Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Weekend Open Thread: Favorite Vacations

By the time you read this, Drew and I will have just taken Jackson on his very first flight. Early this morning we flew from New York to St.Louis to visit my extended family, including my maternal grandma and grandpa who are beyond excited to meet their first great-grandchild. It’s been nearly eight months since Drew and I traveled anywhere together, but in the coming months we’re going to make up for lost time. Besides this quick weekend trip, we’re also going to Austin next month for a friend’s wedding (and to see my sister, who lives there), and then maybe another weekend trip or two before going to Europe this summer. Drew will be covering the Olympics in London and I’m — bravely? stupidly? naively? — going to fly alone with Jackson for the tail end. We’ll give Drew a quick kiss and adjust to the time change and then head over to Germany to visit my parents for a week or so, and then when Drew wraps up with work, we’ll go to Paris for a few nights before heading home. Or, at least, that’s the tentative plan.

One of the things Drew and I have always loved to do together is travel and we’re anxious to see how well we can travel with the addition of a baby. I’m a little stressed about it — especially the part where I make an international flight alone with Jackson (and all his gear!) — but I’m also hopeful this will be an enjoyable new chapter in this parenting adventure. We’ll see!

Anyhoo, all this talk about travel has me thinking about favorite vacations past and dream destinations for the future. I have lots of dream destinations, including South America, Africa, and pretty much everywhere in North America that I haven’t visited yet (California, top on that list). What are your dream destinations, and what have been your favorite vacations past?

 

 

76 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Taylor March 30, 2012, 5:04 pm

    Ooh…love this thread. I hope your traveling goes smoothly Wendy! I plan to bundle up any future babies on airplanes early and often. I want to nip any fear of flying in the bud (my fella has it, I very much don’t). Favorite vacations…the short list…

    – Australia when I was 14 – a long summer vacation with my family that reset my brain. It took me out of the cramped adolescent worldview I’d been in and reintroduced me to the beautiful big of the world
    – In my twenties…a weekend in Budapest with my oldest friend, where we attended the opera ball, blew off Darryl Hannah, and I spent ALL my money. Shortly after that…
    – a weekend in Madrid, introducing the country that shaped me to a very new, very intense love (and almost getting busted canoodling in the palace gardens).
    – In my thirties…a Memorial day roadtrip through the Arches National park with my solid, grown up love, which made me realize how very good things could be.

    Places to go…back to Australia. Places I have never been… I really want to see Japan and South Africa, and go to those little gorgeous islands they always talk about on CNN articles about disappearing places. Also, Niagara falls. Only two hours from me now! And PEI – bc I’ve never gotten over the descriptions on Anne of Green Gables.

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    • avatar

      Taylor March 30, 2012, 5:11 pm

      Also, I love the picture! The colors are so evocative, I want to get on a plane somewhere, RIGHT NOW. Sigh.

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      • FireStar

        FireStar March 31, 2012, 10:22 pm

        I’m so with you on the Anne of Green Gables thing! PEI is part of an eastern Canada vacation I’m taking my husband on for his birthday this year…of course that part is for me but I figure I’ll feed him some seafood and he won’t notice…

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        Girafe April 4, 2012, 9:09 pm

        Yessss! I live in New Brunswick. Eastern Canada/the Maritimes have the nicest people in the world. Seriously! I hope you and your husband have a lovely vacation.

        PEI is very magical! As is Anne’s house. Don’t forget the Raspberry Cordial.

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  • Lianne

    Lianne March 30, 2012, 5:07 pm

    Love this topic – I am a big traveler, too! My favorite trip so far has been Rome. I always knew, well before I had ever traveled to Italy, that I was madly in love with all things Italian. The pasta! The language! The men! The leather! The pizza!!! My first trip there was in 2009 with my best friend. We stayed for four days, right after Thanksgiving. (Sidenote: My BFF is married to a Dutch man and lives in Holland. We cooked a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner for our Dutch relatives – it was awesome!). Our first meal did not disappoint. For 25 euros we ate whatever the cook was making – so cool! Every part of the mean – from the antipasti to the pasta course, to dessert – was delicious and totally what I expected it to be. From there we meandered the streets coming to the Tevi Fountain – so beautiful.

    The rest of the trip was more of the same – eating wonderful food (I am a bolognese connosieur and had the delight to try buffalo meat bolognese with parpardelle – heaven), meandering down old, narrow streets and stumbling into surprises, and checking out the stunning history – the colleseum, the Roman forum, Spanish steps, Parthenon, Sistine Chapel!! Lo amo Roma!

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    • avatar

      Zepp March 30, 2012, 5:13 pm

      I LOVE restaurants like that! There is a french one near my apartment where you talk to the owner about what you like and what you’re in the mood for and then they bring you out course after course for 5-7 euros a plate. The plates are pretty small but the food is to die for and its soo romantic. I love the surprise aspect to it!

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  • avatar

    Kisa March 30, 2012, 5:08 pm

    Eh, it’s not so bad. I used to fly with my girls when they were little (Alaska to lower 48) by myself. It was usually at least two layovers and a 12+ hour affair. I once flew by my self with them when they were 1, 2, & 3. I always figured what’s the worst that happens? They scream the whole way? They’re not exactly gonna pull the plane over and make you get off. You get poop, barf, and other disgusting crap on you? Gross, for sure, (it happened. Spare outfits for everyone!) but there’s an end in sight. The trip won’t last forever. I think it’s easier when they’re littler, too. It’ll be fine…and if it’s not, it’ll be over and you’ll ave a great story.

