WHY I TRAVEL
The more I travel, the more I experience and learn. I like to force myself outside of my own comfort zone. I feel this is the best way to grow and gain a better understanding of the world around us. Travel is an adventure. It's exhilarating!
I love spotting animals in the wild; ones I would never see at home. I love exploring natural and national monuments up close and in person. I love learning about cultures, lifestyles, and beliefs that are different than my own.
"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page." - Saint Augustine
"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime." - Mark Twain
I love returning home with a broader perspective. Travel helps me understand that all of humanity is the same, and that all of our planet is precious.
WHAT I'VE LEARNED
I've learned so many things while traveling that I'm sure I don't consciously recognize them all. With each journey, my knowledge and understanding of the world around us increases. So much natural beauty. So much cultural diversity.
I've learned that you must separate a people from their governing bodies. More and more, our governments do not appear to represent the people they govern. Do not judge a country by the actions of its government. They are not the same. Learn to love all people, from every ethnicity, nationality and belief. We are truly more alike than we are different.
Our earth is exquisitely beautiful, and extremely fragile. Perhaps not even one in a billion planets is as spectacular and diverse as ours. We must cherish and protect it. Sometimes nature is unique, like the orangutans of Borneo and Sumatra. Other times it repeats itself, like the karstic lakes and waterfalls of Croatia and China, or the razor-edged mountains of Italy and Chile.
Only one species on this planet is capable of destroying it, and we have already caused irreparable damage to the very ecosystem that is keeping us alive.
I've learned to embrace different cultures, to protect our diverse ecosystems, and to express a sincere gratitude for everything in my life.
HOW I WRITE
I'm a computer geek by profession. I'm accustomed to writing technical documents, so I tend to be very sequential and concise. I don't elaborate much. I'm certain this comes across in my blog, for better or worse. lol
I simply share with you where we went and what we did, then let you decide if it's something that interests you. I try to add links so you can peruse the information for yourself. I add photos too, because a picture is indeed worth a thousand words. And I may occasionally add a tip or recommendation.
WHERE DO WE STAY
My motto is usually "Get the best bang for the buck!" We never stay at the cheapest or most expensive lodging. We find some place in between. Reasonably priced, comfortable accommodations, with good reviews. And, of course, location plays a large role as well.
In fact, to locate the perfect accommodation, I usually open Google maps, enter all of the points of interest we wish to see and experiences we wish to have, and then try to find somewhere to stay right in the middle. Walking distance to everything is preferable, but as long as we're near public transit, distances are acceptable.
Since we try to immerse ourselves in the culture, we prefer staying at local bed & breakfasts, lodges, or boutique hotels. American chain hotels are never a consideration. Why would we want to stay at an American hotel in a foreign country? How is that a foreign experience?
My husband and I travel as often as work, and our budget, will allow. I hope you will find our experiences of some use to you.
- WanderLust Mike