Sunday Stealing: traveled

travel advisories

This week’s Sunday is all about where I’ve traveled, or want to.

1. Have you traveled abroad? Where have you been? If you haven’t been overseas, which country would you most like to visit?

Barbados, 1999; France, 2023; Mexico, at least twice in the 1980 and/or 1990s; Canada, several times, most recently in Ontario in 2011

2. Where did you go on your last trip? Talk about where you went and what you did.

The last trip abroad? I wrote a LOT about France in 2023. One of the most recent posts was this. The last trip out of state was in Las Vegas, NV, also in 2023; one of those posts is here.

3. What is the best place for a vacation in your country? Why is it good?

I have no idea. It tends to be a personal thing. I’m not one to hang out on the beach. Since my 1994 knee injury, I haven’t gone climbing. Generally speaking, I like places that are walkable (Savannah, GA; Newport, RI) or have decent mass transit (many, but not all,  major cities). 

4. What is the longest time you have been away from home? Did you feel homesick?

We’re not counting college or the like, I suspect. Maybe two weeks. I wouldn’t call it homesick as much as tired of living from a suitcase, since none of those trips were going to one place and staying there.

How long is too long?

5. How long should a vacation be? How long does it take you to really relax?

I may be constitutionally incapable of relaxing on vacation. In the ’80s, when I worked at FantaCo, the owner FORCED me to take some time. So I took eight successive Wednesdays off. I could pay bills, do chores, and see a matinee. 

6. What forms of transportation do you prefer to use when you travel?

All things being equal, I always prefer the train, the only civilized form of transportation. It’s a pain in the US because freight trains take precedence over passenger trains for access to the tracks.

7. How do you choose where to go? Are you inspired by other people’s travel stories? Or photos? Or advertising?

I went to Las Vegas because I had never been to Las Vegas. There were family reunions in Peterborough, ON, Canada in 2011 and Ashtabula, OH in 2016, and we found things to do en route. If I were going to a US city, I would check out the CityPASS program. It was great when my family went to Toronto, ON, Canada in 2011. 

8. What’s more important to you when you travel – comfort and relaxation, or stimulating new experiences?

New experiences, obviously, since relaxation is not my strength.

9. Do you like to try local foods when you go somewhere? Have you ever had something really delicious?

I had some food in old Montreal in 1991 or 1992. I don’t remember what it was, but it was very good. The food in France was generally great.


10. Things can go wrong when you travel. Have you had any bad travel experiences?

By far, the worst travel experience was flying into JFK from Barbados in May 1999. The Customs line was terrible. Actually, entering France at DeGaulle in 2023 was pretty chaotic too.

11. Do you take a lot with you when you travel? Or do you try to pack light?

As little as possible.

12. Which places in the world do you think are too dangerous to visit? Why are they dangerous?

I’d use the US State Department travel advisory list. As of today, Burma (Myanmar), Belarus, South Sudan, Haiti, Iran, Iraq, North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea), Libya, Mali, Russia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Ukraine, Venezuela, Yemen, Burkina Faso, and Central African Republic are all listed as Level 4: Do Not Travel.  Israel/the West Bank/Gaza and Mexico are mixed bags. Dave Koz was going to have a music cruise featuring Rebecca Jade that would have included Israel, but after October 7, 2023, the itinerary was changed. 

13. What is the best age to travel? Can children appreciate the experience?

The younger your joints, the better. Of course, children can appreciate the experience. My daughter went on those reunion circuits.  

Going it alone

14. What are the advantages and disadvantages of traveling alone?

My 1998 trip to Detroit, Cleveland, and Washington, DC was by myself. It was great. But going to France or Las Vegas would have likely been boring and logistically challenging going by myself.

15. What kind of accommodation do you like to stay in when you travel?

In France, we were at four very different venues, from a lovely modern hotel to an equivalent of a B&B. It was all good.  

16. Do you like to talk to the local people when you travel? Why or why not?

Always. Even in France, it was great, and my French was tres mal. Also, talking to people on the train has historically been fruitful.  

17. Would you like to go to a big international event, such as the Olympics or an international film festival? What would be good or bad about attending such an event?

I’ve been to two cities the year before the Olympics: Atlanta in 1995, and Paris in 2023. I’m pretty sure I would have hated being there the following years because of the touristy crowds. But I could imagine going to the Toronto Film Festival because people are there to see the movies. 

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

4 thoughts on “Sunday Stealing: traveled”

  1. We flew through DeGauelle last year and it was horrible. I enjoyed your answers!

  2. I do not relax well when we go on vacation. That is why I said I would need a week just to wind down and acclimate to wherever we were. But we live on a farm and can’t be away that long.

  3. Love all your answers. Very detailed especially your experience in France, that cat is quite chubby lol looking so chill. The US advisory list is helpful.

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