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  • avatar

    Addie Pray March 30, 2012, 5:09 pm

    Hey, I’m going to St. Louis this weekend too, Wendy! If you see a youngish woman with glasses driving around in a brand spankin’ new Prius, it’s me! The color is “winter gray” and it’s adorable.

    As for my favorite vacation, I’d have to say it was the time my sisters and I hiked the Highland Way in Scottland. See http://www.walkinginscotland.org/. By “hiked the Highland Way” I mean we hiked half of it, slowly, staying at B&Bs along the way, and drinking a lot.

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    • avatar

      Ally March 30, 2012, 6:02 pm

      We’re having beautiful sunny spring weather in Scotland just now, perfect for hiking! Exactly what I’m planning for Sunday if the weather holds 🙂

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray March 30, 2012, 6:23 pm

        Lucky you! Have you hiked parts of the Way? It took me through the most beautify scenery I had ever seen – and those little towns along the way – oh mon dieu – adorable. My favorite part of the trip was when we first started out in Glascow, and this old man saw us and asked if we were going to hike the Way – we said yes. He paused and then said (in his cute accent), “You’re not gonna make it.” And then he walked on. We still laugh about that today. It’s true, we didn’t make it all the way to Fort William, but we had fun. We often tell each other “You’re not gonna make it” in Scottish accents – well, we attempt the accent.

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      • avatar

        Ally March 30, 2012, 8:55 pm

        I’ve never even attempted the whole thing, I’d love to go up Ben Nevis though, hard climb! It really is a beautiful place, sometimes I think we don’t appreciate that enough when it’s right on the doorstep. You can meet some excellent people in Glasgow, love it purely for the people watching opportunities it provides. Wee old men are a particular favourite of mine, so funny. I actually live in the town where William Wallace was supposedly born, Braveheart claim to fame haha.

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    • CatsMeow

      CatsMeow April 2, 2012, 9:59 am

      We have a tentative St. Louis meetup scheduled…

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  • avatar

    Zepp March 30, 2012, 5:19 pm

    Egypt. It was the perfect blend of history, site-seeing, adventure (the scuba diving is incredible), and luxury. I couldn’t believe how luxurious our resort was. Definitely my favorite vacation spot.

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  • avatar

    jlyfsh March 30, 2012, 5:59 pm

    my husband and i have a few dream destinations: china and japan, italy and germany. our favorite trip together so far was actually a really low key road trip we took through virginia and west virginia. we drove along the blue ridge and stopped at a bunch of wineries and historic places and also visited a few friends who lived out that way. we went to an apple orchard and pumpkin picking and over all it was just so fun. we didn’t really plan what we were going to do we just sort of picked 3 hotels to stay at over 7 days and picked out a 3 places we wanted to see. the rest we just winged. it was great and really relaxing. we have a vacation fund we’re working on putting money to every month and we have a penny jar at home that we’re putting money in to all the time. i think we’re going to use the fund to go on a cruise.

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    • call-me-hobo

      call-me-hobo March 30, 2012, 9:19 pm

      Oh my gosh- go to Japan, but definitely pick either the spring or the fall (spring=cherry blossoms, fall=autumn leaves). If you ever want a list of where to go, hit me up!

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      • avatar

        jlyfsh March 31, 2012, 8:21 am

        when we start working on that vacation i will definitely ask you for tips! 🙂 it’s number 1 on my husband’s list!

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      • avatar

        Arika April 2, 2012, 9:20 am

        Japan for me too. No. 1 on my list. Scotland, Israel, Morroco and Thailand are other places that I want to visit.

        My favourite travel destination so far has been Vienna, Austria.

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  • call-me-hobo

    call-me-hobo March 30, 2012, 6:12 pm

    The best two vacations ever were to the same place- I went to Japan when I was 16 as an exchange student and it changed the entire way I thought about the world! I was in a smaller town- but last summer, I went back to Japan and spent time in Yokohama, and it blew my mind! I have never been in a city that large before.

    Also- Savannah, Georgia- If you are ever in the south, It is probably the most beautiful, low-key vacation spot you can imagine. (With some of the best food- Helllloooo, “The Lady and Sons”)

    Dream vacations include- Great Britain, Ireland, India, San Diego Comic-Con, and The City Museum of St.Louis

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    • Lili

      Lili March 30, 2012, 6:16 pm

      Do they use a lot of Buttah?!

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      • call-me-hobo

        call-me-hobo March 30, 2012, 9:17 pm

        SO MUCH BUTTAH. And cheese. It’s amazing- I definitely recommend looking up Paula Deen’s ooey-gooey butter cake recipe.

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    • avatar

      jlyfsh March 30, 2012, 6:34 pm

      i agree savannah is wonderful, charleston’s not bad either 😉

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    • avatar

      quixoticbeatnik March 30, 2012, 6:39 pm

      I love Savannah’s historical district!

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  • avatar

    mf March 30, 2012, 6:16 pm

    Great idea for a thread! I looooove traveling. I’ve been to Hawaii, South America, the Caribbean, and Europe, but I haven’t done Africa or Asia (yet!). I’m hoping to plan a backpacking trip in Southeast Asia next summer.

    My favorite destination is Aruba, but I’m pretty biased because my dad is Aruban. I love the hot sun, being near the beaches, and eating fresh seafood with my family 🙂 And I love how laid-back the culture is. It makes me wish Americans weren’t as busy and stressed out as we often are.

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    • bittergaymark

      bittergaymark March 31, 2012, 4:15 am

      If you go to Thailand… Chiang Mai and Railay are NOT to be missed!

