"My Suspended State Of Wanderlust" GenXVoice's Profile

My Suspended State of Wanderlust

Meeting people, spending time with them and getting to know them is one of my most favorite things about traveling.

Making new friends; seeing the world through their eyes; being shown their little piece of the planet and why they love it (or how they tolerate it) gives you an experience no travel book can provide.

I think that is the appeal of Virtual Tourist.

A community of travelers who love to share their experiences with others and who - like you - enjoy making friends with a kindred spirit who understands their suspended state of wanderlust.

He Who Travels Much Knows Much

I am an incorrigible bibliophile and was one of those nerdy little kids reading Dr. Seuss by the age of 4 predicting for me a lifelong curse of a thirst for knowledge.

I had traveled to India, China, Japan, Papua New Guinea, Africa, Pacific Islands and the coast of Spain - all by the ripe old age of 8 - and all through books of both fact and fiction.

My little brother and I would read through our World Book Encyclopedia Library like they were chapter books for children and we would draw pictures of our "adventures" and make our kiddie-version copies of the photos.

We would trace maps and photos, decorating them with colored pencils and marking details such as language, attire, ceremonial traditions and foods.

It was then that I knew I would never be content to remain "at home" so long as there were people, cultures and countries to be explored and experienced.

Scouting out any opportunity to "leave town" whether it was a school trip upstate or a long weekend out of town with the family - my first trip away from home "alone" (without family/parents) was at the age of 13 to New York City to compete in a national sports competition.

While I loved my sports - and still do! - I couldn't wait for the downtime to wander and find the experiences about which I had read for years in books.

Thus began my suspended state of wanderlust.

What once had only existed in theory had now become a reality that would forever change my world.

Sidetracks, Rabbit Trails and Happy Accidents

In traveling you have to roll with the punches.

I love all the detours, cancellations, and unexpected quirks that tend to "ruin" a trip.

Getting off at the wrong train station.

Nonstop, torrential rain.

Closed museums.

Discontinued attractions.

Disappearing hotels.

Those are the moments which always end up being the best stories and memories of any of my travels.

A Necessity of Life - Good Friends

I've noticed that no matter where I am in the world, I meet up with friends - many of whom I have known for years and hail from Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, Prague and more lovely places.

It is their hearts, their souls, their minds, their love of life and how they each uniquely live their own lives which makes each and every one of my beautiful friends so special.

Photographers; make-up artists; real estate agents; interior decorators; IT developers; project managers; school teachers; bankers; executives; creative directors; salesmen; carpenters and writers.

A very motley crew, indeed.

In fact, the only thing we have in common...is each other.

An Exploration of Self

Travel has been a study and exploration of "self" over the years.

I have learned more about myself through my many years of travel than I could have learned in any therapist's office.

Strengths that I never knew existed.

Weaknesses that have caught me off guard.

My ever-evolving range of tastes and interests. The depths of my personality.

The exploration into layers of "me" that have at times left me befuddled in surprise of my own reaction to circumstances.

No matter the experience - I was left with knowledge.

Knowledge of the how, the where and eventually.........the why.

I will forever be a traveler and although I call Florida home - there are those few places peppered around the planet that make me feel "at home" the instant I set foot and breathe in the air.

Places that speak to a certain part of my soul.

Where a piece of me was awakened or perhaps even where a piece was laid to rest.

It's About The People - Not Just The Places

I make my travels about the people...not just the places.

People are sometimes the ONE thing that makes the place so memorable.

Rooftop parties with a local who shows us his secret spot for drinking beer while we overlook his village and end up counting stars like 3rd graders seeking out our favorite constellations.

Shooting pool in a tiny, countryside English pub all night with new friends who make time fly so fast - you would swear you were in a time warp.

I love making new friends and have had the privilege of making the acquaintance of hundreds and hundreds of wonderful, magnificent people who surprisingly still keep in touch.

It is fun when you realize that you know at least one person on every continent and that you could have company for dinner on your next business or pleasure trip with just a quick email or text.

Stolen Moments Never Forgotten

Laughing so much your face hurts.

Riding a night train to avoid wasting precious daylight for country-to-country travel with travelers from Austria, Latvia and France and swapping fragments of stories in between giggles.

Even language barriers can provide entertainment because you somehow end up with your own game of charades and find yourself answering back as if they actually understand.

These are the moments in between the photos and the tours that stand out the most to me.

Beautiful times with beautiful people.

Thank you for stopping by. Please say hello! :)

If you ever find yourself in the Central Florida area - holla!!

We have wonderful VT'ers who would dig an excuse to get together and properly welcome you to our beautiful sunshine state.

