About Me

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Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Quotography - Happiness is a Plane Ticket

"Jai longtemps habite' sous de vaster porticos." Baudelaire ("I have long lived under vast porticoes.")

One of the greatest sources of happiness for me is travel to many different countries where I can experience different cultures, meet interesting people, and see the natural beauty of many countries. Most especially, I love the challenge of traveling solo and it certainly makes me happy to be able to navigate a strange airport or find my way around a new city.

I got my first passport in the early 1970s, just two years out of college, so that I could live and teach in the West Indies for three years. This was my first taste of travel outside the United States and from that time forward I have been hooked, always plotting my next trip, next country. I'm on my third passport as you can see and have visited about 20 countries, mostly in the Caribbean, Great Britain, continental Europe, and New Zealand. New places I hope to get to while my health and mind (!) is still good, include eastern European countries. So far I've only been to Ukraine and am signed up for a river cruise in Russia, St. Petersburg to Moscow, this September. So many places to see, so little time--and money!


Today's "vast porticoes" quote by Baudelaire was on a stuccoed wall at a farmhouse just outside Sienna, Italy: Villa L'Apparita is situated in the rolling hills overlooking Sienna in the Tuscany region of Italy. According to it's owner, the writer Giovanni Guiso, it is the most beautiful farmhouse in Tuscany. Dott. Guiso made this grand pronouncement when he entertained the group of gardeners that I was traveling with on a horticultural tour of Florence and Tuscany in 2000. The farmhouse was built in the late 1400s and was indeed beautiful, especially the rosy brick facade, the arched doorways covered with clipped greenery that could accommodate horses and mounting posts in the lower level, and these lovely red roses--the flowers of love--growing up the walls.

Visiting this garden was different from other Tuscan gardens. While the surrounding landscape was beautiful, our host had more theatrical interests that he wanted to share. For he was involved with Sienna's theatrical society, writing and designing costumes. He also used Villa L'Apparita as a stage for some of his productions. Before lunch we gathered in a small drawing room for a miniature opera in his puppet theater. Everywhere there were reminders that this place existed to celebrate the beauty of love, landscape, and words.


For more April 16 "quotographies" be sure to check out My Perspective

14 comments:

Jan n Jer said...

Wow..you are so well traveled Faye...I have only been out of the USA two times..once to Canada and once to the Bahamas. I could never catch up to you! What a interesting life you have.

Linda said...

Very interesting travels you have had! I have been to the Bahamas, Canada, Mexico, Thailand and Ireland...and have enjoyed every trip! I am going back to Ireland sometime this year probably on business. I too love travel, but Ireland is hands down my favorite!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Faye, Glad you are doing all of that wonderful traveling because I will just have to enjoy it from your eyes...

George and I love to travel but we haven't seen everything there is to see right here in our country... Don't know if we'll ever do much international traveling...

That Italian Garden you visited sounds incredible. WOW!!!!

Hugs,
Betsy

Grandma Barb's This and That said...

Wow, you are so fortunate to have done so much traveling. I've only been to Canada and Mexico and that was just a day trip. I have been fortunate to see much of the US but there is still much to see here.
I'll have to visit foreign countries through you.

Sayre said...

I'm on my second passport - mostly because they only last so long, not because I've filled them up with stamps! This one expires in 2014. All trips to England.

Your cruise in Russia sounds fascinating - can't wait to see pictures when you return!

Marie said...

A fascinating trip! My, I bet you have a lot to share of the wonderful places you have lived and worked! Can't wait to see pictures of Russia, too! I wish I could have traveled all over the world in my lifetime, and was fortunate to have lived in Hawaii (before it became a state) for six months, and on Midway Island for a year and a half, and then later to visit Ireland, but that's the extent of my overseas travel. Still, I am immensely grateful for that! :-) Maybe before I am done I will get back to Europe!

Kim Stevens said...

You are brave, not sure I would (could) travel that far solo, bravo to you!

Pamela said...

Ive used that visa once. now it has expired and I just don't have the extra money to renew it.
sigh....
I will travel vicariously through you

Nicolasa @ {My}Perspective said...

Traveling is such a wonderful experience! I don't mind traveling alone to places I know about but going somewhere new makes me nervous.

Deborah (Debs) Carr said...

My father always believed that travel was the best education. Or at least that's what I remember him saying when he argued with my headmistress that he needed to take me out of school for a trip away.

Mrs. Pedersen said...

Pretty pictures! That is amazing that you have been to so many places. I love to travel. Happy Friday! =)

Chet said...

Chet, here. I've been reading the Roommate's past blogs so I can get to know her a little better. You cannot begin to imagine my surprise and delight to learn we are going on a river cruise in Russia this September! I don't know anything about this Russia place, but I'm already picking up a word or two in their language: лай! That's "woof!" for you folks who aren't bilingual like me. I'm really pretty smart--it's the baby fat that makes me appear marginal, at best.

Note to Roommate: Use that computer of yours for something useful--like expediting my passport application.

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