As 2015 rolls to an end, we thought we’d take a look back at XX, Will Travel by the numbers. We’ve come a long way from two ladies with a dream and a case of itchy feet.
Friend of the podcast Doris Manning McTyre joins us on a guide through the nation’s capital! The ladies discuss their emotional connections to D.C., the forgotten contributions of women in history, and balls. Lots of balls. Plus, museum tips, restaurant recommendations and other tidbits to make a trip to Washington as amazing as the picture above.
For this Wednesday’s episode on Washington, DC, we turned to Chicago funny lady, world traveler, and frequent DC visitor Doris McTyre. Doris is a financial planner during the week and a try-most-things once adventurer on nights and weekends. She loves running (slowly), being outside, and has dabbled in stand-up and storytelling. In her golden years she would like to have a pet goat. You can follow her on Instagram at @luchadoris.
1) Where have you traveled?
Domestically I’ve been to most of the states; international travel – Mexico, England, France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Aruba, Venezuela, Argentina, Ecuador/Galapagos, China, and Japan.
2) What’s been your favorite trip so far?
I spent 9 days in Paris by myself when I was 20. I stayed in a hostel and ate in cafes or on park benches. Every night I would plan the next day’s activities from my guidebook and figure out which metro or bus routes to take. I had enough time to do pretty much all of the must-see attractions, plus some offbeat stuff like Les Puces des Clignancourt and The Catacombs. (These seemed offbeat to me at the time.) I found an English bookstore near the Louvre and bought a copy of “The Beautiful and Damned” by F. Scott Fitzgerald because I thought that was an appropriate thing to read while in Paris. It was my first time alone for an extended period of time and I loved it.
But the first trip I remember – at all, and also very fondly – was when my parents took me to the Yucatan Peninsula when I was 2. I bit through a thin water goblet at a fancy restaurant with a big mural, and in a separate incident, barfed up a Frescolita on my dad while on a ferry. We visited many Mayan ruins, of which I quickly tired, and my dad tried to keep it fun by saying “choc-mooooool” in a creepy voice over and over again. Sometimes he still does, but I appreciate it a bit more now than I did at the time.
3) What are 3 things you always take with you when you travel?
An extra pair of underwear and a toothbrush in my carry-on, Imodium and laxatives (you never know which one you might need!), and BodyGlide. So that’s 5 things; I cheated.
4) What’s your next destination?
This winter I’m going to Austin for a weekend to run a half-marathon, and about a month later I’m going to Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam for two weeks. There’s an elephant camp in Chiang Mai where you can be an elephant’s keeper for a day, so my life will basically be complete after that.
5) Give us 1 reason why you travel.
Carpe diem! I am healthy and able-bodied, I have the means (which has not always been the case), I don’t have kids, I have ample PTO, and my husband is a great travel buddy. I have always been curious about how the rest of the world lives/works/relaxes, and it also helps to keep things in perspective when I come home.
I bought boots, guys. I bought some rad hiking boots because, after researching what to do in Guatemala, it seemed everyone just frolicked on volcanoes. Never mind that the reasons I chose to travel there had nothing to do with adventure sports. I was attracted to its indigenous culture and rich colonial history, its literary traditions and distinctive cuisine. But I seemed to be in the minority. Everyone else was happy living out their Indiana Jones fantasies.
Hence, why I decided that I too should tap into some undiscovered athletic aspect of my personality and buy myself some hiking boots.
Sometimes travel can be a lonely experience, even lonelier when things go wrong with no one to call for help. In honor of American Thanksgiving, Kathy and Ines talk turkey about the kindness of strangers encountered while traveling. Listener submitted stories, as well as a few from Kathy and Ines, show that compassion is alive and well in an age when the world seems ever more chaotic.
The ladies also touch upon how you can help wayward tourists, the rise in popularity and ethical concerns of voluntourism, and the Paris attacks.
Click here to listen.
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My Grandma is 93 years old and lives in a small town in Minnesota. She is relentlessly upbeat and passionate about the things she loves, which are mainly her family and the Minnesota Twins baseball team. She never finished her high school education, having had to drop out of school to help support her family, but she is a lifelong learner who reads the paper every day and is more in touch with current events than many younger people I know. She remains curious and engaged. She has also seen a big chunk of the world.
Travel gurus aren’t born, they’re made! And we here at XX, Will Travel believe that you too can be a seasoned adventurer. But where do you even begin? What if the furthest place you’ve been to is the next town over?