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  • avatar

    brendapie March 30, 2012, 6:31 pm

    I have a huge desire to travel but I lack the funds to do so. Sigh.

    Still, I always enjoyed family vacations as a kid although most of them were in the Western part of the United States. I live right by San Francisco and sometimes I’ll pretend to be a tourist. It’s fun!

    As a teenager I begged my parents for a trip to Europe and when I was 18 I got to spend spring break romping around England with a couple of teachers and my friends. Our teachers pretty much let us do whatever we wanted, provided we met up for some scheduled stops. It was the best experience of my life so far. As a teenager I was careless but enjoying every minute of it. Now that I’m 30 I think I would be too nit picky about making sure I saw everything but I have that great experience to look back upon as a reminder to just have fun with it.

    As for my dream vacation… well, there are places I want to see, such as the Taj Mahal and Petra in Jordan. I want to spend a fabulous week or two in New York City and Paris. I’d love to backpack through Europe as well and ride a train all over Japan and enjoy the ekiben bentos. Oh and the standard bucket list places like Hawaii, Bahamas, Egypt, and what not.

    However, my ultimate dream trip is to do one of the great walks in New Zealand. I’d love to do the Milford Track someday and I plan to build up my endurance and strength because it can get pretty rough out there, especially without a guide. But I saw a special about it on TV and every picture I’ve seen just confirms how amazing it would be to do that hike.

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  • avatar

    quixoticbeatnik March 30, 2012, 6:34 pm

    Love this!!! Good luck with your travels. I love, love, love traveling. I have been lucky enough to have a dad who makes a good amount of money, so my family and I have been able to visit many places in the world. I have several favorite vacations.

    Summer 2011 – Three week study abroad in Ireland. I LOVED this trip and it was even more fun because I got along with the other students on the trip so well. It was nice to go out and get drinks with them. Ireland is a beautiful country and I desperately want to go back.

    Christmas 2009 – Trip to Spain, another country that I loved. Barcelona is so great and funky, while Madrid is cool and chic. Cute guys and great food 🙂

    Summer 2006 – Two week European vacation, hitting Rome, Venice, Florence, Vienna, Salzburg, Lucerne, and Paris. I loved seeing everything. Florence and Venice were my favorite cities out of the whole trip, but every city was amazing. Europe is just amazing. There is SO MUCH HISTORY and charm and awesomeness.

    Winter 2005/2006 (I think) – New Zealand/Australia trip – I think this was probably my most favorite trip. I bungee-swung here (awesome but terrifying experience, definitely an adrenaline rush) and I absolutely adored Queenstown. I tried to convince my parents to buy a vacation house here. No go, but someday I hope to go back, and see the Great Barrier Reef. That was the one thing I wanted to see that we didn’t see, sadly.

    Of course, I’ve loved all of my trips to New York City as well. Amazing, cool, fun city! Would I live there? I don’t know, but I love visiting. I love Central Park and walking around the entire city. If anyone visits NY soon, definitely consider visiting the Cloisters at the very top tip of Manhattan. It’s a different sort of experience and really neat! It’s at the top of this tall hill, and it’s so weird to be on that tall of a hill in the city. Pretty views from up there as well.

    I want to go to Germany someday. My ancestors are from there and my boyfriend’s mother’s family is from there. OH! I forgot my Baltic Sea cruise! That was an amazing trip, seeing so many scandinavian countries. Estonia was so cute, and St. Petersburg….I have the travel itch now. I want to travel! I also want to go to Africa someday, and see more of Eastern Europe, like Greece and Romania. God, now I’m traveling down memory lane….

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  • avatar

    Irenna March 30, 2012, 6:37 pm

    My best trip ever was when I decided to go to Paris (I lived in Northern Europe) to see a guy I hadn’t seen in more than 2 1/2 years. He was going there from the US for work, and I realized that if I didn’t go to see him then and there, I would maybe never get the chance again. We had 5 magical days of getting to know each other again and having the most amazing time together. This was in the mid 90s, and although we’re not together now, we are still in touch, love each other dearly, and we both hold this trip as one of the most precious moment of our lives.

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  • Moneypenny

    Moneypenny March 30, 2012, 7:12 pm

    I agree, great idea for an open thread!
    Some of my favorite vacations include:
    – A trip to Paris and London at 18, and another London trip at 19- as my first international trips, it really opened my eyes to the world (ok, I guess just western Europe, but still). Plus, I was an architecture student, so tons of amazing art and architecture that I had only seen in photos was right in front of me!
    – A solo trip to Germany to visit my German penpal at 22- We had never met in person before, but we got along great, and I traveled with her and by myself for a month, hitting cities all around Italy and Switzerland (she lived a 15 minute walk from the German/Swiss border), Austria (well, just Vienna), and the Czech Republic (only Prague), plus all around Baden-Wurttemburg, Berlin, and Munich (for Oktoberfest)! It was such an adventure navigating the different transit systems and different cities alone (a first for me). And there was so much great architecture!
    – Various road trips from California (where I live) across Arizona and New Mexico with my parents, during high school- We hiked, visited old mining towns, Indian ruins, deserts, large rock formations and at least 1 crater, and ate really good Mexican food. I have family in Albuquerque, and I want to go on a road trip to visit them again.

