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View Diary: How many countries outside the one of your birth, have you been to, with poll. (116 comments)

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    Oops, I forgot Norway, Sweden and New Amsterdam, so it's 16.  When our youngest graduated from university we decided tuition $$$ would now be for our own travel - and travel we did!  Went to Hungary when under communism - quite the experience - had two guides assigned to about 20 of us and saw only what they wanted us to see, ate only where they allowed us to eat, and left being greatful for the freedom we had to do whatever we liked outside of there.  Went back again (twice) after the revolution and it was very lovely and we enjoyed it so much more.  We traveled a lot with friends from American Youth Hostels, but we always stayed in hotels. XC skied in Norway where it is truly a family sport - no wonder they always win the Olympics in XCing - kids 2yrs old are on skis zipping around the trails with their families. It's what they all do there for exercise and entertainment. Also skied in Austria and Switzerland.  In Austria I stepped off a small mountain train onto a glacier and decided I wasn't that good a skier, so stayed on the train that made a continuous loop up and around to a lot of little villages and then back down to town. I got off at the little villages, walked around, drank hot chocolate and ate pasteries, got back on the train - went to the next - and I'm sure had a much better time than those who were skiing on unmarked trails on ice...Also tried to learn a little of the language of each country we visited.  Italians loved helping us struggle and we all laughed a lot (and got pinched, too - gorgeous men!!) - French just looked down their noses wished we'd go away, but we did enjoy their art and architecture immensely.  Our travels usually combined hiking, museums, architectural walks, and music (the Salzberg Music Festival is way high on my list of specials) and just interacting with the people and their culture.  So civilized in Vienna; they enjoy coffee and pasteries in the park while listening to a live orchestra and just waltzing around on a marble dance area - took my breath away - every big city could use a little of this civilized culture. Our most recent trip (we're now in middle 70's) was a 15 day Viking river cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam.  Lovely to be able to take jaunts away from the ship, but to return to our own room. Very lovely trip.  A few more on our bucket list, but I'm most happy that we did so much traveling when we were younger and had a lot of energy.  Such incredible adventures and memories - wouldn't trade it for anything. My guy is an exceptional travel companion with the attitude of "we may never be here again, so let's go ahead and experience it to the fullest!"  So you youngsters out there - just save some money and go for it...

    It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged. G. K. Chesterton

    by redbaron on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 01:17:48 PM PST

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