Sunday, May 28, 2006

When is Andi's European Vacation?

Sojourness is in Venice! She was kind enough to invite me to read her travelogue, so I've been positively drooling over pictures of canals and basilicas and Venetian bookstores. The girl can take a hell of a pleasing picture.

I. love. travel. LOVE it.

As an undergraduate I had planned to do Baylor's British studies program at Oxford, but I decided to transfer to my current university before I could go. While I don't regret it, it's one of those things I REALLY wish I'd gotten to do.

A few years ago my cousin, who I'm very close to, found that his job required him to travel to various European locales anywhere from a week to six weeks at a time. He found himself in London, Amsterdam, Prague, you name it. He planned to take me to Amsterdam with him for a four-week stay since he'd racked up uncountable frequent flier miles, but, alas, it didn't work out.

After I came back from North Carolina, I discovered The Travel Channel's FABULOUS show, 5 Takes. At the time I discovered it the travel journalists were exploring Europe (this season is the Pacific Rim). The catch: you get $50 a day for all expenses: travel, food, whatever. Needless to say, there are lots of hostels and sleeping on trains, but to me it looked like HEAVEN. What makes it a big bummer for me? You have to have filmmaking experience. I'm still trying to figure out how to convince them that a literary person would bring an un-say-no-able slant to an already amazing show. It's very Real World/Road Rules without all the hosebags and whores.

There you have it--two nearish misses and one pipe dream to a European excursion and no luck for Andi. So, until a real chance for big travel comes along, I'll probably spend a few days in Memphis eating ribs, listening to blues, and touring the kitsch capital of the US...Graceland!

I'm curious to know: where's your favorite place you've travelled, in or outside the US? Give me ideas to add to my pipe full o'dreams.

Note: I'm still actively pursuing an African excursion. I've found a couple of orgs that send people for six-week trips, and that's sounding pretty good for post-Masters degree.

Today Elise and I have made the very-last-minute decision to go for Indian food and Artfest...the closest you can get to an exotic experience in Texas. I should just move to Addison so I can terrorize the world along with the Texas Princess. I might have to live in a cardboard box, but we all have to make sacrifices.


  1. Road Rules with no whores? How is this show still on the air?

    My travel has been limited to the United States except for one trip across the Canadian border. So, inside the United States, I would recommend a California excursion that started in San Diego, stopped off in Hollywood (I'm not a big fan of the rest of Los Angeles, but that's just me) and end in the San Francisco Bay area.

    Chicago is probably my favorite American city to visit, although cost and brutal winters will most likely prevent me from ever living there. It is the comfort food capital of the world, and thusly a fat man's dream.

    I don't remember if you've been to New York City, but for some reason I believe it's a place that every American should see at least once. When you see it you will either want to live there or it will give you a greater appreciation of where you do live; but you'll enjoy yourself nonetheless.

    Those are very pedestrian choices, I know. I'm not much of a traveler. If you ever really want to get your party on and only have a weekend, I enthusiastically recommend Las Vegas. I don't want to live here anymore, but I'll come back and visit. Hell yeah.

    Also, if you ever want to visit Louisville, I'll be glad to be your tour guide of the city's bars and restaurants.

  2. dildo,newfoundland ...seriously...i had to go there. the name paints a picture of phallic buildings and hard ice cream. i thought it would be a shitty little town with nothing more to do than take a picture of yourself standing at the city limits sign. but when i arrived some locals and i got so trashed i ended up staying there for 3 days. i had a blast.

    go to DILDO... you won't regret it

  3. Well. I live in Europe. It's really not that great. Not here anyway. Probably in other places. Which unfortunately I have never been too. I'm not much of a traveller, what with being fifteen and pretty much tied to the parentals. However, do check out Bonnie Bristol, my hometown, (woot!) if you are ever in England. Good shopping, and Clifton is probably the prettiest suburb in the world.
    Also, Cornwall RULES! Awesome fun. Just take a tip and never EVER go to a town called Newquay in the summer. It's where the entire teen population of Britain go after their GCSE's to get smashed.
    And try Anglesea, (that little island on the top of Wales). It's way underated, the beaches there are to die for.

