Create a Travel Medical Kit

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Often when we travel, we do so with a sense of joyful abandonment. No rules, no schedules, no work to slow us down. It’s exhilarating. However,  that freedom from our “regular” life sometimes includes ditching our established health routines too.

I discovered quickly that maintaining my health while traveling is essential to my wellbeing. If I eat poorly, or stop the supplements, I can quickly feel bad. And that’s not the way I want to spend my trip…feeling bad or experiencing pain.

I carry specific health related items with me when I travel. And I only travel with a carry on, so I’ve pared down what I take with me to the most important to keep my health and energy at optimal levels.

Check out how to create a travel medical kit, personalized to your needs, that can see you through the days of travel.

Create a Travel Medical Kit title meme

Possible Items for a Travel Medical Kit

These are possibilities for creating your own kit. Important questions to ask yourself…

Am I traveling solo? Who is traveling with me? Are children traveling with me too?

Here is a broad list of possible items to consider for a travel medical kit:

  • pain relievers such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin, tension relief
  • sleep aids, eye mask, melatonin gummies
  • CBD products
  • essential oils
  • herbal supplements, multi-vitamin, Voke Superfoods
  • prescription meds
  • over the counter meds – sinus meds, allergy meds, UTI meds, decongestant, eyedrops, cough drops, cough relief, menstrual cramp relief, salves
  • sunscreen, sunburn relief
  • insect repellent, bug bite ointment, anti-itch ointment
  • bandaids, bandages
  • antibacterial ointments
  • hand sanitizer
  • sanitizing wipes
  • face masks
  • tweezers, small scissors, nail clippers
  • digital thermometer, blood pressure cuff, blood glucose monitor
  • antacids, heartburn relief, diarrhea meds, motion sickness tabs, upset stomach meds
  • rubbing alcohol, Witch Hazel, peroxide
  • cotton balls, cotton swabs
  • soothing lotions – eczema cream, diaper rash lotion, rash relief
Create a Travel Medical Kit voke
Create a Travel Medical Kit – Voke Superfoods tablets are one of my essentials for international travel

Create a Travel Medical Kit That Meets Your Needs

Of course, you probably don’t need to pack all of the above items. Choose what is most important to maintain your health. Everyone’s needs are different.

I travel light. Currently, I don’t take any prescription meds. A friend of mine, however, travels with two suitcases. One carries her clothing and the other, all of her meds and supplements. That’s what works best for her.

Depending on suitcase space and your health needs, choose the items that are essential. I don’t group my essentials together in a separate bag or container. Instead, I tuck items among my clothes, into shoes and alongside toiletries. Whether I’m traveling through Italy for 12 days or spending a long weekend somewhere, my essential health items go with me.

My Travel Medical Kit

Here are the items that I consider essential for my health and wellbeing. These items accompany me on all trips.

Pain Relief

I carry travel sized ibuprofen and acetaminophen in my purse. I occasionally have severe headaches. Years ago, my dentist gave me a valuable tip. For moderate to severe pain, take a combination of three ibuprofen and two acetaminophen. The combo works like a pain pill for me, but without the drowsiness or side effects.

And I love the Hilma products. They provide natural relief, for tight muscles or tension headaches. And the indoor/outdoor relief is wonderful for natural sinus congestion and allergen relief. Click links above to order Hilma.

Create a Travel Medical Kit Hilma
Create a Travel Medical Kit – Hilma Products

Supplements

  • Cat’s Claw
  • MSM
  • Magnesium
  • Comfort Guard
  • GLOW Complex

I take more supplements than these when at home. These though support joint and muscles health. After many years of chronic sciatica, I can still experience stiff, tight muscles in my legs, especially when walking for hours. The first four supplements listed above keep my legs working well and comfortable. The Comfort Guard is THE best supplement for reducing pain and inflammation. I love the combination of turmeric, ginger and boswellia.

And GLOW Complex is an amazing plant based collagen builder that also supplies a host of essential vitamins and minerals including B12, which is so important to keep my energy up.

Order Comfort Guard and GLOW in the links at end of post.

Over the Counter

  • Witch Hazel (carried in a small TSA approved bottle)
  • bandaids
  • antibiotic cream
  • Prid (a soothing drawing salve)
  • sunscreen
  • cotton balls and cotton swabs

Witch Hazel makes an ideal soother for scrapes, insect bites and cuts. Plus I use it for a toner after washing my face.

Prid is a drawing salve that I don’t like to be without. It relieves bug bites, spider bites, boils and ingrown hairs.

Protection

I’m fully vaccinated. Otherwise I wouldn’t be traveling at all. I still take cloth masks wherever I go, for the best protection. And in addition to social distancing and washing my hands frequently, I use SkinShield2, a protective antibacterial skin barrier lotion. A small amount of lotion kills germs, viruses and bacteria on contact and protects my hands for hours. Click link above to order yours.

Create a Travel Medical Kit - protection
Create a Travel Medical Kit – protection

Miscellaneous

  • peppermint tea bags
  • Incrediwear knee sleeve

My favorite tea goes with me. I tuck a few tea bags in my purse and more in my carry on. Peppermints soothes the whole digestive system and boosts spirits and mood.

The Incrediwear knee sleeve is a “just in case” item. Occasionally I twist my left knee and it reacts immediately with pain, swelling and inflammation.

Incrediwear products work by increasing blood flow to the injured joint, to reduce inflammation and swelling. They also relieve pain and accelerate recovery. Rather than using compression, Incrediwear products incorporate semiconductor elements within the fabric that release negative ions when stimulated by body heat. Read more about this amazing sleeve HERE.

What Will Go in Your Travel Medical Kit?

While it may look like a lot of items to carry, my essentials fit easily within my carry on and purse/backpack. I feel good knowing I have what I need to support my body and health during my travels.

What health items are essential for you? Do you have a standard set of items that go wherever you go? Share them in the comments!

Create a Travel Medical Kit

Want to Know How I Pack a Carry On?

Check out this post for my packing tips, to travel light.

Health Boosting Finds for Travel from Amazon:

 


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Eco-Friendly Travel Practices

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

I love traveling, for so many reasons. And I feel strongly about taking care of the planet, for so many reasons as well.

Often, these two desires wage war with each other, as travel can impact the earth economically, socially and environmentally. Some of those impacts are positive. And some, not so much. Approximately 1.2 BILLION people travel internationally every year…when we are not in a global pandemic. And while travel and tourism contribute to the global economy, it often comes at the expense of the environment and local communities.

For me, part of embracing a more sustainable lifestyle includes adopting eco-friendly travel practices.

Eco-Friendly Travel Practices title meme

What is Eco-Friendly Travel?

Eco-friendly, or sustainable, travel encompasses more than just minimizing the impact on the environment. Sustainable travel seeks to create a balance between economic growth, environmental health and the wellbeing of people and communities.

It’s a dance of reducing the negative impact of tourism while maximizing the positive benefits for cultures, communities, the ecology and ultimately, the planet.

After more than a year of decreased travel, due to COVID, we have fresh opportunities, as travelers, to make a difference and choose more sustainable ways of seeing the world. As we look to explore again, put these eco-friendly travel practices in place.

Skip the Touristy Places

Before COVID halted travel, some popular tourist destinations experienced “overtourism”. Continual streams of visitors caused damage to historic sites, beaches, wildlife sanctuaries, nature areas and cities.

When travel opens again fully, try visiting places less well known. And I get it. We all have places on our travel bucket lists and we long to visit them. See them if you must, perhaps during the off season. However, consider avoiding the crowds and seeking out smaller cities, little known villages and other more rural areas.

The benefits of tourism are shared with more communities that way, without overburdening and actually harming the tourist hot spots.

Support the Local Economy

Wherever you go, be there, as the saying goes, and really experience the place. Immerse yourself in the culture. Learn a few words of the language. Get to know the people. And support the local economy.

Shop there, in locally owned stores. Eat meals in quaint cafes, prepared from regionally sourced foods. Visit the city market and enjoy wares made by community artisans. Book excursions led by tour guides native to the area. They know the rich stories behind the historic sites.

Eco-Friendly Travel Practices support locally
Eco-friendly travel practices – support locally. Seeds for the Soul Vegan Cafe, a locally owned restaurant in Edinburgh

Support Eco-Friendly Tour Companies

When desiring a tour, while visiting a community, look for eco-friendly tour companies. Often the money spent with these companies goes back into the community or into local conservation and environmental projects.

Local tour companies arrange smaller travel groups, set up local accommodations and hire people from the community to lead the tours. It’s a win/win all the way around. It helps to keep tourism money in the town and with the people, where it is most needed.

Eco-Friendly Transportation

Among modes of transportation, flying produces the most carbon emissions per passenger. Often, however, flying is the only way to reach a destination. Try these tips to lessen the impact:

  • use non stop flights when you can, rather than breaking the flight up. Direct flights are more fuel efficient.
  • travel light. The more luggage loaded onto a plane, the heavier it is, and the more carbon emissions produced.
  • take advantage of carbon offset programs (see next tip)
  • look for airlines that use renewable biofuels

When you can, travel by train or bus. It saves fuel and it’s a great way to see the countryside. And ride together, or carpool, when driving a car.

While in a city, walk as much as possible, to save fuel and really get to know the community. It’s great exercise for the visitor too. Use the hop on/hop off buses to get an overview of the city or rent bicycles and explore that way.

Eco-Friendly Travel Practices transportation
Eco-friendly travel practices – hop on/hop off buses

Offset Carbon Emissions

One way to reduce the impact of flying is to use a carbon offset program.

These programs give airline passengers the option of investing in carbon reduction projects to help reduce or neutralize the carbon footprint caused by their travel.

