My grandmother turned 88 this year. Her birthday wish to me was that I begin writing again. More specifically, she requested that I begin sending her travel stories from my many adventures abroad. Now, I know I have been lax about keeping people up to date with my many adventures. This is for a great many reasons: I’m lazy; I’m afraid people will take my musings as me thinking that my experience is the ONLY experience about a place; I don’t want to sound like a travel douche; and I feel like pretty much everything that can be said about travel has already been said.

With that said, my grandmother is not a woman to be reckoned with. A request from her is not really a request. Also, my grandmother has been a huge influence on my life, whether she realizes it or not. When I was younger she traveled often and would send me postcards from all over the world. Each time I would get one, I would add it to my collection and vow to go there one day. She isn’t traveling so much anymore, and so I have returned the favor by sending her postcards from each of my ports of call. I am proud to say that I have never forgotten to send her a card from one of the places I have visited. Some of those postcards have reminded her of trips she has taken in the past, while lately they have been more and more of places that she never had a chance to visit, thus her request for the travelogues. It’s so strange to think that this woman, who I have loved and admired for so long, now wants to live vicariously through me. And who could say no to that?

A couple of disclaimers before I begin:

1. I do not claim to know everything about any of the places I have visited, nor do I think that my experience is the ONLY experience that can be had in any one place. I realize that current events, festivals, public unrest, cultural differences, and many other factors can greatly change one’s experience of a place. What you read here are only my observations.

2. I’m sorry if anything I write is something you already know. There are approximately 7 zillion travel blogs out there. I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve already read about the things/places I will write about.

3. I do not plan to write in chronological order. I hope this doesn’t confuse my friends back at home, who already have a ridiculously hard time keeping track of where I am at any given time, but I would prefer to write about specific moments and memories when I feel inspired, rather than trying to remember everything in order.

Alrighty then, here’s to you, Grandma. Love you much!