"WELCOME!" lmkluque's Profile

Come In And Join Me On My Travels!

Welcome to my VirtualTourist.com home page,

Whether you are planning a real trip or just want a virtual tour, I have tried to include some facts along with my own impressions in a way that is helpful and hopefully interesting to you.

I have been blessed with opportunities to travel to countries that have fascinating, historical and cultural elements, foreign to me and at the same time familiar, because they are the roots that helped form my own country.

Relax, pour yourself a glass of wine or have a little meal and come see where I've been. I hope I have been helpful.

Enjoy your travels,
Linda

World Travels

As a young woman my dream was to live in a country for one to three years. Long enough to learn the language and the culture.

Instead, I had children. Time and money that I could have spent on my dream were spent on schools, work and raising my two sons.

I found an interesting substitute. I became a Group Representative, in San Diego, for E.F. Foundation, a foreign exchange organization.

One of it's many programs, EF Homestay, offered students a two week to one month package, where they stayed with an American family, that I interviewed and chose, had daily classes in English and American culture, that I helped teach along with another teacher, afternoon activities, that I organized and in some cases overnight trips to L.A. or San Francisco, which I planned and accompanied the students on.

It was an eye-opening experience for me and I made many friends with Tour Leaders (accompanying the students from their own country) and the students themselves.

When I had the time and money to travel, I had friends in each country to visit. Each of my friends enriched the quality of my travels beyond anything I could write about, but here I'll try.

A simple example was the day I had to learn to say, Quatrieme etage in French, over the intercom, to let in the piano tuner while friends went out on an errand.

We laughed at my terrible accent, we laughed at my panic. We laughed again later at the quizzical look on the face of the piano tuner, when my friends returned and asked if he had trouble understanding me. These simple moments were priceless.

Sharing My Home!

It has been fun reliving my travels and sharing information, impressions and photos with you. Now I'd like to offer you a glimpse of my home country. In some places I have simply been a tourist and other places I have lived and want to give as much information as I can to help your visit become the best that it can be.

One thing I love most about living in San Diego is that there are so many places for me to spend a few hours as if I were on a fantastic vacation.

Here I am in Chula Vista, California at the J Street Marina, sitting on a blanket with a nice picnic lunch, watching my oldest granddaugher flying my kite in the warm, balmy breeze of a San Diego winter's day.

Not bragging, just appreciating.

Under Construction!

Cross-Referencing Links

Lately I've been working on the full scope of presenting San Diego City and County through links to other pages I have built that will expand the dimension of a traveler's options as well as give someone who plans to move here an idea of what to expect.

There hasn't been a method to my approach, more of a whimsical effort as the mood strikes. There are two main reasons I decided to do this. One, I am unable to do any traveling of my own just now, but still want to contribute to VT.

Two, Many people have applied to me for more information about San Diego's offerings as well as specifics about San Diego as a place to live. My idea was that with links to the other pages I've built about San Diego City neighborhoods and cities around San Diego County, anyone who wanted a bit more info could follow the path that most interested them.

Life Changing Story Thanks To VT!

Joining VT itself was life changing for me.

Too sick and too poor and unable to travel anymore, I found VT because I was searching to answer a question I had about Germany, I think it was Germany.

I'm not a "joiner" but there were so many things going on at VT--even in those early days of the site--that I returned daily to see what was new. It took me three months to begin building pages of my own from past travels and I really had a great time--except that it took so long to scan each of my photos.

In those days we each had a timer box showing how long we had been logged in. I stayed on longer and longer each day until I realized that I was actually "addicted" to VT. Still, it seemed that most of us were and this addiction seemed nothing to be ashamed of, except maybe to those who feared detection from their bosses at work, though not a deterrent.

Several years later I went to my first VT Meeting. I don't like group things but the organizer, Yubert, seemed so nice and encouraging as did a few other VT Members who planned to meet-up.

Determined, I left my comfort zone and went to L.A. to find out that the Real people were as nice as the Virtual people and I had a wonderful time, like being with family. Then I proudly became a VT Meeting addict too. Even organized a VT Meeting myself. Met the owner of the site and in a quiet, one-on-one discussion moment, was impressed with his dream, focus and purpose for creating VT--which had nothing to do with money but everything to do with giving people a place to share their travel experiences to help others with theirs. A full blown success it's turned out to be, I'd say.

