friends that show me your country, it’s culture and food through their posts.

  19. Jane says:

    I have so enjoyed following your blog these past few years. You take us to places and share photos and experiences that I can only hope to see! I love that you’ve conquered your fear go heights, bravo. It opens us up to many new adventures. Like you, I enjoy the cuisine and culture of every place I visit. We are still working on trips to Europe once my husband retires. In the meantime we are so blessed to have three homes in very different places.

    What a lovely photo of you! so pretty!

    Jane x

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jane, I do hope your husband is back to good health soon and that travel plans can one day become a reality. In the meantime, I’m always happy to have you as a virtual companion on our adventures. Thank you for your lovely compliment.

  20. We went to Giverny this year to see Monet’s gardens but sadly for us the weather was not co-operating. Italy tops our list, with France a close second 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Hi Tandy, The photo taken in Giverny at Monet’s home and garden was taken in the rain. While I would have loved to see it in the sunshine, the weather could not take away its beauty. I know what you mean about Italy, we love it as well…how could you not. 😀

  21. I love seeing new places, but as the travel ‘to’ and ‘back’ gets more involved because of security, parking, and more unpleasant because of seating, that part is not fun anymore. I know you will appreciate this, but we always take C&J from Dover to Logan. However, the parking has become so overcrowded they now have a flashing sign that says ‘lot is full, drive to Portsmouth.’ That adds another issue to deal with because then you are trying to drive fast enough to beat the bus there, get your car parked by a valet, and still make it on the bus to catch your flight. I certainly have a couple of trips I’d like to make so I’m balancing the issues involved. In the meantime, I’ll keep reading about your adventures. 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Hi Judy, I’m happy to know that you will still be reading about our travel adventures, thank you. Getting to where we want to go is definitely getting harder but I’ll keep doing it. 😀 With our move to Florida, flying got more challenging. It used to be an1 hour drive from New Hampshire to Boston but now it is an almost 2 hour drive from our home in Florida to the Orlando airport or a 3 1/2 drive to the Miami Airport. It makes for a really long day knowing that you have to be there 2 hours in advance and you haven’t even stepped foot on an airplane at that point.

  22. Cathy says:

    A lovely post Karen. I think I got my wanderlust out of my system when I settled here in Germany but I quite understand the fascination of visiting foreign cultures and seeking out traditional specialities. I wonder where you will be travelling later in the year…. 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Hi Cathy, Germany is such a lovely country that I can understand being happy to be in one place. We had to cancel our original cruise plans for this year and are just now working out where our travels will take us. Germany is high on my husband’s list as he wants to visit the Porsche factory in Stuttgart.

  23. Larry says:

    Great post Karen and I always enjoy following along on your travels.

  24. NativeNM says:

    I have enjoyed tagging along with you through all your travels. It’s like being transformed to another place and time especially on your European vacations. The architecture and scenery is stunning! My oldest son experiences the “wanderlust”, his dream is to work while traveling. After spending a year in Australia he has come back with more self confidence and a different outlook on life. The places you see and the people you meet along the way will stay with you forever. Thanks for taking us along for the ride!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Jan, I’m happy that you have been one of my virtual companions on our travels. Travel really does give you a new outlook on life and I’m sure your son’s experiences in Australia will be with him for a lifetime.

  25. Lea Ann says:

    This is a great post Karen. Love your blog, and you bet you’ve inspired me to think about traveling to places I never would have thought about.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you for your lovely compliment Lea Ann and for following me over the years. I’m always happy to hear that my travels inspire others.

  26. Kiki says:

    I enjoy your travel posts a lot – and it seems like you’ve seen more of my own country than I have 🙂 . Seeing your pics of Chambor and Chenonceau, as well as Paris, brought back memories as our family traveled to all three for a week when I was 9 years old, so basically a lifetime ago… Hope to see many more travel reports here, Karen!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Kiki for your lovely compliment and I’m happy that this post brought back memories of your travels to France with your family. Your comment gave me a smile because yes, we have indeed seen a lot of your wonderful country. It is beautiful, we love the people and the food. And speaking of food, most people don’t realize that Germany has 309 restaurants in the Michelin guide with 10 of them having 3 stars. 😀

  27. Happy 8th blogiversary Karen! We love seeing the world through your camera. You have added many locations to our bucket list over these last several year. Nice post!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you for your wish Bobbi, I can’t believe how fast the years have gone by. I’m happy to know that some of the photos from our travels have given you ideas for future travels.

