Saturday, December 19, 2015

Home Travels

Most of my travels in the last 10 years have taken me around the world, very often to Europe.  I have experienced incredible people and places and each trip lead to another and another until I felt more at ease away than at home.  I even moved overseas for a short time and thought I would go back to retire. 

Now, I feel the need to be a little closer to home and to my family.  I still love to travel so I thought it would be fun to plan some trips here at home.  There are so many things that I have never seen or done in the US and I can't wait to explore more of my own country. 

Here's a short list to begin the journey -
- Drive Route 66, maybe in a convertible :)
- See the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
- Visit Yellowstone National Park
- Statue of Liberty
- Lincoln Memorial and Cherry blossoms in Washington DC
- Cruise to Alaska
- Visit all 50 states










Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Travel to your hearts content

I am so grateful that I have been able to see the world, traveling to distant and far away places that only existed in my dreams.  I have found freedom and joy in places and people that have touched my very soul.

What I appreciate most is that I found the place in the world with a heart.  That place that touched me so deeply I thought I could never leave.  Now I know the meaning of true love, that I can be away from this place and yet carry it with me forever. 

When people ask me for travel advice I tell them simply go until you find your hearts content...

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Tipping

I was part of an interesting chat today about tipping while traveling.  I did not realize that I had such strong feelings about this until a couple of the comments really struck a chord with me.

As an American it is customary to tip every service person at least a minimal amount and extra if you are very pleased with the service provided.  One of the comments was - why should you tip someone for just doing their job?  I realize this isn't the case in other countries but in the US the typical wait staff at restaurants or housekeepers at hotels make very little money and tips help give these very hard working people some additional income. 

Anyone who is willing to provide that service should be paid well enough that tips are not an issue but here that is just not the case.  As for the housekeeping staff who have to clean up after strangers (in ways I don't even want to imagine) they cannot be paid enough to make that worthwhile.  Yes, I'm the guest who makes her own bed and picks up before they come in to clean.  I leave money, candy, calling cards or anything else I think might be useful as a sign of my appreciation for work that I could never do.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Close your eyes - where do you want to go?

If I asked you to close your eyes and picture the most beautiful, serene place in the world, what would you see?  Is it a tropical white sand beach with warm waves splashing on your feet, or perhaps a dense rainforest lush and full of life, maybe it's a gorgeous mountain meadow with the sun softly shining down or rolling green hills as far as the eye can see.

If you can see it, smell it and touch it in your mind you can be there.  If you can capture the essence of that place and how you will feel, it will be yours as surely as if you were standing there.




Thursday, May 28, 2015

What's Your Favorite?

As I was standing at the grocery store checkout the cashier playfully asked me - what's your favorite color?  Blue, I answered without thinking.  It reminded me of my trip to New Zealand and when I looked out at the Tasman Sea the water and the sky blended together in one gorgeous shade of blue.  You couldn't tell where one ended and the other began.

Then he asked  - where is the most beautiful place you've ever been?  Ireland, I smiled and answered without hesitation.  It isn't just the scenery that is so beautiful I explained but the people that will take your breath away!

He explained that he loves to hear peoples stories so that one day he too can see these amazing places.  Just like me when I was a young girl reading books and daydreaming about all of the wonderful journeys - sometimes it doesn't seem real but all of my dreams have come true!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Warm Irish Welcome Before I Even Arrive

I shouldn't be surprised but it still catches me off guard when I encounter the genuine sincerity of the Irish.  Something as simple as a message on Twitter brings out the warm friendliness that I have come to know and love. 

After I replied to a beautiful photo of Galway and mentioned I would be there soon, this is the response I received from Tourism Ireland - "We will have the kettle on for you. ;) What will you be doing in Galway? ".

They don't ask out of politeness, they really want to know.  This is something that as an American has always surprised and delighted me.  In the US it's usually just a passing statement with little or no response expected.

What followed was a wonderful exchange and information on Edwards Hotels in Louth and Galway.  Now when I'm there I will make it a point to stop in for a cuppa and perhaps meet some of these lovely people. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

2015 - Women's Irish Travel

 
This year I will be coordinating several tours to Ireland for women of all ages.  The most popular itineraries will be arranged.  So pick your favorite or make a suggestion of your own - it is Women's Independent (Irish) Travel after all.

Favorites Include:
Emerald Isle Explorer (Dublin, Killarney, Galway)
West Coast -Wild Atlantic Way, Dingle, Cliffs of Moher, Connemara, The Burren
Galway Horse Races
Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival

If you have always wanted to visit Ireland or have been before and want to return here is your chance.  There so many fantastic things to do all through the year so I hope to see you there!  SlĂ inte



Monday, January 19, 2015

Cold Hands Warm Hearth

There is nothing like the lovely scent of burning turf to remind you that you are in Ireland.  As I stepped in from the bitter cold I felt the warmth of the stone fireplace and the kind souls gathered around.

After getting my pint I took a seat in one of the large worn leather chairs.  I could feel my body warm and relax as I settled in.  Just then, a dear gentleman approached the fire and put his glass on the hearth.  "I'm not English", he whispered to me.  "It's the warm glass that feels good on my cold hands".