March 14, 2018

My Travel Quest: 7 Wonders of the World

Every now and then you read a book that changes you or inspires you. Recently, my very dear friend, Keep Calm and Teach Fifth Grade sent me one of those books. Myranda and I have a friendship that I hold dear to my heart and one I would not be complete without. We have seen the world together. Spent the night in an airport together. Sweated our butts off together. And all of this has created a bond like I have with no one else. See, we are travel partners. We are like minded people. (If you don't have a like minded person in your life - find one!)

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Myranda understands my strong desire to travel. She never judges me for it, or asks why. She challenges me and makes me better. She recently read a book that she mailed to me across the USA because I had to read it. And boy was she right! The Happiness of Pursuit is a book I needed in my life. Not to fuel my desire to travel, but to show me there are people out there who leave their comfort zone and are beyond glad they did. 

Chris, the author, took on a quest to visit every country in the world. Amazing! Why did he do it? He felt a strong calling that would never go away. That is how a quest begins. You get this idea and it never leaves you. It keeps eating at you until you decide to do something about it. 

I have always had a strong desire to travel. Never truly to a particular place, I want to see many things. I want to teach abroad with my TESOL certification, not entirely sure where. However, one idea that has been eating at my is seeing the Seven Wonders of the World

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While reading, I realized that, this was my quest. I felt such a calling to it that I needed to act on it. Guys, I can NOT get the idea out of my head. The best part, I have already experienced one of the wonders, so I only have 6 more to go!

So it is decided. I will take on this quest. I do not have a timeline to do it in. However, I would love tom have it accomplished before I am 40. That gives me 10 years. I will be documenting my travels, beginning with writing down my experience in Rome.

I highly recommend you read the Happiness of Pursuit. I challenge you to leave your comfort zone and do something that will change your life. We are given this one life. What will you do with it?

My Travel Quest:

1. Great Wall of Chine (China) - Potentially Summer 2018
2. Christ the Redeemer Statue (Rio de Janeiro)
3. Machu Picchu (Peru)
4. Chichen Itza (Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico)
5. Roman Colosseum (Rome, Italy) - Completed July, 2012

6. Taj Mahal (Agra, India)
7. Petra (Jordan)

March 11, 2018

My Travel Quest: The Colosseum

My quest of visiting the New Seven Wonders of the World began in 2012. The best part, I did not even know it at the time. Click here to read about how my travel quest began. 

Part 1: Venice

In the summer of 2012 I planned to meet Myranda in Italy. We began our journey in Venice. This was probably my favorite part of the trip because there were so many moments of "Oh, Snap". One of those being our last night when we missed our shuttle to where we were staying. Now, the reason this mishap is my favorite is because we met some amazing people. We ran into some Australians who were trying to catch the same shuttle as we were. We got on the last people mover of the night and made our way back to the hotel via public transit. An amazing experience when your language is limited. But we did it!

Part 2: Rome

The Stats

Location: Roma, Itlia

Time: August 1-4 2012

Travel Partner: Myranda

Mishaps: Nothing major. Just some missed transportation.

We traveled to Rome via Easy Jet - which does not have assigned seats, so people can be a bit pushy. We landed at 11:30pm. Our plan was to stay in an actual hotel for the night. The hotel said it would only take 2 minutes by shuttle. Oh hello mishap number who knows?! We called the hotel and no one answered. (Keep in mind friends, I hadn't done much traveling before Rome. I was stressed. But a rule of traveling is patience and honestly, everything works out eventually. These crazy mishaps become some of the best memories).

Since we obviously were not spending the night at our hotel we called the hostel we would be staying at. Luckily they had something for us. 1 hour and 60 euros in a cab with a gas tank on E, we finally made it.Exhausted and just wanting to sleep we had to make a steep climb to our tent for the night. This is where we met Chris. He is from Australia and we still remain Facebook friends to this day. 

That first full day in Rome we visited the Fontana di Trevi. 
Tradition says, if you throw a coin over your shoulder into the fountain you are guaranteed to return to Rome. I will keep you posted on that. 
The next day was an insanely hot day. Clearly, not the best season to visit Italy. However, when you are a teacher summer is all you really have.  Water bottles are everything as there are public fountains you can drink from. Sure, they make look a little questionable, but clearly I didn't get sick. 

This was our historic tour of Rome. And it was stunning and so humbling. Let me say again how much I love to travel. We ran into two Brazilians multiple times during the day. The best part? They turned out to be our neighbors back at the hostel!

The Colosseo

I can not put into words what it is like to walk out of the metro and be greeted by the Colosseo in all of its glory. All I can say is that you need to experience it for yourself. (Also, it is super easy to get to! Take the Metro Line B to the Colosseo.)

First view of the Colosseum.

 There is a reason it is a Wonder of the World.*TIP - buy your tickets in advance so you can skip the line. 

Built in A.D. 72.

The History 

The Colosseum was the largest amphitheater in the Roman World. It was able to seat 50,000 - 70,000 people. Seating was based on social ranking and these people were probably squished together!
Seriously. How did men build this?!

The amphitheater was used for combats, fights and hunts. They even flooded the amphitheater for naval combats. Most gladiators that fought we men. Typically the gladiators were either slaves, prisoners of war, or condemned criminals. (

And naturally, I need some super touristy shots. When in Rome! 
While I didn't fall in love in Italy, I did eat some amazing food and meet some amazing people. Remember - Travel is the only thing that you can buy that will make you richer.

*Remember - last time I was there was 2012.