    At the top of my international travel bucket list for the next couple of years:
    -At the top is Croatia and Bosnia (my family is partly Croatian and I’d like to see where they used to live). I hear how lovely the coast and beaches are along the Adriatic, and it makes me really really want to go!
    -London- just because I loved visiting those times a few years ago and didn’t get to see everything I wanted at the time. It’s also the cheapest int’l flight to Europe I can find from CA; plus I would like to visit an old friend who currently lives there.
    -Turkey and/or Morocco and/or South Africa- These places just sound just such adventures to explore! I have an old classmate who lives in SA and it could be an excuse to go visit…

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    • avatar

      RunsWithScissors March 31, 2012, 7:17 pm

      Croatia, Slovenia, and Montenegro are tops on my “to visit” list! We still have family over there (I’ve never met them though!). Something about that part of the world just really calls to me!

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      • Moneypenny

        Moneypenny March 31, 2012, 10:19 pm

        Yeah! I totally know how you feel! 🙂
        I’m just itching to go…

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  • avatar

    painted_lady March 30, 2012, 7:23 pm

    I love traveling!!! I haven’t been out of the country too much – growing up my parents had the money, but my dad sort of viewed travel as unnecessary and excessive (Southern Baptist work ethic and values, thankyouverymuch), so the couple of times I suggested it I was shot down with a “You don’t need to be flyin’ overseas for nothin’.” My mom has developed a bit of backbone, though, and this summer we went to Paris and London, and both were a-fucking-mazing. Paris was my favorite, though. The city is so pretty and stylish, gorgeous girls tooling down the streets on scooters, wearing skirts and heels, every building beautifully preserved at just the perfect state of disintegration, the most beautiful flowers being sold by the bushel at street markets. Adored the people, ate like a pig, and I can’t wait to drag my boyfriend there.

    In other travel aspects, I’ve been really lucky. My uncle works for a major airline, so I get passes anywhere in the US. My mom and I used to pick a spot on the map, rent a car when we landed, and go wherever sounded good when we talked to the locals. Rhode Island was probably my favorite improvised vacation – we spent the night in Providence, then drove to Newport the next day, stayed at a B&B and ate dirt cheap lobster and salmon, then hit Plymouth (lovely), Hyannis, and Boston.

    On my list of places to go next are Paris again, Florence and Rome, Bali (so jealous, BGM!), India, Peru, and New Zealand. Actually, I’m pretty sure if someone handed me free tickets to anywhere in the world, I’d be up for it! Traveling is such a fun adventure!

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  • Cleopatra_30

    Cleopatra_30 March 30, 2012, 8:07 pm

    I have been to Cuba numerous times, Dominican Republic numerous times, St. Lucia once, and Australia. As much as i love Cuba and the D.R. Australia was the longest overseas trip i had been on, and the most thrilling because it was such a change of culture. I went in March 2007 for 3 weeks as an exchange student at my high school. We went from Tuggerah up to Brisbane, so all the way up the Gold Coast. My favorite part of the trip was Manly Beach, great beach and little tourist town as well. Bondi beach was pretty wicked too, and the Sydney Opera house was beautiful.

    But dream vacation would be no doubt Egypt. I LOVE Egypt, mostly its ancient history. If i were to ever go i would want to visit Tutankhamen’s tomb, Cairo museum, Alexandria, the pyramids, sphinx, and take a boat ride/tour along the Nile. And i guess any of the other temples i have a chance to see.

    And then i would like to see all the countries in Europe, they all have such a rich and diverse history, as well as some great natural landscapes as well. So many places, so little time!

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    • bittergaymark

      bittergaymark March 31, 2012, 1:48 am

      Hey, if you go to Egypt — look into booking cruise on the Nile. A good friend of mine did this for two weeks or something and it was amazing. You basically just sail from one ancient temple to the next…. I am DYING to do this trip…

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      • katie

        katie March 31, 2012, 2:10 am

        there is a company called viking river cruises that does a cruise down the nile. i basically want to take every cruise they offer… sigh.

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      • Cleopatra_30

        Cleopatra_30 March 31, 2012, 10:42 am

        Yes, i have heard of those cruises along the Nile, definitely something i would consider:)

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      • FireStar

        FireStar March 31, 2012, 9:19 pm

        I heard that river cruises were the BEST – even the ones in Europe. I definitely want to try…

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  • Cleopatra_30

    Cleopatra_30 March 30, 2012, 8:12 pm

    I just read Moneypenny’s response. While in Europe, my top place to visit would be Slovenia, as my Babi and some extended family are from there. My parents also went there as a late honeymoon a couple years after they got married, and the pictures and stories they have about it sound so amazing! So definitely a location to visit due to my family connection.

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    • Moneypenny

      Moneypenny March 31, 2012, 2:55 am

      That’s really cool Cleopatra! I’d love to go to Slovenia, too! I have heard there are some beautiful national parks there. I’ve been pretty curious about the Balkans most of my life (not to mention I grew up hearing about the war), so I’d love to just take a lot of time off and explore. My mom went to Yugoslavia (Croatia) when she was 21 and living in Europe (she lived in Germany and traveled for 1 1/2 years, in 1969) and she visited her grandparents’ family in Dubrovnik (where they came from) and traveled up and down the coast. I’ve seen her photos, and she’s always told me stories of her time there. I agree, the family connection gives me a huge desire to travel and see what I have always heard about.

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      • Cleopatra_30

        Cleopatra_30 March 31, 2012, 10:49 am

        My babi would tell me about the war too. From what i can remember that was the main reason she left Slovenia/Yugoslavia because it was taken over during WW2, my dads side of the family has a bit of history being involved in the war. Your mom was very lucky to travel at such a young age and be able to cover such a great place! Does she encourage you to travel as well?

