Tag Archives: Chile

Wanderlists: Best Hotels- Stayed in

My mother raised us to believe that it was not a vacation unless we were staying in a hotel. Simultaneously, however, she earned her title as Mom-Cheapola-Cheapola. I have staying in some serious dives. Serious. What would you expect to find in a Motel 6 on the outskirts of Vegas? Use your imagination.

Or there was the motel in Grove City, Pennsylvania when the snowy gusts rolled in under the 3 inch gap between the door and the floor while I held the phone cord into the wall so we could call home (these were the days of roaming charges).

We stayed in some great places too, don’t get me wrong. Mostly while snow skiing. Mom had the good sense to book comfortable places when the whole family was worn out and wind-burnt. And once we did stay at the nicest hotel in Marfa, just for fun. If I had known I would one day make regular pilgrimages to Marfa, staying in a refurbished Airstream, I think I would have laughed.

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Wanderlists: My Top 10

Sometimes I wonder why I didn’t just make my blog a travel blog. I love to travel, I work in travel…

But my travel writing has always been pretty mundane. I’m not good at reflecting on places I’ve only been to once for a brief moment. On the other hand, keeping a diary of where we went and what we ate has just never appealed to me. Not to knock all the travel blogs out there (I consult them frequently for packing tips and restaurant suggestions), but I never get from writing the salty expansion of the soul I get from traveling. For me the world was meant to be seen.

That said, I love lists. Especially lists that inspire wanderlust.

So I’ve decided to list about travel, instead of writing about it. These are my wanderlists.

Wanderlist #1: The 10 Places I Love Most (besides home, of course)

It’s only fair to start out any series of list with the broadest, most general list. So here are my 10 favorite travel destinations. Anything goes: cities, states, parks, countries. There’s no real criteria; those lists will follow. This is just my love list.

1) London – I loved London even before grad school, though that’s definitely when I tucked it deep into my soul, never to be removed. And it’s a place I found I can go back to, with others. London definitely benefits from the good company I had while I was there on visits, but more so, it benefits from its own cosmopolitanism and love of order. London is orderly without forsaking charm, whimsy, and the element of surprise.

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Beer Journal: Kross

Some people have wine journals. Liz James told me about beer journals. Mine will double as a travel journal. More than wine, when I travel, I find beer. Not haute beer. Everyman beer. Beer I can order in any restaurant. And these stories are not the stories of the most amazing places I’ve seen. They are about the times when I had a beer, and the people I was with.

This is Kross. It is a Chilean beer.

Kross

This might be the only beer in my beer journal that is something you should actually find in a beer journal. It’s won awards. It’s microbrewed.I had it in Chile with Lewis and a guide names Marcelo, who would introduce us to the world of expert guides and when to use them.

This would come in handy later.

I had gone to get away from  the pervasive unpleasantness that had become my job, back in 2012. When I came back from Chile, bad news was waiting, and it just kept coming for two months. Job gone. Church gone (for me). And a series of other disappointments.

Then I started working for Ker and Downey. I used the research I’d done for our trip to Chile in my application, which included creating an itinerary suited to the company’s clientele. It just so happened that a South America Specialist was something they needed. Now, one year and three trips later, the whole continent continues to dazzle me.

But Chile always comes up special. It’s unique and diverse and dramatic. When I left California, back in 2004, I told friends that I didn’t think I was done there quite yet. Same goes for Chile, where I got a sneak peak at what lay beyond the rapids of April and May 2012, though I still don’t think I have the full story.

There’s something special in that country. Maybe I just have a thing for westernmost places.

Chile with Lewis

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