What’s Your ID?


There are many reasons why people blog, but the most basic reason is to share.  It is just that simple.  Everything shared may not be interesting, worthwhile, or profound.  However, whatever is shared has an audience.  No matter what is written or how it is written, the post will appeal to someone.  It will ring a bell, resonate and find a home in the heart of another blogger or reader.  That is why blogging is so intriguing.  It does not have to fit one particular mold.   It is flexible.  If you don’t like what you read/see, you move on.

For me, blogging and maintenance has become a relaxing activity to engage in at the end of the day.  My once-a-week posting commitment and daily perusal of other blogs works well with my busy schedule.  Since starting this online regimen, it has proven to be enlightening, informative, and even hilarious.  Over the course of time, responses are more forth coming and I am getting to know my followers, recognizing their work and receiving their feedback.  Likewise, I am more apt to comment on what I like, send kudos, and thumbs-up more readily.

A by-product of blogging is following and liking another blogger’s material.  One of the first things that capture my attention is the blogger’s pseudo-name.  I am drawn into wondering how they came about their name and the story behind it.  Some names are easy to identify especially when you can tell it’s a person’s name or their pet’s.  To help you understand what’s behind the name, their articles bare out their interests and makes the name choice clearer.

Paying close attention to those who connect with me through likes and follows, I often find myself reading their identifier to figure out what they are all about before I read their actual post (I know I’m not the only one who does this😊).  For example, I go by the name “Itinerary Planner.”   Self-explanatory, right?  At least I hope so.  Not all identifiers are that easy, but that may be the intention of the blogger.  If so, mission accomplished.  Still, many that I come across are puzzling and beg my attention, in such a way, that I conjure up possible meanings if it is unclear even after reading the post or from their specific posting tags and categories.

My moniker if you guessed, appropriately hints at what I like to do – organize events and plan customized vacations.  I even have the tag all to myself on WordPress 😊.  Other categories such as: itineraries, lifestyle, travel tips, places visited, food, accommodation, and more are of interest to me too.  When these categories are intertwined with travel, then I receive palmary inspiration for the blog.

Some IDs are creative, some combined names, some phrases even.  I simply like to guess what they are all about.  I may be dead wrong at first, but hooked, I must find out who they are and where their interests lie.

So, what does your ID say about you?  Does it make others go ‘hmmmm’ or is it clearly understood?   Here are a few pseudo-names from my community of followers (sorry guys I can’t list all of you).  Look at them, then check out their blogs to see if you guessed correctly.  Your guess may be spot on or you may be in for a surprise.

Readers, I’ve playfully involve these few in this exercise, but alternatively, I hope it gives them more exposure and drive a lot of traffic their way.  To do so you must click the links to their blogs below:

Sportsdiva64

PT Passages

Globetrotting Grandpa

Roadtirement

Nuh Mock Sport

Travelingpersecond

Alaska or Bust

Crank and Cog

Nikkidiscovers

Meshasexperience

Community Peeps tell me if you like to unscramble names and guess what the blogger is all about too.  It is always great when I hear from you.  Please share your thoughts.  Next post will talk of upcoming travel plans and what is on the horizon for 2019.

Readers, as usual, I invite you to click follow to receive timely updates, select like to show your love and support.  Share this post on your social media site.  Write your comments in the box below.  Your interest, time and attention are appreciated.  Thanks for reading.

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Itinerary Planner

Wild and Crazy or Brave?


I love adventure. It is the part of travel that makes the trip memorable, laughable and exciting. Well a few of my vacations would definitely fall into all three categories, if not downright scary (you can be the judge). To talk of them now I chuckle but then it was no laughing matter. In my earlier travel life everything that I did was on impulse. There wasn’t an itinerary plan I followed in particular. Thank God for his loving kindness, enduring mercy and protection without which I don’t know where I would be today. What if the predicaments I found myself in back then had turned out differently? Read of three different exciting or not so exciting accounts below.

In Israel I peregrinated to many holy sites to save money, to exercise and to sight-see at a slower pace.  One day on the Jesus trail near the Sea of Galilee I decided to take a short-cut.  Along the road I discovered trees filled with a familiar fruit called dunks.  I ate as many as I could occasionally wandering off the main road to pick the fruit.  Along the stretch of road, I came upon a path and thinking it was a short-cut to the next stop on the trail, I headed in that direction.  No one else was in view.  The road became grassier and narrower as I went further and further until it petered out into a field.  I could still see the main road in the distance.  In the field I climbed over a thick mound and before I knew what was happening the ground gave way beneath me.  I scrambled to hold on to anything as one leg dangled below me.  I don’t know how I managed to clamber out of the hole.  A few abrasions on my shins and hands were the only evidence of a close encounter with what could have been a near disappearance.  I don’t know how deep the hole was and didn’t stick around to find out.  What if I had fallen all the way in, couldn’t get out and nobody knew where to find me?

