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Passport Not Necessary

Growing up I had the great fortune to be the daughter of parents who loved to travel whose profession was teaching. They had the summers off and I joined in their wanderlust.

We spent weeks on the road visiting the states, sites, the not-so-populated parks and many locations away from the conventional stops. There were other weeks and other summers hitting Europe hard along with time in South America.

After graduation I spent the better part of a year to travel on my own which included traveling by rail in China (a month-long train pass was ridiculously cheap and food was 65 cents a day from a gigantic rice bowl with unknown veggies and some stewed creature from rail-stop vendors) and in the Middle East. Personally, I found the folks in China, and I covered ground from Shanghai to Chengdu, the most friendly and helpful in all of my limited travel.

I love to travel and I'm involved in a peripheral way in the travel business.

Sometimes, I've found, there are great spots to visit close to home. I know this group is world travel and there a thousand places I want to see but close to home to me may be someone else's journey. 

An hour from where I live in southwest Florida is a wonderful outing to the town of Punta Gorda and the "Pottery Express and Bamboo Farm." The acres of unique firings from Viet Nam, China and Mexico really goes well with the bamboo forest. It's also home to several talented artists and their small shops. Fun to wander and, like a panda, have lunch in the noon darkness of the bamboo plants.



Urns, planters, and pottery for every purpose.





Full-grown Budda Belly bamboo. Gets to be about 12 feet I 
think. I lugged home a seven-gallon pot for the backyard.



My new fav outpost along with Jan, the proprietor and teacher
(holding a silken scarf, my next project with her) and the box
embellished with broken plates made in the first class.
Headed back this week.



Kathryn1985 Kathryn1985 26-30, F 14 Responses Jan 5, 2013

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A world traveler and a new artist working with discarded materials (in this case, porcelain)... I new there was something(s) I liked about mi amiga KT ;)

Wow Katie you have been very fortunate the places you have been. Sounds like you are in a great city now too. :o)

My travel has been limited to the lower 48 and one incredible fishing trip into Canada. I always find it interesting that people who have grown up around a "tourist attraction" or famous landmark (me included) are some of the least likely people to have been to it. There are a million things that are right in my own back yard that draw people from all over that I have yet to experience.

And sometimes the little itty bitty places familiar to locals go ignored.

Hide and seek in my grandma's bamboo forest -- some memories remain lodged forever. As my grandmother advised all her friends: If you plant bamboo, it'll stay with you for life. (Grows like weeds on steroids with 24/7 access to a never ending Bob's BigBoy Buffet). Budda Belly bamboo looks like a 7 year old's dream --almost thick enough to build a tree house and wide enough to blend behind during hide-and-seek. Re: Your broken plate box. You may have discovered the seed capital for a global hegemon. Royal Dutch Shell started from similarly humble origins: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_Samuel,_1st_Viscount_Bearstedhttp://www.latique.com/index.php/antiques/single/5151/Victorian-Shell-Box.html

Lots to choose from among bamboo types in the subtropics that are 'clumping' where Mother Nature has deemed some semblance of order the roots remain orderly and in a single place.

I cleared a 10 x 30' corner arc (two sides are a six-foot fence) in the backyard and the single Buddha Belly is, so far, the lone inhabitant. Muscles still ache.

As far as launching anything mosaic for financial gain as shown with the $599 jewelry box made from shells, what I will say is my box is newer.

The mysteries of travel, discovering , exploring, experiencing

Food, sights, sounds, artifacts

My one true passion as well .... Even if the experience is just up the road

...as is common as the world grows smaller

I wish, I wish, Iwish It was Me... eyes wide Open... Picturea & videos of everywhere.. Good Thoughts

I too am bitten by the travel bug early in life, and have roamed around the world, and still continuing! China is a subcontinent with many different flavors in various regions - one of my favorite destinations too. I also recommend Cambodia and Vietnam, before the manufacturing outsources overrun these places in the coming decade. Thanks for posting.

we also enjoy exploring new frontiers. tx for sharing

KT you are more woman than most people can imagine, and traveling has had a lot to do with that. All kinds of growth happens when we are open to the elements and people in other cultures. It creates PERSPECTIVE! Like reading it opens up new worlds and a growing you to appreciate them--not always positively, but it thereby makes us ready for anything too.

No wonder you are so well read.........travel is the best education.

Wow, what a great way to grow up!! I think it rocks that you got all that adventure in after graduation too!! Loved all your local info....There are awesome spots to visit around every corner!! I also LOVE the broken plate box too!! That is TOTALLY AWESOME!! I love to travel but would never do it if I didn't have hubs to go with....I'd be a total chicken to set out alone...

Carefree, dumb and a little lucky at 21. Travel on my own now? Never.

Awwww...it's nice to know you're in the "chicken-club" now too!! :D

It is nice you got to experience such things at a young age. If more people got to travel and be exposed to various cultures and ways of life, the world would be a better place. I had the opposite experience growing up in a very insulated small town and have never left the country. As a result I am somewhat travel phobic.

I was a bit fearful flying into Beijing. Rigid, ex-commie, hard-line, strict rules covering everything. Not that way at all. The airport was shiny and clean enough to eat off the floors. I never slowed down a step through customs with the agent, who looked like a 15-year old, quickly stamped my passport and said in perfect English, "Welcome to China Miss R." The folks, young and old, In the cities, the countryside and with whom I shared a train compartment, were friendly, happy, helpful and interested and everyone under 40 spoke perfect English.

That is really cool...must be a shock coming here from China.. dirty Airports.. rude people.. and no one speaks Chinese.

Great story. I spent a wonderful 3 weeks in California. Not quite as amazing as New Zealand but not far off :-) Hopefully go to New York again later in the year. Happy travelling!