Quick summary of about ME: I’m a Quality Assurance Inspector for a large grocery chain in the Eastern United States. I was born and raised in a small town in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia and attended the local university. I didn’t start traveling the world until later in life and now I’m doing my best to make up for it, seeing the world and booking flights to wherever the trade winds take me.
Why I travel: I travel not to check things off a “bucket list” but to see the world, make memories, and share experiences. As I tell friends, don’t worry about hurrying through a new city to see all the tourist sites. If you fall in love with a place you’ll be back again one day. Take time to experience a place, don't just “see” it.
WHAT I love about travel: I love getting up before dawn in a new place and walking the streets before the city awakes. I enjoy watching it come alive, the shop-keepers sweeping the streets in front of their stores, the fish-mongers displaying that day’s catch, and the smell of a fresh baguette in the morning.
Pet Peeves when traveling: Loud Americans or just loud people in general. Hey, I know, we’re loud. It’s part of our culture. But when I travel overseas I try to fit in, at least to the best of my ability. For example, when in Europe I wear dark clothes, I avoid wearing shorts, and I use my “inside” voice, even when I’m at an outdoor café. Unfortunately, not everyone believes the same way. I tend to avoid these people when out in public.
Favorite Place in the United stateS: I love big cities and I love good food. New York City fills the bill on the former; New Orleans the latter.
Favorite place outside the United stateS: Paris is by far my favorite city in the world. I’ve visited well over a dozen times and after so many trips there really is nothing new for me to see. A delicious buttery croissant, a double espresso in the morning, and a late night meal with a few glasses of Côtes du Rhône is worth the trip across the Atlantic for me.
Best travel tip: Slow down. Instead of hurrying to check off those bucket list items take time for the 90-minute lunches and 2-hour dinners. People watch and understand waiters aren’t rude, they just don’t want to rush you. Just…. relax.
Favorite meal or food destination: My most memorable meal would definitely be at Paul Bocuse’s L’Auberge du Pont deCollonges in Lyon. It was amazing. However, I’m more comfortable sitting on small plastic chairs in Hanoi’s Old Quarter slurping down $2 bowls of beef pho, amazing in its own right.