Distraction / Travel List

DISTRACTION DISTRACTION DISTRACTION!!!  Read here if you want to take your mind off of the insanity for five minutes.

For the next three weeks I will be posting parts of a list entitled “5 Places I’ve Been That I Would Go Back to in a Heartbeat.”  I will list #s 5 + 4 this week, #s 3 + 2 next week and #1 and honorable mention on the third week.  So without further ado:

#5  LONDON
Reason: Unfinished business

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I spent about 18 hours in London on my way home from my Peace Corps service. I spent a lovely time with this guy Alex, who I met a couple weeks earlier in Macedonia. He showed me the town, put me up for the night, and drove me to the airport, which saved me at least $100.* At Alex’s direction, we took a 5 hour power walk and knocked out Big Ben, Parliament, Buckingham Palace, and Piccadilly Square.  I saw all the big sites, but the list is not completely checked off. The town was settled in 43 AD, the amount of history there is mind-blowing. Stories and sites of the World War 2 blitz, art and museum exhibits that cover the entire span of human history from all over the world (thank you imperialism), the Globe Theater, the pub life, the hooligans, I’m not sure what I would make a priority, and that is all the more reason to go back. Let me know if you want to come along so I can let Alex know how many places to set at the dinner table.

* I can remember telling my folks about staying with this guy, and my Mom asked, “how’d you know the guy wasn’t some wierdo? And what would you do if he was?” Both excellent questions that I constantly asked myself the entire time I was in this dude’s house. It’s just one of the joys of traveling. Putting your faith in others, and hoping for the best.

#4  AUSTIN
Reason: Live Music

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After a 2 day bus ride from Worcester, MA, to Austin, our friends whisked us back to the blues bar they had left to get us. Great first impression of a city. Transitioning from being surrounded by the characters on Greyhound buses to a bar lined with pictures of all the greats who played there was grounds for serious culture shock, but I was instantly in love with this town.

I was amazed that EVERY bar had at least a couple of guys strumming guitars. I was amazed there was high quality blues in a concert open to the public in a park where people responsibly sat with coolers full of beer and enjoyed a good time. I was amazed at the BBQ.

I feel like Austin is one of those places that you just have to like, and if you don’t, there’s something wrong with you, man. I was hesitant to include it on the list because the pick seemed too easy. Of course anyone with any sense would want to go back to a city that a) is home to three really close friends, b) is always warm, and c) has music, film, and comedy festivals year round. It is reassuring that Austin will be rocking, weird, and there for me no matter how many years it takes to make it back.

The list continues next week.

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Thanks again for reading!!!

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