Where have you been?

Last Friday night our family was enjoying our meal together while watching the opening ceremonies of the London Olympic games. My nieces, 7 and 5 years old were watching the parade of the athletes very intently commenting their uniforms, the bright colours of some of the countries and asking “where is this country” and “where is that country”. And then of course, “have you been there Auntie Lisa?”

They know that I am a travel agent and that lead into a serious discussion about all the places I have been in the world. I told them to each take a piece of paper and they could make a list of all the places I have travelled to in my years of travelling.

 I have always known how lucky I have been to be in a career for over twenty years that has allowed me many opprotunities I would not have otherwise had.

As we were watching, we started the list. Since Mexico had just walked through the stadium, we started there – and they were trying to spell all the cities – Cancun, Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta (they had been there with me), and Los Cabos.

Then they asked me if I had been to London, which I haven’t but I started to tell them the places I have been in Europe:
Israel, Barcelona, Paris, Rome, Florence, Nice, Palma de Majorca, Greece (and then I started to name all the islands and my niece told me she wanted the places I had flown to, not by boat – excuse me LOL!)

The farthest plane ride I have ever taken was to go to Hong Kong. It was an interesting experience in Hong Kong (life just post SARS), and the flight was VERY LONG. I am not sure if I will ever get to Austrailia (it is farther) unless I get lucky enough to fly in a pod in first class!

We started to talk about Canada – Vancouver, Edmonton, Ottawa and Montreal – which is pretty sad since there are so many amazing places in our own country to visit. I do want to explore Eastern Canada and hopefully will someday.

The Caribbean was next – Bahamas, Jamaica, Barbados, Aruba, Cuba, St. Lucia, Curacao, Grand Cayman, Margarita Island, Grenada, just to name a few.

Then we started on the USA…which as I was rhyming them off, I realized I have been to A LOT of places…. Hawaii,  New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Diego, San Fransisco, Chicago, Miami, Orlando, New Orleans, Washington, and so much more. I was in Cape Cod as a child, but have a yearning interest in Boston…high on my list of places to see.

I am missing a lot of places, and not to mention multiple visits to some of the cities – like 18 times to Vegas – but have not been to the Grand Canyon yet.

Multiple visits to a city you enjoy (or have friends living in) gives one the chance to get the ‘touristy’ things out of the way in the first visit or two and the move onto to different interests, like amazing museums, botanical gardens,  observatories and more. There is so much more to see when you leave the touristy sights, areas and restaurants and “go local”.

That is probably a driving force of what keeps me doing what I am doing – that there is always somewhere else to go and something else to experience – Life is short, and the list is LONG – so, I don’t think I will be letting my passport expiry any time soon! 

Let me know where you have been? Where you would recommend to go if you were asked, and what you do to remember all the places you go?