My addiction is no longer "out of control," but I still get up every morning, fix my coffee and check VT to see what's happened over night and join everyone else when I can add something in a positive way. On VT I don't feel sick, I don't feel poor nor do I feel unable. Under the circumstances I'd say that's pretty life changing!

Thanks VT!

  • Intro Updated Feb 21, 2014
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Comments (745)

  • Updated Comment
    Usctwin's Profile Photo
    Apr 30, 2013 at 8:03 AM

    Have a wonderful birthday, Linda!

    Other comments
  • jayjayc's Profile Photo
    May 24, 2015 at 2:34 PM

    Belated Happy Birthday!

  • Pawtuxet's Profile Photo
    May 18, 2015 at 4:22 AM

    Hi Linda - Ran across your name and decided to come back to your page. Always enjoy reading it. You remind me of the time I was living in SD...as well as our visit when my son moved out there. It's been 13 years! Nice to remember earlier days with VT, and time spent with you. Recently referred a new resident to you on VT. Told her you were the SD Ambassador!

  • leffe3's Profile Photo
    May 12, 2015 at 9:34 PM

    Hi Linda. I've been away a while! So long I've discovered Giampiero has gone to pastures new... But the pull of VT proved too much. Hope all is well with you - it's appropriate you're the first I'm writing to as I think you were my first VT friends nearly 15 years ago.... :)

    • leffe3's Profile Photo
      May 13, 2015 at 11:52 PM

      Sorry to hear about your mom.

      Two main reasons for not being around - first one result of setting up the gallery in new premises. Moved from a small, one gallery space to 5 galleries of different sizes plus living. Built the interiors ourselves (some 17 rooms - and still building/refining). So that meant 2013 was full-on - but we now have one of the biggest privately owned gallery spaces in Melbourne.

      Second reason not so positive - 2014 was one of Tim (my partner) being diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma and undergoing full-on chemotherapy. In and out of hospital (scheduled) for first 6 months (including stem cell transplant) and then recuperating. He's cancer free - but now is recovering from the treatment - it's heavy dosage of poisons.

    • lmkluque's Profile Photo
      May 14, 2015 at 8:37 AM

      The Galleries sound nice are they Yours or through an Embassy?

      Sorry to read about Tim. Hope he recovers from the treatment. I had Melanoma but there wasn't much of a treatment. Interferon for a few months until it in combination with diabetic meds, cause paralysis in my legs. I'm not cancer free, but my immune system is sufficient to fight the cancer from growing.

      I did have a friend who went through Chemo and that was gruelling for her and for me to watch the effects of. I well keep you and Tim in my prayers.

  • HeshamMA's Profile Photo
    May 7, 2015 at 4:27 PM

    Linda , Happy birth day , my wishes for a great new year of your life full of health , travels and peace of mind !

  • isolatedpawn's Profile Photo
    May 6, 2015 at 9:00 AM

    happy birthday to you happy birthday to you happy birthday happy birthday happy birthday to you

  • kahnjetta's Profile Photo
    May 5, 2015 at 11:13 AM

    Hi Linda, I hope you had a great birthday:))

  • Gypsystravels's Profile Photo
    May 4, 2015 at 1:07 PM

    Ooooo dear, I missed your birthday. Nonetheless wishing you a belated Happy Birthday, hope you had a very wonderful and enjoyable day.

    • lmkluque's Profile Photo
      May 4, 2015 at 2:08 PM

      Yes I did have a wonderful time and a belated wish extends the celebration!

  • Pilgrim108's Profile Photo
    May 4, 2015 at 7:44 AM

    Your life-changing story is such an inspiration! With VT you are still travelling - over the Pond and into my sitting room! Happy Birthday for a few days ago xx

  • Minceta's Profile Photo
    May 4, 2015 at 5:58 AM

    Dear Linda, with some delay, I would like to wish you a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY AND ALL THE BEST! I hope that you spent a wonderful day surrounded by the people that you love most. Sorry for my delay, but I think that for good wishes it is never too late.

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lmkluque

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Real Name
Linda Luque
Location
San Diego, California
Member Since
Sep 26, 2000
Website
http://members.virtu...b8708

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