Currently, there are 30+ international airlines participating in carbon offset programs. Select this option when purchasing tickets through the airline website. It costs a few extra dollars. However, those funds go toward reducing carbon and greenhouse gases. One project may protect rainforests while another builds wind farms.

Check out the best Carbon Offset Programs HERE.

Carry Your Own Water Container

I stress this tip often, and for good reason. Every year, 8 MILLION metric tons of plastic ends up in our oceans. Imagine one garbage truck full of plastics dumping into the ocean every single minute of every day. And one of the leading culprits is the plastic water bottle.

Plastic, whether dumped into the ocean or buried in a landfill, takes HUNDREDS of years to break down. It’s causing great harm to the earth and its inhabitants.

It’s such an easy switch to carry a metal water container rather than a plastic water bottle. In my home we fill our metal water containers from a filtered water pitcher in the fridge. Or you can use your refrigerator’s filtered water system.

Wherever you go, take your water container. Mine accompanies me everywhere, even on international trips. Security allows an empty container through. Then you can fill it while in the airport and carry it onto the plane. Another simple way to eliminate plastic? Refuse straws at restaurants.

Eco-Friendly Travel Practices
Eco-friendly travel practices – carry a metal water container

Eco-Friendly Hotel Tips

When possible, stay at accommodations that are certified “eco-friendly”. Then use this tips:

  • treat your accommodations like home, saving energy as you would there
  • turn off lights and electronics when leaving or sleeping
  • lower heat or raise air conditioning while away or sleeping
  • take showers rather than baths
  • bring your own toiletries from home
  • in countries where weather is mild, opt to open a window if possible, rather than using air conditioning
  • hang up towels to dry and reuse…AND…
  • hang the “do not disturb” sign on door to prevent housekeeping from changing sheets daily, cutting down on energy used to wash towels and sheets
  • stay in an Airbnb or a self serve apartment, so you can prep meals and wash your own laundry
  • in a hotel, wash out clothes in the sink and hang to dry
  • purchase a multi-purpose electrical plug for use in international countries

Eco-Friendly Travel Hacks

  • when traveling, carry liquids in a reusable ziplock bag
  • carry snacks in small metal canisters
  • pack cloth totes and bags, for use while shopping, to eliminate use of plastic shopping bags
  • shop for food in local markets to prepare in apartment or Airbnb kitchen
  • travel with a capsule wardrobe, to travel light
  • “shop” for travel clothes from your own closet
  • carry reusable eating utensils
  • use bar soaps and bar shampoo and conditioners, to travel light and to eliminate plastic bottles
  • bring your own earbuds on the plane and pass on the airline ones
  • carry on your own wrap or jacket to double as a blanket and your own travel pillow on flights
  • eat in a restaurant, when possible, rather than ordering carryout, to eliminate plasticware and foam containers
Eco-Friendly Travel Practices hotel
I prefer apartments like this one on Thistle Street in Edinburgh, for their full kitchens and washers and dryers.

Which Eco-Friendly Travel Practices Will You Adopt?

I hope you discovered eco-friendly tips to try out during your next trip. I’m putting these practices in place in my life. Not only do I want to enjoy travel and lessen my negative impact on the world, I want my children and grandchildren to get to travel as well. By my example, I’m teaching them to travel sustainably. As I learn new practices and discover new eco-friendly companies to partner with, I’ll share them.

Which of these practices will you embrace?

And if you have other eco-friendly travel tips, please share them in the comments!

Travel Helps from Amazon:

 


 

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Top Ten Hipster Cities in the US

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

This post is a collaboration with Lawnstarter. They provided the stats from their Hipster City research and I added the info about each city.

 

Last month I received a fun email from LawnStarter about one of their studies. It featured the best cities for hipsters and I was immediately intrigued. After an exchange of emails, I received their permission to share the results of their study along with the criteria they used to determine which cities are the best for hipsters.

I’m adding some additional info and a brief overview of each of the top ten hipster cities in the US. Looking for a fun way to explore some of America’s best cities? This is your guide!

Top Ten Hipster Cities in the US title meme

What Is a Hipster?

Hipsters are non-conformists, people who enjoy living outside the cultural mainstream. They value progressive, independent thinking, counter-culture, art and indie music and films, creativity, intelligence and witty banter.

Hipsters appreciate eco-friendly everything, thrift stores, vintage clothing and craft beers, among other things.

The term “hipster”, in its present form, first appeared in the 1990s and became prominent in the late 2000s and early 2010s. Although the meaning has shifted, Harlem jazz clubs of the 1940s created the word. The first hipster is recognized as Harry “the Hipster” Gibson, the stage name for a Juilliard trained musician.

The Criteria

LawnStarter compared 150 of the biggest US cities, based on anti-mainstream factors. Those factors were each assigned a number between 1-3. The cities were ranked based on their overall scores, out of 100 possible points.

Anti-Mainstream Factors:

Fashion

  • Thrift stores per 100,000 residents
  • Vintage clothing and consignment shops per 100,000 residents
  • Tattoo parlors per 100,000 residents
  • Barber shops per 100,000 residents – many male hipsters sport a beard or mustache

Lifestyle

  • Environmental consciousness – includes sustainability and eco-friendly lifestyle
  • Biking friendliness
  • Car free living
  • Yoga studios per 100,000 residents

Culture

  • Record stores per 100,000 residents
  • Music venues per 100,000 residents
  • Antique shops per 100,000 residents
  • Local flavor spots per 100,000 residents – local flavor refers to places unique to that city
  • Art galleries per 100,000 residents
  • Art events per 100,000 residents

Food and Drink

  • Locavore friendliness – locavore refers to eating foods sourced from the local region
  • Urban garden friendliness – co-op gardening where the whole community benefits
  • Vegan and vegetarian restaurants per 100,000 residents
  • Farmer’s markets per 100,000 residents
  • Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods locations per 100,000 residents
  • Coffee roasteries per 100,000 residents
  • Craft breweries per 100,000 residents
  • Dive bars per 100,000 residents

Top Ten Hipster Cities in the US

And here we go. Based on the criteria above, the top ten hipster cities in the US are…

1. San Francisco, CA

This city is the cultural, commercial and financial center in Northern California.

With a population of 873,965 as of 2020, it is the 4th largest city in the state and the 16th largest in the US.

San Francisco is famous for the Golden Gate Bridge, steep streets, cable cars and Alcatraz.

It ranked high in bike friendliness, local flavor spots and the culture and lifestyle categories.

Fun fact: The gold rush that began in 1848 resulted in many ships left abandoned in the port. The city tore the ships apart and repurposed them for homes, banks and businesses.

2. Portland, OR

Portland sits on the Columbia and Williamette Rivers, in the shadow of snow capped Mount Hood.

With a population of 662,549 as of 2020, it ranks 1st in the state and the 27th largest city in the US.

Portland is famous for green parks, bridges and bicycle paths, eco-friendliness and its microbreweries and coffeehouses.

It ranked high in bike friendliness, vintage clothing, craft beers, vinyl records, vegan and vegetarian foods and specialty coffees.

Fun fact: The city founders couldn’t agree on a name for the community, in 1842. They flipped a coin to determine whether the city name became Boston…or Portland. Visitors can view the Portland Penny at the Oregon Historical Society downtown.

Top Ten Hipster Cities in the US San Francisco
Top Ten Hipster Cities in the US – #1 San Francisco.   Photo Canva

3. Oakland, CA

Oakland sits on the east side of the San Francisco Bay.

With a population of 435,224 as of 2020, Oakland is the 8th largest city in California and the 45th largest in the US.

Oakland is famous for its sports teams, the Oakland Raiders and Golden State Warriors, renewable energy, diversity (one of the top five most diverse cities in the US) and local foods.

It ranked high in the food category, yoga and specialty coffees on the hipster scale.

Fun fact: Lake Merritt in Oakland has a sea monster in it. Sightings began in the 1940s. According to witnesses, the beast is a Loch Ness style creature with humps, spikes and a long tongue. The best place to catch a glimpse of the Oak Ness Monster is from the docks of the Lake Chalet Restaurant.

4. Fort Lauderdale, FL

This city is on Florida’s southeastern coast.

With a population of 182,760 as of 2020, it is the 10th largest city in Florida and the 142nd largest in the US.

Fort Lauderdale is famous for its beaches and boating canals, The Strip…a promenade running along oceanside highway A1A, upscale outdoor restaurants, boutiques and luxury hotels.

It ranked high for urban gardening, vintage clothing and consignment shops,  and in the culture and food and drink categories.

Fun fact: Due to its many canals, Fort Lauderdale is known as the “Venice of America”. Bonus fact: This city and I share a name. My maiden name is Lauderdale.

Top Ten Hipster Cities in the US Fort Lauderdale
Top Ten Hipster Cities in the US – #4 Fort Lauderdale   Photo Unsplash Debby Hudson

5. Jersey City, NJ

Jersey City lies in northeastern New Jersey. Its eastern waterfront faces the Hudson River where it meets Upper New York Bay.

With a population of 292,449 as of 2020, it’s the 2nd largest city in New Jersey and the 87th largest in the US.

Jersey City is famous for Liberty Island National Park that includes Ellis Island Immigration Station, the views of the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan, being the Diner Capital of the Country with 525 diners, its iconic Colgate Clock and an incredible food and art scene.

The city ranked high for art events and the fashion, culture and lifestyle categories.

Fun fact: In spite of New York having legal jurisdiction over her, the Statue of Liberty is actually in Jersey City.

6. Tempe, AZ

Tempe is located just east of Phoenix. Rising above the city is Hayden Butte, a mountain dotted with centuries old rock art.

With a population of 203,923 as of 2020, Tempe is the 8th largest city in Arizona and the 117th largest in the US.

