We’re always giving advice on how to live life to the fullest, in the best way possible. I’m guilty of this as are many others.
But what a treat to get advice for a life best lived from those who have lived it longest.
In the late 13th century, a small town was developed to accommodate the trading market that was growing along the Vitavia River. The area was built up between 1680 and 1682 under the reign of Prince Johann Christian I von Eggenberg. Because of its ability to retain much of its historic landscape and architecture, Old Český Krumlov is today a UNESCO Heritage Site.
When I travel, I like to share my journey as it happens via my social media platforms. I am in Berlin, Germany, and you can follow my hashtag #GGTinBerlin on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to see my updates as I live tweet them. You can also follow #wkndBLN to get the media group’s shares and experiences via social media.
I often hold off on sharing the overall experience, but decided it might also be nice to share a thought or two of my immediate first impression. We all arrive to new places with pre-conceived notions, lack of knowledge, and some generalizations. No matter how intellectual we may think ourselves to be, we’ve all been influenced by messages and imageries and information that is often further influenced by whatever culture we grew up in.
I’ve met a lot of people who take great pride in solo travel. There’s something really courageous and inspiring about the idea of taking on the world alone, the journey of self-discovery, the sense of adventure. The funny thing is that despite the negative messages I often hear from these same travelers about group travel, I have found that traveling with others, being with a group of friends, family, or even like-minded strangers brought together through a common goal, can be just as inspiring and courageous.
It was a wonderful surprise getting the news that I got some love on television the other day.
Nubia Duvall Wilson, traveler and author of Encounters with Strangers in New York City and Beyond, was interviewed on Arise 360, where she gave tips on where to travel for Spring break, shared what her favorite destinations are, and, when asked what her travel blogs she likes to read, she said Girl Gone Travel!
Those of you who have followed me for years know that every summer my family tries (keyword “tries”) to take an epic road trip.
While our first road trip came out of necessity (we didn’t have the money to fly all 5 of us to Missoula, MT for my husband’s high school reunion), that trip was enough to transform us into adventurous explorers. It’s funny when I think about it. Our biggest trip, and the one that would effectively serve to change our lives and how we viewed travel with our kids, came about because we were strapped for cash. Just a reminder that it’s not about the money as much as it is about the want and willingness…and yes, even courage, to take on the journey.
Since our road trip from New York City to Missoula in 2009, we have ventured from NYC to Texas in 2010. We took a break in 2011 to move from NYC to New Jersey, an adventure of a different kind. We packed our bags again in 2012 and went to Costa Rica, and in 2013 we did our West Coast road trip! This year, we are taking our road trip adventure to the next level: we are renting a car and road tripping across France’s Midi-Pyrenees region.
Recently, I chatted with Travel Channel‘s celebrity host, Samantha Brown, about travel and the 50+ traveler. The reason this was of interest to me is because more and more people in the 50+ groups are breaking the mold (and stereotype) of the grandma and grandpa who like to stay home and knit or play bingo. In fact, research shows that travel ranks as the top aspiration for people 50+, and according to analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, personal travel spend for the 50+ traveler tops $120 billion per year and will grow as boomers have more time to travel. And, believe or not, the number of online research for travel is growing in that demographic as well (read more here).
Spring is finally here! On the first weekend of this much awaited season, my family and I did something we hadn’t done in a long time: we played tourists in NYC. We decided to revisit one of our old stomping grounds on the East side and revisit The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met).
The last time we visited the museum the boys were younger, and our visit much shorter as their attention span was short lasting. We made use of our CityPASS for my husband and I, and delighted at the free admission for kids under 12.
“Lake Tahoe is not a town, it’s a region in both the states of CA and NV.”
This was one of the first lessons I learned upon arriving to the area as a guest of the Squaw Creek Resort. Like most people, I didn’t really understand the geography of the area and, like most people, I had limited knowledge about how diverse the region was, or even that extends beyond the limits of one single geographic landmark. I flew into Reno, NV, which most people use to get to the area by plane, though I’ve heard Amtrak is also a fabulous choice if driving is not an option.
Recently I returned to Samaná, a small fisherman’s town in the northeastern part of the Dominican Republic where I had spent a couple of my teenage years.
A lot about the area has changed. What was once a sleepy town is now a growing tourist destination. Roads that didn’t exist now provide easier access to what was once one of the most secluded areas of the island. It’s bittersweet, the whole change thing. You want to know that more people are able to reach one of the most beautiful destinations in the world and that it serves to give jobs and opportunities for the people living there. But at the same time, you want to be able to keep what once was, as it was, because part of the solitude and isolation was in great part what made so much of it so beautiful.