Life is short, break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss SLOWLY, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret ANYTHING that made you smile. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
— H. Jackson Brown
Top 10 Travel Experiences
Top 10 lists are necessarily selective. They are also intensely personal. Mine reflect my own interests and biases, but with that caveat in mind I gladly offer them here, under Travel Resources on the navigation menu—one city at a time over the next few months—in the hope that it will inspire others to visit Europe and create memories of their own.
Travelogue for Italy, 2013
Welcome! To read my latest travel journal, please click 2013 – Italy on the navigation menu for entries on the following destinations:
- Bassano del Grappa
Also, you should know that while I’ve embedded some photographs into the entries, many more are posted on Flickr, and travelogues for all of my previous trips to Europe are still available, including those from Italy in 2008 and 2010.
Photo of the Month
In Remembrance of Things Past, Marcel Proust tells this simple story:
“…[W]hen one day in winter, as I came home, my mother, seeing that I was cold, offered me some tea, a thing I did not ordinarily take. I declined at first, and then, for no particular reason, changed my mind. She sent out for one of those short, plump little cakes called ‘petites madeleines,’ which look as though they had been moulded in the fluted scallop of a pilgrim’s shell. And soon, mechanically… I raised to my lips a spoonful of the tea in which I had soaked a morsel of the cake. No sooner had the warm liquid, and the crumbs with it, touched my palate than a shudder ran through my whole body, and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary changes that were taking place. An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses… Whence could it have come to me, this all-powerful joy… It is plain that the object of my quest, the truth, lies not in the cup but in myself… I retrace my thoughts to the moment at which I drank the first spoonful of tea… and I feel something start within me… something that has been embedded like an anchor at a great depth… And suddenly the memory returns.”
In honor of Proust’s madeleine, this month I’m sharing a picture I took in a small tea shop on a blustery day in Bath, England. The calendar said it was summer, and yet the weather had been unseasonably cold and damp. As I wrapped my frozen fingers around a hot cup of tea with milk and bit into a fresh bun to find a melted lump of sugar inside, I sighed and marveled at how easy it was to find pleasure in the smallest of things.
To read more about my trip to England and Scotland in June 2012, click here.
Letters from “The Grand Tour”
I’ve been feeling homesick for travel lately, so to get me through the dark, winter months in Vermont, I’ve been reading and transcribing a set of letters written by a young Harvard grad in the 1870s while on “The Grand Tour” of Europe and the Holy Lands. They are a travelogue from a different age, filled with lush details and wide-eyed observations, as well as some boisterous merrymaking over few pints of beer in Munich.
When I think of my own tramps across Europe through the years, I’m struck not by the differences, but by just how little has changed…