Most of my childhood vacations in the 70s and 80s were the then-typical three week summer holidays where we piled our family into a tightly packed car and drove off into the sunset. The sun set in Austria for the first ten years of my life, and along the North Sea coast thereafter. I guess my parents liked the predictability of going to the same places year after year.
As a teenager, I caught on to the concept of travel as an escape. New horizons, new adventures and the fringe benefit of getting away from all the same old stuff. School exchange programs and class trips were obvious first ‘safe’ choices, although I couldn’t wait to start traveling on my own!
One of these school trips was to the United States, and I often mused that I might spent a year or so there after graduating from High School, maybe as part of a university exchange. I couldn’t wait to get away and experience life in different places. Little did I know that once I left Germany, I was never to return. Well, not permanently, anyway.
I spent a year in Spain before moving to the US. Not just for a measly year at uni, but for six years in Nashville, TN, followed by two more in Atlanta, GA. I worked in hotels in just about every capacity except catering and cleaning rooms. The job that mostly defined my hospitality career was Revenue Management, which is basically playing a huge game of Monopoly with real money. I ‘revenue managed’ in individual hotels and on corporate level for Starwood, Hilton and Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG). I moved to London, and then to Brussels. I got to travel for work all over Europe, and still found time to travel for fun. For five years, I had a house in France.
Despite the fact that by star sign I’m a cancer, I am not terribly good at staying in one place for too long. I’ve now been back in London since 2007. To me, that’s a VERY LONG time.
A friend in the States once called me peripatetic.
Traveling from place to place, esp. working or based in various places for relatively short periods.
Can’t argue with that. I love the word, even though I think he used it as an excuse for not dating me. His loss… although quite possibly his life is a whole lot quieter for it.
So anyway, rather than a faint moan of ‘Are we nearly there yet?’ from the back seat, my favourite question tends to be a curious and excited:
‘So, where are we going next?’
Except when I travel these days, I am hauling a whole lot more stuff…