I keep saying I am going to start traveling less. This hasn’t seemed to happen yet. I want to marinate in places, think about them, relish them, fall in love with them and then write about them — to share them with you and pitch stories as I continue to grow my freelance writing career. But, (poor me), I keep getting invited on too many trips! I know, it’s not a bad problem to have, but would you believe that I now turn down more trips than I go on? Just this year alone, I’ve had to turn down trips for various reasons (timing conflicts, scheduling overload, lacking interest for stories in certain locales) to places like:
- Lake Tahoe
- Mobile, AL
- Fredericksburg, TX
- The Dominican
- San Antonio
- Lake Geneva
- Costa Rica
- Iberostar Playa Mita, Mexico
- Branson, MO
- Elkhart Lake
- Yellowstone/ Beerfest
- Hill Country, TX
- Washington County
- Iberostar Spa, Riviera Maya, Mexico
That’s a lot of places I didn’t go! But of course this year, I still traveled to:
…and of course many back and forths between Chicago and rural New Jersey as I continue to embrace living in two places at once.
But, back to what’s next. This fall has turned out to be a busy one with some wonderful trips that I just could not pass up.
Here’s where I am headed:
Can you believe that I’ve never spent any time in Cleveland? I think I had lunch here once during a road trip from Chicago to Quebec and back. When I first started hosting guests on Airbnb, one of my first guests was Kathryn, a very cool gal from Cleveland, who works at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She boasted about her cool city and it stuck with me. And thus, it rose on my list of places to go now. As I continue my series, My Midwest, I’m more excited than you would think about discovering some great cities in the rust belt that are going through some great renaissances. You may recall my new found love of Indy and also Detroit which I still have to write about. Cleveland is said to be becoming an amazing food city, so I will be there to investigate this of course and share my finds.
Huh? I’d never heard of it either. But this little harbor town on South Bass Island (15 miles northwest of Sandusky) in the middle of Lake Erie is said to be a wonderful midwest, getaway. The two by four mile island is dotted with historic homes, the nation’s third tallest monument, and quaint restaurants and local pubs. I’ll be checking it out for a couple days later this month. Probably already too cold to swim though.
I still live in Chicago, but more and more, it feels like I am “visiting”. I’ll be back in town for a bit of fall festivities, but will be very busy catching up with friends, catching up on work and also doing a few speaking engagements. I am very honored to be a speaker at this year’s American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) Content Connections Conference, Greenfest Chicago 2014, and also I’ll be a guest on a new podcast brought to you by the fine folks at the Nude Hippo Show (Chicago folks will know what I’m talking about!). And, of course, hoping to fit in some bike rides and outdoor dining while the weather still allows.
Rhine Valley, Germany and Switzerland
You may recall that I love Europe and more specifically Germany and central Europe. So, as busy as I am, it was nearly impossible to turn down a trip with Eurail through the Rhine Valley. I’ll be starting in one of my favorite cities (sometimes), Berlin where they are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Since this will be my fourth time in Berlin (last year for one month), I’m excited that we will be checking out some more offbeat parts of the city. Then we’ll be hopping on the train with our Eurail Pass and heading west to cities like Strasbourg, Landau, Baden-Baden in the Black Forest, Frieburg, and ending up in Basel, Switzerland. I love autumn and am really excited to see this area ablaze with fall color and feel the crisp air….and shockingly, try all the local specialties.
Back in the states, but still retaining a German-flair, I’ll be heading up to Milwaukee, very well known for its German heritage. Another whistle stop on my Midwest tour, this other city on Lake Michigan is just about an hour train ride north of Chicago. And I’ve barely been there. Great things are going on here and I’m excited to check it out.
The biggie. Yes! One landmass that I’ve barely scratched the surface of: Africa. I’ve only been to Egypt, but never Sub-saharan Africa. I’m psyched to be invited on a safari with Shadows of Africa where we will go on game drives through Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara, and more. This is new terriotory to me and I’m excited again to experience sights, sounds, and tastes completely new to me. I also hope to be jumping over to Zanzibar after the safari for some R & R on the beaches of the Indian Ocean!
Phew! That’s a lot for just a few months left in 2014. I hope you’ll continue to follow along as I share what I find…and eat!
And stay tuned for the release of the second edition of my travel tips book on Amazon!