Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Decade of Great Destinations

This morning I took a whirlwind tour of the places I've traveled over the past 10 years, from January 1999 to December 2009. The statistics were interesting (to me, at least): 43 major trips, not counting numerous visits to my parents' in Maine or the many weekends spent at "the cabin" in Maine. These were all trips that required packing a suitcase and ranged from 2 nights to three weeks in length. Most also required flying for at least part of the trip, but trains, boats, buses, cars, and even my own two feet were involved as well.

Nearly 1/3 (16) were connected in some way to my work; 14 were with family; 10 were with, or on te way to being with, friends; and 4 were entirely by myself and for myself. Most of my US trips took place within New England (14 out of 31), 7 were to New York (5 of those to New York City), 4 to Maryland, 3 to Tennessee, and 10 to other states. Connecticut was the only New England state I didn't do more than drive through on my way to New York.

Six were out-of-country trips giving me entry into 6 new-to-me countries and one old friend that I visited twice (France).

I'd be hard-pressed to pick a favorite trip, but I do have some stand-out moments (in no particular order):
  • Flying over New York City less than a month after September 11 and seeing the gaping hole in the skyline for the first time.
  • Spending Bastille Day in Aix-en-Provence, France
  • Traversing southern Norway with my family for two weeks
  • Worshipping in a straw church on one of the floating islands on Lake Titicaca, Peru
  • Exploring Greece, Ephesus, and Istanbul New England Youth Ensemble style (the day in Istanbul with my sister Lauren and 11 15-20 year olds was nothing less than amazing)
  • Enjoying a fantastic day at Celia Thaxter's Garden off the coast of Portsmouth, NH with my mother and two sisters
  • Going "back in time" into the jungle in Mexico
  • Learning with strangers-become-friends at four writing workshop/retreats
  • Relaxing on a ship (the largest cruise ship in the world) for a week
  • Wandering Paris for 5 days (and being able to get where and what I needed with no trouble!)
If the next ten years bring me this much travel or more, I won't complain (as long as the airlines don't go crazy with all the new safety regulations!).