Tag Archives: Research sites

Wish for a World Wonder

It’s funny how we form these strange goals for our lives.

To be the first in my family to get a house.
To be the best surgeon in my field.
To gain three Doctorates.
To have 6 kids.
To move to a certain city.

Listening to tour radio at Stonehenge.
Listening to tour radio at Stonehenge.

My goal…as ridiculous as it may seem…is to see all the world wonders. It is possible? Sure. Is it realistic? Maybe not. I don’t have the funds or time at the moment, and I see myself in the near future having a child of my own to be with. I have the Wonders list hanging at my desk in my office. The Wonders of the: Ancient World, Medieval World, Natural World, Modern World, Underwater World, and Forgotten Wonders.

Pizza in Pisa
Mom eating Pizza in Pisa with the Leaning Tower!

Some are going to be a little bit more challenging than others. Palau, for example, will be quite the adventure to get to! It is so important for us to experience these wonders, because who knows how long they will be around to view! I heard a rumor that the Great Barrier

Sydney Ferry Ride
Sydney Opera House, Australia from a Ferry

Reef wont be around in the next ten years! I have to find a way back there. I think it is good to have goals for travel. Not only is it something to look forward but when it is accomplished, it feels like the ultimate battle has been won.

Look them up! See how close you are to one of the world wonders and why not take a spontaneous trip to say that you experienced it! They are everywhere!

Tokyo View
Wayne in Tokyo with Mount Fuji in the Background

Oh the Places You’ll Cruise??

My dear co-worker and friend Candace married her long time girlfriend Genna last month in Chicago. They had a lovely wedding, but like all weddings go…it is finally time for the honeymoon!!

Ponte Vecchio
Ponte Vecchio

They booked a Mediterranean cruise that goes from Barcelona to Naples/Pompeii to Rome to Florence/Pisa/Livorna to Cannes to

Pisa Cliche
Mom at Pisa

Palma, Majorica. I have been to six of those nine places. I thought I could give some good insight to it. Then I decided for a wedding gift that I would make them one of my iWander books of their cruise for free of charge!

It was a lot of fun to make, because I have always wanted to know all the potential places I could go to in limited time and therefore I (or whoever I am writing it for) would have lots of options once there. But, this was a cruise.

I gave Candace her book!
I gave Candace her book!

They are only allowed 10-12 hours in each place. How does one see all of Rome in 10 hours?! Well. Actually. One doesn’t. So I did a lot of research of finding the best one day excursions in each place. I looked up blog suggestions, must-do’s and must see’s, and travel sites suggestions. It was a really fun book to make because I was able to set personalized suggestions of where to go and when.

Here is a blurb of my Barcelona part:



History: The city is the capital of Catalonia and is Spain’s second biggest city. They have a population of about 1.5 million people. Best known for the Olympics being hosted in Barcelona in 1992, and since then the city has changed its neighborhoods and the way the city is presented today. It was originally under Roman rule. Barcelona was founded under two stories: the first being Hercules (yes, the Mythological God) founded the city, and the second being founded by Hamilcar Barca the statesman of Cyrene. He was said to command the forces in Sicily from 247 BC to 241 BC. The Roman redirected the city as a military camp around 15 BC, and used for its excellent harbor.  After the Romans were the Visigoths conquer, and this was a rule by the Moors for the next 100 years. The city gained a reputation during the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century with the World’s Fair in 1888. Catalonia fought for freedom from the rule of Spain through the 20th century, and with this heightened Barcelona’s importance.

Suggested Options for A Single Day in Barcelona:
(On your first day, with only a few hours, it might be beneficial to start one of these and then finish the suggested list on your return back and be able to spend more time in a museum or Cathedral.)

    – Mirador de Colon         – Placa de Catalunya                 – Parc Guell
    – La Rambla                 – La Rambla                          – Train to Sangrada Familia (Go in?)
    – Detour thru Barri Gotic   – Mirador de Colon                  – Av. Diagonal to Casa Batllo (Go in?)
    – Visit Museo Picasso      – Placa Reial                         – Casa Mila (Go in?)
    – Walk back by Catedral     – Thru Barri Gotic                   -Thru Barri Gotic
    – La Boqueria (off of La Rambla) – Visit Catedral               – Visit Catedral (Go in?)
    – Placa de Catalunya           – Walk to Can Culleretes         -Visit Town Hall
    – Casa Batllo (Go in?)          – Montjuic                           – Olympic Stadium
    – Casa Mila/Pedrera (Go in?)  – Sangrada Familia (Go in?)        – Montjuic hill
    – Avinguda Diagonal              – Train to Parc Guell        
    – La Sangrada Familia (Go in?)                    
    – Train to Parc Guell                        

* (G) signifies Gaudi Work

– Avinguda Diagonal – A collection of bars and restaurants on one of the most important streets in Barcelona. It was designed by IIdefons Cerda (one of the city original planners).

– Barcelona Catedral (of Holy Cross) – The cathedral was started in the 13th century and finished in the 15th century. It was built on the site of an old Roman town (close to what was once the Roman Forum). The Roman city’s gate was once across the street (Carrer del Bisbe) and you can still see the lower segments of the towers as well as a Roman aqueduct at the base of the Bishop’s Palace (Palau Episcopal).The cathedral was spared by the anarchists during the Civil War and is the place where Santa…..cont.


First Steps when Planning a Holiday

It seems to be that time of year. The advertisements for summer travel are on the radio. Travel agencies are coming out with new deals and specials. And all over my Facebook people are asking about travel advice or announcing a new big trip they are about to go on.

It inspired me to make a brief note about how to begin the plans and research for those new to travel. I have a lot of friends and acquaintances coming to me asking about places they are going to or how to choose routes to take or how much to save or what the best research tool is. So here is my initial and probably my most important advice that I give others.

Brisbane Cathedral
Brisbane Cathedral

1. It’s about you. YOU are the one going on this trip and YOU are the one who is going to get the most out of it. No one else. No one else can tell you that this castle was more interesting than this garden. Or that you HAVE to do some sort of tour because they said it was the best thing to do. If you are not interested in castles and history then you will not like it. It might bore you. But down the street from that castle is a massive market that is world famous and you love to shop! Always keep in your mind YOUR interests. Take others’ advice by all means but keep in mind that you are the one going on this trip.

Dublin Spire
Dublin Spire

2. If you are going on an extended holiday or if you are planning to go to as many places as you possibly can on this holiday, just keep in mind that you will be rushed with train/bus schedules and hotels which means that you must prioritize what means most to you! If it comes down to choosing to go horseback riding on the beach or going to Galway, then you should choose one. You won’t have a good time if you are rushed throughout every experience you have on this holiday just to fit everything in. It is for you to enjoy and to remember.

Imperial Palace grounds Tokyo
Imperial Palace grounds Tokyo

3. There is no right or wrong place at all. Just because I had a bad time in Byron Bay, that doesn’t mean that you won’t have the best experience of your life. Try new things and don’t let anyone deter you. At the same time, when you are doing your research, 9 times out of 10 when you look up reviews and they are mostly negative, then that place is probably a little bit of a dud. DO pay attention to what others say, just try not to take it to heart.

Bath, England
Bath, England

EXAMPLE: So I am about to help my friend Katie on a trip to England/Scotland/Wales. My best advice that I can start with for her is focusing towards the cities and working from there. But first I am going to ask her what she is MOST interested in.

Vienna, Austria
Vienna, Austria

FYI: The first thing I do when planning a trip is buy a travel book on that country/continent. It is easy to have in your bag and is a great starting point for your research!