Tempe is famous for Tempe Town Lake, Tempe Beach Park, one of the longest standing juried arts festivals in the state, and 100+ bohemian shops, restaurants, bars and nightclubs in the downtown area.

Tempe ranked high in the arts and the fashion, food and drink and culture categories.

Fun fact: The city is named after the Vale of Tempe in Greece, a gorge located between Olympus and Ossa.

Top Ten Hipster Cities in the US Tempe
Top Ten Hipster Cities in the US – #5 Jersey City    Photo Unsplash Uvi D

7. Huntington Beach, CA

Huntington Beach is located southeast of Los Angeles.

With a population of 197,417 as of 2020, it is the 23rd largest city in California and the 127th largest in the US.

It is famous for surf beaches, Huntington Beach Pier, Huntington Central Park and Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve with its wetlands and dunes that shelter hundreds of bird species.

Huntington Beach ranked high in art events, urban gardening, number of Trader Joe and Whole Foods locations and the fashion category.

Fun fact: Huntington Beach Pier extends 1,850 feet, from Main Street into the Pacific Ocean. Ruby’s Diner sits at the end of the pier. It is an extremely popular restaurant with surfers.

8. Honolulu, HI

Honolulu, on the island of Oahu’s south shore, is the capital of Hawaii and the gateway to the island chain.

With a population of 341,302 as of 2020, Honolulu is the largest city in Hawaii and the 57th largest in the US.

Honolulu is famous for its iconic crescent shaped Waikiki Beach backed by palm trees and high rise hotels, Diamond Head volcanic crater and Pearl Harbor.

Honolulu ranked high in art events, local flavor spots and the lifestyle and culture categories.

Fun fact: The only royal palace in the US, Iolani Palace is located on Oahu. The palace had electricity before the White House did, and was the first palace in the world to contain flushing toilets.

Top Ten Hipster Cities in the US Huntington Beach
Top Ten Hipster Cities in the US – #7 Huntington Beach    Photo Unsplash Steady Hand Co

9. Providence, RI

This capital city of Rhode Island is home to Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design.

With a population of 180,609 as of 2020, Providence is the largest city in Rhode Island and the 145th largest in the US.

Providence is famous for its beautiful outdoor spaces, historic spots and the delicious food in its Little Italy area.

Providence ranked high in the food and drink, culture and fashion categories.

Fun fact: Providence has the most coffee and donut shops, per capita, of any city in the country.

10. New Orleans, LA

New Orleans is located in southern Louisiana on the Mississippi River near the Gulf of Mexico. Its nickname is the “Big Easy”.

With a population of 388,424 as of 2020, New Orleans is the largest city in Louisiana and the 53rd largest in the US.

New Orleans is famous for its round-the-clock nightlife, live music scene, spicy cuisine, Mardi Gras and its blend of French, African and American cultures.

It ranked high in local flavor spots and the cultural and food and drink categories.

Fun fact: Lake Pontchartrain Causeway near New Orleans is the longest continuous bridge in the world, as declared by Guinness World Records. It is 28,543 feet long.

Top Ten Hipster Cities in the US New Orleans
Top Ten Hipster Cities in the US – #10 New Orleans Photo Unsplash Caleb George

Which Hipster Cities Have You Visited?

So…do you consider yourself a hipster?

I believe I am! The definition certainly fits me, especially this year with my Wild Woman theme. Read my Wild Woman Manifesto.

On this list, I’ve only traveled to New Orleans, twice. It’s one of my favorite US cities to visit with its rich culture, beautiful architecture and fascinating stories.

What fun to go on a big adventure, visiting all ten of these hipster cities. I’m definitely interested!

And speaking of visiting, pop over to see LawnStarter’s study post HERE on hipster cities. They have other fun studies too such as Best Cities for Cat Lovers and Best Cities for Carless Weekend Trips.

LawnStarter is a startup company that makes lawn care easy, affordable and reliable. They have a blog for lawn care…and these fun studies.

Which of these ten hipster cities have you visited? And which one would you most like to explore?

Top Ten Hipster Cities in the US Honolulu
Top Ten Hipster Cities in the US – #8 Honolulu    Photo Unsplash Cosmin Serban

Fun Hipster Books from Amazon:

 


 

Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

 

A Day in Silver Dollar City

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As one of my Yeses, for the July Yes! Month, I agreed to take my granddaughter Aubrey and great niece London to Silver Dollar City, near Branson, Missouri.

These girls are second cousins. However, they’ve grown up together as cousins and friends. They enjoy spending time together.

The girls planned this trip, from the day they wanted to go to working out the details of getting together. I happily said yes to a day in Silver Dollar City. Greg accompanied us, serving as driver and holder of items while we rode rides in the park.

Explore the City with us!

A Day in Silver Dollar City title meme

Silver Dollar City History

The City is located in the Ozarks, near Branson. One of the most popular attractions in Missouri, Silver Dollar City actually began as a hole in the ground.

The sinkhole, originally called Marble Cave, was discovered by the Osage Tribe in the 1500s. Over the years explorers lowered themselves down into the cave, searching for marble…there wasn’t any…and other treasures. Canadian mining expert William Henry Lynch bought Marvel Cave and moved to the area with his two daughters.

They began giving tours of the huge cave in 1894. By the 1920s, tourists flocked to the cave, by road or by hiking in from the train station. In 1946 Hugo and Mary Herschend leased the cave from the Lynch Sisters. After making improvements to the cave’s access, the Hershcends and their two sons developed the idea of an 1880s village around the cave entrance. People arriving to tour the cave could wait there.

Silver Dollar City officially opened in 1960, so named for the promotional idea of giving guests change in silver dollars. The town square contained a general store, blacksmith shop, doll shop, ice cream parlor and two authentic log structures. A small troupe, dressed in 1880s costumes, performed in the square.

A Day in Silver Dollar City 6o
A Day in Silver Dollar City – Diamond Jubilee Celebration continues

Silver Dollar City Today

The City continues to grow from that humble beginning that drew 125,000 visitors its first year.

Today the park spreads over 100 acres. It features more than 40 rides and attractions, 18 restaurants, 12 performance venues, 60 shops and 100 craftsmen. World class festivals and events are offered from spring through the holiday season, when the park is lit up with more than 6 million lights.

The City is divided into 11 themed districts, all reachable on foot. Prepare for lots of walking in the City, and up and downhill walking at that. Due to the Herschend’s careful planning to leave the area as natural as possible, the paved pathways and streets wind through wooded areas and water features. During the hot summer months, all those trees help keep the area cooler.

The first roller coaster, Fire in the Hole, opened in 1972, joining the steam engine train, Flooded Mine ride and Grandfather’s Mansion. It’s still in operation today. Silver Dollar City’s newest ride, Mystic River Falls, opened last year. It’s billed as the tallest rapids drop in the western hemisphere.

A Day in Silver Dollar City Mystic River Falls
A Day in Silver Dollar City – Mystic River Falls

A Day in Silver Dollar City

The park is open March through December. Current hours are from 9:30 am until 10:00 pm. You can purchase one, two or three day passes online or at the park. Also available is a season pass for unlimited visits through Christmas. A slight discount is offered for those over 65. However, for active or retired military, there is a significant discount. Those tickets must be purchased online.

Until August 8, you can enter the park after 5:00, during Moonlight Madness, for a deeply discounted price.

You can also save on groups of 15 or more people.

The City offers strollers, wheelchairs and motorized scooters for rent.

Due to COVID the park chooses the right to limit the number of visitors into the park. Stringent cleaning practices are in place. Vaccinated guests are not required to wear a mask. Masks are encouraged for those who are not vaccinated.

Special note: some rides have a height requirement. Check out the rides and requirements HERE.

A Day in Silver Dollar City Wildfire
A Day in Silver Dollar City – Wildfire Roller Coaster

Our Day in Silver Dollar City

We arrived about 10:00 am, after purchasing our tickets online. London is a season pass holder, which meant we all received discounts on our food purchases while in the park.

For the girls who planned this trip, the highlight for them was deciding where to go, what to ride and when to eat. Greg and I tagged along behind them everywhere they went, allowing them to follow their adventurous hearts.

On this day in the City, the girls focused on rides and primarily the roller coasters. Due to the heat…temps in the high 90s making it feel like 108…the water rides had long wait times. We rode one toward the end of the day. The rest of the time, the girls enjoyed other rides and attractions and the thrills of Thunderation, Wildfire and Time Traveler, riding each multiple times.

We stayed hydrated, drinking water throughout the day. And we ate lightly every couple of hours.

I downloaded the Silver Dollar City app and found it so helpful! The map showed our location, making it easy to see where we needed to go to get to the next ride or restaurant. And every ride shows how long the wait time is. The girls passed on any ride with a 30 minute or longer wait time, focusing on those with quick access. As wait times shifted, we moved to that part of the park. I highly recommend the app, available in the Apple App store or Google Play.

We ended our time in the City with a water ride that left all of us soaking wet…and happily so. I’d recommend leaving dry shirts in the car.

A Day in Silver Dollar City water ride
A Day in Silver Dollar City – soaking wet after Tom and Huck’s River Blast

Until Next Time

What a fun yes experience, taking Aubrey and London to Silver Dollar City. We walked more than five miles that day, spun and looped and twisted on roller coasters and explored all areas of the park.

At the end of our day there, the girls…and Yaya and Papa…were extremely tired. It was a good day though. The girls declared Time Traveler their favorite ride. I think they rode it at least six times. I joined them once. It is a cleverly done coaster that spins as it hurls over the track. This coaster is called the world’s fastest, tallest and steepest spinning roller coaster. The course includes a 10 story tall 90 degrees drop and a 95 foot tall vertical loop. The whole steampunk theme charmed me.

