travel + wander

travel confessions from a pilgrim.

14 Oct 2012

the other day (ok. the other week.) laura over at german-american abroad, surprised me & tagged me to do a post revealing my most secret travel confessions. i’m sure she thinks that i’ve completely forgotten about this little challenge. but i haven’t! i’d never forget something that encouraged me to talk about one of my favorite things in life. thanks, laura, for choosing me! so, here come my deepest, darkest, inner thoughts about the joy of travel.

oh yeah. first the rules, of course.

  • Post a photo (or photos) and description(s) of your confession(s) in a new post.
  • Tweet your post with hashtag #TravelConfession and follow/tweet @Traveling9to5
  • Tag 3-5 other travelers you’d love to see confess and tag them on Twitter.

1. go local.

the best kind of travel is the kind that allows you to stay for free. agreed? whenever i meet people, i actually think to myself, “if we become friends perhaps i can travel to his/her country/city and stay with him/her for free while i explore a new place. is it wrong that i think like that? i loooove visiting friends, and i love having friends come & visit me. too bad i’ve lived in sweden for almost 2 & a half years and only 1 person has taken advantage of the free lodging i have to offer to anyone wanting to visit sweden. perhaps i should try couch-surfing… so i can travel and so i can offer my home to others. have you done couch-surfing? how was your experience? right now, my love & i are in the process of planning a trip to peking, hong kong, & macau. why there? because it’s freaking cool & (here it comes) because we have a friend living there for a year. see how that works out?!

2. pubs are the shit.

i prefer to find out what a city/country is really like. i like to hang with the locals. that means avoiding big shopping areas (though i do frequent those too. a healthy balance of travel experiences is a good thing, right?), and focusing on pubs, little hole-in-the-wall cafes, boutiques, and bars. then i can try local beer, see local styles, get a feel for local ideas/beliefs, and hopefully hear a little local music. it could be a little scanky or scary, but totally worth the stories i get to tell later.

3. speaking of scary…

i will always, always, always end up in the most unsafe area of a city/place. it’s like i have some sort of radar or something. i don’t mean to end up in these places. it just happens. and, yes, i am usually frightened for my life for at least one brief second. my wife, of course, has just accepted that these “little adventures” are part of traveling with me.

4. on the road again.

my favorite mode of transportation is by car. i freaking love to drive. capital l.o.v.e. the open road, snacks in the car, music blasting, singing along, tapping the steering wheel, left leg up, windows down, sunglasses on, and no real idea where i’m gonna end up. that’s the perfect road trip.

5. it could take more hours than it should.

this is a genetic defect i’ve inherited from my dad. at any given moment, i could see something – like a barn, or an animal, or a pretty tree, or something weird or amazing, and stop the car. yep. i will pull over in order to get THE picture.  if you travel with me, you WILL have to wait for me at some point. just sayin’.

6. i’m all about inclusive.

i admit it. after traveling to rhodes, greece, last year for a week at an inclusive resort, i fell in love. to be honest, i was very skeptical. i usually travel in order to experience  a culture: people, food, anything different from the life that i know. that’s the point of travel for me… to expand my horizons and touch my soul. staying at an inclusive resort, laying by a pool, being served by scandinavian people (not greeks!) in greece all seemed wrong to me. but, i loved it. i’m ashamed to say it, but i loved the luxury. the doing nothingness that everyday consisted of… well, we did see rhodes old town one day & toured an acropolis another day, so we got a little culture. bottom line: i want to go on one of these kind of resort, all-inclusive trips for one week out of every year. one word: heaven.

7. location. location. location.

out in the wild or smack in the middle of everything. i’m a little bipolar when it comes to travel. i love to be in the middle of the woods, camping & roughing it. i have never camped in anything but a tent. no rv’s or campers for me (as of yet). on the other hand, i love to be right smack in the middle of manhattan, or any other big, global city. i’d rather pay nothing & sleep in the woods, or pay extra & stay right in the middle of everything. see what i mean? i’m all over the place.

8. nerd alert.

i love history. thanks, mom & dad. i love to find out the why’s, who’s, and what’s of an area. museums are great, filled with history & art. a perfect combo. and historical ruins and other places. does it get any better than that? i’m a sucker for anything that sheds a little light on what it means to be part of the human race, how we got where we are, how the past has influenced us today, and any stories & experiences of people who have made a difference. history inspires me & gives me this feeling of connection to all people, through all times.

9. light a candle.

i want to travel the world. i want to see everything. i want to experience everything. i want to meet all different kinds of people. but, there is one thing that i, as a student of theology and a lover of spirituality, am really drawn to… holy places. churches, mosques, synagogues, cathedrals, memorials, secular places, pilgrimage places, abbeys, monasteries, convents, outdoor places – including all of nature. the holiest places on earth are both human-made buildings and naturally created places on earth. when i travel, i have to go there. everywhere. anywhere. i must light a candle in a cathedral, or dip my toes into the ocean, or stand in awe of a forest. these places all ground me. i feel something there. something powerful. something beyond me & yet a part of me at the same time. these are the most important places to visit. most of the time i have no idea they are holy places until i stand there & breathe in everything around me. and then, i just know. i just feel it.

