N: New York City, NY

Top of the Rock Observation Deck: NYC, NY (August 2015)

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 N, I opted for a view of New York City. Makes sense, right? It was an overcast day, the day we went to the Top of the Rock, but the view was fantastic anyway.

Other places I considered for this post: Napa (CA), Naples (Italy and FL), Nashville (TN), New Orleans (LA)

On to today's questions –

40. What's been your weirdest moment while traveling?

At a German wedding, everyone was like "Do you want to borrow some hose?" 😳

Why would I want to borrow someone else's undergarment? 😳Ew.

But I guess hose is a thing in Germany. Too bad I hate it. But I guess that taught me to always wear hose to German weddings. Or a long dress. 

41. Books + traveling?

2016 was my year of reading.

First, I read Anthony Doerr's All the Light You Cannot See. So we made plans with friends to go visit northern France. (That's where much of the book takes place.)

Justin and I also had plans to go to NYC that year, so I bought the kindle edition of The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. It was slow-going at first, but then it seemed like a completely appropriate read. The book starts off in NYC, which is where I was when I started reading it. Then, the book moves over to Europe as the main character searches for something from his past.

Both of these books were truly amazing and definitely inspired and improved my travel that year.

I definitely think books should influence travel and be enjoyed while traveling. Just do yourself a favor and get the Kindle edition; nobody needs the extra weight.

42. What has surprised you the most about traveling?

How kind and generous people are.

There was a guy in Egypt that made a joke in Arabic as the lens cap for my camera fell off the Cairo Tower. He was trying to make me feel better. :)

When Justin and I were traveling from Stuttgart to Paris, Justin mistook one of the stops as ours. Our luggage was heavy, so it was a big deal for me to get it off the train. Then, he realized it wasn't our stop right as the train doors were about to close. An Italian, who also misunderstood which stop we were at, saw me struggling and, at the last minute, grabbed the suitcase just as the door was closing. He complained "Das ist schwer!" as he sat it down. (That is difficult/heavy.) We thanked him profusely. :)

And then the Airbnb and VRBO hosts have been tremendously kind to us. Some offering us food/drink in their home with others providing us tips and giving us an itinerary.

While I may not have stayed in touch with too many of these travel friends, it's definitely been nice to see how the American perception of other cultures isn't always on target.

So I think that's what my biggest travel take away has been: try not to judge a book by it's cover. Try not to judge a person unless you've spent time getting to know them. Try to assume the best in people. Most people are kind.

Have you ever run into an unexpectedly kind stranger while out and about? Have you ever read any books that had you wanting to visit the places the author was talking about?

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


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