I did it

Good friends reconnect over a few drinks and plans are made for traveling abroad!

We hadn’t seen each other in years but once we started talking there was no time distance.  All the closeness that we had in our earlier lives came back.  We talked of many things but once we started talking of travel a plan was hatched.  I love to plan the travel and am always ready to go; my companion had the desire and the general locations so together we hatched an itinerary and started our countdown to the trip abroad.

We began talking more frequently as we planned the details of the trip; we talked of what and how to pack and what excursions to take.  I made some reservations for different experiences along our itinerary.

My companion was not accustomed to packing lightly; an extra day before the trip was necessary to combine our efforts in getting the luggage under control.  We were going to be handling our own luggage for parts of the trip and it needed to remain manageable.  We were taking trains, planes and boats across several European countries and neither of us was feeling up to lugging lots of extra accessories!

We laughed our way through the trip and both of us felt lighter and happier than we had in a long while.  We were sorry to say goodbye to our vacation together and immediately started planning the next trip.

Everything went as planned and we enjoyed each other’s company and found out we were excellent travel buddies!  I did it!~

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I thought I could do it

I recently traveled with someone I’ve known for over 40 years. Defining “known” is the key element to this story.

Known in this story means being aware of; mingling with and sharing some past experiences.  Known means being part of a circle of friends, albeit on the fringe.  It is a superficial  “known”, as in entering a room and having someone familiar to talk with.

I thought I could do it.  I thought I could travel with this person and we’d have a compatible and comfortable mutual enjoyment of the trip.

I have always been a very adaptable person;  easy going and acceptable of most new things.  What I discovered about my 62 year old self is that I’m NOT content going with the flow just to get along anymore;  I have given myself permission to put myself first.  This evolution of self has come with expectations that I didn’t have when I was 21.  With expectations come potential disappointment.

My travel companion planned and booked the trip. My travel companion was older than I and physically less mobile.  My travel companion looked for the least expensive options in everything(which normally is a good trait but when traveling I prefer to spend a little more to enjoy myself).  My travel companion had no passion to explore the beautiful surroundings we had traveled to.  I ventured out on my own on a daily basis but still felt tethered to the travel companion I left at poolside.  I didn’t have the freedom or control to follow my own itinerary.

I thought I could travel with just about anyone and find a way to enjoy myself.  What I found is that I’m too old to compromise.  I expect and deserve to give myself the travel experience I want.

I am planning another trip with a different friend that I’ve known for over 40 years;  this time we are sharing the planning and shaping of the itinerary. Ever optimistic, I think I can do it.

 

 

We all came from somewhere

I’ve been watching the migration of refugees into Europe and reflecting on the movement of peoples and the changes they bring.

Being of European descent, I have always felt at home when traveling in Europe.  I know that I am the outsider from America and that I don’t really fit in like a local but I try to respect the host country’s customs and enjoy the environment and culture I am visiting.  I know that my ancestors brought a part of the European culture to America and used it as a foundation for building their new life.

Watching the refugees flow into Europe – and other parts of the world – reminds me that we all came from somewhere.  Very few of us are indigenous.  Back in our ancestral dna was an intrepid soul that felt the need to move.  My husband has ancestors that moved because their family lands had already been divided out and nothing was available for the younger sons.  I have Irish ancestors that moved because their lands were no longer life-sustaining. I have Eastern European ancestors that moved because of the oppression of their government.  Everyone moved because they were seeking change and opportunity to provide a better life for themselves and their family.  I like to believe that each generation has added something to strengthen their new community.

It’s part of the movement of life and we must embrace those refugees and give them the opportunities that we all had at sometime in our lineage.

Cruising is a great way for you to see Europe – I can help you personalize the perfect trip.  Visit my website at psorenson.cruisesinc.com

Middle America

California, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota are all in the rear view mirror as we settle into our lake home in Minnesota. Our road trip from the west coast took 6 days and we admired the beautifully changing countryside as we headed east.  The moving truck arrived and all has been set into the house – but the house is not ready for us to unpack due to renovations.  So I escape to the beauty of this place and find serenity in nature.

The mornings are spectacular as viewed through our kitchen window.  The large winged pelicans gracefully glide into the water ready to snatch a fish or two as they jump out of the water for bugs.   The great heron stands patiently and turns it’s long elegant neck from side to side like a periscope looking out to the horizon.  The mother duck and her nine ducklings pass under the dock and begin bobbing their heads into the muddy shoreline searching for breakfast.  The day is new and full of promise.  I love the early mornings on the lake!

Evening with friends

I am blessed with good friends that enjoy travel as much as I do.  While we may have different destinations, it is always enjoyable to get together and share our stories.  Last evening I dined with some good friends to catch up on our lives.  The weather was perfect; calm and near 70 degrees Fahrenheit.  The sunset cast it’s beautiful colors across the lightly clouded sky as we watched from our patio table next to the little lake.  I forget sometimes how wonderful my little corner of the world can be!

One of my friends had just returned from a trip to Puerto Vallarta. She was traveling with a 93 year old woman and two other women in their late 50’s.  She’s in her early 70’s so they made a lively group of senior ladies.  Her stories had me in tears from laughter; it encourages me to know that the desire to travel and experience new things will stay with us throughout our lives.  It’s more important than ever to keep myself healthy to enjoy it!

My 5 favorite travel necessities

It doesn’t matter if I’m heading for an overnite with my sister or a month-long cruise; there are five things that are always part of my trip.  If you keep these stored in your luggage you will always be ready to go!

  1. Spacebags for clothing. The medium and large sizes are perfect for your garments and fit nicely in a typical 21” carryon bag.   Be sure to get the kind that expel air without a vacuum.  I usually just fill the bag with my clothes and lay on top of it until all the air comes out.  These things allow you to organize your clothing for easy unpacking at your destination because you can use one for pants, one for shirts, one for dresses, etc.  They protect your clothing from moisture, spills and smells.  They are great for separating your dirty clothes from the clean ones when you are packing to go home.
  2. Hanging toiletry bag.  This “go to” bag contains everything I need in small sized containers.  It’s always ready to go with my essentials.  I just add my makeup bag and hairbrush.  When at my destination, it comes out of the suitcase and hangs in the bathroom either on a towel rack or hook.  This clears the small bathroom counter for other things!
  3. TSA approved clear bag for carryon liquids. Invest in a strong clear vinyl bag with zip top and keep your carryon liquids ready to go anytime!  These will be less prone to puncture and leakage and because they are more substantial, I find it easy to pull out and put back during the security process.
  4. Kipling bag. These stylish lightweight bags are made of durable nylon with lots of zippered compartments.  My favorite style is the crossbody flat bag with three zippered full sized compartments and additional layered zippers in rows on the front.  I can put passports in one section; etickets and confirmations in another.  I can keep my currencies separated and allocate a specific pocket for my travel receipts.  There’s still room for a camera and phone and maps!
  5. Packing cube for electronics. Make sure you have all your chargers and cords and universal adapters in one place.

Enjoy your trip knowing you didn’t forget anything because you are so organized!

Where in Winter?

It’s April.  The trees have leafed out, I’m enjoying my first cut roses from the garden and mulching the plants for the dry summer months.  But I’m thinking about where I will spend the winter.

This will be a year of change; retirement and a move from the west coast to the midwest.  Although I spent the first 21 years of my life in the midwest living through hot humid summers and cold brittle winters,  I don’t know if I can re-acclimate to it 40 years later.  So, thinking ahead, where will I spend the winter?

The world is a big place and the opportunities are endless.  My optimum climate is in the 70’s with more sun than rain and minimal bugs.

Any suggestions?