Thoughts on traveling

 DavidShag (a friend, and favorite blogger of mine, for whom I would lie to homeland security to protect) left me a comment that it seemed I knew how to enjoy myself. I was on vacation with my children, and yes, I do know how, have learned how to enjoy myself. That wasn’t always the case.
I remember one of the first trips I took alone was when I was 18, almost 19. It was with a bunch of Travel Agents from all over the country, and I didn’t know a one of them. I was quiet and shy, not used to putting myself out there, so, I made no effort to get to know any of them. In fact most Travel Agents (on what used to be called FAM trips), drank like fish (free booze) and smoked like chimneys. They were an awesome sight to behold, but, since I didn’t really put myself out there, they didn’t either. I spent the first part of the trip miserable and lonely. I couldn’t stand my roommate, who although not much older than I was, acted like she was years older and took it upon herself to "report" me the night I was sick with a migraine and didn’t go to the Don Ho Show. (OK, I did go out and shop after I felt better, but she didn’t know that) LOL (I’ve seen him many times since).  I think I remember telling her to get lost… maybe not in such nice terms (the bitch).
I decided I wasn’t going to end the trip the way it started, so, I talked to people, went and sat with them at meals, asked questions, etc. It wasn’t easy, but I knew that being alone was worse. I found once I tried, they were warm funny people, and a few older perverts who hit on me, (free drinks remember), and I had fun.
Since that first trip I’ve been almost every place in the world that I’ve wanted to travel. I’ll get to the Orient, and Morocco one of these days.
Most of the time I was traveling alone, and I’ve found that talking to people, getting to know them, making that first move is a wonderful way to enjoy the whole experience. I’ve met different kinds of people, from all walks of life. Flew first class to and from England (now that’s being spoiled!). Been invited to dinner with hotel employees and dragged up on stage when they went up to be part of the dinner show. I’ve roamed small winding streets of a fishing village in the Algarve, Portugal with a young man who’s only English was limited to "I love you" lol
Got lost in Lisbon (I never get lost!) Threw up on a particularly nasty Air France Flight Attendant. Saw the Rock of Gibralter while puking my guts out over the rail of what was at that time, the largest passenger ship at sea. Spent an early sunday morning in Seattle talking to ‘winos’ in an alley who swore that if they had a good woman like me they would give up drinking, and a gentleman who every time I was in the area would find me on my way to have breakfast and tell me how he was a Vietnam Vet, down on his luck.
I guess my point is, that it’s not only the place you travel to, it’s the people that you meet along the way, and while you are there, that make it so fun and why I have such a good time. BIG HUGS, Steph

11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Dwayne
    Aug 14, 2006 @ 21:29:13

    So you\’re a travel agent? Get me the hell out of here. I don\’t know how to have a good time anymore.


  2. Harold
    Aug 14, 2006 @ 21:55:13

    Impressive blog Steph !!!  Loved the read.
    N I personally think u hit it right on the head…
    Its not the destination.. its the journey.
    Oh sure I woulda hated getting to deal the litle traveling I have done recently… but if it wasnt for the friends I went with.. n the experience of the trip ( for the most )… I dont think I would have enjoyed myself half as much as I did.
    U should get a meet together.. u know as an ex-travel agent .. that should be right up ur alley 😛
    ZePp    ; )


  3. bobby
    Aug 15, 2006 @ 02:57:02

    Hello,Steph~~~It is really a good expierence~~


  4. Greg
    Aug 15, 2006 @ 10:35:41

    I agree…Cool Share!!!
    What a blessing to be in all those places…KittyCat shy???
    But then it was probably because you had guys always hitting on you???
    Geesh…Us men can be somethin\’ else…Like a bunch of slobbering tail wagging dogs.
    Well…Back on the road again tomorrow to deliver Emma to college. I\’m glad my oldest daughter and JR are going along. It will help with the ride home. Hmmm…I will get my laptop back from Emma…That is good seeing my desktop does not like the MSN changes.
    Anyway…Enjoy the rest of your summer and fall is right around the corner.
    Blessings to you and all your loved ones…Greg


  5. Bob
    Aug 15, 2006 @ 12:55:31

    Well, I KNOW you know how to have a good time!!  LOL!  I\’m gonna try your "getting to know you" method on my cruise!!  Who knows who I\’ll meet!  Now quit pestering the winos!!
    xoxo   Bob~


  6. David
    Aug 15, 2006 @ 13:05:11

    I second Dwayne!  And a modest blush mantles my cheek at the mention of my humble self.  Sadly (changing the subject from me, which I am ever loath to do), people who are shy or hold back, are often seen as \’acting superior\’ or \’looking down on the rest of us\’.  A person watching from afar blank-faced tends to make us run our own worst fears about ourselves through our minds:  "She thinks I look stupid in this".  It makes one self-conscious.  Good on you in figuring it out.  So you\’ve thrown up all over the world have you (and isn\’t Lisbon the most wonderful city?) – and doesn\’t saying \’Algarve\’ sound like you are barfing?  I met a guy once (not in Portugal) whose only English was "I love Americans" which he said over and over again while we – er – well – did what you might think, if you were not such a decent and high-minded girl.  I kept thinking, "Can\’t you be more specific?  Can\’t you narrow it down to – oh, say, one?"  And why is someone who hits on you a perve?  Not that old perverts don\’t need love, too…  And I got to see Don Ho free – Tumwell was a close friend of a Hawaiian cop who was dating one of the dancers.  He sat with us (the cop, not Don) and told us which of the audience were plants and part of the act. 
    So if you were driving to PHX from Alabama next week, how would you make it fun? 


