Living in the United States, Miss A and I usually travel by plane, mainly because the distances are so great. Plane travel, when airfares are within our budget, becomes the most cost and time efficient method of transportation. There are people that love to travel by car and take long trips 'on the road' to all manner of places in the 50 States. We are definitely not that family. In our time here, we have found that the journey, which is said to be half the fun, is just not really exciting and engaging much of the time for the kids, even if the destinations are ok. Very often the actual experience of driving takes too long and again, the spots along the road often lack in authenticity. Camping can be fun. Going to specific destinations can be exceptional. But for my money and 'feel good', the American road trip is no longer all it's cracked up to be for a seasoned traveler.
If on the other hand you are traveling America for the first time and have not yet seen some of the natural beauty, strange canyons and gorgeous mountains, otherworldly forests and grand oceans - which are all truly spectacular and breathtaking - then you are in for a real treat. Otherwise, after a few times around the block, speaking for myself, the highways are endlessly uninspiring and boring. This is why, a long time ago I decided that we would only travel by plane to get from one destination to another for trips that are more than a couple of hours from home.
surprise apparition. The romance of flying is still a big part of our travel agenda, I'm happy to say!
I do think that it would be fun one of these days to rent an RV or a roulotte and go on an extended trip to a particular corner of the US, like the Southwest canyons or the Northwest forests. Traveling in our own 'mobile hotel' as it were, would allow us to buy our own food and make home cooked meals. We would avoid the reliance on the ubiquitous fast food outlets located almost exclusively along the roads in America that is so disappointing. This is the way, I imagine, with plenty of time and traveling the back roads, that it would be a lot of fun!
On the contrary, when we are in Europe, we have most commonly traveled by car. On the excellent highways in Germany and Italy, and many other countries, it is altogether possible to drive for a few hours, kids, dogs and all, and then stop in a quaint village off the beaten path, find a nice, hospitable cafe bar or Osteria to have a coffee or some delicious home style type meal to make the drive even more pleasant. Then, it's off again towards your destination. Traveling by car is a much better way to make connections with people from the places you are wanting to discover and since distances are not quite so great you have the luxury of taking your time, viewing the countryside and sampling the local sights, entertainment and cuisine along the way.
It will be interesting to see how Anima will adjust to the change of traveling in Europe as compared to the United States. So many new things to experience. She has never been on a high speed train or a ferry that crosses over to an island, in a helicopter flying low over the rooftops of an ancient city or racing on a motorino in city traffic. In the next year we will probably be experiencing all of this and more!
What are your favorite modes of transportation, in the United States or in anywhere else in the world?
At Il Circolo delle Mamme Viaggiatrici (The Traveling Mom's Club in English) we are six women travelers who are also mothers. Melissa and I are American while Silvia, Alessandra, Valentina and Monica are Italian, although I think it is fair to say that in a way we are all women of the world.
Every month we will individually be posting a story of travel or travel related situation on our own blogs which we will then share with each other and our followers. This will give a wonderful and wide variety to families looking for suggestions, special fare notices and in general a good overview for other mom's and families that travel.
My virtual travel companions often write in both Italian and English and have truly amusing and informative articles for you to read and enjoy. Ciao Ciao!