About

 

IMG_1024A native North Carolinian, I fulfilled my wandering soul by going into the travel industry, then into sales and then back into the travel industry —  true  wander lust!  That is something that has remained in my blood.   I have traveled the world and loved every minute of it, the good, the bad and the ugly!  I’ve also been blessed with meeting some fantastic people across the world.

My travels were quite varied and extensive.  From a 360 degree panoramic view, surrounded by sheep, as they were changing pastures in New Zealand; snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, with sharks visible not far from us;  eating food that was prepared in huge black cauldrons by the locals in  Zululand, South Africa (it was delicious!);  the beautiful wildlife and people all across South Africa made it difficult to leave.  And yes, I did see the Big Five;  a Rhine River cruise in Germany and so many of their beautiful cities I had the opportunity of visiting over the years — Frankfurt, Baden-Baden, Stuttgart, Hamburg, Munich and Berlin, (shortly after the wall came tumbling down);  in France, Paris is a must, but do not go in August when it is almost a ghost town!  That’s the month for their holiday and the museums are closed!  (Remember to say “holiday” not “vacation” when you travel across the borders in Europe, otherwise you will be pulled over and have to explain what you are doing in their beautiful country.)  The drive down the French Romantic Road was absolutely breathtaking!

I did have a language problem in the French Countryside.  The laughter this brought to both me and the locals at what I ordered for lunch taught me to look at what others were eating before attempting to order again.  I think I got cow’s tongue or something equally disgusting.

Another horror story was dealing with the security during the Special Olympics in South Korea.  It’s best NOT to visit between the Olympics and the Special Olympics or any other huge venue to avoid the security problem.

My first trip to Hawaii was to Maui with my beautiful daughter as a combination birthday gift from my staff and partners and a graduation gift for my daughter.  We rented a car and explored this beautiful island.  We started driving toward the top of a volcano; however, the road was so rough and steep that we turned around.  (That was also right after we saw the sign that rental car companies would NOT come up to get any drivers going past that point!  lol  We were adventurous, but decided that we would heed their warning.)  It was a fun trip and a great Mom and daughter bonding week, away from our day-to-day lives.

 

I didn’t believe the locals in Buenos Aires, Argentina when they said I would not need a steak knife to eat a steak there.  They were right!  It was the best steak I had ever had or have had since then!  Yes, I cut it with my fork and the steak was over an inch thick!

The boat to the Aberdeen floating village  and the Peak Tram to Victoria Peak in Hong Kong would take too much time to describe, but it was a highlight of my two-day stay there.

The ride on the Bullet Train  between Tokyo and Osaka, Japan was something to experience!  Wow, you can’t sight-see since you are literally flying down the rails.  In Osaka, we were honored by having our host’s wife perform the traditional tea ceremony for us — it was the first time she had performed it for her husband and guests — after seven years of studying and practice this very precise art.   Visiting a men’s nightclub in Tokyo (Really!) was quite an experience, definitely geared to men!  The best part of the evening there was I met two men from Australia and they were going to Hong Kong, too, and said they would like to buy me a Peking duck dinner while there.  We exchanged business cards and hotel information.  I really didn’t expect to hear from them; however, they did call and I did join them on a tour of a watch factory (the reason they were there); however, I decided not to join them for dinner.   The elder of the two did send me a letter, offering his assistance in helping my husband find work IF we decided to move there.  We had actually considered that shortly after we got married in 1967, but decided Australia was still pretty much undeveloped and that was a long way to go!

I have traveled across the US, also; however, there are cities I want to return to and I would love to visit the states I’ve never been to, especially Alaska, the New England states, the Dakotas, Montana, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

I have two wonderful children, a son and daughter, who have blessed me with six beautiful grandchildren.  I am their biggest fan!  Take every travel experience and every emotion I felt throughout my wonderful career and they all pale in comparison with my children and grandchildren!   They help me remain young at heart and they keep me laughing whenever we’re together.  Thank goodness for laughter — it truly is the best medicine, no matter what’s ailing you.

Thanks for reading my blogs, I do hope you can pick up a few tips that may prevent you from making the same mistakes I have made.  Be sure you leave your own mark on every city, state, country you visit!  Bon Voyage!

May God bless,

Sandy

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