Paris – Something Borrowed and Something Blue

Posted by Pat on September 9, 2018 in Travel |

5-8 September 2018

“Something Borrowed” 

Place des Vosges, 1989

I revisited my travel article “Marais Embodies Paris At Its Best” published by The Boston Herald in 1990. I loved this area then and I still love it. From the article I borrow:

“If culture equals the sum of a city’s social behavior and artistic expression, then Paris has it in bucketfuls. Exploring Paris is like examining your first formidable city tourist map. Everything is spread before you, pleading to be seen and savored.

One quarter beckoning visitors to stroll its streets and enjoy their richness is Le Marais. Escape into a time warp, uninterrupted by modern glass and steel ‑ a quarter dominated by Place des Vosges. Read more…

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Paris – Something Old and Something New

Posted by Pat on September 9, 2018 in Travel |

5-8 September 2018

The last time I saw Paris, the French Aerial Army flew its fighter jets over my head and its Ground Army drove its “umpteen” ton tanks down the Champ-Élysées, the majestic Arc de Triomphe silhouetted in the background. Read more…

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Over Newfoundland

Posted by Pat on September 7, 2018 in Travel |

4 September 2018

I love travel. 

But I often ask myself, as I sit on a plane, in a waiting area, in transit: is it because I escape what I have or enjoy what is new? Why do I insist on doing this?

I have no real answers. 

I know my views and expectations of travel have changed over the past 46 years. I am less driven about “seeing it all” than just being there. I reflect that my first European adventure in 1972 was a grand tour of the major cities of Europe with the plans to return to those places I loved. 

Little did I expect I would love them all. 

And I have returned, again and again; and traveled to other continents and countries. 

What has changed is me. I am older and slower, wiser and even more driven. I recognize there are only so many trips left in my life.  

But those trips are going to be in style, in the front of the cabin, in the lounges, with the champagne. I’ve earned it.

I look forward to “being here,” having a drink or coffee in the type of atmosphere and culture that doesn’t exist at home. Not that it is so much better than so much different. I see how others live, others enjoy coffee and breathing the air of their city. I hunger for that. So, perhaps it is escape.

Because I can.

Too many women of my generation lived restricted lives with too few options. I wasn’t expected to work for a living, purchase a home, travel, or be independent. Expectations of others were anathema to me. I remember in eighth grade, my best friend (yes Judie, this was you) saying to me after I chose a college prep program rather than home economics or a secretarial path, “why do you have to be different?”  I remember thinking, “why not, it sounds right for me, what’s it to you?” Today, I would say something closer to “Fuck you, it’s my life.”

I see my niece, in college, in the throes of the travel bug. I wonder what she will do with this. How exciting it can be for her, unrestricted, fewer cultural expectations because she is a woman, so many more opportunities. 

Next trip, she should expect me to ask. 


10 things to plan before visiting Ethiopia

Posted by Pat on February 11, 2018 in Travel |

4th of Yekatit, the 6th month of 2010

“Travel to Ethiopia and be seven years younger” the advertising says.

Actually, with a flight time of 36 hours to reach Addis Ababa, I would need these seven years in order to pull my brain together and do anything other than sleep.  Just attempting to figure out what day it is in Ethiopia can be a challenge. I was warned to watch the time as well. Ethiopians use a 12-hour clock which cycles from dawn to dusk and starts over dusk to dawn. Being so close to the Equator, dusk and dawn never vary by much. Read more…

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Shenkele Wildlife Sanctuary and Hawassa

Posted by Pat on February 4, 2018 in Travel |

3-4 February 2018

Today I ride in the last car of a five car caravan. This is important.

This morning we retrace our journey north following Highway 9 to Sodo and 41 to Alaba Qulito leading up the Rift Valley toward Addis Ababa. We pass fertile farmland planted with bananas, grains and tobacco. The savannah is quite beautiful. The soil is rich and dark; food and cash crops are in abundance. Various fruits, from huge mangos and avocados to small pineapples, are sold along the roadside. Almost the entire road is paved. But the real show is the road traffic and its sideshows.

Read more…

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Omo Bend and the Omotic Tribal People

Posted by Pat on February 3, 2018 in Travel |

1-2 February 2018

Termite mound

Playing Ethiopian dodgeball with the goats, ruts, rocks, swales and riverbeds of the road, for two hours we bounce our way to the village of Gorcho. This is a new landscape of flat land, huge dry washes, red soil and towering red ‘chimneys’ of termite mounds. I definitely would not want to be in this area when the rains fall. There is much evidence of massive flooding and fast, dangerous rivers of water. Today it is hot and bone dry.

As Bette Davis warned in All About Eve –

Fasten your seat belts. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Read more…

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Ari Tribe of Jinka

Posted by Pat on February 1, 2018 in Travel |

31 January 2018

First the rooster crows, impatient for daybreak. A mass can be heard from somewhere to the south. The Call to Prayer echoes to the east. A hungry mosquito can be heard attempting to breach my netting. The familiar ping of “I’ve got mail” tells me the internet has been turned on. Ravens leave in mass, calling to all their friends that the early bird will get the best pickings. A donkey brays his complaint that his workday is about to begin. My tent walls are thin and the morning noises tell me it’s time to rise. The only thing missing is the sun which is still an hour below the horizon.

Today, I will visit the Ari tribe. Read more…

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