On Monday, I shared tips for keeping a travel journal. I thought it would be fun to share some excerpts from mine over the years.

December 17, 200 – Paris, France

“Each day, we buy a baguette at one of the dozens of bakeries within walking distance. It’s funny — the last time we were here, we lived on bread, butter, and cheese because that’s all we could afford. Now we do it because we want to; the food is so simple and perfect.  We’ve loved rediscovering our old food favorites — smoked salmon, cereal without corn syrup, 12 kinds of milk and cream (all shelf stable), cheap but wonderful wine, cheap artisan cheese…and we haven’t even been to the farmer’s market yet!”

May 5, 2012 – Dingle, Ireland

“I’m looking out the window next to my bed at the Irish countryside. We’re in Dingle, which is a seaside town off a peninsula. Idyllic. The bright colors of the houses and pubs contrast with the steel, uneven gray of the sky. It threatens rain most of the time, but so far, we’ve been lucky. The town has 1500 inhabitants. I wonder how they keep the approximate 1500 pubs open in off-season.”

March 25, 2015 – Pignans, France

“It feels like it’s easier to be leisurely here. Certainly, not working for 5 weeks has a lot to do with it. But it’s more than that. People here aren’t in a hurry. There’s always time to kiss the cheek of an old friend and catch up…even if you saw her yesterday. There’s always something I want to take home from my travels. This time, it’s enjoying every last morsel of the pie of life. Not worrying about deadlines or waistlines. Just being a bon vivant.”

November 25, 2015 – Desert Hot Springs, California

“Imagine if you will a beefy high school football player giving his girlfriend a massage. It’s awkward. It’s bumbling. It’s not even effective. Even if my massage at Desert Hot Springs Spa Resort was lacking, it was still part of the experience. This place is old school — the place I imagine the middle class went in the ’50s when they couldn’t afford to mingle with the Rat Pack down the road in Palm Springs. While the rooms have a fresh coat of paint, the retro sign out front and the “Gift Shoppe” are indicators of it’s having been here forever.”

January 5, 2016 – New Orleans, Louisiana

“Dinner at Antoine’s was another highlight. It’s very Old School New Orleans (after all, it’s the oldest restaurant in the US). Our waiter, Sterling, was ancient and deaf, just the way I like ’em. The food was perfect.”

September 17, 2016 – on a train in Italy

“One of our German roommates at Nuvolau shared a quote from a climber:  ‘Wake up! The mountain is calling.’

I like it. While I don’t know that I’ll do another through hike like that again, I do feel an affinity with ‘the mountain.’ Right now, I’m on a train to Pisa then Lucca, and I’m staring at a mountain range to my left. I wonder what range it is, in central Italy. I decide that I could scale it, no problem. There is power in that knowledge, in knowing my capabilities. Before this trip, I would have thought, ‘No way. I’m not climbing those mountains. I can’t.'”

September 18, 2016 – Tuscany, Italy

“I dreamed I woke up in Tuscany.”