I was introduced by a good friend at a gathering as “someone who travels a lot.” I shyly replied, “Well, I don’t travel that much…” My friend corrected me and said, “No, Claudia, actually you travel a lot!”
Her comment made me pause, reflecting on the fact that although I have not traveled as much as I would like to, nor visited all of the places I dream about – she’s right; I have traveled a lot! More than I had ever imagined I would, quite frankly, and am still amazed that I am being introduced as a ‘experienced and well-seasoned” traveler; something I previously had only dared to dream.
Still, I feel the surface has barely been scratched. To know there are so many places yet to explore contributes to my individual pursuit of happiness. I do not, however, travel all of the time. So what do I do when I’m not traveling?
First and foremost? Plan a new trip! Now there’s a novel idea. Planning and dreaming about it really is half of the fun. Lynne and I have been doing exactly this for the last couple of months in anticipation of our upcoming adventure in Ireland.
If you’re not familiar with what our Ireland adventure consists of, see the six blog posts before this one. We have quite the tour planned! We leave in just 42 days – but who’s counting?
We’ve spent a lot of time working out and mapping our itinerary, noting probable routes to follow, approximate travel distances and times to make sure we aren’t rushed, sights to see along the way, booked all of lodgings and have scoured our guidebooks and online sources for information and great locations to enjoy. Now we’re beginning to gather our goodies to put in our suitcases and packs. The time to leave is getting closer and closer! Yeah!
Since I am a gardener, one of the sights I particularly enjoy visiting in Ireland and the United Kingdom are gardens. When I’m not enjoying a garden elsewhere, I am tending to my own.
Last July, just a month before I left for Scotland, I bought a new house and moved into it. After unpacking most of the boxes, I promptly went on holiday until the frost was on the pumpkins for Halloween.
I’ve spent most of this winter and early spring gradually preparing and planting various trees, bushes, vines, and flowers all around my new yard landscape front and back.
For the past 5 years I’ve had many of these plants growing in pots on my mother’s deck. Now they are being placed in their permanent locations at my new home with the help of my new gardening buddy – my great grand daughter, Alaska – and just in time for me to take off for yet another adventure.
Always wanting to do something ‘creative’ is a prerequisite for maintaining my happiness. I consider gardening to be a creative outlet but I also enjoy variety so I look to additional outlets, like writing this blog for instance, or some form of sewing or needlework.
I recently joined an informal ‘art quilt’ group with some other local gals and found some inspiration from them worthy of my attention. That lead to a discovery of a new talent, ‘thread painting,’ as my friend Lynne referred to it.
What do I like to paint with thread? None other than some of my favorite photos of beautiful places I’ve visited on my travels!
First I practiced the free stitching on some fabric printouts of classic Art Nouveau posters by artists such as Toulouse Lautrec.
Then I tried something more daring – a photograph of beautiful Eilean Donan Castle at Kyle of Lochalsh, Scotland. Love visiting that place.
Followed by a stone carving of King Brian Boru on the east entrance doorway of the Royal Chapel in Dublin….
and some gargoyles perched atop the tower of Notre Dame in Paris.
Another one of my favorite castles – Craigievar near Alford, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.
Who couldn’t resist the iconic Eiffel Tower?
I even tried my hand at some black & white portraits of my great grandfather, William Rose Frew, who emigrated from Scotland along with his Montana bride, Nancy Anne Brundage.
This is what I “do” when I’m not traveling….. somehow it all still relates to and leads me back to my one true love – traveling, connecting with the world and learning about my ancestors and where they came from – all part of my individual history.