What’s YOUR Travel Style?

Do you prefer organized tours or would you rather choose your own itinerary and pace? There are definite advantages to both modes of travel, and I enjoy each. I’ve discovered that the key to maximizing pleasure is to understand exactly WHY you are taking the trip. Is your goal to see as many sights as possible? Or do you hanker for a slower pace, enjoying the companionship of a few close friends?

Lucky me—I’ve been able to do both types of trips to Sicily, so I can compare and contrast. You see, in 2017, my husband and I took an Overseas Adventure Trip (OAT), spending 16 days based in Palermo, Mazara, Piazza Armerina, Ragusa, and Catania.

Currently I’m traveling with three good friends, who planned everything, and are willing to do all the driving. Not surprisingly, this trip is far less structured than the OAT trip. Although we will be based in different cities: Ortigia, Modica, Enna, Palermo and Taormina, we will be covering similar ground.

Our first two days were somewhat grueling, with an overnight flight to Rome, followed by an afternoon flight to Catania, and a 45 minute ride to our first hotel, Algila Ortigia Charme Hotel, our home for three nights.

Across the street from our hotel

They say you can’t get a bad meal in Italy. Well, Sally and I accomplished the impossible, with TWO bad meals—a dinner on our first night and lunch on the second. Breakfasts, on the other hand, were at the hotel and were fantastic!

The world’s worst pizza. Fortunately, Sally was able to see the humor of the experience

We finally wised up and avoided the places around tourist attractions. All meals henceforth were at restaurants down little side streets and THAT is where the food exceeded expectations.

Trattoria Archimede on Via Cavour
Karen and Diane on left, Sally and me on right

Also on Via Cavour was an abundance of little shops. We discovered Sebastian’s shop, in which he was selling various flavors of ‘cello. After sampling several, Diane and I, slightly drunk by then, purchased limoncello and almondcello.

Definitely worth a visit!
Of course, we had to make purchases here. A magnet for me and a mobile for Diane and Karen

Although we did see the normal Ortigia sites, over our three night stay, it was at a much slower pace than when Mike and I visited. For our OAT trip, we only spent a half a day in Ortigia, and saw the same attractions. Of course, we didn’t spend as much time being lost and confused, because we had a guide. We also didn’t sleep as late either.

I am grateful to Sally, Diane and Karen for including me on this trip—my first since Mike died. It is comforting to be among good friends while I process my loss.

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I am intensely curious, with a spirit of adventure that is tempered by my very strong aversion to anything with potential to cause pain. I love travel, photography, reading, gardening, yoga, music and propelling myself through space (biking, dancing, walking, dancing while walking). I've never considered a lack of proficiency in any of the previous activities to be a hindrance, counting on abundant enthusiasm to make up for my shortcomings.

9 thoughts on “What’s YOUR Travel Style?”

    1. Really enjoyed your blog, Shel! I could actually hear your voice while I was reading it! Linda Dotty


  1. Barbara here from SE Asia trip. Great to hear from you again! I’m so sorry about Mike. Hopefully your travels provide some solace. I’m wondering what time of year you went to Sicily. My last to trip to Venice was unbearably hot which is a definite negative for me. As far as bad meals, my worst ever, including everywhere I’ve been was in Venice. I sent it back twice to the kitchen. I made my daughter eat the third one! ( I was too embarrassed to send it back again) I think I mentioned that Kitty died a few years back. I love looking at pics of her from that trip. Keep sending us news of your adventures. How’s the Tesla?
    Barbara Almstead


    1. Hi Barbara, Great to hear from you. Mike and I were in Sicily in mid May, and I’m here with my friends now.
      Yes, I was shocked and saddened to hear about Kitty’s death. I’m so very glad I had the opportunity to dp nd time with you three lovely Pennsylvania ladies. I have so many fond memories of that trip.
      The Tesla is wonderful. We’ve been together for three years now and I have no complaints.


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