Another occasion, I was in Maui, Hawaii.  I was staying at a hostel and had befriended two women, one older and the other younger.  This hostel is hip, friendly and the happening place to be.  Reservations are made months in advance to get in.  I was in my room minding my own business when both women came by and invited me to a night outing.  They were going to make a bonfire.  Interested residents loaded up in several cars and headed out into the night.  First stop was at the supermarket where the leaders bought beer.  This should have been a clue that the night would be interesting.  Obviously, it was too late for me to turn back.  I was committed.  We drove, some screaming and shouting, until we pulled off to a side road and onto a sandy beach. The night was dark, but a few were prepared with flashlights.  We walked the beach stumbling over dunes until we found a secluded spot.  The bonfire was lit, and some spread mats and blankets to sit and talk, whilst others laid down to watch the stars.  Not before too long, besides the smell of firewood, a strong smell of a leafy kind was wafting on the cool night air.  Not a smoker, I was on edge and did not want to be there, thinking only of the possibilities if we were caught.  What if the police showed up just then wouldn’t I be in big trouble, guilty by association?

Yet on another occasion I spent the night on the street in Italy and Greece, respectively.  Both times I had misjudged the travel time schedule which did not allow for immediate alternate accommodation options accessibility.  I arrived in Italy too early for my check-in and had to walk the streets into the wee hours of the morning.  The front desk reception took my bags but refused to give me the room ahead of my arrival time.  In Greece, I traveled from an island to the mainland by ferry and arrived in Athens just after the last bus had left the terminal.  I spent the darkest hours hanging out near the terminal where I saw ladies-of-the-night and flashy cars coming and going.  It was not hard for me to figure out the alliance and know that I was in a red-light district.  Early dawn, I took the first public transport available to my resting place.  What if a patron mistook me for a lady-of-the-night?

Community Peeps, stay tuned to read of my vacation experiences in India, Turkey, Morocco, South Africa and many more places from time to time.  Reminiscing about what took place many years ago makes me wonder whether I was wild and crazy or brave.  I want to think the latter but would agree with you if you chose the former.  Of course, I wouldn’t dare do such foolhardy things now.  Or would I 😀😀?  What have you done on a holiday that at the time was not the least bit funny, but that you can laugh about now?  Please share.

As usual, I invite you to click follow to receive timely updates, select like to show your love and support.  Share this post on your social media site.  Write your comments in the box below.  Thanks for reading.

More times,

Itinerary Planner

Proof Positive


It is said a picture is worth a thousand words, therefore the long-awaited photos in the slide shows below are going to have to do all the talking for now. With more than 1000+ photos of my Southeast Asia tour (Philippines (Palawan, Cebu, Sagada, Manila), Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Bali) to sift through, it was near impossible not to go back down memory lane, and to choose the ones that would best tell the story.

Admittedly, it was difficult deciding which photos would make the cut, organizing them by occasion, and choosing the right medium to bring them to you.  Let me interject here, in some instances where I am not behind the lens, that photo credits are to be given to Sopiya, Nico, Greg, Danica, Nico, Edgar, Deisy, Clarence and Mary Ann.  I chose slide shows (labeled by location name & year and a last slide show called “Friends”) as the best mode for viewing all the pictures in this post (sorry for my inept media skill, any suggestions on how to do it better are welcomed).  The snapshots are proof positive of my adventures in each place, of my encounters with the natives and the rich cultural heritage they possess, but more importantly, of the friends I have made along the way.  It can be yours too.  Because of the volume of pics, videos will come in a later post.

After viewing all the slides, and you are inspired to travel to the far corners of Southeast Asia wanting a similar experience, I can help you plan the itinerary that’s right for you. Let me reassure you, you won’t make the same mistakes I did (read about my accounts in previous postings).

Now for the promised moment you have been waiting for:

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Community Peeps, et al, again it was simply a pleasure to share this experience with you.  I look forward to receiving your comments and questions.  Thank you for sticking with me throughout this journey.

As usual, my only request is that you choose to do one or more of the following:  select follow to receive timely updates, click like to show your love and support, comment in the box below your thoughts, suggestions, or smiley face, or share with your friends on your social media site.  Thanks for reading.

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Itinerary Planner

Fleeting and Enduring Friendships


Making friends when you travel is not a hard thing to do, at least not for me.  It can begin with a smile, a casual comment or shared humor.  Neither party may intend to become lifelong friends, but, as the saying goes, one thing may lead to another and before you know it a beautiful friendship starts.  Names are exchanged, and contact information given.

