Why We Wander
Our family has travelled to dozens of countries for generations, starting with Captain James H. Blethen, a Welsh sea captain who sailed a Vanderbilt steamship from New York, around the Horn, and into San Francisco in 1852. He spent the rest of his life at sea.
His worldly view has carried down through generations and is a priority in our family. We live on an amazing planet. Each of us can become more understanding and more appreciative of differences as a result of meandering around the globe.
I've travelled alone as a single woman, with my daughter, and with family and friends. It doesn't matter; there is always someplace new, exotic, and safe whether or not you go it alone or with someone.
Following is a list of countries/cities visited -- sort of in the reverse order visited throughout the years. A few were toured more than once and I was fortunate to spend a summer studying English Literature at Worcester College in Oxford as a University of California at Berkeley Exchange Student. If you have questions about any of these locations, please eMail me at Marine Studios. We will be adding information to the site as we wander.Photographs and commentary.
Paris, Avignon en Provence, and along the Coté de Azur to Nice, Monaco/Monte Carlo, and Menton near the Italian border.
Summer 2001: Six Countries in Sixty Days . . .
The question posed: "We're starting in Tahiti and ending in Japan. Where do you want to go in between?" All travel arrangements for this trip were made via the Internet and checked throughout via eMail. It was one of the smoothest trips we've ever had.
Bora Bora and Moorea, a lifetime dream come true -- a week in an over-the-water bungalow.
Roratonga, Cook Islands
Around the island for a week. And unless you really want to slow down, I don't recommend this. Marvelous people, but very very slow. The one place we did not see that might be worth a return visit would be "One Foot Island."
Devonport (a mixture of Berkeley and Sausalito, with the best of both), across the harbor from Auckland. Only a few days. Not nearly enough time.
From Brisbane to Palm Cove to Cairns to Port Douglas on Australia's Eastern shoreline by air and auto and back to Brisbane by train. Diving the Great Barrier Reef, a world wonder. If the Grand Canyon were filled with warm turquoise water and vibrant tropical fish, you would have the Great Barrier Reef.
Bangkok (travel by boat on the Chao Praya it's the fastest, cleanest way to get around), the Reclining Buddha, elephant rides, Phuket, Ko Samui, Ko Pi Pi.
Tokyo, Nikko National Park, Fuji-Hakone National Park (Lake Hakone, Fujisan, Lake Kawaguichi, The Hakone Check Point with traditionally garbed guards such as on the right), Kyoto (Nijo Castle, Golden Pavilion, Imperial Palace), Nara, Mikimoto Pearl Island, Narita. Of course we shopped while in Kyoto at Ise Tan (below right).
If you have only a one-night stopover at Tokyo, stay at Narita. It is easy to reach by train, it is a traditional small village with excellent last-minute shopping ideas. Many airline personnel stay there for overnight stopovers. Japanese Bullet Trains to all of Japan's main cities are on time, clean, excellent service. They link to smaller routes in areas such as the Ise Peninsula.