This blog is for you, the travel junkie, who hears the call to low-impact, fairly inexpensive, totally individualized world travel. You enjoy being on your own, far, far away from travel guides and tours. You are willing to pick up the local lingo fairly quickly, wear a big smile, and speak softly while fitting in with the local culture and economy. You don’t demand attention but get a kick out of watching those who do. Natives speak to you in their language. Tourists ask YOU for directions. Every day of your travels is the best day of your life.
There are plenty of travel guidebooks out there. Some of them are written by people who have actually visited the hotel or restaurant they describe… I usually take such a book with me. From time to time, I even look at it. (Check out my post about the time I left my guidebook on the local bus in Flores, Guatemala!)
But there are so darned many facts in those books, there’s not enough room for the stories. And gossiping, or telling stories, is all the fun. I love to trade travel tips with people I meet in cafes, on buses, in line at the bank, and over a beer or glass of wine. “Did you hear about the new, green hotel? We heard it’s better than ever because someone staying there bakes cinnamon rolls every day. A German couple told me that guests can cook their own meals and eat out on the desk where most exchange books and travel stories.” That is what led us to our hotel in San Marcos, Guatemala.
This blog is for the stories, the gossip. That’s the part I remember from my travels. I don’t remember how much I paid for the room in the town on the outskirts of Aix-en-Provence or the gelato near the university, but I clearly remember the stories shared with the owners. Occasionally, I may add a few facts to a post but it’s probably by accident, so don’t take it too seriously.
I love to travel, especially outside the United States. I travel light, typically with a backpack and a few changes of clothing, and I travel slowly, savoring the colors, the culture, the people, the doorways, the cats, the dogs, the staircases, the bicycles, the children, and particularly the food of my destination. My plans tend to be fairly general. Example: Head down to Guatemala, land in Guatemala City. Upon landing, catch a local bus to Antigua. Find a room for a couple of nights, unpack, start exploring, exchange money, enjoy a good drink, choose a dinner place. How’s the lighting for pictures? Where do I want to stand to watch the sunset?
The plan works in most places, with the exception of countries where visitors must subscribe to some sort of government tour in order to travel at all. View my posts on travel in China in the 1990’s for making the most of trips like that.
I welcome you to enjoy the posts from me and guest travelers. Here’s to you and your next travel destination!