  28. marcie says:

    Happy blog anniversary! I love exploring new places, enjoying the culture, food and sights. Beautiful photos here Karen!

  29. Lovely photo of you!! And happy 8th blogiversary! You’ve certainly had some wonderful travel experiences and it’s such a joy to see all the beautiful places you’ve visited 🙂

    • Karen says:

      I appreciate your lovely compliment and wish Dawn, thank you very much. I’m happy to know that a you have enjoyed the posts and photos from our travels.

  30. Helen says:

    Your photos of France and Germany made me homesick, as I have lived in both those countries. Still, I haven’t seen very much of either country – in those terms I have seen more of Greece than any other apart from my own (I lived there for two years).
    Unfortunately, my daughter doesn’t like travelling, not even to nearby cities, but I sneak in a little adventure whenever I can!
    Bon voyage, Karen!

  31. You look gorgeous, Karen! I wish I traveled more. It enriches our lives and opens our hearts to other cultures. And people are generally happy when they travel. These pictures are beautiful! They are wonderful reminders of your life experiences.💕

    • Karen says:

      I appreciate your lovely compliment Thao, thank you very much. Photos are indeed a wonderful way of keeping our memories alive…especially of the places we might not get a chance to return to.

  32. nancyc says:

    You’ve been to so many beautiful places-thanks for sharing your travels with us! 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Hi Nancy, My husband and I are fortunate that we have been able to visit so many beautiful places over the years. Hopefully with good health we will continue our adventures for many more years. I happy to have you following along, thank you.

  33. Sheryl says:

    Happy Blogiversary! I’ve enjoyed getting to know you via our blogs.

  34. ladyfi says:

    Oh, How I love to travel! Your photos are gorgeous.

  35. adina says:

    I’ve recognized Monet’s house immediately, we’ve been there 2 years ago, it was an amazing day! I love to travel too and we are trying to do it as much as it is possible and affordable with 2 young children. At least Europe around us and maybe further when the children are older. 🙂 Beautiful pictures!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Adina, I know what you mean…it is hard traveling with young children but it is wonderful that you want then to experience other places with you. Thank you for your nice compliment, I’m happy you enjoyed the photos.

  36. Lovely photo of you, Karen, and congratulations on the 8 years of blogging. I don’t think I have one reason for wanting to travel a lot but many. It’s good to see new places (but I also like to return to some places I like a lot and get to know them better). Sometimes it’s been to visit friends (I’m visiting a friend in Italy soon). Sometimes I’m searching for sun as it’s not guaranteed anytime in London! A big thing for me is the food … I love to experience the food of different countries and I don’t like going to any place where the food isn’t great!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Kay for your lovely compliment and wish. It is amazing how quickly the years have gone by. If I lived in London like you, I’d never be home…you have such easy flights to get anywhere.

  37. The sometimes inexplicable compulsion to travel is pretty crazy, honestly. I absolutely adore it and jump at every opportunity to explore a new place, yet it also gives me incredible anxiety, because a large part of me hates the unknown. It’s all about curiosity and a hunger to always learn more. Your travels are a real inspiration, and I believe this is still just the start. Happy blogoversary!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you for your wish Hannah and for your lovely compiiment. I’m happy that you have enjoyed following along on our adventures.

  38. Karen, I do so love following your travel adventures! You have such a way of bringing us right along! And I always enjoy your photos.

  39. Karen, I also have a fear of heights, but would really like to go to Macchu Piccu.Have you been there yet? Now that I’m retired, traveling helps to fill the time and to boost myself out of my everyday existence.

    • Karen says:

      I’ve not been to Macchu Piccu Fran but those that have been say it is magical. I do hope you get the chance to go there someday.

  40. It’s so nice to see a photo of you finally! I don’t think I’ve ever seen one before (or perhaps I missed it). I love travelling because it broadens my mind and inspires me. And I love travelling all over the place-Asia, Africa and the Middle East along with Europe and America.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lorraine, I’m glad you liked my photo…you are right, there aren’t many of myself. You definitely have done a lot of travel miles yourself which I have enjoyed following. 🙂

  41. Debra says:

    It’s wonderful that you’ve had so many opportunities to follow your adventurous dreams, Karen. They have obviously added a great deal to your enjoyment in life! 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Hi Debra, My mother used to say “that if wishes were horses, I’d have a stable full”. I’ve always wanted to travel and am fortunate to have been able to see a lot of wonderful places over the years. 😀

  42. Sartenada says:

    Hello Karen.