  7. Leah
    Aug 15, 2006 @ 19:31:49

    When i went to Italy with my mom we met some really great people that she still talks to every day. Granted my previous step dad made me afraid of water when in a boat so i was whimpering in the gondala. Go figure.


  8. Stephanie
    Aug 15, 2006 @ 21:17:13

    Dwayne- I have a feeling you know how, but are just so busy with your children and everything else that you don\’t have time to! lol If I ever win any kind of big money, you and Alyssa are right next to me on the plane. I\’m gonna bring DavidShag when we go to Morocco too! LOL
    Zepp- Yep, you got it right. Enjoying the journey as much as the destination.  There is going to be a bloggers convention of sorts in Las Vegas, this Sept.  I unfortunately can\’t go, but I think everyone will have fun. King Tom of, If I Were King, is in charge of it. Anyone interested hollar at him or me.
    Bobby- Good to see you. I\’ve been busy, but it\’s always nice to see you here and read your comments.
    Greg- I don\’t envy you going through this time. Your girl going away to college. I hope you do get your laptop back.  As far as the Men hitting on me, I know most didn\’t mean any harm, it\’s just being away from home and lots of free drinks usually isn\’t a good combo! lol
    I had one handsome young man hit on me, until he found out that I wasn\’t really a rich american, just a working travel agent flying first class. (He was European old money rich) I thought it was kinda funny. Not only was he shallow (albeit handsome) but he was almost proud of his shallowness.
    I was very shy! Most of my friends were just the opposite though. In real life I\’m still very quiet, I\’ve just learned to relax and enjoy those around me.
    I hope you have a wonderful rest of the summer and fall too!
    Bob- Yep, you\’ve been with me when I\’ve been having a good time. Have been the reason I\’ve had good times (you and Becky both)!
    I\’m excited for you two to go on your cruise… I will have a list of presents you can bring back for me! LOL Oh and if you need someone to watch your \’babies\’ you know I\’m the Kitty for the job!
    David- You know, I never really thought about being shy as being perceived like that. I guess that\’s why I made some boys so nervous. I would find out later how much they wanted to ask me out, etc. but never did. lol
    Yes, there hasn\’t been a place that i\’ve traveled that I haven\’t thrown up. LOL It\’s gotten a lot better as I\’ve aged.
    Lisbon was wonderful! I saw people that looked like family, and I loved the whole feel, look of the city. LOL Algarve does sound like a great barfing noise!  Being the decent, high minded girl that I am, let me guess, you and the other gentleman were playing… cards? canasta? gin? … poker? lmao  You always crack me up.  I used the word "perve" in an affectionate way of course. Some of my best friends are old perves. (and you know who you are)
    Driving from Alabama to PHX huh? I\’d check for places of interest or just plain weirdness along the way. If you know anyone in any of the states you\’ll pass through, I\’d ask them where they would go and what they would do. I hope you don\’t have to just drive straight through.
    Leah- How great that she keeps in touch with them! Did you get your butt pinched? LOL My grandpa loved to tease, if he knew you were afraid on the gondola he would have told you that a sea monster or shark was gonna come grab you and have you for dinner. He also used to tell us stories about when he was a \’little girl\’ in Africa… (He was Italian) lmao


  9. EdgyKay
    Aug 16, 2006 @ 11:12:03

    That damn DavidShag ALWAYS steals my comments. I was going to say something about the travelling yakker, too.
    Is it the water? My poor old mom couldn\’t drink any water other than what came out of our tap at home, and she left deposits at nearly every point we stopped. (This, of course, being back in the days before people actually SOLD water. In bottles. But come to think of it, my tight-fisted mother wouldn\’t have PAID for water, for God\’s sake, not when she "could have it for free at home!" Of course, if she hadn\’t vomited all over God\’s green earth, we wouldn\’t have anything to talk about now, would we?)
    ANYway. I\’m glad you had a mahvelous vacation — and I\’m still amazed that you hunted high and low for a new swimsuit — and then FORGOT yours! Silly Kitty.
    I\’m waiting patiently for your photos to appear, so that I may appropriately admire them.
    Glad you\’re home.


  10. Nikki
    Aug 16, 2006 @ 19:20:31

    Wow…..what wonderful experiences u\’ve had.  I am so jealous.  I\’m saving up for my grand adventure…..after I graduate, give my my mom my cat and I;m gonna go off.  So I\’ve gonna take ur words and remember them.  Be more friendly and more open with people.  🙂 


  11. KatSoup
    Aug 18, 2006 @ 13:53:37

    I didnt realize you were such a globe trotter.  It eases my pain of being much less traveled knowing "Serendipity" is the key to happiness, not the destination.


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