This won’t be our last time to visit Silver Dollar City. I have more grandchildren to explore the City with. And Greg and I would enjoy a stroll around the City on our own, taking in the shops and some of the shows.

Get your Silver Dollar City passes HERE. And let me know if you’ve visited this fun 1880s themed park.

Time Traveler
The favorite ride this day…Time Traveler. Aubrey and London head to the entrance.

Take these items from Amazon along on your trip:


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My 12 Travel Essentials

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As I think about traveling again…domestically for now and eventually internationally…I’ve put together this list of my 12 travel essentials.

I’m considered a “light traveler”, meaning I pack light and carry only what’s necessary, especially when I fly. I’ve spent 10 days in the UK several times and 12 days in Italy with only a carryon and my purse. Check out how I pack a carry on in this post. Then read on for the items I consider essential when I travel.

My 12 Travel Essentials title meme

My 12 Travel Essentials

For domestic trips and international ones, overnight road trips or a long weekend away, these are the items that travel with me.

Carry on Luggage

Starting with the most basic, my carry on holds the majority of my other essentials. My clothes, toiletries, shoes, supplements and documents go in here.

Over the last eight years, I’ve used three carry ons. The first one met an untimely end in an escalator accident.

I borrowed a carry on from my daughter for my most recent trip to Scotland, to try out a hard-sided suitcase. After I arrived home I purchased my current piece, a Samsonite carry on with four spinner wheels. I love its many pockets and deep compartment. Plus, it has a built in charger that can recharge my phone securely in an inner pocket.

My 12 Travel Essentials carryon
My 12 Travel Essentials – carry on luggage

Clear Toiletry Bag

Because I tightly roll or fold my clothes, Marie Kondo style, I don’t use the travel cubes. I do however pack my non-liquid toiletries in a clear TSA approved bag, like the ones pictured below.

Toiletries such as toothpaste, toothbrush, makeup and deodorant get packed in one of these bags, while liquids go inside a clear quart zip lock bag.

My 12 Travel Essentials – clear toiletry bag. Click photo to order.

Earbuds or Airpods

Yes, they hand earbuds out on most airlines. While typically free, some airlines charge for them.  And I’d rather tote my own. I carry these in my purse for easy access while flying. Plus, I sometimes use them while in a hotel room, to listen to music on my phone.

My 12 Travel Essentials – earbuds. Click photo to order.

Travel Pillow

I don’t sleep well on long flights although I try. It’s often difficult to get comfortable enough to fall asleep. What helps me is finding a movie I’ve seen before, turning the volume down low, and propping my head up with a travel pillow. I’ve used the typical U shaped pillows. I attach mine to the handle of my carry on. However, I want to try the Trtl neck pillow that slips around the neck and provides great support.

Has anyone tried one of these? Are they really comfortable?

Trtl neck pillow for support. Click photo for more info.

Phone Charger and Portable Charger

My phone is so important, for my work and for capturing photos and videos. It would quickly become useless without a charger. I use a charging disc at home and love the convenience of dropping my phone onto it. It travels with me.

And I love taking along a portable charger that I carry in my purse or backpack. When my phone battery runs low while I’m out exploring, I can recharge it quickly and easily.

The Battpak by OCTAVE is a portable charger with a secret compartment that’s perfect for carrying cash, cards or small items. It’s accompanying me on my upcoming solo trip. Get yours HERE and use my code CINDY15 for 15% off.

My 12 Travel Essentials portable charger
My 12 Travel Essentials – Battpak portable charger

Travel Wrap

I don’t know about you, but I get cold on airplanes. I carry on a lightweight wrap that serves as a blanket while I’m traveling. When I get to my destination, the wrap becomes a pretty shawl for those cool evenings out.

This wrap, from Mer-Sea & Co comes with its own cloth tote bag, making it easy to tuck the folded up wrap into my backpack or purse. The company has an assortment of travel wraps to choose from.

My 12 Travel Essentials wrap
My 12 Travel Essentials – wrap that doubles as a lightweight blanket

Supplements

Do you take supplements for health? I do. And when I travel, I want to maintain my health and care for my body. It’s especially important since I walk all over cities while exploring.

I don’t carry all of my supplements when traveling. However, these must go with me: Cat’s Claw, MSM, MyKind Multi that includes essential vitamins and minerals plus plant based collagen, and Comfort Guard with turmeric, ginger and boswellia. The Comfort Guard is the best supplement I’ve EVER taken for joint comfort.

When I’m traveling internationally, I love these supplements from VOKE. They help me overcome jet lag quickly without losing a day for recovery. And they are made from superfoods so I know they are good for me as well.

My 12 Travel Essentials supplements
My 12 Travel Essentials – supplements

Backpack or Crossbody Bag

When out exploring, I carry a crossbody bag or a backpack to hold items I need. My portable charger goes in there along with a bit of cash, a hairbrush, sugar free mints and my phone.

I learned the hard way to wear my bag. Someone stole my purse the night before a cross country flight, while it was resting in a Walmart cart. Since that experience, I only wear backpacks or crossbody bags.

I’m loving this woven straw backpack from Kit and Wilder. It’s lightweight and perfectly carries all that I need. Order yours HERE and use my code Cindy15 to save 15% off of your order.

My 12 Travel Essentials backpack
My 12 Travel Essentials – backpack

Walking Shoes or Boots

I walk a great deal when I’m traveling. While hop on/hop off buses are helpful for an overview of the city, once I get my bearings I walk as much as possible to destinations. It’s such a wonderful way to really get to know a city, town or community. Plus there are botanical gardens or nature trails to explore.

A good pair of supportive walking shoes or boots are a must for me. And I prefer boots. They give my ankles some support too and I find them the most comfortable. Because boots are bulkier, I wear them onto a plane and pack my other shoes.

For boots or shoes, I only wear man made uppers or faux “leather”.

Faux leather boots…an essential for me. Click photo to order.

Metal Water Bottle

I don’t do plastic water bottles. However, I discovered on my last international flight that metal water bottles are allowed through security. They must be empty when passing through security then they may be filled with water for use on the flight.

No matter where I go, I carry a metal water bottle with me. It’s so essential to stay hydrated especially while out exploring.

My 12 Travel Essentials – metal water bottle. Click photo to order.

Universal Adapter

For international travel, a universal adapter is essential. These allow you to plug in chargers, hair dryers or laptops safely. I blew out the power on the whole second floor of a B&B in Edinburgh once, when I forgot to use my adapter for my hair dryer. Ooops!

These are small enough to easily tuck into a carry on.

Plug in adapter for international trips. Click photo to order.

Travel Journal

I like to carry a small journal along when I travel. It’s useful for jotting down information about places I intend to write about. I can also write out my impressions and thoughts about my experiences. And sometimes I do a sketch.

One thing I’ve learned, as I travel, is that I can’t have too many photos or too many notes about what I’m doing. When I get home I then have all I need to create my travel related posts.

What are your travel essentials?

Those are my 12 travel essentials, the things I absolutely make sure I pack for a trip. Of course my passport goes with me too, and any travel documents.

What about you? What items go with you on every trip? I’d love to know what is essential for you.

Travel Journal
My travel journal with my passport and my first carry on…may it RIP.

 

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12 Things You May Not Know About Joplin Missouri

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I love to travel, for so many reasons. As travel restrictions ease, I have several upcoming trips planned that I’m excited to experience and share about later.

For today, I decided to share about my own hometown, Joplin, Missouri. I’m working with Missouri Tourism on their summer campaign, “Visit MO”. My assignment was to feature a Joplin location. Partnering with them, I’ve deepened my appreciation for my city.

For this fun post, discover 12 things you may not know about Joplin Missouri. I enjoyed working on this one and shooting a few new photos. And, I discovered something I didn’t know about my hometown!

12 Things You May Not Know About Joplin Missouri title meme

Joplin Began as a Mining Town

First settled by the Reverend Harris G Joplin in 1839, lead was discovered in the area before the Civil War. Mining operations were interrupted during the war. However, in 1870 a large lead strike occurred, bringing scores of miners to the area. Mining camps rapidly sprang up. By 1873 the City of Joplin incorporated.

The riches of the mines drew investors and speculators, businesses and dance halls, gambling establishments and brothels.

While lead helped establish the town, it was the discovery of zinc that grew it. Railroads crossed the town, bringing more and more people and businesses. By the turn of the century, Joplin was the hub of Southwest Missouri and the lead and zinc capital of the world.

Most of the mines closed after World War II.

The Story Behind Joplin’s Maiden Lane

Do you enjoy knowing the origins of city street names? Many streets are named after prominent people associated with the city…founders, business men and women, celebrities. Most towns have a Main Street, numbered streets or directional avenues.

Joplin contains  a couple of streets named for the mining operations that founded it: Mineral and Galena. Furnace is named after the first smelting company in town. And others reflect the names of business men or mining companies, such as Rex, Picher, Sergeant and Moffet. We even have a series of streets named after US presidents.

The most colorful story belongs to Maiden Lane, a demure sounding name for a street. However, in Joplin’s wild mining days, this street on the west side of town was so named for being the red light district of Joplin. Brothels supposedly lined the street.

Another possible explanation is that “maiden” refers to horses that have not won a race. Near Maiden Lane was Barbee Park, a horse racing track that operated from 1872 until 1909.

Which story do you prefer?

12 Things You May Not Know About Joplin Missouri maiden lane
12 things you may not know about Joplin Missouri – Maiden Lane backstory

It Feels Like a Bigger City

With its population of 51,567 as of 2020, Joplin is the 12th most populous city in the state. However, it’s the 5th largest hub in Missouri, with the metro Joplin area coming in at 220,000. People in surrounding towns and nearby states come into Joplin to work, shop and play.