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      • Moneypenny

        Moneypenny March 31, 2012, 2:38 pm

        Yes, my mom has always been very independently-minded, and I think she passed that along to me. She does encourage me to travel and do as much as I can while I’m young. Hearing her stories about when she lived in Europe inspired me early to desire to see things too. She lived in a town in Germany and worked in a clothing factory to earn money and then traveled around the continent! And then later, was an au pair for some family friends in London. (Her old steamer trunk is now my coffee table!) Even in high school she made me take the train to school every day (instead of driving me or letting me drive myself) in order for me to learn how to be independent and take care of myself! (Which was a pain but in hindsight I’m glad I did it.)
        Wow, that’s really cool your family was so involved during WW2. I’m sure your stories are fantastic! My great grandparents moved here right before WW1, and we have their passports. They say they are from the kingdom of Austria-Hungary! (Needless to say WW1 history is really fascinating to me too…) I don’t know if any of my relatives in Croatia are still around, as the war in the 90’s changed things so much. Mom has told me about how, when she was there, you didn’t want to talk about politics because your neighbors could turn you in to the police. She didn’t speak the language anyway, (and my relatives didn’t know English or German) but everyone thought she was a local since she looked so much like them. I’m really itching to go travel over there, but I just need to save enough money first, and save up vacation from work!

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    Samantha March 30, 2012, 8:11 pm

    Good luck with the Little Dude, Wendy!

    My dream vacation right now is Ireland. I’m planning to go for my 25th birthday, by which time I’m hoping to be debt-free and capable of affording the trip. My favorite past-times are hiking and drinking both whiskey and beer, so I feel like I’d do well in Ireland. (I’m not implying Irish are drunks – just that they know a good stout, which is my favorite!)

    The best vacation I’ve taken was last summer when I took time off and went to Comic-Con. Sure, it was short and driving-distance, but it is one of the most enjoyable and fun weekends I’ve ever had. I can’t wait to go again this summer!

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    • call-me-hobo

      call-me-hobo March 30, 2012, 9:21 pm

      Comic-Con is on my bucket list- Is it as much of a amazing nerd Mecca as it seems? Also- how early do you need to buy a ticket to ensure you get into the con? Like a few months?

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        Samantha March 30, 2012, 10:33 pm

        There’s a pre-registration in November(-ish?) with official registration in March, so it’s late for this year. But if you can get there next year, you totally should – it’s weird and wonderful and so much fun! I had no idea just how fun that nerd Mecca (love the phrase!) could be. Plus, San Diego is a great city.

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  • katie

    katie March 30, 2012, 9:24 pm

    well, how terribly convenient this is, because i just got back from mexico yesterday!! it was fantastic and i loved it. i dont really have a lot of traveling to speak of, though. i have been to montreal and now mexico. i have gone to las vegas 3 times…. and then thats about it. we used to take trips up to minnesota from chicago every year to see friends, but then we moved there, so i dont feel like those count anymore. oh, and i used to go see my grandma in florida a lot.

    so, i just have a lot of dreams to travel to all the places that everyone else above me has gone!!

    honestly, i just want to see all of the world. i would go just about anywhere… my two biggest dreams though are to eat my way across western europe and to go scuba diving in the great barrier reef. my boyfriend and I have already decided that we are going to australia for our honeymoon someday, so then all i have to figure out is a trip to europe and i will be able to die content.

    but seriously, guys, in mexico the margaritas are like 80% tequila. oh it was so awesome.

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      painted_lady March 31, 2012, 11:25 pm

      Knock it off! You’re making me want a margarita now!!! Glad you had a good time!

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      • katie

        katie April 1, 2012, 2:37 pm

        haha yea it was fantastic!! and go have a margarita! its sunday! lol

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    savannah March 30, 2012, 9:27 pm

    I’ve been really fortunate to have a lot of opportunities to travel abroad both for vacations and for study/work. My favorite places so far have been:

    2002 Antigua, Guatemala- I was 13 at the time and it was my first time outside of the western world. Guatemala is an amazing country and seeing how other people live outside of the US greatly affected me and I think lead to my current occupational choices.

    2006:European Tour- After graduating from high school my two best girlfriends and I moved into an apartment in Berlin, Germany for 2 months and used it as our base to explore. The independence afforded to us by the european public transportation was amazing and we were able to take sleeper trains from Amsterdam to Nice, tour vineyards in Italy, poke around castles in Prague and hit up the crazy insane rave scene in Kiev. With all of the traveling, Berlin is actually my favorite European, the history is just layered so thick there, its a living breathing part of the city.

    2008: Yei, South Sudan- I went to Yei town, about 30 kms from the north ugandan border to visit and document some of the high schools that my non-profit was in the process of building. It was the most remote and truly rural place I had ever been. We landed a tiny airplane on the dirt runway and the only permeant structures alongside the road were tree churches.

    2010: I moved to Bangkok for my masters degree and from there was able to travel to most of SE Asia during my 18 months there. The remote areas of Thailand and Cambodia were full of the most beautiful terrain, sweeping mountains and waterfalls-the spaces there really felt unworldly. The US war museums in Vietnam were especially moving.

    Next on my list is Hong Kong and Kuwait, I’m excited to be traveling for myself in these next few months rather than for my job, that way I can make my own itinerary.

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    jaybro March 30, 2012, 10:40 pm

    One of my favorite vacation spots I’ve ever been too (and my most recent one) is both Asturias and Galicia in Spain. They weren’t touristy at ALL, and they were absolutely beautiful. Plus, they had delicious seafood!!! It was the first and only (but hopefully not last time) I’ve eaten percebes (just looked up the English translation, and it’s “goose barnacles” lol!!), which were very, very strange and tasted like the sea, but I weirdly liked them!