    What a wonderful post You made! I appreciate also Your photos, because they are clear and crisp. I have visited in some places which You presented here, but in some not. This is understandable, because we do not have time to visit everywhere and our personal interests are not always the same.

    Answering to Your question in the header: “What Makes People Travel”, I have one reason, which is not general to many of us. I want maintain my language skills! Blogging in four languages, of which none is mine, needs from time to time some refreshing.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words about my posts and photos Sartenada. I very much enjoy your posts as well. It really does amaze me that you blog in four languages and I just manage to speak one. 😀

  43. I feel the same way about your photo – it’s like, “Oh, there you are!” and of course, I love seeing all the photos from near and far.

  44. ZazaCook says:

    Happy blog anniversary, Karen! I also love visiting France. My favorite regions in France are “La Touraine” and “La Provence”.
    Thanks for your lovely posts!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you for your wish Zaza. I have to agree with you, especially about La Touraine…the chateaux in the Loire Valley are wonderful.

  45. Ron says:

    Karen, eight years of blogging is monumental. Few can claim such tenure. When I was a youngster we had a globe in our living room. I used to spin it and with my eyes closed stop it with my finger and say to myself, one day I’ll go there. I likely didn’t make it to all the places I stopped that globe on but I gave it a good go. That wanderlust in me has gone from me for the most part. Oh, I still like to make small trips, but not long journeys. But, I still love to read about them and that’s why I love your blog. Keep up that great work.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you for your kind words and wish Ron, it is hard to believe how quickly the years have past. While my husband enjoys our fall trip to Europe each year, he too enjoys the small trips a lot…we did a 3 day trip recently for a car event. 🙂

  46. cookingontheweekends says:

    I have loved reading about your travels, and think all of the reasons you listed are spot on. For me it’s mostly about seeing other cultures via food and the day to day life. I have a very long list of places in the world to visit. It’s always inspiring to hear about other peoples’ travels. ~Valentina

  47. Juliana says:

    Like you I love traveling, it is not enough time to go and visit all the places that I want. Thank you so much for sharing the pictures, so much fun!
    Have a lovely weekend Karen!

    • Karen says:

      It is so true Juliana, there just isn’t enough time to visit all the places that I would like to. Thank you for your nice compliment about the photos and your wish…enjoy your day.

  48. I love traveling as well. I like small, out of the way places more than the crowded monuments, but really I’ll go anywhere 🙂
    Amalia
    xo

  49. Karen, I love this post and always enjoy your travel posts. I have been everywhere your pictured except the gorgeous Chateau. Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos.

    • Karen says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post Pam, thank you. You must try to plan a trip to the Loire and visit Chateau de Chenonceau as I know you would love the magnificent gardens.

  50. For me it is very much to experience something new, to learn how others live and have different solutions to the same issue, to enjoy differences. I always come home with renewed energy.

  51. What a wonderful post to read Karen! As a fellow traveler lover, I totally agree with all of the various reasons why we love to travel. I’m a curious soul and love to discover new places to immerse myself in. Every trip, each new country and culture expands my awareness of humanity and our beautiful planet! I hope that you blog for many more years and continue to share your incredible journeys!

    • Karen says:

      I appreciate your kind words and wish Roz, I’ve enjoyed having you following along on our adventures over the years…thank you!

  52. Michelle says:

    I don’t know. But I’m ready to start planning another trip!

  53. Kelly | Foodtasia says:

    Such a well written post, Karen! And such a pleasure to read. Planning a holiday can give us months of pleasure and anticipation as we look forward to it. My favorite things about travelling are being inspired by all of the wonderful foods and how history seems to come alive when we explore the places we have read about. It really sparks the imagination. I love the picture of you at Chenonceau. It was my favorite chateau! Time to start planning the next holiday!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kelly, it is time to start planning the next trip and that is exactly what I’ve been doing. Thank you for your lovely compliment, I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the post. Out of all the chateau I’ve visited, Chenonceau is my favorite as well.

