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Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Wonder of Travel by Margot Justes

I have chosen a few pictures from Paris and Bath; both cities are close to my heart. Age worn, magnificent and romantic, they were an excellent setting for a romantic story. The Winged Victory is my favorite piece at the Louvre. For me the whole town of Bath is a museum. 

My roots go back to Europe, and I've always been kiddingly (I hope) told that for me it's not a vacation unless I cross the pond, aka the Atlantic, or any other ocean for that matter. I've been blessed in being able to travel. I seek out the best deals in hotels, air fare and anything else needed to keep the price down and affordable; of course that is all relative. We have to plan according to our budgetary constraints. The idea is to be able to go somewhere and see something new and have an adventure, and still be able to afford it.  

That adventure can happen right in your own backyard, all it takes is a bit of research and voila, there are things to do. Everyplace offers something new to discover. I'm not at all interested in beaches, not my choice, but I have made an effort and have seen a few. Okay, I'll admit to the old adage if you've seen one beach you've seen them all. Well except the beaches in Santorini, Greece, it is black sand because of volcanic activity. That was unique. Here is my point, it was different and I learned a bit about Santorini's history because of that beach. 

The same can happen right here at home. A beautiful building, an enticing restaurant with a terrific view, an age old bookstore filled to capacity with history and books, local history museum and yes, bars and beaches. No matter your interest, there is always something new to see. It doesn't have to cost a lot, just a bit of your time.

Not everyone likes museums. I've heard a great deal of disdain in my life from people who do not want to waste their time in a museum. Sad to say I’ve heard the same about reading. But I digress, my philosophy is, if you don't try you'll never know. Stretch the imagination a bit. Many museums charge a fee, some nominal and others not so nominal, but there are discounts available. Just a bit of research is needed to find them.  If you're in the DC area, the Smithsonian is free, and the museums are unbelievable, you hop from the National Gallery to the American History Museum , and so many others in between-and they are all amazingly free.

As the proverbial saying goes, I cut my teeth in museums, but my palate was severely limited to Polish food. That is what I grew up on, and to this still love it. There was no other exposure until I was on my own, timid and afraid slowly I ventured out, now there is not a cuisine in this world that I would not try. I'm grateful that I took that first step. I apply that same process to a vacation, whether it's in other parts of the world or right here at home.

Happy travels, wherever they may take you.

Margot Justes
A Hotel in Paris
A Hotel in Bath
Blood Art

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