I came across a quote recently that encapsulates my life’s goals; “I’d rather have a passport full of stamps, than a house full of stuff.” Tbh, I did not even own a passport until six years ago having only traveled domestically. Truthfully, I was fortunate enough to be raised by parents who loaded all four of us girls in the car every summer and we went on driving trips in the U.S. Of course, and I do believe this was to keep us quiet and occupied, we were each assigned a state and decided what places we would visit in that state.
In 2016, when my daughter decided to study abroad in Madrid for the summer through her college, I decided to personally escort her (and of course her sister came along). We left a few weeks prior to when she needed to be in Madrid. We traveled to Spain in 10 days which is very doable and share How to Travel to Spain in 10 days.
After our first trip to London, I was definitely bitten by the travel bug. I decided that if we could coordinate, I would want to start a tradition of a girl’s trip once a year with my daughters. One of my all-time favorite books and movies is Eat, Pray, Love. (If you enjoy Audiobooks, you can get it for free with an Audible trial). I decided after watching the movie that Italy, India, and Indonesia would be on my travel bucket list). That is how we decided on Italy, a country where we would Eat, Pray and Love.
My first trip to Europe was in London. We chose this destination for several reasons including the fact that we would not have a language barrier. My younger daughter and I planned out most of the trip including must-see visits to London’s iconic sites. I ran it by a friend who is from London to see if we were trying to pack in too much in five short days. Just last year, on a trip with my sister to Israel, we had a layover in London. We decided to spend two days in London and then travel on and had the most amazing time so I have included some spots we went to on this trip as well.
A little over one year ago, life was good; my dream of going to Israel would finally be happening. I have not always wanted to visit Israel, even after both of my daughters did birthright. That changed over the past six years as I became more connected to my faith and spirituality which were both instrumental in moving me forward after unexpectedly becoming a widow.
Greece has been on my bucket list since 2005 when I saw the movie The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. My desire to go there also was based on the fact that in 2010, I became a pescatarian and mainly followed a Meditteranean eating regimen.
I cannot believe that the holidays are approaching. For those that celebrate Hannukah, the first night is November 29th with Christmas less than a month later. I don’t know about you, but my mailbox, both email and actual mailbox, is filled with catalogs and discount coupons. Black Friday deals are out earlier than they have ever been and the shopping season has begun.
This was my first Hallmark experience so I had no idea they had a whole arsenal of movies. There were winter-themed movies, Valentine’s Day, of course, Spring, Summer, Wedding, Fall Harvest, and then the anticipated 7 night Thanksgiving event leading up to Christmas. I could now spend the entire year sucked into the Vortex of Hallmark.
Our family usually takes a winter holiday to see snow and mountains (something we don't get in South Florida). Previously, we would head to either Park City or Colorado for our winter ski trip, typically with my sister and her kids. But with a pandemic happening, we did not want to fly so we decided to drive to Asheville for our winter getaway.