Archive for September, 2010

Eat Pray…Whatever

September 12, 2010

So there is this ongoing cultural obsession with Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, “Eat Pray Love,” a memoir about a woman who leaves her loveless marriage to go travel the world and “find herself.”  She spends four months each in Italy, India and Indonesia and everything turns out perfect in the end when she falls in love and lives happily ever after.  I gave the book a fair try and since I love to read travel memoirs*, put up with her narcissistic narration, but could only (barely) tolerate her through the “Eat” part of the book. When I heard the movie was coming out, I gave up entirely and thought I’d just see the movie so I could also enjoy the scenery of 3 places I would really like to visit someday.

I am not a movie critic, but I’m not the only one who feels the same way about this book/movie/author, and it’s really a shame because it’s such an interesting premise.  I have always dreamed of dropping everything and traveling the world with no real plan, but it’s not in my DNA.  The “not planning” part.

I really wanted to like this movie.

For travel scenery, the movie certainly delivers – and offers up an opportunity for tour operators to capitalize.  Overall, if you’re looking for travel eye candy (cobblestoned Roman alleys, untouched Balinese coastline, Javier Bardem), then I recommend this film (just cover your ears and ignore the main character).  🙂

*Some of my favorite travel memoirs include “Whatever You Do, Don’t Run” by Peter Allison and “In a Sunburned Country” by Bill Bryson.

Back in the Game

September 9, 2010

Just like that, I have two fun trips planned in the next month.  One domestic, one international. Both involving catching up with dear friends from college – I am very excited!  And it’s about time.

I’ll head to Washington D.C. in a couple of weeks for a long weekend, and then a couple of weeks later I will spend a slightly longer weekend in…PARIS!  It’s kind of funny to come full circle on my very first international trip – I can’t wait to see how my perspective – and the city – has changed since then!

One thing is for sure – I won’t be running up the Eiffel Tower this time.  I’ll save that “special memory” for my teenage endurance days.

1665 steps...maybe walk instead of run this time?

So far, I have a flight booked and need to find lodgings in Paris – I’ll be comparing private apartments for rent to hotels and their reviews on TripAdvisor.com, and hope to find something in a hip location that won’t break the bank.  Should I pick a boutique hotel like the chic Hotel St. Germain or a slice of Parisian heaven with a terrace overlooking the Eiffel Tower? Time will tell.

Some people dread this part of the planning, but I see it as shopping for (temporary) real estate!  What will my Paris home be like (for 4 days)?  Besides, if I have loud neighbors, I know I won’t be staying very long anyway, and if it’s amazing then I can always come back to amazing escape.  Maybe in another 16 years?