Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Golden Gate Bridge
When people discover that I have done quite a lot of traveling, one of the inevitable questions that I get asked is about what my “favorite” place was.

The first time I was asked this, I had to stop and think, because nothing really jumped out as an obvious answer. The longer I thought, the more I realized that I really did not have a “favorite” destination. Although I have visited many very different countries, I realized that I enjoyed most of them and was unable to pin the “favorite” designation on any of them.

I can’t even say I have a “favorite” type of travel. I’m a big fan of cruising, because it is trouble free, relaxing, and gives you a taste of many different places. RVing is similar in the different places you can see, and I really enjoy driving, so do not mind the time behind the wheel. Traveling to China to work for nine weeks showed me how interesting it is to spend an extended time in one place, and how this allows you to really get an understanding of the local culture. The month long trip to Spain was a result of wanting to do the same thing in another location. When the cold damp Nova Scotia February weather finally gets to me, I am perfectly happy to spend a week at an all inclusive resort in the Carribbean sipping cold beer under a beach umbrella.

I think the secret is to travel without expectations, and with an open mind. I have had many people complain that they found Egypt very dirty, and although we visited when the “rag pickers” were protesting the slaughter of their “compost-eating” pigs by the government by dumping what they would normally recycle by feeding to the pig onto the streets, I just took this in stride and enjoyed other aspects of the country. The Egyptians didn’t seem bother with it, and their ignoring the garbage gave me a better understanding of how they could allow a  national treasure like the pyramids to be so surrounded in litter. Other tourists found this deplorable, but I just accepted it as part of the Egyptian culture.

This attitude also allows me to overcome preconceived ideas of places. I had no interest in visiting New York city because I saw it just as a big dirty city with a high crime rate, but when it was the departure port for a cruise to Germany, I spent an enjoyable day exploring Manhattan and look forward to a return visit. Similarly, I have never had any interest in visiting Las Vegas, because I do no gamble, but my evening there on this trip has elevated the city to “return trip” list.

So, to answer your question . . . No I do not have a favorite place I have traveled to.

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