Best wishes and happy travels.

  • Intro Updated Nov 7, 2013
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Comments (94)

  • Gillybob's Profile Photo
    Jan 29, 2014 at 11:41 PM

    Hey gorgeous!! Looking forward to seeing you in Riga.

    • GenXVoice's Profile Photo
      Mar 5, 2014 at 5:07 AM

      Hello beautiful! :))) Yes - very much looking forward to seeing you!

    • Gillybob's Profile Photo
      Mar 5, 2014 at 2:27 PM

      Can't wait. Currently having a fab time in New Zealand. Well worth a visit - even with the flying time.

  • pieter_jan_v's Profile Photo
    Nov 6, 2013 at 3:24 AM

    Kiki, Happy Birthday. PJ

  • Mahieu's Profile Photo
    Jul 24, 2013 at 2:43 AM

    Yeah, you're coming to Belgium for Euromeet! Will be seeing you there if not before somewhere around this beautiful globe! Greetz

    • GenXVoice's Profile Photo
      Nov 7, 2013 at 11:09 AM

      Hiya gorgeous! Yes! Can't wait for the Belgium meet! Hope we bump into each other sometime this year. How is Ireland?

  • DAO's Profile Photo
    Jul 23, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    Kiki! Glad to see you are returning to see us! Awesome!

  • Michael_D's Profile Photo
    Apr 21, 2013 at 7:19 PM

    From Giamperos page "VirtualTourist History and Lessons Learned" - Personal Page by giampiero6;
    the URL, VirtualTourist started in 1994 as a project at the University of Buffalo. In those days, it was just a world map showing all the internet servers in the world. You can imagine how early that was due to the fact that you could still show all the servers on a map! Word is that it was the first clickable map on the web, though I'm not positive that's the case. That version, was the first webpage that a couple of German Computer Science students, Tilman Reissfelder, and Thorsten Kalkbrenner at the University of Karlsruhe ever saw. It was the start page for computer science departments in a lot of places in those days and fairly well known in a small circle of internet enthusiasts. Well, in I think 1997 or maybe 1998, Tilman and Thorsten saw that the URL, VirtualTourist was up for sale and they decided that it would be an interesting adventure to grab the URL and try to do something cool with it

    • GenXVoice's Profile Photo
      May 8, 2013 at 6:58 AM

      I have never looked at Giampiero's pages. Clearly I didn't pay attention to the conversation whenever I was being told the history of VT - all I walked away with was "Karlsruhe". :)

  • travelgourmet's Profile Photo
    Feb 11, 2013 at 8:43 AM

    Nice pages. Anyone that knows Vter SONG, knows life. Your writings know life. Bravo. :-)

  • Michael_D's Profile Photo
    Jan 19, 2013 at 12:33 PM

    Orlando, Florida VT meet April 19,20,21 & 22, 2013. .

    Our home base and open Hospitality House will again be at Walt Disney World in a 3-bedroom Condo on WDW property - open for 4 days to all V.T.er's with WDW parking passes provided. It just seems to me that since V.T. has linked with Facebook....our group of 1.2 million like-minded travelers have become lost in the shuffle of too many other social network options.

    Florida offers the most beautiful beaches in the world and Walt Disney World is the "Happiest Place on Earth"......... come join us....one and all....even if you can only spend a few hours or a day.

  • Gillybob's Profile Photo
    Jan 16, 2013 at 12:14 AM

    VT Meeting
    Wonder who might be in Orlando 18 - 22 April?! Plan is similar to the last meet - Meet and Greet at the condo, activities and, I think, Sunday brunch at the condo. Ann and Kathy have great plans (as always). Any chance you might 'pop along'?
    Gillybob greetings

    • GenXVoice's Profile Photo
      Apr 16, 2013 at 8:05 AM

      Oh, I'm all over it! Thanks for the heads up! I've cleared my calendar so I can hang out this time. Can't wait to see you guys! :)))

    • Gillybob's Profile Photo
      Apr 16, 2013 at 8:42 AM

      Wonderful! Desperately ready for my trip - looking forward to seeing you!

  • Benson35's Profile Photo
    Dec 24, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    Merry Christmas! Seasons greetings! Happy holidays! Safe travels for 2013 :)

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    Dec 24, 2012 at 2:49 AM

    Christmas greetings from London, Kiki, and all the very best for 2013! Greetings from London :-)

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GenXVoice

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Top 10,000 Travel Writer
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Real Name
Kiki
Location
Lakeland, Florida
Member Since
Jun 23, 2006
Website
www.genxvoice.com

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