I have been traveling with my mother for ten years, we take tours albeit small tours, through OAT. Sometimes my long suffering husband accompanies us as well. Since this is a pretty average thing to do – I don’t back pack and I don’t take the luxury route, I have a few actually applicable ideas about travel.
You will not wear the skirt and heels.
I know, you want to be ready for when the man of your dreams invites you to an exclusive dinner at the Ritz.
I discovered that even in New Orleans the restaurants with strict dress codes, have abandon the rules in favor of bringing in diners. Any restaurant will allow you in dressed in black travel pants, sandals and a decent top. The man of your dreams – more so. Leave the heels and skirts at home.
Need another reason? Negotiating the cobble stone streets of any picturesque city is an activity best left to the experienced locals, all of whom, I noticed, were considerably younger with stronger ankles. Save the space in your luggage. And if you do need a great outfit, what better place to buy it than abroad?
You will not, absolutely not, eat this again.
This truth applies to the perfect baklava (from a bakery in Meteora,Greece), to the bizarre sausage salad I ordered in a German pub that was older than our country (the pub, I assumed, not the salad). The salad consisted of chopped boloney, onions and pickles smothered in a mustard dressing. The dish managed to combine every flavor I despise into a single dish. This is second only to the noodle and fish dish I ordered in Kyoto that not only looked like the plastic fish in the window, it tasted like it as well. The meal will soon be over. Either enjoy every minute or realize there is always ice cream for dessert.
While we are discussing this – go off your diet.
When you arrive in Italy, do not, under any circumstances, order a salad. Eat the spaghetti carbonara. It’s to die for, and why we travel.
Drink the local alcohol.
My mother has been traveling since she was a kid. And she insists that any beer is healthier than any water. And she has only been seriously ill once, in Mexico, after already spending five weeks there.
Besides drinking the beer instead of the water, I find that a drinking a shot of anything potent and local seems to stave off most symptoms of any illness. Plus, the locals love it when you gamely knock back their favorite poison.
There you have it, a couple of ideas before you take off to parts unknown.