Reflections on a year spent travelling (who, moi?)

Reflections on a year spent travelling the globe. Quite the catchy title, isn’t it?  Too bad that it wasn’t one that pertained to the past year of traipsing around the world, as my three week microscopic sojourn circumventing the earth was a tad 350 days and 193 countries short of coming close to such an exhilarating adventure.

No, Auntie Nora was instead stuck with the Kid (a moody and overly dramatic teenager), for whom the word hardship equated to lugging over-burdened suitcases on half-day hikes along deserted roadways en route to one star hotels catering to tourist budget pocketbooks, all the while dining on stale packets of vending machine crisps washed down with lukewarm tap water.  A far cry from Disney and Leave it to Beaver.  Obsessed with scoring the deal of a steal and snagging a 95% reduced Chanel satchel, I spent the bulk of my vay-cay scavenging flea markets and vintage shops, whilst Miss Kid hung out with royalty and played dress-up with Marie-Antoinette and her maidens in waiting at the Palace of Versailles. 

 So what if the entire trip usually ends up as a real life comedy of errors, worthy of laugh out loud reality television moments and quite the acute embarrassment to my 16 year old European royalty obsessed niece?  What did you expect, Miss Kid?  An uneventful and oh so boring mundane vacation of the Brady Bunch kind?  Or a more realistic National Lampoon depiction of real life? 

Nonetheless, all of the events that I’ve chronicled in my weekly Wednesday blog posts are true observations of my escapades abroad, viewed from the unique vantage point of a claustrophobic scaredy-cat, taken to the next level of absurdity.  Even though I’m somewhat of an overly cautious traveller, nothing will stop me from following through on that highly anticipated adventure, whether white-knuckle jetting through the skies with the help of an endless supply of vino tinto, or having quite the un-elegant meltdown sequestered in a speeding train 1.5 miles under the river Thames, trapped in my very own traumatic near Chunnel experience, I wouldn’t trade these experiences for the world and the denizens of countless other mini calamities that I’ve had the misfortune - or should I instead say fortune - of experiencing, for what then would I have to scribble about? 

After all, as wonderful as it is to have everything go according to plan and take off without a hitch of a glitch, it is just as meaningful to have things veer slightly off course and barrel along in a completely unplanned for and oftentimes, surprisingly, unforgettable direction.

This is precisely the stuff that tales are spun and woven with, recounted time and time again, priceless memories of newly acquired wisdom, inspiring others to also follow their dreams and journey along undiscovered paths.
No matter how many times I’ve traversed the globe, it never fails to amaze me how each and every footprint I set on foreign soil leaves not only an imprint on that geographical parcel of land, but also upon my very soul and being.  Each and every sojourn, whether near or far, gifts me with not only a broader perspective of the world, but, most importantly, of myself.

And, best of all, having a sense of humour to accompany me on my misadventures around the world doesn’t hurt, either!!
Come traipse the world with me, laugh a little or a lot and experience travel from a uniquely different perspective.
Happy New Year to each and everyone and may 2014 be a year of blessings.
Next week – Back in Brugge – what escapades await the Kid and I?

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