Community Content Travel Articles

 
A Global Family Tree (and the French Version of Me) | 30 Days of Indie Travel Project #indie30
A Global Family Tree (and the French Version of Me) | 30 Days of Indie Travel Project #indie30 This is part of BootsnAll’s 30 Days of Indie Travel project, a daily blogging challenge with a prompt for every day in November 2011. Check out the prompt at the bottom of this post to find out how you can participate! My father was born in Germany in 1935, Jewish in an inhospitable time and place, and he spent the first five years of his life moving almost constantly westward. From Germany into France, where he spoke his first words and nearly died from malnutrition, then into Spain with the help of Basque people who shepherded his parents over the mountains, and finally onto a ship bound for America. At the age of five-and-a-half, he first saw the lights of New York City cut through the dark of a winter night as the ship neared the port, and he cried, “C’est le paradis!” This journey was not an easy or pleasant one, and until the day he died at 71, my father didn’t talk about it much. What the diaspora of his extended family gave me as a youngster, however, was something positive and tangible that I wouldn’t truly understand until many years later. As a very young child, I knew of cousins in Paris and in Tel Aviv, and of an aunt – my father’s younger sister – in […]
A Love Affair with Possibility | 30 Days of Indie Travel Project #indie30
A Love Affair with Possibility | 30 Days of Indie Travel Project #indie30 This is part of BootsnAll’s 30 Days of Indie Travel project, a daily blogging challenge with a prompt for every day in November 2011. Check out the prompt at the bottom of this post to find out how you can participate! I’m going to be perfectly blunt here – tackling the topic of a “special someone” or a “love affair” in a public forum when one is married is… Well, it’s not to be taken lightly, let’s just say that. Prior to meeting my husband, I wasn’t the person who had flings when I traveled, so there’s not even a story from the way-back machine I can call upon. Instead, then, I’m going to write about the very first thing that came to mind when I read today’s prompt. It’s not a person, or a particular instance, but a feeling I think we experience more often when we travel. It’s a feeling of possibility. Travel gives us the opportunity to live life differently than we do at home. It invites us to explore other customs, foreign cultures, and those roads we haven’t taken. I do this in a very mundane sense every time I look at a doorway, a window, or a path that leads out of sight. What’s on the other side of that door, or around that corner? […]
“Do you like bourbon?” (AKA How I Met the Sazerac) | 30 Days of Indie Travel Project #indie30
“Do you like bourbon?” (AKA How I Met the Sazerac) | 30 Days of Indie Travel Project #indie30 This is part of BootsnAll’s 30 Days of Indie Travel project, a daily blogging challenge with a prompt for every day in November 2011. Check out the prompt at the bottom of this post to find out how you can participate! My alcohol education began long after college, when my Parisian cousin threatened to disown me from the family for not being a wine drinker. It may go without saying, but I’ve come a long way since then – past dessert wine, cab-merlot blends, and syrupy cocktails, I now find myself a fan of things like gin and bourbon. I don’t often have more than one, especially when I’m traveling, but it’s fun to find unique drinks that give me a strong sense of place. When I was in New Orleans in early 2011, then, I was thrilled to be introduced to the cocktail long associated with the city: the Sazerac. I’d had my requisite pre-dinner cocktail at the famed Carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleone – a much more delightful experience than I’d anticipated, given that it’s on so many must-do lists, and thankfully the bar turns slowly enough that having a gin & tonic without having eaten wasn’t an issue. It hadn’t occured to me to ask the bartender for his cocktail advice, which seems idiotic in retrospect. […]
A Stillness in the Air | 30 Days of Indie Travel Project #indie30