Many visitors are surprised to discover that Joplin feels like a bigger city with two large nationally recognized hospitals and many thriving businesses and restaurants, locally owned and big name franchises. We have a regional airport, a historic downtown district, industries, universities, theaters and a variety of parks and green spaces.

Famous Saloon with a Tunnel

Joplin’s House of Lords, a three story building near the corner of 4th and Main Streets, was the most famous saloon. A bar and restaurant occupied the first floor. Gambling rooms filled the second floor. And the third floor housed a brothel. The House of Lords provided patrons with every kind of vice imaginable.

The owner of the House of Lords constructed a tunnel that connected the saloon to his office at the Joplin Globe, where he was part owner as well.  The tunnel allowed him and other gentlemen to enter the building discreetly.

In 1897, the House of Lords introduced visitors to ragtime piano, played by the great black musician, Scott Joplin. And the establishment helped to launch the artistic career of Thomas Hart Benton.

The House of Lords closed in 1920, with the coming of the prohibition, and the building was later torn down.

12 Things You May Not Know About Joplin Missouri house of lords
12 things you may not know about Joplin Missouri – House of Lords, most famous saloon

Reign of Terror

During Joplin’s early days, it experienced a reign of terror in 1871 – 1872. As more and more miners arrived in town, lawlessness prevailed. Many of the miners left their families in other towns or states, as they began working in the mines.

They spent their hard earned cash on drinking and entertainment and generally, made merry. The nearest sheriff resided in Carthage, Missouri, about 15 miles away. The lack of law enforcement and the wild excitement of the prospectors resulted in street fights, rowdiness, disorderly conduct and occasionally a shooting.

The reign of terror ended when a miner named JW Lupton disarmed a stranger in town who was causing trouble. Lupton was appointed Joplin’s first constable.

Bonnie and Clyde Lived in Joplin

For a short time, this infamous couple, along with three members of their Barrow Gang, lived in a rental in Joplin.

On April 1, 1933, the gang rented an over the garage apartment in a quiet, affluent neighborhood. The upstairs apartment’s many windows provided vantage points to watch for the approach of law enforcement.

For 13 days the group hid in the apartment while committing a series of robberies in Missouri and neighboring states. Their unusual activities drew suspicion from the neighbors.

On April 13, 1933, police arrived, expecting to find bootleggers. Instead, a furious shootout occurred. Joplin police detective Harry McGinnis and Newton County Constable John Wesley Harryman lost their lives.

Bonnie and Clyde, Buck and Blanche and WD escaped, however they left all of their belongings behind. Police discovered a camera and undeveloped rolls of film. The circulated photos from those film canisters allowed law enforcement officers across the lower US to see what the outlaws looked like and resulted in the eventual capture or death of all of the gang.

I enjoyed an overnight stay at the Bonnie and Clyde Apartment in Joplin last year. Read about it HERE.

12 Things You May Not Know About Joplin Missouri bonnie and clyde apartment
12 things you may not know about Joplin Missouri – Bonnie and Clyde apartment living room

Four State Area

Joplin is in Southwest Missouri, in what’s called the “four state area”. The Kansas and Oklahoma state lines are minutes from Joplin. And Arkansas is a 30 minute drive south.

People drive to Joplin for shopping, doctors’ appointments and dining from the small towns in those other states. Additionally, Joplin is a hub for the smaller towns surrounding it. The nearest large city is Springfield, Missouri, an hour’s drive to the east.

Route 66 Crosses Through Town

Also known as the Main Street of American or the Mother Road, Route 66 is one of America’s original highways. It was established on November 11, 1926. It originally ran from Chicago, Illinois through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona before terminating in Santa Monica, California…2,448 miles of highway.

Route 66 was officially removed from the US Highway System in 1985. However, the segments that remain are designated a National Scenic Byway and currently called “Historic Route 66”.

Route 66 runs east to west through Joplin, along our 7th Street. There’s a mural located near the corner of 7th and Main Streets that provides a fun photo opp.

12 Things You May Not Know About Joplin Missouri route 66
12 things you may not know about Joplin Missouri – Route 66 runs through the city. Stop at this mural near 7th and Main Streets for a photo opp.

Joplin’s Nicknames

Like most cities and towns, Joplin has nicknames. Two common ones are J-Town and JoMo. MO, of course, is the abbreviation for Missouri.

Hit by an EF5 Tornado

May 22, 2011 is a date Joplin residents will never forget. At 5:41 on a Sunday afternoon, a massive EF5 tornado struck. Thirty percent of the city was destroyed, including thousands of homes and businesses, and 161 people lost their lives. It was the deadliest tornado in the US since 1947 and the most costly in history with 2.8 billion in damages.

I experienced that tornado, as did several family members. Looking at photos this evening, my body still reacts to what happened that day and I still feel sorrow.

I’m grateful to say that today, ten years later, Joplin is mostly recovered. There are still vacant lots in neighborhoods and businesses that never rebuilt. However, I saw my community come together and become stronger than before. And I witnessed the amazing compassion of others as thousands of volunteers arrived to help clean up the devastation.

There are memorials and reminders of that day throughout Joplin. We are strong. And we will never forget those we lost.

EF5 tornado
Whole neighborhoods were obliterated by the tornado. Photo by Keith Myers, from the book Joplin 5:41

Joplin Motto

I just learned Joplin’s motto today, and I’ve lived here for almost 41 years.

“The city that Jack built.”

Jack is a slang term for the mineral sphalerite (ZnS). It is the main mineral found in zinc, the element that put Joplin on the map. It’s a fitting motto!

Largest Continually Flowing Waterfall in Missouri

Just south of Joplin is Grand Falls, the largest continually flowing waterfall in the state. These gorgeous falls cascade over a 163 foot wide ledge of chert rock, plunging 12 feet into Shoal Creek. A must see for anyone in the area, the craggy outcropping of chert next to the falls creates pools of water and miniature waterfalls that invite all visitors to splash, play and explore.

Chert is a type of rock unique to Missouri. Joplin has the largest existing chert glades in the world.

The chert and falls create a beautiful nature area that is perfect for picnics, hiking, swimming, meditating or simply watching the sun rise or set.

This is the Joplin location featured in Missouri’s “Visit MO” campaign. Take their fun quiz to discover your perfect “M-O” destination.

Grand Falls near Joplin MO
12 things you may not know about Joplin Missouri – Grand Falls, largest waterfall in MO

Exploring in My Own City

Putting together this post about my city inspires me to get out and explore Joplin more this summer. After more than a year of mostly staying close to home, literally, it feels good to get out and learn new things about interesting places, starting with Joplin.

I especially enjoyed snapping photos and seeing familiar locations with fresh eyes.

I hope you learned something new about Joplin, Missouri. And that you feel inspired to explore your own community.

Tell me where you live, in the comments below!

Joplin Tornado Memorial
One of the tornado memorials, located in Cunningham Park.

Joplin Mementos

 


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Mother’s Day Traditions Around the World

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Mother’s Day, in the US, is May 9th. It’s a day for honoring and appreciating our mothers.

I wanted to know what other cultures do, to honor mothers. My curiosity led me to countries around the world, and a wide range of celebrations.

Mother’s Day Traditions Around the World is a fun sampling of what I found.

Mother's Day Traditions Around the World title meme

England

In the UK, Mothering Sunday is the fourth Sunday of Lent. The holiday originated from an earlier custom in which families who had moved away returned to the “mother” church they used to attend. By the 1700s the holiday shifted into a day for house servants to return home to spend the day with their mothers.

Today Mothering Sunday is still strongly connected to the church however the focus is on mothers and families. Many churches hand out daffodils for children to give to their mums. And girls in the family traditionally bake Simnel cakes…luscious fruitcakes…for the entire family to enjoy.

United States

Mother’s Day falls on the second Sunday in May, in the US. We have a variety of traditions from serving Mom breakfast in bed to giving her cards, handmade or purchased gifts and bouquets of flowers.

Our version of Mother’s Day began in 1908 when Anna Jarvis imagined a day set aside to honor all the sacrifices mothers make. Anna’s mother, Ann, started Mother’s Work Day Clubs, an organization that taught women how to properly care for their children.

With persistence, Anna’s idea led to the first official Mother’s Day on the second Sunday in May, 1914.

Today Mother’s Day is an important celebration in the US. Mothers receive recognition, cards, gifts, flowers and dinners out.

Mother's Day Traditions Around the World usa
Mother’s Day traditions around the world – USA

France

Mother’s Day in France is celebrated on the last Sunday of May or the first Sunday in June. Their holiday originated during the Napoleonic Era, when families with a large number of children received medals.

Some regions in France still present moms with traditional medals on Mother’s Day. A more modern celebration involves baking or buying Mom a cake shaped like a flower bouquet. Children also gift their mothers perfume, jewelry, chocolates and handmade gifts.

Peru

In Peru, Mother’s Day is a week long celebration leading up to the actual holiday on the second Sunday in May. Families organize events such as trips, dinners, lunches and parties throughout the week. Art exhibits and musical performances are common too during those seven days.

Mothers attend these activities and festivities, museums and exhibits, free of charge. Children present moms with gifts and flowers and may recite poetry and stories.

Peru also honors their deceased mothers. People take balloons and flowers to cemeteries and place them on the graves of mothers, grandmothers and wives.

Mother's Day Traditions Around the World peru
Mother’s Day traditions around the world – Peru

Mexico

The origins of Mother’s Day, or La Dia de la Madre, in Mexico has a story behind it. The Mexican magazine, El Hogar, met with the Association of Catholic Ladies and published an article about motherhood and traditional Mexican values. This happened in conjunction with mothers venturing out into the professional world and choosing to have fewer children.

