E: Porto Venere, Italy

Porto Venere, Italy (May 2014)

Focusing has been difficult the past few months, so I'm taking an alternative approach to A-Z this year: looking back at past travel, editing or re-editing images from travels before, and responding to travel-related questions. Hope you are able to join me on this journey to my past!

For Day E, I went with the shot from Porto Venere, Italy in … Europe. I was going through images from my trip in 2014 and it only seemed natural to include this shot taken during the blue hour.

Other places I considered for this post: Egypt

Here are today's questions –

13. Where would you most like to live in the world (assuming you can't stay where you are)?

California. The coasts are breathtaking and I love that the city is never too far away.

In Europe, I'd go with Bretagne, France. Or maybe Marseille. I'm also a fan of Strasbourg.

• Bretagne would be cool because it's so close to the coast. So beautiful! Plus delicious, delicious crepes!
• Marseille was the coolest little city ever. Totally fell in love. It's hip but also laid back. (Think Charleston, SC for you Americans.)
• Strasbourg would be the most interesting since they speak 3 languages there! Your mind reels as the hotel staff move seamlessly from one language to the next.

14. What's your biggest first world problem?

My resistance to change and how stubborn I can be.

When traveling to another country, there needs to be some give and take. But mostly give.

• TRY to speak their language.
• TRY their food.
• Shop LOCAL.
• RESPECT their customs, their people, and their way of life.
• RECYCLE and take care of the environment, animals, and people of the country.

I often find my American attitude of exceptionalism gets in the way. of what I should be doing.

• Why should I speak their language? They understand me just fine.
• Why do I have to follow their rules and customs? It's not fair. It's not what I want to do.
• Why should I try their food? I'm the fish out of water here.

But you know what? Traveling to those countries was my choice. I put myself in those situations.

Granted, sometimes you need to take a step back and recognize that you are trying, even if you feel you aren't doing quite as well as you had hoped.

So it's a mix. Don't become complacent. Always push yourself. One step forward, two steps backward. Cry, scream, shout (well maybe not shout) in your hotel room and then try again tomorrow. Keep fighting the good fight toward cultural awareness and understanding.

You've got this.

(I've got this.)

15. What's the longest single journey you've taken?

10-hour flight from Frankfurt to Atlanta.

Alternatively, a 17-hour drive from Boston to Atlanta. Once done consecutively with the in-laws, once done broken up over multiple days. One trip was much better than the other.

Do you resist change when you are learning something new or put into a new situation? Have you ever gone on an exceptionally long trip?

See other posts in this year's A-Z.


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