🎵Now I’m… 

I know! I know – don’t look a day over 63!!

Well, in Covid times, I bemoaned my spending my birthday (TWICE!!) on my own shores – a rarity over the past 45 years. That’s not a birthday thing – it’s a teaching thing, dating back to our main vacation falling in July and August. I must admit that I’d two splendid Covid birthdays in Ireland’s southwest – the sun even shone on both!. But, here I am – supposed to be hot air ballooning in Cappadocia this morning and even that southwest coast is too much a challenge this year.


In reflective mood (ie- too much time on my hands!!) I’ve listed some wonders I’ve enjoyed over the years – just to remind myself of how lucky I am…

I have…..

1.chased the Northern Lights

2. floated over the Serengeti in a hot air balloon

3. watched the sun rise over Uluru and set over the Grand Canyon

4. stood in front of Munch’s Scream and Klimt’s Kiss

5. lost my money in Atlantic City and won it back in Vegas (and vice versa of course!)

6. panned for gold in the Australian outback!

7. seen the Snows of Kilimanjaro, stood on the Bridge on the River Kwai and slept in A Town Called Alice

8. swayed on canopy walkways above the rainforests of Borneo, Puerto Rico and Costa Rica

9. wondered at a desert mirage and slept in an oasis

10. walked the Siq into the hidden city of Petra

I have…

11. sipped coffee in Tangier and tea in the Sri Lankan Highlands.

12. sunbathed on Zanzibar and partied on Ios

13. ice-skated in Central Park and screamed throughout a Husky ride in Tromso

14. explored Frida Kahlo’s House and Monet’s Gardens

15. gotten my sugar fix with a Sally Lunn in Bath, a Nata in Lisbon, Tres Leches Cake in Mexico, Baklava in Turkey, Apfel Strudel in Vienna…

16. floated in the Dead Sea and swam with turtles in the Pacific

17. shivered in the freezing cold queuing for Broadway tickets and sweltered in the unforgiving heat, queuing for the Prada and Uffizi

18 cycled around the temples of Angkor Wat and trudged up the steps to the monasteries of Meteora

19. stood on that corner in Winslow Arizona..

20. searched (unsuccessfully) for the Loch Ness Monster

I have…

21. stood in silence at the Normandy Beaches, the Somme, The Killing Fields and Pearl Harbour

22. brunched on Dim Sum in Hong Kong, dined on Moose Burgers in Newfoundland – and pretty much everything in between..

23. gotten my kicks on Route 66 (all of it!)

24. rung in the New Year in Time Square and the Champs Elysees

25. enjoyed Opera under the stars in Arena di Verona (Aida to be exact)

26. pitched my tent at the Italian Lakes, Black Forest, the Dordogne, Virgin Islands, Big Sur, Cape Cod, New Orleans (now THAT was hot!!), Madrid (even hotter!!), Austrian Tyrol….

27. photographed the everchanging light beams and patterns in Antelope Canyon

28. sampled Parma Ham in Parma, Spaghetti Bolognese in Bologna, Chianti in Chianti, Gouda in Gouda, Turkish Delight in Turkey, Key Lime Pie in the Florida Keys……

29. witnessed turtles lay their eggs in the dark of night on an Omani beach

30. wondered at the mosaics in Ravenna

I have…

31. gazed in awe at the perfection of the Taj Mahal

32. bought black pearls in Tahiti and jade in Guatemala

33. sipped a Singapore Sling in Raffles Hotel

34. slept on a houseboat in Kashmir

35. seen Mount Etna glow.

36. scaled Skellig Michel like the monks of yore (and Luke Skywalker of course!)

37. stood on the equator

38. picked and eaten a fresh mango in the Virgin Islands

39. savoured wine tasting in the Douro Valley, cider tasting in Galicia and beer tasting – well – everywhere really!!

40. overlooked the Mediterranean from the ancient city of Carthage

I have….

41. watched on as Laos Buddhist monks collect their daily food ration in the early morning Alms ceremony

42. bought patchwork from the Pennsylvania Amish community

43. shared a bus with chickens in Thailand

44. munched on frites in Bruges – with mayo of course!

45. prayed silently at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem and on the Ghats at Varanasi

46. glided under the bridges of Paris

47. passed through Checkpoint Charlie when Berlin was still a divided city

48.marveled at those birds-eye views from Petronas, Burj Khalifa, CN Tower, Eiffel Tower, Twin Towers – and One World Trade Centre, Empire State Building, Sears Tower….