The first Mother’s Day, May 10, 1922, was celebrated in support of this campaign.

Today families go out to eat on Mother’s Day, typically for lunch. They listen to music together and children give their mothers flowers, candies or small gifts. They sometimes perform a play, to show their love and appreciation.

Japan

The earliest Mother’s Day in Japan was held in March, 1913. However, the celebration ceased during World War II. Afterwards, Mother’s Day became a time to comfort mothers who lost children during the war.

Today all mothers are celebrated in Japan. Children give their moms carnations to symbolize purity, love and endurance. Traditionally, they gave red carnations to their living mothers and they displayed white carnations if their mothers had passed away. White carnations are now the favored color for all mothers.

Kids also do the household chores for the day and prepare meals.

Mother's Day Traditions Around the World japan
Mother’s Day traditions around the world – Japan

Ethiopia

The Antrosht Festival, observed yearly during the fall rainy season, is dedicated to mothers.

Families gather for large meals. Daughters traditionally bring vegetables and cheeses while sons supply the meat. Together the children prepare a hash. Later they sing and perform dances that tell the stories of their families.

Italy

Mother’s Day is called La Festa della Mamma in Italy. Mothers are highly esteemed throughout the year in Italy. However, on Mother’s Day…the second Sunday in May…mamma is pampered even more.

Families gather for a meal together. If someone can’t make it for the meal, they must call. Children give small gifts, fresh flowers…traditionally roses…and handwritten poetry. Dessert after the meal is a heart shaped cake.

Mother's Day Traditions Around the World italy
Mother’s Day traditions around the world – Italy

Indonesia

The Indonesian Mother’s Day is celebrated late in the year, on December 22. The holiday began as a time to recognize the spirit of Indonesian women and honor their achievements.

Today Mother’s Day honors all mothers. It’s a time to show great love and appreciation. Mother’s take the day off from household chores and children bring them gifts and flowers.

Germany

Germany’s Mother Day is called Muttertag and it’s also celebrated on the second Sunday in May. It’s origins date back to the Middle Ages when relatives visited and wished each other a happy spring. During the German Reich, mothers who bore four or more children were presented with a Cross of Honor.

Today the celebration honors all mothers regardless of the number of children. Kids bring colorful flowers to their moms…the more colorful the better…and gifts and cards are common too. German mothers are often surprised with travel tickets! They then get to revisit a favorite place or experience a new part of the world.

Mother's Day Traditions Around the World germany
Mother’s Day Traditions – Germany

What Are Your Mother’s Day Traditions?

As a kid, I loved making gifts for my mom. I cringe when I think of some of those “creations” but I poured my heart into them. Typically, my sisters and I take Mom out to eat now, when we aren’t experiencing a pandemic. This year we are having a big “work in the yard” day at her house.

My kids used to make homemade cards and bring me breakfast in bed. As adults they call, text or surprise me a gift.

I love the different traditions that I learned about. Of course, the German custom of gifting trips is amazing to me! However, I love the gifts of handwritten poetry, singing and performing plays. They seem so personal.

What are your favorite Mother’s Day traditions? Do you take your mom out to eat? Do your kids bring you breakfast in bed?

Mothers Day Traditions Around the World mothers

Looking for thoughtful gifts for Mom? Check out this post!

And did you know you can order fresh flowers from Amazon and have them delivered to your mother? Click picture below to get started!

 

 

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Easter Traditions from Around the World

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In the US, common Easter traditions include attending church and spending time with family, dyeing and hiding eggs, gifting children baskets full of goodies and dressing up in spring finery. Do you know that Easter is celebrated in 95 other countries around the world? And some of their festivities are quite different from those practiced here in the United States.

I love learning about other countries and others cultures. See how many of these Easter traditions from around the world are familiar to you.

Easter Traditions from Around the World title meme

Washington DC

Let’s start with a 130 year old tradition in the US. The White House hosts the annual Easter Egg Roll on the south lawn. Children roll colorful hard boiled eggs across the lawn using large serving spoons. The event also offers music, and egg hunt, sports and crafts.

Easter Traditions from Around the World Washington DC
Easter traditions from around the world – Washington DC

Australia

In Australia, rabbits are considered pests that destroy crops. In 1991, the country replaced the symbolic Easter bunny with the Easter bilby, also called the rabbit-eared bandicoot. You can purchase chocolate bilbies for Easter and the proceeds benefit Australia’s endangered animals.

Easter Traditions from Around the World Australia
Easter traditions from around the world – Australia

Norway

In Norway, the Easter season is a popular time to read detective novels and watch crime shows. The unconventional tradition began in 1923 when a book publisher advertised its new crime novel on the front page of newspapers. The ads, made to look like a news article, caught the attention of readers who didn’t realize they were promotions. The tradition continues today with new crime novels releasing around Easter and crime dramas playing on television. All over the country, people spend the weekend with whodunit shows and books. Even milk cartons carry short detective stories on their cardboard sides during this time.

Easter Traditions from Around the World Norway
Easter traditions around the world – Norway

Bermuda

Easter celebrations last all weekend in Bermuda. The holiday begins on Friday with the Good Friday KiteFest. All over the island, locals and visitors gather to show off their homemade kites and send them soaring into the sky. During the weekend people eat codfish and hot cross buns. Sunday sunrise services on beaches are a fitting end to the weekend.

Easter Traditions from Around the World Bermuda
Easter traditions from around the world – Bermuda

France

Every Easter Monday, the day after Easter Sunday, the town of Bessieres in southern France, serves up a giant omelette. Using more than 15,000 eggs, the omelette feeds the entire village. According to local stories, the tradition began with Napoleon and his troops traveling through the south of France. They stopped in this small town for a meal, eating omelettess. Napoleon enjoyed the meal so much that he ordered the townspeople to gather all of their eggs and make a gigantic omelette for his army the next day.

Easter Traditions from Around the World France
Easter traditions from around the world – France

Russia

Easter meals in Russia include knobs of butter molded into lamb shapes. In ancient times lamb were considered lucky. The Russians believed the devil could take on the form of any animal, except a lamb. Their religious symbolism protected the lambs.

Easter Traditions from Around the World Russia
Easter traditions from around the world – Russia

Spain

In the medieval town of  Verges, in Spain, the “death dance” is held on Holy Thursday. Townspeople reenact the Passion, dressed in skeleton costumes. Passion comes from the Latin word for “suffering” and is connected to Christ’s crucifixion.  Processions wind through the streets with skeletons carrying boxes of ashes. Dancing begins at midnight and concludes at 3:00 am.

Easter Traditions from Around the World Spain
Easter traditions from around the world – Spain

Poland

Smigus-dyngus is a Polish tradition carried out on Easter Monday. People try to drench each other with buckets of water, squirt guns, water balloons…anything they can carry water in. According to legend, the girls who get soaked with water will marry within the year.

Easter Traditions from Around the World Poland
Easter traditions from around the world – Poland

Vatican City

Each year on Good Friday, the Pope commemorates the Way of the Cross. He begins at the Colosseum. People joining the procession carry candles and walk around the amphitheater and up to Palatine Hill, stopping 14 times along the way. This walk represents the 15 Stations of the Cross. Mass is celebrated Saturday evening. And on Sunday morning, thousands gather in St Peter’s Square to await the Pope’s blessing from the church balcony.

Easter Traditions from Around the World Vatican City
Easter traditions from around the world – Vatican City

Greece

Traditional pot throwing takes place on Holy Saturday, on the Greek island of Corfu. From their balconies and windows, people throw pots, pans and other clay or earthenware containers into the street. These pots are frequently filled with water. The custom originated with the Venetians who threw out old items on New Year’s Day. It also symbolizes welcoming spring crops in new pots.

Easter Traditions from Around the World - Greece
Easter traditions from around the world – Greece

Israel

Christians celebrate Good Friday in Jerusalem by walking the same path that Jesus did on his way to the cross. Many participants carry a cross with them, in remembrance of Jesus’ crucifixion. On Easter Sunday a church services take place at Garden Tomb.

Easter Traditions from Around the World - Israel
Easter traditions from around the world – Israel

Italy

Locals in Florence, Italy celebrate a 350 year old Easter tradition called Scoppio del Carro, “explosion of the cart”. Fireworks fill an ornate cart. People in colorful 15th century costumes lead the cart through the streets, stopping in front of the Duomo. The Archbishop of Florence lights the fireworks during Easter mass, setting off a lively display. The custom dates back to the First Crusade. It ensures a good harvest.

Easter Traditions from Around the World Italy
Easter traditions from around the world – Italy

Hungary

A popular Easter tradition in Hungary is observed on Easter Monday. Boys playfully sprinkle perfume or perfumed water on girls, after getting their permission to do so. During the older version of this custom, the boys poured a bucket of water over the girls’ heads. Today they spray perfume and ask for a kiss. The young ladies dress up in traditional clothes.

Easter Traditions from Around the World Hungary
Easter traditions from around the world – Hungary

Papua New Guinea

This is perhaps the most unusual Easter tradition that I discovered. With the high temperatures and humidity in Papua New Guinea, eating chocolate during the Easter season isn’t a “thing”. Instead, the locals celebrate in their own way. They decorate the trees outside their churches with packets of tobacco and cigarettes. After the Easter Sunday services, worshippers divide up the tobacco. This tradition increases church attendance on Easter Sunday!

Easter Traditions from Around the World Papua New Guinea
Easter traditions from around the world – Papua New Guinea

What Are Your Easter Traditions?

When my kids were young, we dressed up and attended church together. The “Easter Bunny” delivered goody filled baskets and the kids played all day, hiding and finding colored eggs. Now, with my children grown and parents of their own babes, I simply gift my kids and grandkids with small presents.

