Bitten by the Bug

I’m married to a man who has been to 83 countries. To say that he loves to travel is an understatement.

John was bitten by the travel bug early in life when he began travelling with his parents at the ripe old age of seven. First up was a cross-country road trip to the opening of Disneyland in Anaheim, California.  He’s been a travel hound ever since.

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My sweetie and Mickey.

He made his first trip to Europe at age 14 when his parents took him on a Grand Tour of the continent. Like most kids that age, he would have preferred hanging out with his friends back home, but decades later, with both parents gone, the memories from that trip are treasured.

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Young and bored on the French Riviera.

By age 19, he had created his first bucket list which included traveling to at least 100 countries before he was too old to make the journey. He revised the list at age 30.

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A drop of John's bucket list.

He’s been knocking the items off ever since. “Kiss a queen” was on page 3 of the multi-page list. When I asked him if he ever had kissed a queen, I was surprised when he replied, “Yes. Miss Universe 1984 on a date the night before she was crowned.” A “beauty” queen — but a queen nevertheless.

(As an aside, kissing a prince, king or any other royal personage never registered on any bucket list I have ever compiled. I have kissed a few toads in my time, however.)

Because John has traveled far and wide, it’s somewhat difficult to find a place he’s never been. Consequently, we have arranged our travels together into two, seasonal categories

In the spring, we return to places that one and/or both of us have visited which we particularly liked. In the fall, we explore new environs — which usually means going somewhere I’ve never been.  We typically avoid travel in the summer because that’s when everyone else is on the road.

This spring trip sees us back in Istanbul for five weeks and then on to the south of France for five weeks where we will spend a week each in Lyon, Marseilles, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nantes. While John has visited these French cities before, they will all be new for me. Can’t wait!!

But, in the meantime, Istanbul awaits.

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Completed in 368 AD, the Valens Aqueduct was the major water system in Constantinople.

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