  54. Great post, Karen! We love to travel, too. In fact, the desire to see the world might have been the driving force behind my career choices, having lived in so many different countries. And I must agree, Paris might well be the most beautiful of all cities, certain among the major ones. It might come as a surprise, but if I could choose where to live, without regard to other factors like family or career, I think Paris would be my first choice.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Frank, I’m glad that you enjoyed the post. It is and isn’t a surprise that you would decide on Paris. Having already lived in Italy, I can see why you would want to experience another lifestyle. Paris would indeed be a great city to live in. 🙂

  55. Carolyn Jung says:

    I admit that I travel first and foremost to enjoy great food and wine (well, it’s a given since that’s my job). But one of the greatest secondary gifts is meeting people, getting to know what their lives are like where they live, and realizing that — yes — we are all much more alike than different. Traveling teaches us that we are all together on this planet and that we should cherish and support one another.

    • Karen says:

      I totally agree with you Carolyn. When I first started planning our trips to Europe, I used Michelin maps in their famous red guides to see when starred restaurants were. 😀 So many were in small towns and villages where people took the time to speak with you.

  56. Happy Blog Anniversary, Karen, and thanks for sharing those wonderful photos of your travels. Giverny is one of the prettiest places on earth, isn’t it?

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Scarlett for your lovely compliment and your nice wish. Giverny is indeed a beautiful spot…if I could only have spent time there in the sunshine. 🙂

  57. ourbalancedbowl says:

    Loved this post, Karen! My husband and I are traveling to Paris for the first time this October and we are soooo excited!

  58. You’ve been so fortunate to have traveled so much, Karen, and I’ve enjoyed reading about each trip! ! I would love to travel more if only my husband were a little more adventurous as far as international travel. At least we get a warm climate break each year 🙂

    • Karen says:

      I am very fortunate to have traveled so much Susan. Thankfully my husband enjoys traveling to Europe but he won’t consider Asia or the Pacific (too crowded and too far away for him) so I can understand. Husbands can sometimes be a little stubborn. 😀

  59. Yes, your travels always inspire me! We’re taking our first river cruise this summer!!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Liz, I’m happy to know that my travels have inspired you…thank you. Several of our friends have done river cruises and loved them. Enjoy!

  60. sherry says:

    so many glorious photos of glorious places karen. i travel to meet new people, to eat new food, to visit friends and family, to discover new things. so exciting! cheers sherry

  61. For the Love of Cooking says:

    Traveling is at the top of my bucket list!

  62. Wonderful photos .. that last one of you is fabulous! I too have visited France several times … but I would love to see more of Europe! I enjoy the adventure of travel but the food plays a huge part too for me! I made that chicken ball pasta too Karen, it was delicious … 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Hi Julie, Thank you so much for letting me know that you made the chicken parmesan meatball recipe and enjoyed it. I also appreciate your lovely compliment about the photos, it is much appreciated.

  63. It is hard to imagine the world if you’ve never been anywhere else. I love visiting ethnic groceries because it makes me feel like I’m on vacation. However I’d much rather be somewhere else. Travel is the best education. If everyone ventured of their comfort zone I dare say the world would be a better place.

    • Karen says:

      I totally agree with you Abbe and to think some people have never been out of the town they were born in. While many people can’t leave, others have no interest in learning about other places…even if it is not that far away.

  64. Karen Ann says:

    Thank you for visiting my blog and with such a thoughtful comment. I am THRILLED to find your blog – how have I missed it all these eight years!?.. Your photography and writing are beautiful, we are kindred spirits as well as the sharing of a name. While I love travel, I don’t get to do as much of it as I would like. This farm and seaside cottage of ours keeps us pretty “anchored”. We’ve rented a villa on St. John next March, I’ll have to be content to stay put for the most part till then.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Karen Ann, I appreciate your visit and your very nice compliment…thank you. I’m sure you are going to love the island of St. John. It has been years since my last visit but I’m sure it is still as pretty as it was when I was last there.

  65. Sissi says:

    Karen, your posts make everyone dream of travelling! They also give so many fantastic food to eat and places to visit ideas! I would be unable to explain why I travel… but probably food, wine and people are the main reasons. A change of weather is so fabulous too… but coming back from a warm place to a chilly rainy city (like from Cannes at the end of November) can be really depressing…
    Have fun and don’t forget to write to us about it!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Sissi, I’m so happy that you have enjoyed following along on our travels over the years. I’m in the process of planning a new trip and will definitely share where we go and of course some of the delicious food that we will be enjoying. 🙂

  66. I Wilkerson says:

    We got the Southwest companion pass this year, which doesn’t get you to Europe, but is great in the US. Alas my husband has changed jobs and is short on vacation, so I don’t think we’ll get as much use as planned. I think good photo ops is another reason to travel!