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    TheGirlinME March 30, 2012, 11:45 pm

    Best trip ever was with my about to be 3rd husband. We had our honeymoon before our wedding. Sigonella, Sicily for a weekend, then a glorious 5 days in Rome. Getting to Italy was a logistical nightmare, involving a marathon of airplane connections. Totally worth it! Come to think of it, I miss that husband, during that period of time a bunch. He was (still is) a really nice man & still feel blessd to consider him a friend.

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark March 31, 2012, 3:59 am

    I love to travel internationally the most. Though I’ve been all over the states. I think over 35 of them or so… (including three trips to Hawaii…) Right now, post Bali, I can honestly say it may be my favorite destination. Thought many of these others give it a run for my money. Thailand, Mexico, and the Greek Islands especially. As far as the most visited destination? Mexico. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve crossed its borders…

    Bali — Amed. Gili Trawangan. Laplapan. Lovina. Ubud.

    Belgium — Brussels.

    Cayman Islands — Grand Cayman.

    England — Bournemouth. Brighton. London. Stone Henge.

    France — Cannes. Nice. Paris.

    Germany — Frankfurt. Konstance. Trier.

    Greece — Mykonos. Santorini.

    Italy — Brindisi. Florence. Pisa. Pompeii. Rome. Venice.

    Mexico — Acapulco. Cabo San Lucas. Cancun. Chichen Ixta. Coba. Cozemel. Guymayas. Isla Mujeres. Ixtapa. Mazatlan. Nogales. Playa Del Carmen. Puerto Vallarta. Rocky Point. Tiajuanna. Tulum. Ziahuantenjo.

    Monaco — Monaco.

    Netherlands — Amsterdam.

    Portugal — Lagos

    Spain — Barcelona. Seville. Sitges.

    Switzerland — Lugano. Zurich.

    Thailand — Bangkok. Chiang Mai. Koh Phi Phi. Railay.

    Vatican City — The Vatican.

    Up next? Ideally Egypt. A month in Egypt, lots to see there. I am OBSESSED with ancient ruins… Which then shall take me to Machu Picchu in Peru… And eventually a return to Asia — Cambodia’s Angkor Wat. Australia is someplace I’d like to get to sometime soon…. All those hot men with accents? Woof!

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      britannia March 31, 2012, 4:38 am

      Yeah… color me green of your passport book. 🙂

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark March 31, 2012, 4:49 am

        Funny, it looks way more impressive typed out like that than it feels… I guess maybe because of european countries were hit in only two trips… First, an epic, nearly three month backpacking adventure post college back when the dollar was king and ruled all.. England was a separate stand alone jaunt across the pond a few years later.

        So, at the end of the day, I’m still holding at a tragic three of the big six continents. Antarctica would be the the little seventh… And I’d even like to go there one day, I suppose. Maybe one of those crazy cruises or something…

        At any rate, I’m bummed. Hey, I was supposed to win that blasted lotto tonight — don’t know exactly how the universe overlooked that simple twist of fate it was supposed to hand me… Meanwhile, future travel will be, uh, delayed somewhat… 😉

        PS — Oh, and here’s an edit. I’ve only been to 29 states. Plus the District of Columbia… Somehow, I always think I’ve been to more states than I have. Dang that east coast with all those tiny states I have yet to visit that have way too much power in Presidential primaries…

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        britannia March 31, 2012, 5:02 am

        Still, it sounds incredible! Even though multiple countries may have been in one trip, you still saw them all, which is a feat not many Americans can say. As for Antarctica – that’s scary and crazy. I’d be like, “Oh look, both of my feet are on the surface! Okey dokey, get me the eff back onto the boat and let’s head for the Equator!”

        I didn’t realize the lotto played out tonight… I’m sorry 🙁 At least you had Bali to quench your thirst for a little while!

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        Addie Pray March 31, 2012, 7:59 am

        Aw, I miss the day when the dollar was king and ruled all. I was studying abroad in France from 1999 to 2000, and at the beginning the dollar was worth, like, 1,000 francs. I was so excited about all the things I could buy for dirt cheap. Then by the end of the year, it was worth only 1/2 a franc. I’m exaggerating a bit, but that’s how it felt.

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      • JK

        JK March 31, 2012, 8:55 am

        The other day I was reading an article on places where the dollar was really strong, one of them was Buenos Aires, so now you know where you have to travel! 😉

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark March 31, 2012, 2:10 pm

        It’s still pretty strong in Bali and Thailand, too. 🙂

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      savannah March 31, 2012, 8:58 am

      Chiang Mai is my absolute favorite place in thailand! So much more manageable than Bangkok but still very thai. If you’re obsessed with ancient ruins you have to get to Angkor Wat, it really took my breathe away. Plus if you’re ever get to Egypt try to see some of Sudan, they actually have more pyramids and other older structures there.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark March 31, 2012, 2:13 pm

        Yes, Chiang Mai was FANTASTIC. Did you do a jungle trek by chance? We did an overnight trek through the jungle that ended in an elephant ride. Just fantastic! I so, so agree about Bangkok — it was fun, but two nights there was more than enough!

        I definitely need to hit Angkor Wat… The Sudan? Interesting, I don’t think I had heard much about that… I will definitely look into it… 🙂

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        savannah April 1, 2012, 3:45 pm

        I didn’t do a jungle trek there because I couldn’t find one that seemed sustainable and I try to be conscious of my tourist footprint. Instead I helped construct a water collection system for some of the hill tribes in the areas that are affected by ecotourism, so I was able to spend some time around those areas and they were really amazing places and spaces. I lived full time in Bangkok for 18 months so I can’t imaging what it must feel like to those who see it for 2-3 days, took me months to get my head around it. Going back in 3 weeks to defend my masters thesis, just in time for the hottest month. ugh- but so excited for the food!!

