A Dream Realized…

By LBAC Travel Dream Vacation Maker, Angela Szemko

“Jobs fill your pockets, adventures fill your soul.

-Jaime Lyn Beatty

What’s on your bucket list? Everyone has one.  My list is probably in its 100th iteration by now.  Destinations are added then ultimately drop off either when visited or when my interests wanes.  I have been to many places in my shifting top 20.  I’ve thrown coins in the Trevi Fountain in hopes to return yet once again to the Eternal City, I’ve admired the view from the top of the Eiffel Tower, slept in castles and danced with Druids in Great Britain, tried (and failed) to make the acquaintance of Nessie in Scotland, kissed the Blarney Stone (to no avail),  been to Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany on a picture postcard perfect winter day, did a bad karaoke version of the Hills Are Alive on the Sound of Music tour in Austria, enjoyed the cafes in the Netherlands, had the smoothest chocolate ever in Belgium, and spent my spectacular honeymoon traipsing around Spain and Portugal with my dashing husband.  There are probably 25 or 30 more places and experiences I could name, and despite this, there are plenty of destinations that have eluded me.  And then there are those very special locations that have been in my top 10 forever. You know, those once in a lifetime type adventures.  Egypt, China, the Galapagos, Peru and Thailand round out my top 5.  

     I love destinations that are steeped in history, have a vibrant culture and are full of culinary delights. I am not a beach baby or thrill seeker (my family knows it and by now they have accepted it.) I cannot pass up a museum without stopping in. If there is an a ancient ruin within 100 miles from my hotel you can bet we will visit it.  Interesting architecture  – be it a gargoyle on the Cathedral of Notre Dame or Ghiberti’s bronze Baptistry doors on the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore – I can say it would definitely be on my “to do” list. My personal bucket list reflects all this.  I don’t always get to fulfill my own list though.  My husband Frank and 14 year old daughter Julianne love the beach, amusement parks, big beautiful resorts on tropical islands, they adore cruising, and generally like any type of fun in the sun. Their lists are the exact opposite of mine, but we are a family, a team,  and we always try to incorporate everyones interests into our vacations.  On a recent holiday to Greece we spent days touring every single ancient ruin and artifact laden museum in the country and then cruised around the islands and swam in the Aegean Sea.  We don’t usually have the same enthusiasm for the destinations we visit, but we always have a great time together.  

     I was recently given the opportunity to fulfill one of my personal dreams.  A once in a lifetime trip.  Something on my top 5 list.  It would just be me, no Frank and no Juli, but it is an  opportunity that may only come my way once and my family is thrilled for me.   In late January I will take part in an Adventures by Disney (ABD) guided tour of the Sacred Valleys and Incan cities of Peru.  The highlight being the Incan ruins at Macchu Picchu, one of the new 7 Wonders of the World.  What I love about being on an ABD trip you’re a traveler and adventurer, not a tourist. You  become an active participant in amazing stories, experiences and cultures through incredible immersive activities. On this Peruvian adventure I will have a chance to travel to Cuzco and visit the Center for Traditional Textiles (12,500 ft. above sea level and I can still shop! How awesome is that!) I will raft down the Urubamba River (class I and II rapids – so no dramamine required), visit the quaint town of Ollantaytambo, get up close and personal with llamas and alpacas, wander through the ruins and tunnels of The Stones of Sacsayhuaman and tour Lima, the beautiful capital of Peru.   I am counting down the days!  Want to come along on my adventure? You can by vacationing with me virtually through this blog and the LBAC Travel facebook page.  Are you up for the Adventure? I surely am.

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