After mining through and paring down a book’s worth of travels to ten moments, here, thanks to the challenge posted by Lara Dunston and Terrence Carter, are my boiled-down top 10 list of memorable travel moments (complete with hair-raising happenings, drool-worthy cuisines, and a couple of those sentimental moments that linger for a very, very long time):
You’ve just turned 20 when you meet a very old man in Spain who gives you his sacred ruddhasa wishing bead. Six years later, you’re sitting at a café in Malta eating shark and reminiscing with three of your dearest friends about the places life has taken you. You’re talking about that crazy summer in Malta and the time you washed your clothes—for three months—with liquid fabric softener because you’d thought your Italian was better than it was when you purchased it (it clearly was not). You talk about eating sushi in Ciudad Juárez and all its lime juice, beef, and cheese. You think about sleeping on the beach in Colombia, watching the hairless white cows bumble back to their corrals at sunset, and you remember taking kayaks out at midnight in Puerto Rico where you swam with plankton. You remember the gaggle of Colombian grandmas in the Totumo magic mud volcano, and how you were bombarded by the wildly popular Los Reyes telenovela crew to audition for the part of a gringa and then didn’t get it (that is the extent of your acting career, except for that time in Mexico, where, behind the wheel of an ATV, you’ll be asked to be in a promo video, to which, of course, you’ll say yes). You think of how many times you’ve been robbed on your travels (which is an embarrassingly large percentage of the 20 countries you’ve been to since Spain), and you’ll admit it’s made for some pretty good stories, here, in Malta, and all those unexpected places in-between.