49. chomped on a freshly peeled pineapple – lollypop style – on a Lombok beach

50. gazed up in awe at the vault of the Sistine Chapel

I have…

51. wondered at the rock art in Namibia’s Damaraland

52. stepped directly in to the warm ocean from an overwater bungalow on Bora Bora

53. braved the suspended walkways of Caminito del Rey

54. descended through the narrow passageway to the burial chambers in the Great Pyramid at Giza

55. explored both sides of Nicosia – the last divided city in the world.

56. pondered upon Darwin’s theory of evolution amidst the Galapagos Islands

57. followed in the footsteps of mighty American civilizations at Teotihuacán, Chichen Itza, Uxmal, Lamanai and Tikal

58. seen the tulip fields in bloom

59. experienced a sighting of the annual Great Wildebeest Serengeti Migration

60. stood in the ruins of Troy and imagined a wooden horse at the gates!

I have…

61. drifted along the Nile in a felucca, the Mekong in a longboat, the Mississippi in a steamboat…..

62. viewed some of the 30.000 odd animals that inhabit the amazing Ngorongoro Crater – the largest caldera in the world

63. listened to Jazz on Bourbon Street and Blues in Beale Street


64. last but not least – been lucky enough, after every adventure, to return to the best little country on earth!!!

How blessed am I!!!

52 thoughts on “🎵Now I’m… 

  1. Holy smokes!! What a fabulous list. You have done an incredible amount of traveling. Just be glad that at 64 someone will still need you and feed you! Happy birthday. Bernie

  2. First and foremost – Happy Birthday!!! Secondly, Wow – you get around! What a wonderful list to show people how to not let the grass grow under their feet. Congratulations on living and loving life.

    1. Thank you Tom! When I started the list the other day I though I’d have to eke it out a bit to get to 64 – in the end I was grouping stuff together to try and fit them all in – and still left out loads …

  3. I loved reading your list – lot of places I have visited, which brought back memories, and lots more that I have not visited, and wish to do so. Thank you.

    1. Well hope I’ll get planning again soon – especially with the horrendous weather here – it’ll have to be a sunny destination after this summer!

  4. Wow, what a impressive list, Marie! May your life be filled with all the things that make it more wonderful: 💕love, laughter, and kind-hearted people. 🎂🥳🎁Happy birthday, may the joy and happiness be in the simple things. xx

  5. Wow – what wonderful sites you’ve seen. So lucky to be able to travel around the world. Wishing you a very Happy Birthday! 🙂

    1. I have been very, very lucky – it was a good exercise actually to see them all together. Thanks for your kind wishes. XXXMarie

  6. Happy birthday Marie 🎂💐🥂 I love, love, LOVE this post! Of course I read through saying ‘yes, done that, done that … on my list … done that, done that, done that … if only …!’ Anyone who has done everything you have done is lucky indeed, but is almost certainly yearning to do even more, as you must be. It must be so frustrating to have to put travel on hold, especially after losing a couple of years to Covid, but you’ll be out there again soon I am sure 🤗

    1. Thank you Sarah – actually – you came to mind a few times when i was making the list!! You’ve been to so many places I yet to visit!
      Yes we’re a tad fed up at the moment – we’ve had a few false starts post Covid – we were just beginning to get back in our stride this time last year and then Tom was ill and we were grounded again – and now this – might try and book something for October – nothing strenuous – but sunshine will be a definite requirement after last month!! XXXMarie

      1. I can just imagine how frustrated you feel! I would be exactly the same. Yes, a relaxing sunny break is just what you need 🌞

    1. It was nice to do – of course I’m sure there’s a different 64 list – one with the cancelled flights, snowstorms, tummy bugs, accidents, lost luggage – all the other joys of travel that add up over the years!!!

  7. And yes.. you have Marie .. and you will .. ❤️ happy birthday my dear .. you are one of my heroes .. we are on Lake Huron tonight . ❤️

    1. I have indeed – But you’re doing quite well yourself Hannah – I can’t keep up with you – you’re always on the go!!!

    1. You are absolutely right – I actually try and list the positives of each day last thing every night – no matter how trivial – I find it a good exercise…

  8. Congratulations and Happy Birthday! You are as young as you feel, and the energy in your writing tells me that you’re still climbing UP the hill!!

  9. That is simply awesome Marie – a few of those might be on a traveller’s bucket list but in total they pretty well amount to a clean sweep of ‘things to do before I die’. Even I, a confirmed non-traveller, am envious. I can claim two of them (bridges of Paris and the landing beaches) and Route 66 might yet happen. Great post.

Leave a Reply