  4. I'm a big fan of Paris, though it's probably considered blasé by now. ;) It's crowded and dirty, but there's something about that city that makes my chest get tight. I love wandering from the wide boulevards into the winding alleys, finding quirky little cafés, buying crèpes and panini from street vendors... If you buy a special pass at the Métro ticket booth, you can get into nearly any museum in the city for free, and you get to sneak into the side entrance of the Louvre, bypassing all of the idiots standing in the gigantic line outside the glass pyramid. I could spend an entire trip in the Louvre, with a quick side trip to Musée Rodin.

    I'm dying to go back to Paris.

    But I really want to go to New Zealand. I've got a trip in mind. I'll fly to Honolulu, goof around in Hawaii for a few days, then fly to Bora Bora and take a couple of days to explore the beaches, then fly into Auckland. I'll take a day trip up to the Bay of Islands, then make my way through the North Island down to Wellington. After that, I'll hop the ferry across to the South Island and backpack my way down and then back up. I want to hike and camp in Fiordland, and I definitely want to go to Invercargill, which is the southernmost city in the country.

    I think I need to marry rich or win the lottery or some damn thing. Or get a cushy job writing for a high-end travel mag.

    Gypsy Poetry

  5. Amsterdam. Loved it. I swear that I felt more at home there than anywhere before in my life. San Diego isn't too bad, we have Dating Dummy, Sam, Anna from Annaland in OC, and many other wonderful bloggers to visit with all day and night!

  6. Blasé or not, I'm with the gypsy poet on Paris. I've been a few times and never tire of it. I can never adequately explain why when someone asks, but there's just a certain *something* about it!

    Also really love Kyoto. It's so great to get away from the bustle and dust of Tokyo and soak up some Zen atmosphere!

  7. I have natural wonderlust, so I know the feeling.

    So Baylor's students get to go to Oxford? My college sent me to U. of Nottingham. We gotta get more well-heeled alums.

    Travel under any survivable circumstances is always good.

  8. you should seriously lie about the filmmaking experience. i did it in college and it ain't that hard to work a dv cam. do you seriously think they're going to send you to europe and expect you to do everything? nah!

    those african trip thingys are great. you usually have to raise about five grand before you go though which can make it v. expensive

  9. Todd, I know! It's crazy. Obviously they need whores.

    I'll be about 2 hrs from Chicago if I get accepted to Ill. State. Yay Normal!

    I wanted to go to NYC over this May-mini, but that whole class thing got in the way. I have a list of places I want to go in NYC and at the very top? The Strand Book Store!!!

    Thanks for your input!

  10. Al, Dildo sounds like the greatest place on earth. I shall adjourn to there immediately. *snark*

    GG, thanks for the tips on where to go and where NOT to go. Those where-not-to-gos can be as helpful as anything.

    GP, I don't think Paris could ever be blasé. I hope I get to go there someday! Perhaps I'll win the lottery because God knows I won't have a "real job" until I'm 30+.

    Sam, a wealth of bloggers is its own reward! Great incentive for travel I tell you. And Amsterdam looks great. I Travel Channel dream about it all the time.

    Ooh, Tanabata...zen atmosphere is high on my want list right now. Heavenly.

    X., the survivable circumstances are high on my want list for travel. lol

    AMS, I should lie. I should just totally lie. I think I will. And as far as $$$ for my African excursion, I found a place that'll send ya for about $2000 instead of five. They probably drop people off in the midst of a pride of lions and wish ya luck or something. We'll see. lol

  11. Rome, Florence and Verona are my big Euro experiences and I highly recommend them all.

    NYC - Todd's right - an absolute must see (even for non Americans). The Strand is fantastic and I was just reading about Rizzoli which I want to check out next time. I read about on Chelene's blog.

  12. Ah Andi, you should come to NYC. I'm looking at a shelfful of books, about ten percent of which I bought at the Strand. It is indeed a wonderful place.

    There's another cool (but much smaller) bookstore in the East Village, and a really good little book store just over the Hudson in Montclair, NJ.


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