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Monday, July 30, 2012

Wanderlust!

Ever since I was a little girl, I've had a wanderlust I can't explain. Maybe it started because we moved around a lot when I was a kid. I know not everyone in my family loved that, but to me, it was fun. A new house to explore, new friends to make, new restaurants to try, a new school to navigate. Not that it was always easy. As a matter of fact, fifth grade was downright hard. It was my fifth school in as many years. I had actually been home schooled for 4th grade so my mom and I could travel with my dad (now that was awesome!), so trying to fit into a school where all the kids had been together since kindergarten was challenging. I found my place, though, with the pigeon-toed girl with the coke-bottle glasses, the girl from the trailer park and the girl with the sideburns. I've lost track of the first two, but the girl with the sideburns no longer has said sideburns -- she's quite a beautiful up-and-coming opera singer.
But I digress...
Top of the Empire State Building on my first trip to NYC at 17
As a preteen it was all I could do to keep from bursting with the anticipation of my first trip to NYC, which wouldn't come until I was 17 years old. That was a long, tortuous wait. But at 18, my parents loaded up our car and drove me 900 miles from Atlanta to NYC so I could begin my college education. Finally! I was a New Yorker!!
Here I am in Portugal, at the top of some medieval castle
I met a guy who was from Portugal, and every summer my dad would pay for me to fly over to spend 2-3 months with his family and explore the beautiful country. I do lament that I had my head so far up my a$$ over this guy that I never really enjoyed it as I should have. Frankly, I complained a lot that he wasn't attentive enough to me. Ugh. Young love. But still, it was an opportunity that few get, and even though I wasn't as grateful as I should have been then, I'm grateful now for the experience. And I know that I'm a better person because of it.
When I met Eric, we were both pretty broke college students. And we would be broke for a looooong time. Ha! But we still found ways to travel, to move, to adventure. Even trips-gone-wrong turned into great memories. Like the time we were supposed to fly to Florida for a long weekend, but the snow cancelled our flight, so we rented a car and headed for a B&B in Vermont instead. For hours we hung our heads out the windows of the car, trying to see the road through the onslaught of snow! It was scary, and needless to say, we didn't make it to Vermont. Instead, we ended up near Holy Oak, Mass, at a Motel 6, where the hotel staff shared their chili with us and we went swimming in our clothes in the indoor pool.
One of the thousands of pictures we took in London
One of my favorite trips of all time was to London five years ago. We watched the London episode of The Bachelorette a few weeks ago and with the Olympics there right now, I'm almost always in tears remembering the amazing time we had there. I can't wait to go back and discover more of what that incredible city has to offer.
 
My all-time favorite non-touristy trip was to Sandals this past February in Great Exuma, Bahamas. Wow. So incredibly beautiful. So much so actually, that in September, we're moving closer to it! That's right -- we're off on another adventure all because of a week spent in the Bahamas. And once we're settled there and saving lots of money as a result of moving OUT of NYC, we'll be off and running again, putting pins in our map of places we want to visit around the world. Thankfully, our 2-year-old has that same wanderlust that we do. Unlike most toddlers, our little girl is best behaved on an airplane, and she adores hotels (especially the Doubletree, but who can blame her?? Those cookies are cramazing!!)
We'll be moving near to here soon...paradise awaits!
Speaking of pins...Pinterest makes it easy for me to keep track of all the awesome places I want to visit or have visited already. Here's the link to my Favorite Places & Spaces board, if you want to see where I want to go.

But what about you? Do you love to travel? Do you embrace change, spontaneity and adventure? Or do you prefer to stay rooted in the familiar? What are some of your favorite places to visit or your most memorable trips?

26 comments:

  1. Jerrica ~ What a lucky kid you were. When I was a kid, we criss-crossed the country on one road trip or another. Some states *should* be flown over not driven through. ;)

    But as an adult, I've tried to go a little further and see new places, cultures and people. It helps that since 18 I've had my toe in the travel industry in one sort or another so I've had the opportunity to see places I really wanted to see., and my son definitely shares your wanderlust. At 14, he's been to more countries than most people will ever go to. And he always has plans to see more. In fact, he's seen a couple places I haven't seen (not that I would want to go with the people he went with, I shudder at the very thought of traveling with *those* people, but I digress.)

    By boyfriend is German and has seen so much, being a European and having grown up so much closer to everything I would like to see. He and my son have a little game they play... Talking about an awesome place they've been and then saying "Another place you'll never see." Whatever.

    There are so many wonderful places I've been. England holds a special place in my heart and I swear I could live there. My heritage is English and it feels more like home than anywhere I've ever lived. I guess that's why I'm so comfortable writing about that location.

    One place I've seen that I didn't expect to adore but did was the medieval town of Brugges in Belgium. The whole town smelled like chocolate and there were no motor vehicles inside the town limits. So it felt like stepping into the past. And did I mention it smelled like chocolate?!?!?!

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    1. And I just discovered a town I need to put on my list. :) Brugges, it is.

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    2. If you go, let me know. I'll pack my bag. Seriously. It smells like the best Belgium chocolate in the world... But then it *is* Belgium. ;)

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    3. Ava,

      I know you share my wanderlust! And I feel the same way about England. I always say it felt like "going home." And, like Catherine, I've just added Brugges to my list. Holy crap! Chocolate air??? Heaven!! :)

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  2. I admire this quality so much! I'm a major homebody and have enough travel anxiety to ruin the first day of vacation! I don't let it stop me from traveling, but I'm always happy to be home.

