All of the best stories begin with that all too familiar phrase.
It’s the one that can transport you to any place, introduce you to the most exciting characters, and it will most certainly start you on an amazing adventure.
As a child, books were a substantial part of my growing up. We had the “Tooth Librarian” instead of the tooth fairy, who would leave the next title in our favorite series stashed beneath our pillows after that oh-so-harrowing battle which resulted in an evicted baby tooth. Every road trip began with a new book or two, usually already finished long before we reached our destination. In a stroke of desperation, my mother even threatened to take away our books if we didn’t get our chores done.
The written word is an extraordinary tool that takes us to new places and transforms our minds. As I grew older, that love of adventure overflowed into other pursuits; trying new foods, touring historical sites, a huge affinity for video games (yes, I’m a geek), and eventually travelling to new places.
We didn’t have a a lot of expendable income when I was growing up. A family of six living in a rural corner of the country with a blue collar father and a stay at home mom doesn’t exactly spell out exotic vacations. My parents were both very hardworking and instilled in my siblings and I creativity and desire to learn; we may not have had much, but they were determined to give us the most amazing adventures.
We drove through state parks that had buffalo looking in our back window and pronghorn antelope grazing not feet from the side of the road. As we went over passes, they pointed out land formations that have persisted for millennia and found a spot to pull over so we could snap a picture with our disposable camera. They found an old church that we could tour and talked to the pastor about it’s history, a mine we descended and experienced true blackness as all the lights went out, and pointed out rivers where Lewis and Clark crossed to reach the Pacific Ocean. It instilled in me the idea you can adventure anywhere and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune as long as you come at it with the right attitude.
As I’ve grown up, I’ve had the opportunities to travel to some pretty amazing places throughout the US and Europe. I’m a very obsessive planner and and would research EVERYTHING before going on my trip. After having a few experiences under my belt, I thought – why not share some of the things I’ve learned with other obsessively planning adventurers (there has to be a few, right?) as they start their own journeys throughout the world? The idea for a blog was born, though didn’t come to full fruition for six more years and several more adventures later.
SO! If you love travel, adventuring off the beaten path, saving a little money, eating tasty food/drinks, going local, and having an AMAZING time, you’ve come to the right place.
I hope you enjoy reading my entries almost as much as I enjoy writing and reliving them.
Sláinte! (Irish toast to good health)