Today I was feeling a little down. First, this morning I was reading an article about a man who just traveled around the South Pacific Islands, and wrote a few words about it for a living. I got so jealous. Plus I don’t have a job, and his sounds pretty much perfect. Ah, well.
But then I continued reading. And reading. About the best hotels, resorts, islands, cruises, and airlines in the world of 2011. http://www.cntraveler.com/readers-choice/2011. Since I have no immediate plans for travel and am depressed by this fact, I very closely studied each property so that I could clearly imagine what it would be like to work there. Probably a weird thing to think because most people would dream about being a guest at places they could never hope to get to instead of dreaming of working hard at what would otherwise be paradise. But I don’t, I love thinking about all the pride and contentment I would feel when watching other people enjoy themselves because of my hard work.
But then I realized that I was recognizing quite a few of the properties in countries I have traveled to. And as I got further and further through the lists I realized that my life is pretty awesome.
Check it: I have been to…
5 of the top hotels in the world at locations including Hong Kong, Shanghai, Capri, and Monaco. 17 of the best hotels and resorts in the United States (and worked at 2 of them!). Only one in Canada so far, but it’s right there, I can make that trip in a second. One of the best resorts in Mexico, although sometimes the best in Mexico is subjective. For example, the fanciest place I’ve stayed is the mini-mansion owned my a friend (here’s the link if you’re interested http://www.laspalapas.tv/) in Chacala, right next door to the up-and-coming surf town of Salulita. The cook will make your favorite part of the day dinner time, even with the infinity edge pool disappearing into the aquamarine water of your own little bay greeting you every morning. But my favorite trip to Mexico was when my Grandmother took her side of the family down the Zihuatanejo and our original cabins were filled with ants so they moved us to a suite on top of the hillside with a room full of hammocks and lush jungl-ish path down to the beach. Ah! How I love Mexico. Everyone should go there. Back to my awesome life.
This middle section is a little disappointing, but I am sure in time I will remedy that. I have never been to any site in the Caribbean, Oceania, Central & South America, or Africa/the Middle East. Pretty sure I can fix that. There are so many times for girl-trips, and honeymoons, and second honeymoons, and grown up family adventures. In fact, I have a friend who is currently in Tanzania, Africa whom I would like to take up on the offer to visit. So, you see, I am not too worried about checking those places off my list.
Fortunately I have made some progress in Asia. China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia. Since I pretty much lived on buses and boats traveling from Vietnam through Thailand, I can say that I only got the smallest glimpse of a few of the best hotels there. However, I did do some investigating in both Beijing and Hong Kong and was able to at least look inside many of the wonderful glamorous, glittery places to stay. Shangri-Las, Four Seasons, The Peninsulas, Raffles, Grand Hyatts, and Ritz-Carltons. All so beautiful and all so very Western.
And finally Europe. My first overseas taste of travel. I was always surprised when I was little that so many people go to Hawaii year after year but never venture over to Europe. Then I met friends from the East Coast, who assured me that they could hardly imagine a reason to fly all the way to Hawaii when Europe was right in front of them. Interesting. What you are in proximity to will likely be where you choose to spend your leisure time. I do spend quite a bit of vacation time in Mexico and, as you’ve heard, none in the Caribbean. But I went to Europe anyway. The first time because my parents are amazing enough to encourage me to join a soccer team in tournaments in Paris, and Holland. I got to play teams from around the world – and even win a couple matches. We took pictures and exchanged tokens from our counties. There were boy’s teams there and of course we had to compare skills, cheer each other on during matches, and hang out in our hotel rooms drinking European orange Fanta. I was so young. And everything was new. Then when I was in college I decided that I’d get some of my education done while living in Italy. Since I was a Hospitality major it was easy to justify taking Italian cooking classes and wine education. I guess I thought I should learn from the best. In any case, I traveled around the Mediterranean and went to 4 of the top hotels in Europe.
So I guess, even though no one is paying my way around the world with my notebook and my camera, I’ve seen, done, and get to do many wonderful, amazing things with my life.