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    1. LOL, Jessica. Well, there is something to be said for coming home again :)

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  3. Jerrica, I hate to admit it, but I dislike travel. Eep! It was so-so before we had kids, but now I full on hate it! And my poor husband shares your wanderlust. He loves packing up and visiting new places (because he only has to pack for HIMSELF! While I have to pack my own stuff on top of three very picky little people. Ahem. No issues here). However, I've learned to enjoy it in small doses as long as I can bring all my electronic devices. ;]

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    1. Andris, I think I'd feel the same way if I had three kids. I'll admit, I've gotten better, but even packing for and dealing with the one kid can be challenging. Maybe once they're all grown, you'll be excited to travel again. lol.

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  4. Oh, boy. LOL. When I was a kid, the only traveling we did was to go visit family. Mom's parents lived in Austin, which should have been a four hour drive. With five kids, though, it wasn't at all uncommon for that trip to become a six or seven hour drive. Miserable. Dad's parents lived in Eagle Pass, which I've since discovered is really only an eight hour drive. I would never have known it from our trips as kids, when it took a minimum of twelve hours to get there. I HATED traveling with the family as a kid.

    In high school, I got slightly more experience with traveling in band. We took an annual trip every spring. One year, we went as far as Orlando and Disney World.

    After high school, my Grandmother took me to Montreal, and I fell in LOVE with Canada. Since then, I've gone to Canada a few times on my own. I've been to London (Ontario), Ottawa, and I've driven through half of British Columbia.

    I've traveled some on my own now...but I've never been anywhere outside of the US and Canada. Someday.

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    1. You're super brave though, Catherine. You don't just visit places, you just decide to pack up and move. Alaska and now North Carolina. I don't think I'm as brave as you are travel-wise.

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    2. Some say brave. Others say stupid. I'm not sure which is more accurate, at the moment. LOL.

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    3. At least this time, though, I've BEEN to where I'm moving to, before I move. With Alaska, I'd never been there. For that matter, the closest place to Alaska I'd been was Montreal in the summer. :)

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    4. I can't wait for you to get here!

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    5. Catherine, I LOVE Montreal! One of my all-time favorite cities! And I'm no stranger to family road trips. My brother, sister and I used to pack into the back of our Chevrolet for drives across the country. Needless to say, E and I fly wherever we go!! LOL!

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  5. You asked me on the wrong day! Just home from RWA and want nothing but to stick close! But I did have a great time and I do like to travel! So many places I still want to see...

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    1. I know you've seen amazing places, Deb. I always love to hear you talk about Bath. :)

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    2. I hear ya, Deb. After a full day of travel, I'm not feeling very fond of it now. :)

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    3. Should I try again next week, Deb?? LOL! RWA is definitely an exhausting trip, especially when it's far away and in another time zone. Rest up and then get ready to tell me all about Bath!!!

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  6. Jerrica,
    Great blog! I love seeing the pictures from your past travels.

    I would love to travel the world, but I feel like I'm less adaptable than I used to be. When I traveled to Zambia, I had no trouble with jet lag. I adjusted to the time difference in a snap. But just a trip to California threw me all off this past week. I think if I could figure out a way to sleep the night before I travel, that would help. I had insomnia the night before we left for Cali and the night before we returned home. And forget sleeping on the plane. I can doze for about five minutes at a time.

    Still, there's no way I'm curtailing my future travels. There are too many places I want to see. :)

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    1. Oh, traveling to CA totally throws me for a loop! I've never had any problems traveling, but after our trip to San Fran a few years ago, I've refused to travel back to CA. I can't sleep on the plane, either, so those 10pm departures back home do NOT work for me! LOL!

      I would love to hear more about your travels to Zambia some day. It sounds so exciting!

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  7. Oh, I SO am a wanderluster. Not only do I have the travel bug, but I can't stand the thought of living in one place for the rest of my life. We have been in Raleigh for 10 years, and while I enjoy it here, I can easily imagine packing up and moving in the next 5 years. There is just so much to experience in the world - I can't sit in one place like a rooted oak!

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    1. Erin, I want to hear all about your travels in Russia. There are certain places in the world I would like to see, but I think I'm too big a chicken. Egypt is one and Russia is the other. I need to live vicariously through you. :)

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    2. I feel the same way, Erin! Although, we'll see how I feel after we move to paradise. Might change my mind :)

      And I've so loved hearing your travel stories here and there -- I remember Italy vividly. One of my all-time favorite blog posts ever! :)

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    3. That might be why it has been an easy decision for me to move to NC. I've lived in TX most of my life, but I want to do and see so much more. I had a plan after Alaska to move to a new city/state every six months or a year, for a decade or so. Then I'd decide where I wanted to settle down permanently. That didn't happen, though...and I wound up back in Texas, and I've been stuck there ever since. LOL.

      Anyway, moving on to the next phase. We'll see what happens in a few years. :)

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  8. Hey Jerrica,

    Growing up I was a homebody. It wasn't until got older that I started to travel. For instance, my best friend and I drove across country to Indiana. That usually makes or breaks a friendship and we are still friends. A year later I met my husband, I flew to Utah to meet his parents. We were married and I moved Louisiana. After my daughter turned a year I drove back to California while my husband was deployed to spend time with my family. Couple years later we drove to California to live for a while. We just recently moved to Montana. Of course we drove up hear. Gotta love the military. I'm hoping that we move back to the south in about six years. Florida or Louisiana I'll be happy.

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  9. Melody, as a future Floridian, I can say that we'd be thrilled to have you as a resident :)

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