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark April 2, 2012, 9:42 pm

        Yeah, I can imagine. It was VERY hot and wet in Bali… Very, very Hot.

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    britannia March 31, 2012, 5:06 am

    As for visiting places, I’d like to visit England because my father lives there, and I’d like to visit St. Petersburg in Russia because I used to be obsessed with Rasputin and I don’t want to have endured Elementary Russian for naught! And while I’m in Russia, I want to get on a boat and go see some wild Beluga whales… I love those creatures. And, of course, I want to lay on the beaches of basically all the Caribbean type islands. I’ve already been to Jamaica – I want to go to the few small, relatively untouched islands that aren’t marred by humongous hotels yet.

    My boyfriend and I want to honeymoon in Greece and hop around the islands along that coast, and we both want to live in either Australia or New Zealand.

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    Lake Girl March 31, 2012, 9:09 am

    Love to read everyone’s comments and makes me want to pull out the wheelie bag RIGHT NOW!
    Favorite trips: 5 day raft trip through the Grand Canyon-exhilarating and fun.
    Italy- not enough time there this summer. Must go back, soon.
    Zermatt, Switzerland- magical with the Matterhorn as a backdrop.
    National parks- Zion, Grand Teton, Yellowstone. The hiking! The scenery!
    Club Med, Columbus Isle, Bahamas- some of the best diving ever.
    Wish list: Machu Picchu- already booked for October! Finishing up in the Galapagos.
    Scotland & Ireland- the green, the hills, the history
    Every time I list one, two more come to mind. If only plane flights weren’t so
    miserable.

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    • bittergaymark

      bittergaymark April 2, 2012, 9:40 pm

      Hey, I trust you are also booked on an Inca Trail hike, if you want to do that. If not, book it ASAP. A couple of my friends, didn’t book in advance and got there and were out of luck…

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    Buzzelbee March 31, 2012, 9:48 am

    It might just be me but I mostly travel for food. When people ask how my trip was I always assume they want to hear everything I ate 🙂

    I have a great annual tradition of flying to Chicago one weekend a year for pizza. I loved Italy for the food and I have to go back to Brussels for the mixture of beer, frites, and waffles. My best memories tend to follow having an amazing meal and then walking around a city relaxed and just taking in the ambiance of the place.

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      Nadine March 31, 2012, 10:13 am

      That is totally all I do on holiday. Find somewhere to eat, eat there, then walk and think of where to eat next. Museums? Psh.

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    Nadine March 31, 2012, 10:12 am

    My best trip, hands down, was a trip my best friend and I took to Paris last year. We have been best friends since we were children, but because of moving, we hadnt been together ina year! Which was nuts, since we are very close. So for our birthday we decided to go to Paris. Longer trip for me (from where I was living in Australia) that for her (London, at the time). So we left the boyfriends, and booked the most gorgeous hotel in Montmartre, and actually manic with joy the entire time, to be together, in the springtime, in PARIS! And we had no money, and lived on crepes and cheese that we bought from the sexy cheese-men down the road, and went to vintage shops, and flea markets and drank wine, and it was the best.
    My boyfriend is taking me to Paris for this birthday, and I’m secretely worried it wont be as much fun as it was with my best friend……..
    I never travelled much, but living in London now is supposed to change all that! I love being from NZ but it is so far away from everywhere. Even to get to Australia is four hours flying time. I also went to Fiji when I lived in NZ, and that was five and a half. Being in London, where Venice was under two hours flying time, s a dream come true. (Venice was magical.) (Oh the food! The spritzes!)

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    Eagle Eye March 31, 2012, 11:06 am

    I love to travel – and I finally made it to Asia (Japan) two years ago, since my boyfriend speaks pretty good Japanese and I’m interested in learning, our goal is to now move to Japan and use it as a jumping off point to travel throughout the rest of Asia!

    1999 – my grandparents took my sister and I to London and Paris, it was awesome!

    2002 – I lived in Oxford England for a month

    2004 – Went to Italy with my family

    2006 – Paris, Prague and Budapest with the Family

    2008 – I studied abroad in northern Italy and I traveled to Sicily, Rome, Florence, Ravenna, Milan, and Verona in Italy, but I also made it to Dublin, Scotland, London, Prague, and Amsterdam

    2009 – I finally made it to Japan, spent a month there with the bf once he finished up working there (he was living/ working in Osaka and Tokyo for 4 mos) and just traveled around the country, I feel in love and now I’m trying to learn Japanese so that we can go back!

    2011 – spent 10 days in Paris, again with the bf, it had been a super hard fall and the tickets were cheap since it was in the end of January, just a great trip!

    Places I still want to go: Germany and Iceland in Europe, but we’re really beginning to think about a Vietnam trip, along with maybe Thailand and Cambodia (I really want to see Angor Wat) as well as parts of China, also Egypt (the bf has been there before but I’d still like to go)

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  • MELH

    MELH March 31, 2012, 12:03 pm

    I love traveling, so it’s hard to pick a favorite trip! I think it’s because my parents own a cabin in Michigan, and that was always our vacation spot. So now that I can go on my own vacations, all I want to do is see the world! I have a few favorite trips:

    London and Scotland when I was a junior in high school. It was a school group trip, and even though we were pretty closely watched, it was a great time. I got to spend a lot of time in London, as well as visit Stonehenge and Bath. In Scotland we stayed in Edinburgh, which was amazing. We did this cool ghost tour that was really interesting.

