Wednesday, January 28, 2015

'Just Because'

I have been busy trying to get my A to Z cities together (I now have all 26 letters mapped out) and I remembered a question posed to me last year.  "Why do you travel so much?"

Wow.  The answer is "just because".  There are so many places to see.  And since there are so many places to see, it means you need to travel often.  And yet, I do not consider myself someone who travels 'a lot'.

When I travel, I love that I can visit very old churches and residences and marvel at the architecture.  Of course, most of this is seen in Europe.  Here in America we tend to tear down anything that is old.  Like 50 years old, let alone 500 or more.

I enjoy sampling the local foods.  I grew up eating Polish and Italian foods.  But, the way the locals prepare the food is often different than what you may have tasted at home.

And even travelling here in North America, there are beautiful vistas of mountains that I'd never see here in Michigan.  When I first moved to West Bloomfield, I met a woman who said she had never traveled more than 30 miles from home and doubted there was anything else she needed to see.

Even now, it seems as though every time I plan a trip folks want to know why I am going wherever I am going.  When I mentioned to anyone that I was going to Russia, I got the inevitable "Why are you going there?".  Same thing happened last year when I said I was going to spend two weeks in Germany.

I don't think I've ever asked someone about their travel choices.  But last year someone actually said to me that they had no idea that Germany was on my travel bucket list.  Hmmm.  How would they know?

I've had a desire to travel ever since my aunt and her husband went off to Italy to visit family back in 1953.  I still remember saying good-bye to them at the old Willow Run airport.  I remember the home movies when they returned.  And I knew that someday I wanted to be the person who traveled to foreign shores.  (I first made it to Italy in 1969.)

I remember the first flight I ever took on an airplane.  I was a senior in college in 1967 and was travelling to Philadelphia for my sorority's national convention.  I still remember walking out to the plane behind Lenore Romney (Mitt's Mom).  No covered walkways and big jets in those days.  The travel bug had taken hold and as soon as I graduated I was off to the Bahamas.  A year later I was to spend ten weeks in Europe.

It makes me wonder if folks need a reason to go someplace or have no idea what exists in those countries.  Surely the remark is not just a conversation starter?  Maybe so.

There are so many places I have seen and so many I would still love to visit.  My journey seems as though it is just beginning.  I've only seen ten percent of the world.  I'd better live a very, very long time to see the rest.


  1. Once upon a time I would have loved to be a world traveler. Now I have far to many roots and absolutely no funding for such adventures. Will have to travel through your A to Z.
    Life & Faith in Caneyhead

  2. I have met people who have never travelled far from their homes and who see no reason to do so. What really staggered me was in Malta which is only 19 miles long and I met people who had never been from one end to the other or far from their villages. I can fully understand your travel bug and wish I still had both the health and finances to continue my travels. Way to go Denise and I hope you are able to travel long into the future. You should tell people moving countries is one of the biggest travel trips of all. I've done it three times.

    1. I have three cousins who moved to foreign lands to live and work and raise their families: Switzerland, Denmark and France. I often thought about retiring outside the USA, but now with a grandchild I don't see that happening. Your info about Malta really is staggering.

    2. It's unbelievable isn't it? My parents lived there for a number of years and some of the locals couldn't understand them travelling from one part of the island to the other.

  3. It is so funny that people are wondering why Russia and Germany would be a destination because they have no imagination other than what advertisements show them. They have no idea how wonderful Germany is or Russia and how beautiful these countries are. Most just go to London, Paris and Rome. many more just go to Cuba (here in Canada soon the U.S.), Mexico and the Dominican and that is just for swimming, drinking and eating. Culture is sorely lacking and needs to be part of every classroom. This way the kids gain a better understanding of culture

    1. Very well said. I know lots of folks who think vacation means lying on a beach and drinking. Yuck!

  4. While I understand those who don't travel because it's financially impossible (me, at the moment), I don't get folks who stay home because they have no interest in the world around them. Often the reluctance to travel seems to be fear based. We cling to what we know, which is exactly why travel is so important in today's world. Travel helps us appreciate different cultures, gives us new perspectives on quality of life, and knocks down ethnocentricity. Can't wait until I'm in the air again.

    Looking forward to your A to Z!

    VR Barkowski


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