“You have driven me from the East to this place, and I have been here two thousand years or more. … My friends, if you took me away from this land it would be very hard for me. I wish to die in this land. I wish to be an old man here. … I have not wished to give even a part of it to the Great Father. Though he were to give me a million dollars I would not give him this land. … When people want to slaughter cattle they drive them along until they get them to a corral, and then they slaughter them. So it was with us. … My children have been exterminated; my brother has been killed.” — Standing Bear of the Poncas
This past year has brought so many great travel experiences and discoveries, not to mention wonderful people I’ve been able to meet. Trips By Lance was launched in 2012 as a travel-planning business, but in February 2013 I switched the focus to a travel blog to share the wonderful experiences we are discovering in this great world. 2013 exposed me to new ideas, experiences and places. Here are some of my favorites in this 2013 travel year in review.
Since my 1980s childhood in small-town Arkansas, I’ve placed Friday on a pedestal above all other days. There was something magical about Fridays, what with all the awesome movies featuring the Coreys (“License to Drive” anyone?), John Cusack showing us how to express our love (it’s with a boombox held high above our heads, of course), and Michael J. Fox showing us what happens when we drive 85 (if in an awesome DeLorean, you might drive it into a barn in 1955). I’ve always found my inspiration on Fridays, and it partly goes back to when my brother and I could rent lots of awesome movies and watch them on the VCR until 4 a.m. So I thought I’d take my infatuation with Fridays and turn it into a new weekly feature focused on travel inspiration. Welcome to Friday Travel Inspiration.
I’ll be honest, I’ve only stayed in one hostel. And other than my contact lenses getting thrown out mistakenly by the cleaning crew (long story), I have no complaints about the stay. The room was clean, my roommates were pleasant and everyone in the facility was friendly. But I think we all get a feel for when something makes sense for us as travelers, and staying in hostels just isn’t my cup of tea. Here are my pros and cons of hostels.
Before traveling to Taos, N.M., I had heard the mountain town is full of character … and a few characters. Taos isn’t on the way to anywhere, unless your destination is a town with a cool vibe and beautiful mountains all around. And that’s why we were excited to spend a couple of days in this beautiful and laid-back mountain town. We wanted to discover the unique Taos character. When we arrived in Taos we quickly met our host for the evening, and one of the community’s real characters. We had arrived at the Red Cat House, where we found a carefree, artsy, cool and eccentric lady who quickly came to represent everything Taos means to me.