Our Travel Evolution – From Naïveté to Confidence

Streets and Eats – Episode 1
Learning to travel and loving how you do it takes some time and experience. We take you from our naive beginnings to traveling 90 countries together and becoming travel experts.

 

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Streets and Eats – Show Notes for Episode 001

Our Travel Evolution – How We Learned to Travel

Just like anything worth doing in life, you need to learn how to travel. Throughout our 30-some years together, Jim and I have changed up the way we travel numerous times. Partly because of the stage of life we were in at the moment, and partly just because the more you do something, the better you get at it. 

Our Humble Beginnings – Birth of our Travel Evolution

Neither Jim nor I came from well-to-do families, so traveling with our families as kids is much different than we travel now. However, we did use some of that knowledge as we took our own journeys.

Corinne’s Background

I was born into a military family. Born in Ankara, Turkey, my mom met and married my dad there. He was in the Air Force and she taught the children of the men stationed overseas. We did travel as a family, and before I was out on my own, I’d been to several European countries and lived in two of them. I was the oldest of five children, however, so with such a large family we never took even close to a luxury vacation. It was always fun but frugal.

Jim’s Background

Jim also came from a very large family. He is the seventh child of eight, and his father worked for the telephone company. They moved a few times to different states, but mostly if there was any travel, it was camping.

Both of us knew that traveling could be expensive, and one way to do it easily and cheaply was to join the military. This we both did and then we met and married when we were both stationed in Germany. We soon added to our family. We had two daughters and we still traveled with them to as many places as possible. 

Corinne and Jim before they were married traveling with the Air Force to Orange, France.
Corinne and Jim met and married after this trip to southern France.

The Travel Safety Zones- Concentric Circles of Travel Evolution

Just like when we were growing up, first we felt comfortable traveling where we were. You could almost say “in our backyard.” However, as Americans our backyard was the country of Germany. So we started off doing skiing trips and short road trips around Germany, and then expanded our circle by including France, Luxembourg, and Belgium.

As we are doing so, we also expanded what we might eat, but to be honest that took a bit longer and we’ll have the full story in our next episode where we talk about becoming a foodie. For this show, we stick to some anecdotes that just show you over and over again what noobs we were, and some of the stories are a bit embarrassing to say the least. Our first is when we have a run-in with a German wurst (the second time around I think we conquered wurst), and then to make things worse we act like total idiots when we’re in the Czech Republic and trying a coffee. Learning life lessons can be cruel sometimes.

How We Expanded Traveling Across Borders in Europe

  1. We took easy road trips near where we lived, like to Trier – the oldest city in Germany. It was only ten minutes from our first place together.
  2. We took bus tours that picked us up, planned and ran everything in between, and then dropped us off at the end. We reminisce on our innocence as we took our very first one to Copenhagen and found out how much the Danes love fish.
  3. We took longer and longer road trips, but still in Europe and still using a military lodging much of the time, which meant a lot of our trips included those military sights, like Tempelhof or Berchtesgaden.
  4. We finally got more comfortable and either flew to a destination or did a full on road trip. Much of the time, we’ll take flight and rent a car once we get to our destination to save time.
  5. After conquering Western Europe, we moved to Japan and then Korea for a bunch of years and started exploring that part of the world. There we had to fly to our destinations.
  6. Moving back to Europe, we tackled a little of Africa, and all of Eastern Europe as well.
  7. Nowadays, we drive or fly to a destination. They we usually will rent a car or do the things we want to do. We camp or stay in great hotels. We eat local foods, and we’ve never had so much fun. 
Devon and Erika get all dressed up Dutch style in the Netherlands.
We got our daughters, Devon and Erika, all dressed up Dutch style in the Netherlands on one trip long ago.

Big Travel Tips from This Episode – Travel Evolution

  • Don’t be too hung up about what anyone else is doing. Learning to travel the way you like to travel is a journey. Enjoy the ride.
  • Plan but don’t over-plan. Be open to some spontaneity and open to suggestions from the locals about everything from food to what to do.

 

Conclusion

Learning to travel is personal. Some people love to take cruises and bus tours, where the work is all done for you. And some people like to do it on their own. That’s us. We’ve learned a lot over the years, and I’m sure we’ll continue to learn more and more. 

Let us know some of the tips you’ve learned about traveling from your experiences.

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