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, er..uh, Monday Special – Paris


I sincerely apologize for not posting yesterday. I will be honest – I forgot. I had planned on it but plain forgot to post after working yesterday. I’m sorry. I hope this post on Paris will make up for it.


A good friend of mine is currently on her first trip to Paris and I couldn’t be happier for her. As many of you know, Paris is my favourite city in the world (though Ireland is my favourite country). I have liked Paris before we met and have loved her since I first step foot there back in 1991. That is a long love affair. We were apart for many many years but have since made 4 more trips to show I care. There will be more as well. This is not the first time that Paris has been featured in the Sunday Special  either. Paris is, in my mind, that special that she must be featured often.

Since I have been to the City of Lights and Bridges 5 times in my travel tenure I have seen all the famous spots (some more than once). The Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Sacre Coeur and much more have I enjoyed and traversed. It has all been so great, though now I am at the point were I can wander and look for the lesser known places or find something by happenstance. Day trips to Chartes Cathedral or outlying towns are an option. Getting lost in each arrondissement sounds like a perfect wander. A future trip would include use of my book Secret Paris (just as I did with my Secret Dublin book). To peek and look up or down and meander down various streets to find interesting treasures of wandering would be my reward.

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Musee de Cluny (Cluny Museum), Paris – Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons – Taken and owned by Ktatpong

 

Fumings from Wanderer Grumpy McGrumpy


This post is about the not so fun part of travel but something that happens nonetheless, just like it happens in everyday life. I’m talking about bad days or days we perceive as bad because of various reasons. Now, I’m not talking about the bad days of being sick. Aside from the common cold I had a a couple of those times on my big trip. Having strep throat and a UTI (urinary tract infection) at the same time while in Skopje, Macedonia was not fun. Worse was having Delhi Belly in India which resulted in a needle full of Gravol being stuck in my backside because I could not keep Gravol tablets or suppositories inside my body (or anything else for that matter). Sorry for the bluntness but sadly it is a travel truth – you are bound to get sick during extended travel. Shit happens (and in some cases, literally). The other bad thing I am not talking about is being robbed. Fortunately I have not been robbed. I hope that does not happen, ever.  Not that close to it, but someone did steal my bagels from the hostel kitchen in Kilkenny despite them being wrapped up in a bag with my name clearly on them. Who steals bagels anyway? If they’d of asked, I would have shared.

 

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How I feel when I’m a grumpy wanderer (and other times too LOL). Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/197947346097046996/

What I am talking about is those days filled with small annoyances. Or being very grumpy because you slept horribly or are hungry, fed up or the like. It does happen. Days when everyone around you seems stupid and rude and all you want to do is scream. And cry. Yes, cry. And yell. I am not nice in those moments. I know that. I cry and sometimes yell when I am upset and frustrated. I turn into a 2 year old. It’s not pretty.

After having 2 horrible nights of sleep due to my hostel in Belfast having the worst mattresses ever (and yes, I will rant about this for years to come) I became wanderer Grumpy McGrumpy. Most every little thing grated on my nerves. To me, people were dumber, ruder, more idiotic and in my way. In my mind, I was always right even if I was clearly wrong (insert 2 year old version of Eeva here). I was just wanting to be by myself but many little things annoyed me. Many of them! I still get irked thinking of it (I gotta let go of it don’t I?)

So what is my non-succinct point? It is that despite all the wonders  you can see and experience during travel there are going to be days that are annoying and tiring and irritating. Things go wrong. You wake up on the wrong side of the bed. It is something you just have to deal with. It’s learning about yourself. For me, I know I will need to keep quiet and hang out with just me. Besides something will distract me eventually from my grumpiness (again, like a 2 year old) and the wonder of travel still is there. So when you have days that are not as optimal as you hoped – remember it will pass, know yourself and react accordingly. In my case it is to remove the 2 year old from my mindset. Oh, and a nap.

In the end,  I did have good times in Belfast – the Giant’s Causeway was stunning and beautiful. We even drove past Castle Black for you GoT fans. And I heard some damn good blues music on my last night. Sometimes you have a bad day or two but still travelling is amazing. It does a soul good to run away.