Sunday, May 11, 2014
advice from previous travel experiences
First off, hay Mother’s Day! This is my last post before actually going to London. Today, I talked to my grandparents on my dad side (and I have plans of calling my mom’s parents later on), I also talked to my parents as well. Of course one of the questions they all asked was, “are you excited?” This seems like a simple question with the obvious answer of “of course!” The thing is, that was not my answer, I said, it hasn’t hit me that I will be on my way to London within 24 hours, and a few hours later, I will actually be there. The only other time, I have left the United States was when I went to Canada (before Americans needed passports to get there) to Niagara Falls and Toronto. At that point in 2001, I was 9, and I really knew nothing about Niagara Falls (even though I knew nothing about it, it is awesome!). When I went to Toronto, all I knew it for was the Blue Jays (the baseball team) and the Sky Dome (their ball park which was later renamed Rogers Centre). Where else have I visited? Chicago (I am from the suburbs not the city) I grew up in the folklore of the city, and now the city has a large part of my memories and my personal sense of nostalgia. I have also been to St. Louis (vacation), Rhode Island (lived there for a year), Milwaukee on a bus, and when we have gotten lost driving, and elsewhere on the bus or on a route that I drove or rode in (I don’t count that). One place I drove through with my parents when moving back to Illinois from Rhode Island was New York City. While there we didn’t do much, we sat in a parking lot, er, traffic. The main thing I remember is wondering if the George Washington Bridge actually exists. This bridge links the Bronx borough to New Jersey. Anyway, the point of this is a lesson for any and all travelers, including myself while I am in London.
The lesson is that you need to make an active effort when visiting a world famous and historic location. If you are there just to be there, or if it is on your travel route, you will probably not enjoy it. Though, when I went with my parents and sister to go see Niagara Falls, we saw it, we there. The thing is, this is not all that we did. We watched the night show (watch here and start watching approximately 1:30 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1cg2dM9ef8). Though, we also went on the Maid of the Mist (a boat rise u to the falls and back) and we went behind the falls, watching it fall from a cave within the rock that supports the falls. The story of New York is one of simply being there, the one from Niagara Falls is one where we were active in being there. That is what you want to do when you travel. You want to experience it, and make the experience unique and well, make it a part of you. How would this affect my trip? What will I do to make this trip mine? We shall see in the upcoming weeks.