Not all friendships are created equal though.  Some bonds are lasting, while others only endure for the duration of the excursion/group tour.  On short itineraries, the acquaintances begin by sharing in minor pleasantries – sitting together at meal times, buddying-up on a hike trail, taking each other’s photos, etc.  It is an unspoken understanding that at the end of the day, you will part company and go your separate ways, never to see or hear from each other again, but for the interim, you become friends and look out for each other.

It isn’t by preconceived design or because of an ulterior intent that this camaraderie is formed.  After all, you did not know the other existed before the inevitable meeting.  It would seem as if unseen hands guided you along so that your paths would cross.  Then, when your worlds collide, a friendship blossoms into something special, for the moment, or for the long haul.  Whether the relationship is fleeting or enduring depends on the chemistry and interaction of the individuals.  If you hit it off like a house on fire, you may probably remain in contact and communicate impromptu from time to time.

I have experienced both types of friendships in my travels over the years.  Neither kind is founded on protracted months of nurturing, or on a filial background.  Yet, it takes each participant a certain level of commitment and interest to follow-up.  Unrealistic expectations are not a part of the formation of the alliance.  Frequent contact is not a do-or-die priority to either person.  Rather, whenever contact is made, it is a refreshing opportunity to catch-up and ruminate familiar bonds that drew you together in the first place.  I must interject, that it is hard to maintain a long distant friendship.  Vacationers who return from whence they came, back to normalcy and business as usual, soon realize that life gets in the way.  Time passes, memories begin to fade and so too does regular contact with the new friend, who up until a few weeks or months ago were a very real part of your world while enjoying a stupendous holiday.

In 2005, in New Delhi, I met a tall, lanky man who became a friend to me.  He was a student studying in India and our common bond was our faith.  I met him after rambling around the city of New Delhi (a story I would have to tell another time), before finally finding my house of worship.  He loves to sing and was an active youth leader at the time I met him. He befriended me when I needed a friend in a strange land.  Hi Samuel!

Again, in 2009, while traveling on a long-distant bus from Cape Town to Durban, I observed a tall, svelte young woman who sat across the aisle from me.  From my peripheral vision I could see her every movement and I am sure it was the same for her. We did not approach or make any attempt to speak to each other during the ride.  Throughout a few rest stops, and including a mechanical brake-down, we remained at a distant, but began to laugh at the puerile jokes by the bus attendant and other passengers as we rode along.  When our bus finally arrived at the terminal in Durban, this same woman came to my rescue.  The transfer to my hotel did not show up.  She took me in her sister’s car to the hotel and in Afrikaans sternly scolded the desk attendants for the no-show.  We have been good friends ever since.  Hi Neliswa!

Four years ago, in Israel, I was at the ticket/entrance booth, about to walk the “Jesus Trail” in Capernaum when I heard a voice behind me saying, “Your accent sounds familiar.”  No, it was not the voice of God.  I turned to see a short blond woman smiling at me.  I smiled back.  We headed into the historical site together.  We walked and talked exchanging names and pleasantries.  By the time we finished peregrinating the historical site, we agreed to finish the rest of the trail together.  She was driving a rental car and I was on foot.  I was very glad for the invitation to ride with her and that was the beginning of a great friendship.  We spent the rest of our vacation hanging out and sightseeing places together.  Hi Danelle!

Last year, on my most recent trip to Peru, I met a senior lady.  My sister and I were onlookers at a rally in light of the anticipated visit of the Pope in early 2018.  The Plaza Mayor in Lima was filled with people, singing, chanting and dancing.  I stood a distance from the stage and this older lady was standing next to me.  We began to talk.  I in my halting Spanish and she in her halting English.  It was a combination that worked for both of us because we managed to exchange information and become fast friends.  She told me she was a grandmother, and introduced me to her daughter and grand-daughter who later joined us.  After sharing with each other for a while the family encouraged my sister and I to leave the plaza for our safety.  They feared there would be violence and that it would be too dangerous for us as foreigners to be there in the midst.  Suffice to say, we heeded their warnings.  Hi Katya!

In 15 days I will be journeying to Southeast Asia.  God willing, my trip will begin in the Philippines with intended escapes to Bali, Kaula Lumpur, and Singapore.  I wonder who I will meet as I move from place to place.  I expect I will form new friendships – fleeting and enduring.  It will be interesting.

Community peeps what is your experience in making friends as you travel?  Do tell.  I would be glad to hear your thoughts on this.  Share in the comment box below, click follow to join my blog community or like to show your love.  You may also share my blog with your community.  That’s all for now and thanks for reading.

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Itinerary Planner