Where I’ve Traveled, and Where I’d Like to Travel

Kuhio Beach Park from our balcony
Kuhio Beach Park from our hotel balcony

I’ve always wanted to travel more, see new places and experience different cultures. Unfortunately, even though we’re retired now, it’s difficult for Greg to get around, so traveling is out of the question. I am grateful for the trips we’ve been able to make in the past, and hope that maybe someday we can do some more.

The most memorable places I’ve traveled in my life:

  • Germany (and Salzburg, Austria). My parents came from Germany, and on three occasions in my childhood and teens, my family traveled back to visit my grandmother, aunts and uncles and cousins. We visited castles and cathedrals, and saw the famous mechanical clock in Munich. My favorite place of all was Berchtesgaden, where my parents met and lived after World War II.
  • Hawaii. I’ve been there twice—once by myself, in 2004 for the Maui Writer’s Conference; and once with my husband, Greg, to Waikiki on Oahu. What a beautiful paradise.
  • The Grand Canyon. The first time was in 1997, the summer before Carly left for college. I thought it would be awful for someone who lived in Arizona to confess that they’d never been to the Grand Canyon, so we took all five kids there and back again in one day in our old Dodge Caravan with no air conditioning. I knew it was just a hole in the ground, but when you see it in person, it’s awe inspiring, so vast. My kids mostly remember being very very hot and bored with the 500-mile roundtrip. (And 2 weeks later our Caravan died.) About twelve years ago Greg and I went back by ourselves.
  • New York City. When we lived in New Jersey, we went to the city often, mostly for the museums and musicals. We’ve also done the Circle Line cruise around Manhattan. Our daughter Carly has lived in Brooklyn for 22 years.
  • Williamsburg, Virginia. That’s where we went on our honeymoon, about 6 months after our January 1974 wedding. It was getting close to our country’s bicentennial, and I was very into the colonial period. We went on what was the hottest week in the summer, looked at the historical sites for an hour or two in the morning, and then back to the hotel pool.
  • Washington, D.C. I went with my parents and my brother a couple of times when I was in high school. We went to all the monuments, and to the National Gallery (my favorite!) and the Smithsonian. Every American should see our capital city. Greg has never gone, even though I’ve suggested it many times.
  • Niagara Falls. Another place my parents took us, more than once. If I’m not mistaken, we’ve seen it from the American side and the Canadian side. It’s mesmerizing. You could watch that water fall for hours.
  • Sedona, Arizona. Beautiful red rock country. In 2008, Greg and I spent a couple of nights in a bed & breakfast with a gorgeous view from the balcony. We visited the Chapel of the Holy Cross, a beautiful church with amazing views, took a ride on the Verde Canyon railroad, and had the most delicious steak dinner that Greg still talks about. I’d love to repeat that trip, but the B&B now costs three times what it did, and that’s without the train ride and steak dinner that were part of the original deal. Bummer.
Sedona from our balcony
View of Sedona from our B&B balcony

If Greg ever recovers his strength and energy, there are a few trips I’d like for us to make:

  • Grand European river tour. You know the one. You’ve seen the commercials. From Amsterdam to Budapest. I am so jealous of all my friends who have already done this. But if I couldn’t do this tour, I’d be happy to settle for . . .
  • Italy. I want to see Florence, Rome, Venice, the Cinque Terra. I want to see Michelangelo’s work. I want to see lots of Renaissance stuff.
  • Israel. I want to walk where Jesus walked. I want to see all the places I’ve read about in the Bible. I almost went with my daughter Carly in 2019—I got my passport and everything. But then Greg and I both had health issues and I had to cancel. Every year church groups host Holy Land tours. I hope I get to go someday.

Now it’s your turn. What is the best vacation you’ve ever taken? If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? Share in the comments below.

About Andrea R Huelsenbeck

Andrea R Huelsenbeck is a wife, a mother of five and a former elementary general music teacher. A freelance writer in the 1990s, her nonfiction articles and book reviews appeared in Raising Arizona Kids, Christian Library Journal, and other publications. She is currently working on a young adult mystical fantasy novel and a mystery.

8 responses »

  1. You’ve been to many places I’d love to go. Your wish list of future trips are on mine, too! Maybe, if we outlive our husbands, we could go together. One of my favorite vacations was to Grand Cayman. It was just Rollin and I, no schedule or agenda, but lots of time relaxing by the beach, reading, and watching sunsets. Perfection!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Caribbean would be #4 on my list. A long time ago, we were saving for a Caribbean cruise, but Greg ended up using the money for my grand piano. I can hardly complain about that! Now I have doubts about the safety of those big cruise ships. But beach, reading, and watching sunsets always sounds good to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have wanted to visit Norway for more than 25 years, and I am considering going this year. We will spend a couple of months in Europe in June and July. I want to see St. Petersburg, Russia, for the Hermitage, but that is definitely out this year! I love Portugal; two of our kids and three grandchildren live there now. I would like to see Hawaii again, and I would like to go to the Amazon, but I don’t want to take the shots to visit a tropical place.

    I love to travel, and throughout my latest health issues, I have prayed for the opportunity for at least one more trip to Volendam, a port city outside of Amsterdam. My husband says we can include it this year, along with Bilbao, Spain, another place I yearned to see because of the Guggenheim museum there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • One of my favorite folk dance instructors and choreographers, Lee Otterholt, regularly hosts folk dance tours to Norway. A number of years ago, a group of my folk dance friends went with him on a folk dance tour to Russia and loved it. But, yes, this is not a great time to go to Russia.
      I hope you have a wonderful trip this summer! I’m praying for traveling mercies for you and Doug.


  3. Sadly you have seen more of the US than I have.   We have been fortunate to travel overseas a lot and one of my favorites was a week in Istanbul.   The people were so friendly and visiting all of the Mosques and museums was amazing!!   We also loved India.  It is hard to see the poverty there but the people are wonderful!!  We have a trip to Pakistan (for Michael’s work) planned in October but it will depend on what happens with the political situation between now and then. I really hope that we get to go!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I was fortunate to be an IFYE Representative (International 4-H Youth Exchange) just after college, so spent 6 months in Norway. That included 3 weeks off, when my fellow IFYE’s and I traveled Europe on a train pass. That was the adventure of a lifetime!

    Best vacation was when our family explored the pieces of the Oregon Trail in Nebraska, Colorado and Wyoming. We camped, saw museums, ate ice cream, did a wagon ride near the trail, and stood in the 18 inch ruts outside Guernsey, Wyoming. The girls were in elementary school and it was magical.

    Liked by 1 person

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