Lessons From The Road

There’s no doubt that travel can be a personal game-changer. Leaving the comfort and familiarity of home to venture abroad exposes travelers to new cultural ideas and viewpoints. A constant barrage of novelty can be stressful, but at the same time, it presents a fertile field for learning.

Some of these lessons are large, and some are small, and frequently, they come from unexpected places. Over the next few weeks we’ll be launching our “Lessons From The Road Series,” posting on a few of the ideas and messages that have popped up in unusual places. 

It will be an eclectic mix, and as a teaser, the topics will include: love, divinity, skeletons, and Bill Murray giving marriage advice. 

We hope you’ll join us.

Happy Trails,
James & Terri

Twisting Road - Version 2

Photo Credit: 7. Mikael Miettinen

Author: gallivance.net

We're Terri and James Vance - high school sweethearts who went on to international careers and became world nomads. Today, 65 countries later, we're still traveling ... and still in love. Check out Our Story for more of the backstory at gallivance.net.

46 thoughts

    1. Mike, we’re bombarded by messages constantly, and each person’s perspective is determined by their personal filter. We hope you like ours, and are happy you’re following along. BTW, how are things in Washington? ~James

      1. I have always been favorably impressed with your perspective on things, and whenever we followed in your footsteps we were duly rewarded.

        It feels good to be back in familiar territory. The only thing is we are constantly experiencing ‘sticker shock’ at the price of food! Wow – were we spoiled! – Mike

  1. Looking forward to it!

    And I have a question for the travel experts. While we’ve done a lot of traveling, we have never taken a cruise as we prefer to explore on our own and, generally, don’t like the idea of being captive on a boat. However, we are considering a Baltic cruise with some friends. The big boats look completely unappealing to us, but we found two smaller boat cruises that look more manageable: Tauck and a German company, Hapag. Are you, by chance, familiar with either?

    1. Unfortunately Jeannee, you have asked the wrong people for cruise advice. We’ve only done a couple of weekend cruises, and while they were fun, based on our experiences, we couldn’t offer much advice. However, given our limited experience, I would say that smaller is always better. Also, I’d recommend using internet forums as a resource. For instance, I searched “Tauck Cruise Baltic Reviews” and came up with these:


      -this site has a reviews section.

      Also, we traveled quite a bit in the Baltic, and have a number of posts. We visited Helsinki, Tallinn, Riga, and Vilnius. Use the search function on our blog to find our posts. The Baltic area is very cool, and you’ll have a wonderful time. Bon Voyage. ~James

  2. We bought a spiffy little sports car three years ago — an impulse buy that we don’t regret — and set off on a road trip to Santa Fe (from Portland, OR) and back. Somewhere near Moab we encountered a road like the one you’ve pictured. Top down. Supercharger howling. Singing along to “Ticket to Ride.” Nirvana!

    1. This sounds like my kind of road trip Tom. On my return to the US from one of my overseas postings, I had some money burning a hole in my pocket, so I bought a Mazda Rx7. It was a real road-rocket, which I used to run speed trials on the flat, straight Texas roads around Dallas. In retrospect, it probably wasn’t one of the smartest things I’ve ever done, but damn, it was fun! I guess it’s one “guy” thing that everyone should try at least once. BTW, how are the Portlandians? ~James

  3. Cool idea… Travel breaks comfort zones and can make or break relationships. After traveling a lot it always surprises me when people complain they cannot get things like home, or the locals don’t speak English. Isn’t that part of the reason to travel? Adventure of new things.

    1. I think that most people would agree that travel is about the adventure of new things, and I’m sure that you’ve had your share of adventure in China. I spent a fair amount of time there on business, and it was an eye-opener for sure. ~James

  4. Let the bones roll. Probably makes more sense than Bill Murray giving marriage advice. But I’ll withhold judgement. Meanwhile I am heading off to see what the whales say.:) –Curt

    1. I assume that you’re whale-watching on the Oregon coast Curt. I’m envious. I may have told you that when we lived in Newport, we were volunteers for a gray whale count program, and it was wonderful. It was their migration season, and the rain was relentless, but we had a great time. ~James

      1. Actually James, we will be kayaking out of Fort McNeill on the northwestern tip of Vancouver Island. It’s a six-day kayaking/camping trip that takes us into prime Orca territory. We went to Newport for my birthday in March this year. It was beautiful, but very wet, as you mentioned. 🙂 –Curt

  5. Your series hold me in suspense . . . can’t wait to read the next ones. So glad to see you’re sharing some of what travel means to you personally as well as what you’ve learned.

      1. I can tell your blog takes effort, and that’s why it’s so worthwhile to read! Thanks for setting the bar so high for the rest of us! Good luck with this series. You are no doubt thinking of what’s next!

    1. Thanks Tricia. One thing that we’ve learned over the years is to pace ourselves on the “learning” part; a day off between museums, not to many cathedrals in a row, etc. Our motto is that “We see what we see,” and it’s quality over quantity. Trying to do too much only causes stress that we don’t want or need. ~James

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