by Bill Edwards
As some of you know, last fall I spent 2 weeks in Europe — a 7 night cruise on the Azamara Journey between Monte Carlo and Rome with additional time at both ends in Nice and Rome. In a nutshell it was an absolutely wonderful trip – the ship AND the itinerary. But since returning I’ve been thinking about what were my favorite things about the trip and my favorite stops.
Being a cruise agent since 1985 I’ve noticed a few changes in my thinking over these past almost 30 years – call it the aging process if you want—I won’t be offended! But where I used to be focused on details of a trip, I now seem to look more at the “big” picture and how the things that we DO and DO NOT have control over affect our perception of a vacation. Let me cite a couple of examples:
The weather – which we never have control over – affects your experiences and how you remember a port of call. I’d so looked forward to Cinque Terre – the pastel painted villages that literally hang on the cliffs overlooking the azure seas of the Mediterranean. Well – our day there was overcast and a little bit drizzly at times. It didn’t ruin things for us by any means but in contrast to our stop later in the cruise at Ravello on the Amalfi coast – what a difference. The weather was perfect and thus, in my mind, I would rank Ravello as one of my favorite stops on the entire trip.
Location – Location – Location. How many times have you heard that word used in relation to buying real estate? Well it applies just as importantly
to the location of your hotel on a trip—which is something one DOES have control over. I have to be honest and say that while I was looking forward to visiting Rome for the first time I did NOT think I was going to like it. I had visions in my mind of a dirty, bustling city with somewhat rude people. Was I ever surprised in so many ways! Not only was it much cleaner than I expected – the locals were nice — and again it didn’t hurt that the weather was near perfect. But I think what really helped was the location of where we stayed. We were just steps down a side street from the Pantheon. We walked EVERYWHERE – the Colosseum and Forum, Piazza Navona, and the Vatican. How many times do we “scrimp” on hotel costs rather than pay for location and thereby enjoy more of what a city has to offer?
So in the end – yes we can control some things; others we can’t. Keep your travel eye on the big picture and…
“Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey” – Fitzhugh Mullan