    I went to Thailand my sophomore year of college as part of a program I was in. We stayed in Chaing Mai for nearly two weeks, and it was amazing. We went to an elephant sanctuary where we got to ride elephants, we visited a lot of temples, Doi Suthep on top of the mountain was amazing. One of my favorite days is the day some of my fellow classmates and I wandered to another wat (temple) and talked to one of the monks there for more than an hour. It was so interesting. I also spent a couple nights in a mountain village where one of my Thai teammates lived. That was a great experience. I rode to the village standing up in the back of a pickup truck, I took a shower in a little wooden shack with a bucket and the cow looking through the slats at me, and I got to se an entirely different culture. After a couple weeks, we went to Hua Hin in the south for a few as and enjoyed the beach, which was also a great time.

    I obviously enjoyed my honeymoon in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. We stayed at an all inclusive resort for only couples, and it was so amazing and relaxing. I got to go snorkeling and scuba diving. We took a catamaran cruise out into the ocean, then stopped at this perfectly clear cove to swim. We climbed the famous waterfalls there, Dunn’s River, which was a blast. I want tot go back so badly!

    Inside the country, I love visiting New York, and I really enjoyed Seattle. My cousin lives in Seattle, and I got to experience so much in the few days I was there!

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    • mandalee

      mandalee April 1, 2012, 8:09 pm

      I’m going on my (very delayed) honeymoon at an all-inclusive Couples resort in Ocho Rios too! I’m so glad to hear you loved it. I am counting down the days until we can escape there and just relax!

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      • MELH

        MELH April 1, 2012, 9:25 pm

        Oh my gosh it was amazing! You will have such a great and relaxing time, we went to couples tower isle….where are you going?

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      • mandalee

        mandalee April 2, 2012, 12:08 am

        Perfect! That is exactly what we need! We got married in August and had to delay the honeymoon until May, so it feels like it’s never going to get here haha I hear Tower Isle is beautiful, we almost decided to stay there. Were staying at Couples Sans Soucci. We couldnt decide between the two, so we flipped a coin.

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      • MELH

        MELH April 2, 2012, 8:47 pm

        I saw Sans Soucci briefly when we dropped people off there, it seemed awesome too. The thing I loved the most was that they include so many different things. I would definitely try to do Dunn’s River Falls if you have a chance, it was so awesome. We brought a waterproof disposable camera, but people on our trip did just bring their regular cameras and gave them to the guide to hold. I was a little too chicken for that!

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    Christy March 31, 2012, 4:50 pm

    I’m on it right now! Rome, Arezzo, Freiburg, and Cairo.

    Also, I’m completely addicted, Wendy. Seriously, the only websites I’ve checked are facebook, gmail, and you. Completely addicted. (To the commenters too, btw.)

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  • FireStar

    FireStar March 31, 2012, 9:58 pm

    So far I’ve been all around North America (though I really want to visit Austin since my husband loved it there and wants to buy a house there one day – he said it had the best people and the best weather).
    In Europe I’ve been to: London, Paris, Barcelona, Madrid, Oostende, Brussels, Amsterdam, Bordeaux, Lisbon, Rome, Florence, Vatican City, Siena (where we saw the horse race and celebrated in the winning village where they literally pour wine out of their windows down to you on the street when you hold up your cup), Pisa, Venice, Verona (where we saw an opera in the colosseum – built in 30 AD – amazing)
    in the Caribbean: Bahamas, Barbados, Cayman Islands, St. Kitts, St. Maarten, Trinidad and Tobago, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Honduras.
    I’m from Guyana so that doesn’t count but I would love to see more of South America – Chile, Argentina, Brazil; I would love to visit Hawaii, oh and Eastern Europe….and southern Italy..and Mark has convinced me to do the Nile cruise in Egypt, but my dream trip has to be an African Safari. I have so many places I need to go…now I feel the need to plan somewhere.

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    Renee April 1, 2012, 1:59 pm

    As someone who hates to travel, I like Bermuda. It’s close and a direct flight, and has a nice zoo. Also from my understanding, there are laws to protect locals, so not all of the land is purchased as vacation homes.

    I’ve been to Europe twice to visit family. We did the tourist sites as well, but something I didn’t realize until later was how much tourism can affect negatively a local culture.

    The Venetian Dilemma, which is now online, details what happened there.

    I’m very sensitive to this, because at times in seeking different economic revenue, cities like the one I live in is trying to market our local culture/history. There are local debates to preserve a building or a bridge, not for us, but for the tourists. We aren’t doing traditions, because of their original intent, but something to bring in the tourists.

    While I admit in movies, my city has been portrayed very accurately, I just want to say I’m not a character for a tourist either.

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    MarkD April 2, 2012, 10:56 am

    Japan. I spent almost five years there long ago, and my wife is from there. Our first trip back was when my older daughter was ten months old and my son was three, and the only travel problem was my wife and son weren’t feeling well for the trip back to the US. It’s expensive, and nobody has mixed feelings about it. You love it, or you hate it.

    We’ve been back several times since and it’s always wonderful. It helps, a lot, to know enough of the language to get by if you venture off the beaten path. The town my wife is from used to be a sleepy country village, then they moved the prefectural university to it. I went from little kids staring at me and and pointing and saying “gaijin” (foreigner) to being ignored.

    Next would have to be Hawaii. Our daughter was living there with her husband, who grew up in Hawaii and knows all the places to go. It was expensive, and worth it.

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