traveling is like breathing. i need it to survive. i am not ashamed of my wanderlust. i embrace it, and as soon as i return from one trip, be it across the world, or just to the next city, i begin preparing for my next adventure. i believe that travel has a direct connection to peace. when we travel & experience something new, when we are willing to get out of comfort zones & meet new people, see new places, taste new foods, cross boarders, and explore new cultures, we open ourselves up. we add new memories and make room in our lives, our hearts, and our minds for new thoughts, new opinions, and new friendships. to travel is to educate. and to educate is to promote acceptance, respect, and peace.

so, my dear friends, get out there and travel! do something new. go somewhere new. be bold. set sail. wander around. soak it all in. and live life!


now, my love at lier.se, ashley paige at for the love of wanderlust, and dace at the long way home… go! give us all your travel confessions. i’m dying to know!

thanks for the little challenge & tag, laura! it’s been fun!

peace in all your travels.

Liz is a mystical soul in a modern world. Seeking a balance of stillness + wandering. Living slowly, shifting between solitude + community daily. She is a theologian + priestess, practicing a spirituality grounded in nature, spirit, and inclusion. Sharing a message of universal love + sacredness in all things.

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  • Reply Traveling 9 to 5 (@traveling9to5) 15 Oct 2012 at 02:05

    I always find myself in the bad areas of town too – and loving history is not nerdy 🙂 Love the confessions can’t wait to hear from who you tagged!

    • Reply liz 18 Oct 2012 at 23:43

      what a great exchange this tagging thing is… i love meeting new traveling buddies. 🙂 by the way, your blog is solo inspiring!

  • Reply Laura4NYC 15 Oct 2012 at 04:49

    Thanks for the shout-out! Indeed, I totally forgot about this little challenge… rrmhmmm! thanks for reminding! 😉

    That one ocean or lake shot with your love is awesome, by the way! I really dig those things you mention. I’ve never tried couch surfing either but have a Russian friend who does it with her hubby – according to her only positive experiences. The worst thing that happened to them was that the guest turned out to be a complete bore or that he stayed a day longer than he should have – so really no biggie it seems. While I am a bit cautious to do it when traveling by myself as a female, I see how others embrace it.

    Your trip to Asia sounds GREAT! Friends in different countries are simply the best. Hey, that’s how most of my German/Austrian/American friends ended up staying for free in New York… Just saying. When will you go? Asia is one of those unexplored continents I really want to check out sometime soon, as well. So I am really curious about anyone who wants to go there.

    I have never stayed in an all-inclusive hotel. As you mentioned – it’s rather for bores. Plus I don’t have the money for it right now, anyhow. 😉

    • Reply liz 18 Oct 2012 at 23:45

      We will be going in the beginning of April!!! So excited! Oh, and, we’re going to Berlin in February… gotta friend who is from there. 😉 Can’t wait to visit their too. I’ve never been to Germany really. Driving down from Denmark for about 3 hours barely counts. Hehe.

      • Reply Laura4NYC 20 Oct 2012 at 05:16

        THAT IS AWESOME! I am one of those Germans who have never been to their own capital, believe it or not. Everyone in New York is like: “Oh yeah, I’ve been to Germany. I’ve been to Berlin.” And I am like: “I’ve never been! How is it?” I hope you take some great pix to share on your blog.You should also not believe that Berlin is really Germany. There are so many other places to see…

        • Reply liz 22 Oct 2012 at 16:26

          we will be visiting a german friend who lives & studies in berlin, but is from a little village about 3 hours away. it’s been really great to be able to hear about life from her, and how things are really different for her in berlin. unfortunately, i don’t think we’ll have a chance to go anywhere but berlin when we are there in february. where are you from?!

      • Reply Laura4NYC 23 Oct 2012 at 04:59

        I am from the Eifel but studied in Heidelberg. Southwestern part of Deutschland. Loved it there. Now life has changed.

  • Reply Ulrika 15 Oct 2012 at 08:05

    Well, you fit right in in the travelling Eriksson family 😉
    Hugz

    • Reply liz 18 Oct 2012 at 23:45

      Hehe! Yep!

  • Reply nicolehandschin 15 Oct 2012 at 21:10

    Hey – we came over! So make that 3 people that camped in your appartment 🙂 also very proud you’re featuring so many Ireland pictures in your travelling post. luv

    • Reply liz 15 Oct 2012 at 21:13

      I was actually thinking of you two, so I meant 2 people and 1 visit. Hehe! Love ya!

      • Reply nicolehandschin 16 Oct 2012 at 17:32

        haha ok – I thought you had your first visitor from the States as well… hope you’re keeping well! LOVE x

  • Reply Alarna Rose Gray 16 Oct 2012 at 05:34

    Love your passion for travel, history, camping and road trips! If there’s one thing blogging has done, it’s made me itchy to travel… 🙂

    • Reply liz 18 Oct 2012 at 23:46

      Do it! As often as you can! If you want to visit Sweden, you’ve got a couch to sleep on. 🙂

      • Reply Alarna Rose Gray 19 Oct 2012 at 03:55

        Aw, thanks Liz! It’d be kinda cool to do a literal blog hop around the world – you’re very welcome here in Melbourne, too… 🙂

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