  67. Pam says:

    Nice photo of you, Karen! Love reading about your travel adventures. I agree about Paris, but love Hawaii, Lucerne, Switzerland and Garmisch, Germany, all so beautiful. No cruises for us, nor camping, but a river boat cruise on the Danube would be great! Travel and food, a fantastic combo! Keep on traveling!

    • Karen says:

      I’m glad you like the photo that I included of myself Pam, thank you for your nice compliment. I’ve be to all the places you have mentioned. They are all very different but would make any traveler want to return for another visit. I’m glad that you like my combination of travel and food that appears on my blog, thank you very much.

  68. Eva Taylor says:

    We love to travel too. Some of my most treasured memories are from travel experiences. I love reading about your travel experiences, you really know how to find the hidden treasures.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Eva, I’m glad that you enjoy the hidden treasures that I try to find in our travels. I know that many tourists have not been to the places that I like to share with my readers but I believe that they would enjoy them if they seek them out.

  69. I love to read people’s travel adventures, where they went, what they saw and ate! I am a big fan of finding new places in your own country as well as abroad.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Caroline, I know what you mean about finding new places in your own country. We recently spent three days in the middle of Florida where I’ve never been. The area was so very different from most parts of the state…it truly felt like I was on vacation.

  70. Yes to wanderlust! You’ve so eloquently described the reasons that for travel that we share. This may sound strange, but one of the things I appreciate the most about travel is feeling on my heels – especially in countries where I don’t speak the language. I believe that it gives me empathy for visitors to my country that I could not gain any other way. Thank you for a beautiful article!

    • Karen says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post Marissa, thank you for your nice compliment. I understand where you are coming from. When we travel in Germany where I don’t speak the language at all, most people can help us because they are required to learn English in school. We often say how hard it must be for non English speaking visitors coming to our country as most of us don’t speak a second language.

  71. Thanks for sharing all your adventures for 8 years now (And counting)! I am looking forward to traveling more with our kids once they are a little bit older. We used to do much more before kids haha.

    • Karen says:

      I’m happy you have enjoyed my travel adventures over the years Amy. Yes it is hard to travel with little ones but I’m sure with wait until they are a little older will be worth.

  72. What a wonderful post, Karen. I enjoy travel and do so for a variety of reasons. One of mine is to see my beautiful country, Canada. Four years ago a dear friend who lives on the other side of the country and I started a new tradition of meeting up somewhere in Canada (for the most part that we haven’t visited before). We have a wonderful time enjoying each other’s company and exploring the history, culture, food and natural beauty of whatever area we’re in.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Marlene, for your nice compliment. I really like your tradition of meeting up somewhere in Canada with your friend. I’m sure each of your trips are memorable.

  73. I absolutely love this post, Karen! You eloquently describe traveling in a way that totally jives with our thoughts, too. In fact, we just got back from Berlin over the weekend, and seeing the Brandenburg Gate in person was just stunning. Same with the Berlin Wall. I got chills standing there next to the Wall – or at least the remnants that have been left on display. I love following along with your travels…so keep ’em coming! 🙂

  74. Laura says:

    I love your photos,Karen! And I agree, travel is something that refreshes and rejuvenates us! And it does give us something to look forward to. I feel like I re-set my brain, body and attitude when I travel, even when I didn’t think I needed to!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Laura for your nice compliment, I’m glad you enjoyed the travel photos. Yes, travel definitely refreshes our attitude and body. 🙂

  75. Wonderful travel photos, Karen. Happy summer. 😀

  76. Karen says:

    Thank you for your nice compliment Sylvia. Summer is hot but it has been nice.

  77. Zambian Lady says:

    Beautiful photos and it is interesting to hear why you and others travel. For me, the seed of travel was planted by my father when my family was really financially challenged. There would be no food on the table, but he would talk about Paris, London and NYC and tell me that I could go there and have all the food I wanted if only I worked hard. I was not even a teen yet, but I set my sights on that and in the process got our of want. I am glad to say that I have been to the three cities my dad would talk about and many more. At least I took my dad to NYC and I am grateful that he has seen one of the cities he inspired me with.

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