I like the traditions of flying homemade kites, reading crime novels and watch out…throwing water! My children and grands better beware. Mostly, I love learning how other cultures celebrate holidays. It’s fun and educational too.

What are your Easter traditions? And did you find any in the list above that surprised you?

Happy Easter
Happy Easter. Cute frame, ceramic bunny and card art from Decocrated.

 


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Travel Quotes for the Wanderer

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This post combines two of my favorite things in life…travel and inspiring quotes. Words possess power and energy. For that reason, I surround myself with words that encourage, inspire, teach and motivate.

During these months of non-travel, quotes about traveling help feed my soul and keep my desire for exploring the world stoked. Some make my heart beat faster, in anticipation of the day I hop on a plane and fly over the ocean. Others remind me of my “big why” and the importance of travel in my life. And some quotes bring tears to my eyes as the longing for other places becomes an ache that cannot be eased.

Check out my favorite travel quotes for the wanderer. A photo from my travels accompanies each quote.

Travel Quotes for the Wanderer title meme

 “Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” Ibn Battuta

I’m a storyteller, from a family of travelers and storytellers. It’s how I love to communicate with others. Travel enriches my life and so many of my tales.

Travel Quotes for Wanderers burano
Travel quotes for wanderers – Island of Burano, Italy

“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other places, other lives, other souls.”  Anais Nin

One of the things I most love about travel is meeting other people. My daughter, grandson and I toured Italy with Globus Tours. We joined a group of people from around the world. After 12 days together, we felt like family. Our amazing tour guide, Fabi, and incredible bus driver, Luciano, created that sense of togetherness on day one of our journey together.

Travel Quotes for the Wanderer tour group
Travel quotes for the wanderer – Rome, Italy

“To awaken alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.” Freya Stark

Although I have not done so yet, solo travel is my next big adventure. It’s fun to go on adventures with family and friends. And, I believe I’ll learn new things about who I am as I set off on my own.

Travel Quotes for the Wanderer dublin
Travel quotes for the wanderer – Dublin, Ireland street in the shopping district

“Live, travel, adventure, bless and don’t be sorry.” Jack Kerouac

What a recipe for the adventurous life. I especially love the inclusion of “bless” and “don’t be sorry”. Blessing others I meet as I travel is important to me, even as I am blessed by others. It’s an ongoing ripple of energy made up of kindness and compassion. And equally important is experiencing it all without regrets. No holding back, no waiting until another time, no thinking I can do it later.

Travel Quotes for the Wanderer temple bar
Travel quotes for the wanderer – Temple Bar in Dublin

“He who is outside his door has the hardest part of his journey behind him.” Dutch Proverb

Such a Tokien-like quote, these words remind me of Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit. There’s nothing wrong with being an armchair traveler. However, we don’t experience the life changing events if we always stay safe within our homes. It takes courage to step through the door and allow adventure to sweep us away.

Travel Quotes for the Wanderer deans village door
Travel quotes for the wanderer – Door in Dean Village, Edinburgh, Scotland

“The life you have led doesn’t need to be the only life you have.” Anna Quindlen

I began traveling internationally when I was well into my 50s. Just because I’ve not traveled much before doesn’t mean I can’t now. Thankfully, past actions don’t predict future actions. And even when those first travel opportunities came, I didn’t ever see myself as a travel “influencer”. How fun, on my most recent trip to Scotland, to experience comped meals in amazing vegan restaurants, in exchange for posts and social media shares.

Travel Quotes for the Wanderer seeds for the soul
Travel quotes for the wanderer – the beginning of a fine vegan meal at Seeds for the Soul, Edinburgh

“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” Anonymous

Yes! My travels are not an escape from my life. The purpose beneath my journeys is to deeply participate in life. New adventures, new cultures, new people, food and languages all broaden my life experiences and raise my awareness so that I see with fresh perspectives.

Travel Quotes for the Wanderer dublin angel
Travel quotes for the wanderer – Dublin angel

“Not all those who wander are lost.”  J.R.R. Tolkien

Wise words from one of my favorite authors. They remind me that while it’s perfectly okay to plan out a trip it’s also okay…desirable even….to wander down intriguing streets or veer off the beaten path. Small towns in Italy beg the visitor to get a little lost, wandering the narrow lanes and exploring unexpected courtyards.

Travel Quotes for the Wanderer street in Italy
Travel quotes for the wanderer – street in Orvieto, Italy

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.”  Susan Sontag

So strong is my connection to Scotland’s capital city that sometimes when I say I long to travel what I really mean is, I’m so missing Edinburgh. However, when I see photos of Bali or Greece or Brazil I think “I want to see it all.” As a result, my travel list is quite long! And Edinburgh remains, always, at the top of that list.

Travel Quotes for the Wanderer thistle street
Travel quotes for the wanderer – Thistle Street Apartments, Edinburgh

“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” Oliver Wendell Holmes

Oh I dearly love new experiences! Seeing something for the first time, even something familiar from photos and films, is one of my favorite things to do. How powerful to see Michelangelo’s David for the first time in person and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. And touring my ancestral home, Thirlestane Castle, after I’d read about it all my life, literally made me sit in silent wonder for a while before climbing the steps to the massive front door. I am changed and expanded by such experiences.

Travel Quotes for the Wanderer david statue
Travel quotes for the wanderer – my first glimpse of David, Florence, Italy

“Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.” Anita Desai

We all collect souvenirs when we travel. However, my favorite things to take home are bits and pieces of the experiences themselves. I adopt practices and customs from other countries, such as afternoon tea. Phrases from Italy or Ireland flavor my speech. Those countries become a part of me. Travel becomes written into my DNA.

Travel Quotes for the Wanderer edinburgh
Travel quotes for the wanderer – my beloved Edinburgh, Scotland

“I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.” Mary Anne Radmacher

How magical, when perspectives shift the familiar. Seeing the moon from a country across the Atlantic or tasting fresh basil pesto in a tiny village perched on a mountainside makes the ordinary extraordinary. My sense of curiosity and wonder spikes when encountering familiar things in fresh settings.

Travel Quotes for the Wanderer rome
Travel quotes for the wanderer – Rome, Italy as dusk gathers

“Blessed are the curious for they shall have adventures.” Lovelle Drachman

Following curiosity leads me to such amazing adventures. Curiosity opens my  heart and soul and allows me to see with more than my physical eyes. Details stand out that I might miss without curiosity as my guide. And surprises await as I travel paths unknown.

Travel Quotes for the Wanderer take a photo
Travel quotes for the wanderer – trying to adequately capture what I see

“Wanderlust – noun. a strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world” dictionary definition

I experience wanderlust quite frequently. That strong desire or impulse to wander and travel and explore the world motivates me to make my dreams reality.

Travel Quotes for the Wanderer passport
Travel quotes for the wanderer – my passport

“The more often I do things I want to do, the less bitter I am at people for doing what they want to do.” Glennon Doyle

While not exactly a travel quote, Glennon’s words remind me to express gratitude and happiness for others as they do what they most want to do. For me, doing what I most want to do involves travel. For someone else, it might include rescuing animals, acting in films or building houses. We are not competing for limited resources. Another’s success or joy does not diminish mine.

Travel Quotes for the Wanderer castle
Travel quotes for the wanderer – Eilean Donan Castle, Highlands, Scotland

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the things you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain

Long one of my favorite quotes, Twain’s words encourage me to live life beyond the edges of fear, comfort zones and limiting beliefs. I’m not created to play it safe and remain tied to a dock. I’m made to live in expansive freedom and explore, dream and discover.

Travel Quotes for the Wanderer la spezia
Travel quotes for the wanderer – La Spezia, Italy

“When you have a dream, you’ve got to grab it and never let go.” Carol Burnett

Oh, am I ever a dreamer. Since early childhood, I’ve crafted the most vivid dreams about my future. As an adult I’ve learned that dreaming is vital to creating the reality I desire. If I imagine it, I can achieve it.

Travel Quotes for the Wanderer dean village
Travel quotes for the wanderer – Dean Village, Edinburgh

“And then there is the most dangerous risk of all – the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.” Randy Komisar

These powerful words serve as a reminder to not wait. Honestly, at age 63, waiting is a greater risk than going for it. I refuse to spend my life “hoping for an opportunity later”. Every step I take toward realizing my dreams takes me closer to the reality of them.

Travel Quotes for the Wanderer princes street gardens
Travel quotes for the wanderer – Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh

“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.” Anthony Bourdain

This is currently my top travel quote. The late Anthony Bourdain understood how travel changes a person. It’s not always pretty or comfortable or easy. It can be exhausting to the body and painful even.

However the impression travel makes as it leaves its marks on me is life shifting. Coming home I’m not the same person who left. I bring back with me experiences and new connections and discoveries I make about myself and the world around me. Every trip I take changes me a bit more. How can I not long to keep exploring and keep challenging myself to grow?

Travel Quotes for the Wanderer life changing
Travel quotes for the wanderer – travel can be exhausting and life changing. On the train to London, England.

Favorite Travel Quote

My collection of travel quotes shifts and changes, as I do. They reflect different points on my journey. And sometimes they serve as a beacon, guiding me to the next right spot along the path.

Do you have a favorite travel quote? Please share it in the comments below!

Grand Canal of Venice
Grand Canal of Venice

 


 

 

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Movies That Inspire You to Visit England

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Third in the Movies That Inspire Travel series, this post offers a selection of movies that inspire you to visit England. Click these links for the Italy and Ireland movie posts. I’m enjoying this series greatly as it combines two of my favorite activities…traveling and watching films. I hope you are enjoying them too. Additionally, my intention is to encourage readers to add countries to their travel lists, inspired by these amazing movies.

While I can’t travel as much right now, due to COVID imposed regulations, I can soothe the longing to do so by watching films with storylines set in the countries I love.

