Where To Next – How Do You Decide?

How does one chose where their next travel adventure will be? No definitive answer there. The process is as varied and unique as each person who travels. Many have bucket lists that are short and concise. Others have lists that grow faster than they can type. I once read a post on a Facebook travel group of which I am a member. The young woman was with her mother and they passed a billboard for the Olive Garden restaurant chain. The billboard stated something to the effect of ‘next stop: Italy’. So she pulls out her phone to begin the search for flights to Italy. Her mother just shakes her head while driving, asking her daughter why can’t she plan trips the way people normally do. That post made me smile. 

IMG_0698For myself it is can be any number of reasons. I once went to a small town in Scotland (Birnam and Dunkeld) for the sole reason of visiting a local pub that played traditional music on Thursdays. Recently I added Uruguay to my list just to see the La Mano statue. Seeing many landmarks in Western Europe was inspired by a course on western civilization that I took in college. The instructor was passionate about history and the architecture and art of the previous millennium. His classes intrigued me. Seeing France, Italy, Germany, IMG_7305and more from that perspective has left an indelible mark upon me. Sometimes it can be my taste buds that drive me. My recent trip to Malaysia was mainly food driven (and seeing the Petronas towers). It did not disappoint and I can confidently say that nasi lemak is now a favourite dish. The other reason I went to SE Asia was because as much as I love Europe I need to see other ‘new to me’ places on another continent. Adventure, nature, arts, culture, rest and relaxation, partying, reflection, sports, or wanderlust IMG_7844whatever the reason, just go. Keep and open mind and heart, to know that doing things differently is a way to learn and understand this complicated world we live in. Perhaps then we will realize we make it much more complicated by lack of understanding or not wanting to understand. Travel can, if we allow it, teach us amazing things about others and see all that this world has to offer. And sometimes there simply is no reason other than to just go.

Sunday Special – La Mano de Punta del Este (or The Hand of Punta del Este) – Uruguay

Since February 1982, Uruguay’s Punta del Este has been home to this famous sculpture by Chilean artist Mario Irarrázabal. Located on Brava Beach, in the popular resort town, stands the concrete and plastic statue of fingers struggling out of its sandy location. Irarrázabal created the iconic artwork during the first International Meeting of Modern Sculpture in the Open Air. La Mano has become one of the most recognized pieces of beach art and has been photographed by media and tourists alike. In fact, the popularity of La Mano prompted Irarrázabal to create similar works of art in Madrid, The Atacama Dessert (Chile) and Venice.


La Mano de Punta del Este – Photo credit:  Wikimedia Commons – Photo taken and owned by Rosina Piexoto 

By Rosina Peixoto (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons


La Mano / The Hand at night – Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons – Photo taken and owned by Marcelo Campi

By Marcelo Campi from MVD, Uruguay (The hand) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons





Sojourn, trip, journey.  Travel, wander, rove, roam.  Wanderlust – a desire to travel. The definition in its simplest form, in my opinion. Yet, it means much more to me and to many people out there. It is more than a desire – it’s a longing, an ache, a part of oneself that must be sated.  When not travelling I often experience what in German is called “fernweh” or far-sickness. I find this feeling even stronger than wanderlust. It comes in waves often lasting for days. I feel lost at home and the familiar surroundings around me, as if I didn’t fully belong. Other times it’s for a few hours or a day, gone a suddenly as it came yet its impact lingering in my heart, in my soul. That’s the strongest of my ‘travel’ feelings. When I tell others I want to go away during my bouts of fernweh I am never certain if they understand the depths of yearning. As for wanderlust,  it is the constant. Always there, an ever-present gentle hand guiding me. That part of me that craves new adventures, new sights and experiences is spurred on by that continual feeling of wanderlust. Even just the simple idea of being in another location is lit by wanderlust.  I gladly embrace it.

Sunday Special – Slea Head Drive, Ireland

Since it was St Patrick’s Day on Friday, today’s Sunday Special will be a beautiful spot in Ireland. As many of you know, Ireland is my favourite country. It is beyond beautiful – a place that has captivated my heart like no other. During my first visit to the ‘Emerald Isle’ I joined a tour from Killarney to Dingle along the Slea Head Drive. This was my first “day tour” (via bus) in Ireland. I have to say, it did not disappoint. The mid-March day was pleasantly sunny and made for some great views. So much so that I can not  remember the name of each location the tour stopped in. I was so overtaken with the stunning views that I tuned out what the tour guide told us!  What I do recall are lush green hills, stunning vistas, ancient ‘beehive’ huts, the Atlantic Ocean, a few stellar beaches and hearing about a local dolphin named Fungie. At one stop there was a magnificent view of the ocean where it met with the rugged shoreline of the Dingle Peninsula. The cool wind against my face was strong yet refreshing as I watched as the waves pummeled the earth. The sun was bright but not hot, it is Ireland after all. The grass beneath my feet was soft as I walked along the coast not wanting to head back to the bus. This was one of those perfect moments. Along with scenic views there was a stop to visit some of the clochans or beehive huts that are believed to be centuries old. It amazes me that they have stood for lifetimes yet do not appear to give their age. Beaches and the colourful town of Dingle added to this pleasant day. This beautiful drive certainly has chipped away at my fear of renting a car and driving on the opposite side of the road, something that I do find daunting. Oh but Ireland, you may be worth conquering that fear.

All photos taken and owned by Eeva Valiharju / Wanders The World

Inch Beach, Dingle Peninsula

Beautiful Dingle Peninsula

Ancient Beehive buildings