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Travel spot: Iceland

“I am bored, I am bored, I am bored,” said Gustave Flaubert of Rouen in 17th century France. The banality of the city, of everyday life, of taxes, road improvements and neighbors were suffocating him.

There are times when I echo this sentiment. The desire to escape the noise: traffic, people, social media, buildings, politics and economies can be overwhelming. It is times like this when traveling to an exotic location occupies my day. Where can I go to escape this? What will being relief?

Iceland, Lómagnúpur, south east coast of Iceland. The water in the rivers comes from Vatnajökull, the largest glacier in Europe, situated nearby

 

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Travel Spot: Italy

Sorrento, Italy

Ah Italia: the food, romance, architecture and beauty! Italy has been my dream vacation spot for years. Every time I look at pictures, I wonder to myself “Why do I not live here?” Rome, Sicily, Venice, Milan, Florence – just the mention of these cities has me caught up in dreams of exploration. Let me explain… Continue Reading »

Travel Spot – Zanzibar

My sister swears she is going to live in Zanzibar one day. She is in love with the idea of fresh fish, markets, spices and food. It got me curious about this small island, so I researched it. I fell in love with it too! This is what I found.

Zanzibar, Tanzania

Zanzibar. The name itself brings to mind exotic images of color, spice and beauty. Known by the locals as Unguka (meaning “transit”), this alluring island is located off the coast of Tanzania and is a popular travel spot for those seeking culture, beauty and escapism all in one location.

Sunset in Zanzibar

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New Zealand

Only the fourth part of the world to receive a new day’s sun, New Zealand remains a place of fascination and wonder for me. It is a beautiful country, with breathtaking scenery and intensely rich culture that draws people from around the world. It has a long 15,000-kilometer coastline, and views ranging from spectacular glaciers to gorgeous beaches.

The Springbok

SA Rugby

New Zealand is this week’s choice because it is the host of the 2011 Rugby World Cup. It is the place to be right now, amidst an energetic and excited atmosphere of people from around the globe. *In the same spirit – go bokkke! (South African Rugby Team)*
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Childe Hassam painting Le Val-de-Grâce (1888)

In Alain de Botton’s book, the Art of Travel, reference is made to a character in J.K. Huysans’s 1884 novel, A Rebours. Duc des Esseintes lives a secluded life in the a villa on the outskirts of Paris, his misanthropic nature keeping him there. One day while reading Dickens, he is overcome with the urge to travel to London to experience the English life so prevalent in the book.
 
He packs his bags and catches the next train to Paris.

 

While waiting for the train to London, des Esseintes visits an English bookstore, a wine bar, and an English Tavern, experiencing a taste of what was to come.

 

Then the moments to depart came and des Esseintes was in Botton’s words ‘overcome with lassitude’. He abruptly changed his mind about going, believing that the journey’s hassles would simply not be worth the trip. “What is the good,” des Esseintes wondered, “of moving when a person could travel so wonderfully sitting in a chair.” He returned to his villa and never left home again. (11) Continue Reading »