Grab a cup of tea or a mug of hot chocolate and enjoy an evening watching one or two of these movies.

Movies That Inspire You to Visit England title meme

Sense and Sensibility  1995

This Jane Austen classic stars Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Hugh Grant and Kate Winslet.

The death of Mr. Dashwood leaves his widow and three daughters poor, as his son from his first marriage inherits all. The women are marginally provided for by a kind cousin. However, marriage prospects for the young women are limited. Sisters Elinor and Marianne possess different perspectives on life and different interests but they love and support each other through challenging circumstances and tangled romantic relationships.

Fun fact: Newcomer Kate Winslet was originally only considered for the small role of Lucy Steele. However, Kate really wanted to play Marianne. When she arrived for her audition, she pretended her agent sent her to read for the role of Marianne. Her reading won her the part.

Watch Sense & Sensibility on Starz or rent on Amazon Prime

Movies That Inspire You to visit England sense and sensibility
Movies that inspire you to visit England – Sense & Sensibility

Bridget Jones’s Diary  2001

Rene Zellweger, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant and Gemma Jones star in this romantic comedy.

Bridget Jones struggles with self perceived imperfections. As a New Year’s resolution, she decides to take charge of her life and make changes. Keeping a diary of her thoughts allows her to discover her own personal truths. When two very different men enter her life during her year of self improvements, and both catch her romantic interest, hilarity ensues.

Fun fact: For the role of Bridget, Zellweger gained 25 pounds, learned to speak with an English accent and worked at a British publishing company for a month. No one at the publishing company recognized her. On her desk she kept a framed photo of her then husband, Jim Carrey. Her co-workers found this odd but did not mention it to Zellweger for fear of embarrassing her.

Watch Bridget Jones’s Diary on Starz or rent on Amazon Prime

Movies That Inspire You to Visit England bridget jones diary
Movies That inspire you to visit England – Bridget Jones’s Diary

Gosford Park  2001

Gosford Park, a comedic mystery, starts Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon, Kristin Scott Thomas, Charles Dance, Tom Hollander, Jeremy Northam, Clive Owen and Stephen Fry.

Set in the 1930s, in an old country estate, Lord and Lady McCordle host a weekend gathering. The invitees…rich, pretentious and famous…anticipate a relaxing weekend hunting pheasant. But when a murder occurs guests and members of the below stairs staff go on the suspected murderer list. As an investigation ensues, by bumbling Inspector Thompson, each person does their best to hide his or her secrets.

Fun fact: The well received series Downton Abbey was originally planned as a spin off of this film. Instead it developed into a stand alone series inspired by Gosford Park and set several decades earlier.

Rent Gosford Park on Amazon Prime

Movies That Inspire You to Visit England gosford park
Movies that inspire you to visit England – Gosford Park

Calendar Girls  2003

This comedy stars Helen Mirren, Julie Walters, Penelope Wilton, Linda Bassett and Annette Crosbie.

Middle aged women in the Women’s Institute brainstorm ways to up the fundraising efforts for their local chapter. Last year’s calendar, featuring area bridges, only raised a little more than 76 pounds. Inspiration comes from a member’s husband, who before he dies of leukemia says: “The flowers of Yorkshire are like the women of Yorkshire. The last phase is always the most glorious.”

The women choose to sell a calendar featuring 12 local middle aged women posing nude. They hope to sell a few hundred calendars. The outcome surprises and delights them.

Fun fact; This movie is based on actual events. The real “calendar girls” were all members of the Rylstone Women’s Institute. They make guest appearances in the film.

Watch Calendar Girls on Cinemax or rent on Amazon Prime

Movies That Inspire You to Visit England calendar girls
Movies that inspire you to visit England – Calendar Girls

Love Actually

Alan Rickman, Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson, Martine McCutcheon, Laura Linney, Bill Nighy, Gregor Fisher, Colin Firth, Kris Marshall, Martin Freeman, Johanna Page, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Andrew Lincoln, Keira Knightley, Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Lucia Moniz star in this romantic comedy.

Christmas time in London is the setting for this fun romp of a film that follows the interconnected lives of eight very different couples. Each couple deals with their love relationships and their complex lives, some doing so better than others.

Fun fact: The lake in which Firth and Moniz “swim” is actually only 18 inches deep. The actors knelt to give the illusion of deeper water. The lake was also swarming with mosquitos. Firth’s bitten elbow swelled up to the size of an avocado and required medical treatment.

Rent Love Actually on Amazon Prime

Movies That Inspire You to Visit England love actually
Movies that inspire you to visit England – Love Actually

Pride & Prejudice  2005

Keira Knightley, Matthey Macfadyen, Donald Sutherland, Talulah Riley, Rosamund Pike, Jena Malone and Carey Mulligan star in the romantic drama adapted from a Jane Austen novel.

Pride & Prejudice is the humorous and tender story of five sisters growing up in England’s Georgian era. The Bennett Family’s future happiness depends on the daughters marrying well. When the wealthy and seemingly snobbish Mr. Darcy moves into the area, for a summer in the country, the sisters’ lives are upended. Is it love in the air…or is it a battle of the sexes?

Fun fact: Macfadyen, who portrays Mr. Darcy, is very nearsighted. During the early morning scene, in the misty rain, the director stood behind the camera waving a red flag so the actor knew where to walk.

Rent Pride & Prejudice on Amazon Prime

Movies That Inspire You to Visit England pride and prejudice
Movies that inspire you to visit England – Pride & Prejudice

The Theory of Everything  2014

This biographical drama stars Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Tom Prior and David Thewlis.

The Theory of Everything explores the life of the most brilliant and celebrated physicist of our time, Stephen Hawking. It’s also the love story of Hawking and his wife, Jane. Over the course of their marriage and life together, Hawking becomes ill with ALS, a degenerative motor neuron disorder. As Hawking defies his prognosis and makes amazing discoveries in science, his marriage is challenged to its core.

Fun fact: To prepare for the role, Redmayne lost 15 pounds, trained for four months with a dancer to learn how to control his body, met with 40 ALS patients and kept a chart tracking the order in which Hawking’s muscles deteriorated. He stood for hours before a mirror, contorting his face and between takes stood motionless and hunched over, to stay in character. And he met with Stephen Hawking once for three hours, before filming began. He was afraid to ask the physicist anything.

Rent The Theory of Everything on Amazon Prime

Movies That Inspire You to Visit England the theory of everything
Movies That Inspire You to Visit England – The Theory of Everything

Paddington  2014

This fantasy adventure stars Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Imelda Staunton, Michael Gambon, Ben Whishaw, Matt Lucas, Nicole Kidman and Peter Capaldi.

A young Peruvian bear, with a love for all things British, travels to London in search of a home. Around his neck is a label: “Please look after this bear. Thank you.”

Lost at Paddington Station, the bear realizes city life is not what he imagined. Fortunately, he meets the Brown Family, who kindly offer him a place to stay.  All appears to be going well until the newly named Paddington Bear catches the attention of a museum taxidermist.

Fun fact: Paddington Bear is based on an actual lone teddy bear that author Michael Bond noticed in a London store near Paddington Station on Christmas Eve, 1956. He purchased the bear as a gift for his wife and later wrote a story about him. The bear’s appearance in the story…and subsequent movies…was inspired by old newsreels showing train-loads of child evacuees leaving London during WWII with labels around their necks and their possessions in small suitcases.

Rent Paddington on Amazon Prime

Movies That Inspire You to Visit England paddington
Movies That Inspire You to Visit England – Paddington

Downton Abbey  2019

Hugh Bonneville, Sophie McShera, Robert James-Collier, Allen Leach, Michelle Dockery, Phyllis Logan, Laura Carmichael, Elizabeth McGovern, Jim Carter, Joanne Froggatt, Maggie Smith, Penelope Wilton and Brandon Coyle star in this lavish period piece drama.

The film continues the story of the Crowley family and their below stairs staff at Downton Abbey, following the popularity of the long running television series. Set in 1927, the Crowleys and the Downton Abbey staff prepare for the arrival of King George V and Queen Mary while struggling with their own life dilemmas and challenges.

Fun fact: The royal visit of King George V to Downton Abbey was based on his real life visit to Wentworth Woodhouse, an estate in Yorkshire used to film the ballroom scenes in the movie.

Watch Downton Abbey on HBO or buy on Amazon Prime

Movies That Inspire You to Visit England downton abbey
Movies that inspire you to visit England – Downton Abbey

Emma  2020

This romantic drama, inspired by the Jane Austen novel, stars Anna Taylor-Joy, Johnny Flynn, Mia Goth, Gemma Whelan, Bill Nighy and Josh O’Connor.

Handsome, clever and rich, Miss Emma Woodhouse is without equal in her small town. Desiring that everyone other than herself find true love, Emma moves through a series of comical mismatches and romantic missteps before discovering what real love is all about.

Fun fact: Emma and Mr. Knightley are not wearing gloves during their dance scene, while all the other dancers are gloved. Director Autumn de Wilde felt the bare hands added to the sexual tension between the two characters during their last dance.

Watch Emma on HBO or buy on Amazon Prime

Movies That Inspire You to Visit England emma
Movies that inspire you to visit England – Emma

Movies That Inspire You to Visit England

Truly, there are SO many movies with English storylines that it was difficult to limit my choices to ten. These are some of my favorites though. And several, such as Emma, have more than one version to enjoy.

All of these films increased my desire to experience England for myself. I’m grateful for the opportunity to visit this beautiful country in 2017.

Until I can return, I’ll stir my memories and create new intentions by watching British films.

What’s your favorite movie set in England?

Jack the Ripper London Tour
Seated on the top deck during our Jack the Ripper London tour.

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