A Stillness in the Air | 30 Days of Indie Travel Project #indie30 This is part of BootsnAll’s 30 Days of Indie Travel project, a daily blogging challenge with a prompt for every day in November 2011. Check out the prompt at the bottom of this post to find out how you can participate! Nevermind that I don’t believe in God – I love visiting churches when I travel. In many places, they’re buildings full of as much history and art as religion, and I have immense respect for builders whose devotion to their version of the divine led to such masterpieces. It wasn’t in a church that I have felt the greatest sense of spirituality, however. It wasn’t even in a building. I was a mere passenger on that trip. It was my mother’s adventure, borne of a desire to go to the native ruins on the Haida Gwaii after seeing pictures in a book more than 25 years earlier, and I was just happy to have been invited. I knew little about our destination, other than the archipelago was off the northern coast of British Columbia and home to some very remote ancient village sites, and neglected to do much in the way of research before we left. But no amount of research could have prepared me for how the air would feel on the Haida Gwaii. There is a stillness […]
In So Many Words | 30 Days of Indie Travel Project #indie30
In So Many Words | 30 Days of Indie Travel Project #indie30 This is part of BootsnAll’s 30 Days of Indie Travel project, a daily blogging challenge with a prompt for every day in November 2011. Check out the prompt at the bottom of this post to find out how you can participate! Motivation is a funny thing. As personal as it is, each of us needs some kind of carrot to keep moving toward a goal – especially if it’s a challenging one. Travel goals, when they’re not challenging in and of themselves, are often the reward for doing something we’d rather not do (like, umm, working). The right set of words can be the carrot that keeps you pointed in the right direction. Some may stick a photograph of a beach on their bulletin board to remind them of an upcoming vacation, and some may get a clearer mental image from a particular phrase. For today’s 30 Days of Indie Travel prompt, “Quote,” I’m sharing not just some of my favorite travel quotes but also some submitted by other BootsnAll staffers, gathered (loosely) into three categories. I’m a quote-a-holic, so I couldn’t post just one. I hope at least one of these resonates with you – and if not, I hope you’ll share the one that does. Going Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things […]
Country Roads to Unexpected Places | 30 Days of Indie Travel Project
Country Roads to Unexpected Places | 30 Days of Indie Travel Project This is part of BootsnAll’s 30 Days of Indie Travel project, a daily blogging challenge with a prompt for every day in November 2011. Check out the prompt at the bottom of this post to find out how you can participate! Purely by accident, my 2005 trip to Germany coincided with the start of Oktoberfest. The husband and I had planned our route according not to the German holiday schedule, but to our own vacation wish list. That, plus the fact that the husband had a free room in Berlin at the beginning and end of our trip thanks to a trade show he was attending meant that we’d be spending Oktoberfest in Germany – but not in the festival’s famous birthplace of Munich. We’d be in Berlin. For a moment, we considered re-configuring our trip so that we’d be closer to Munich for the big party, but as anyone who has tried to book a last minute room in Munich during Oktoberfest knows, those are either hard to come by or extremely costly. Not being big party animals anyway, we decided to stick to the original plan and see how the Berliners celebrated Oktoberfest. “Lena just invited us to an Oktoberfest party,” the husband said one afternoon at our hotel, after talking to one of the staffers he’d befriended. […]
Embrace Change: Use Your Passport | 30 Days of Indie Travel Project
Embrace Change: Use Your Passport | 30 Days of Indie Travel Project This is part of BootsnAll’s 30 Days of Indie Travel project, a daily blogging challenge with a prompt for every day in November 2011. Check out the prompt at the bottom of this post to find out how you can participate! A passport is opportunity. Without embracing that opportunity, however, it’s nothing but a stack of colorful paper glued together. Knowing I have a valid passport at home gives me the kind of freedom to imagine clicking “buy” on that ticket to Paris. It makes me feel like the world really is my proverbial oyster, ready and waiting for me for when I next choose to explore it. Simply having a passport is my invitation to dream, to browse the travel aisles at Powell’s with more than a desire I can’t fulfill, to allow a photograph of a far-off place to introduce me to my next travel destination. But using that passport? Digging it out of its hiding place and presenting it at the airport with an international plane ticket in my pocket? That’s taking the dream by the hand and following where it leads. That’s saying, “Sure, Possibility, I’d love to have lunch with you – I mean, what else do I have going on today?” That’s embracing change, whether change wants the hug or not. It is possible, […]