I was going to wait a bit before publishing this blog, but in my world, I get asked this question just about every day, so I thought, I’d better write it. What question is that, you ask? Here it is, “Wendy, what are you going to do next, you have to return to the States?” My response is actually not any different than it has been for the last 26 years of being married to this military life. So, you’ll find out what that answer is at the end. Our lives have “re-routed” every few years since we’ve said, “we do.” If you use the WAZE app, you’ll occasionally hear the phrase, “re-routing” when you are driving along. Most of the time, I like the alternate routes, they lead to awesome surprises on an otherwise boring “highway” trip.
I would be lying if I told you I wasn’t a little bit melancholy about our next chapter because I truly have loved almost “every minute of living overseas.” My little business/job is a blessing and a challenge and I am really grateful for having this opportunity.
As a serial entrepreneur creating and developing ©Travel with Wendy has been interesting, a blast, a frustration, but most of the time, a lot of FUN! Together with this community in Stuttgart I have tried to find out what travel challenges are needed and tried to help out. Actually, that is what most of us, military spouses do when we move to a new duty station. We look for a pocket or a hole that needs filling and try to match our skill set to that need. It’s just what we do, it’s how we find our core group of friends, or I guess the new word is “tribe.”
My tribe is awesome, they have been supportive, encouraging and honest when I needed them to be and really helped me build this business.
Some would say it is because they are travel addicts too and we have enabled each other, but that’s just what haters say. HA!
Here are some questions people wanna know before I go ~
What is your favorite country?
Well… typically it is the last country I have visited. If you read my blog you could probably figure it out. It is usually SCOTLAND and ITALY. They are so close to each other on my list it is hard to separate.
WHY? – In both countries, I have fallen in love with the people. I am undoubtedly a people person. This response in the 80’s would’ve crushed an interview. I am though. The Scots and the Italians have been overwhelming welcoming and loving in a genuine way that make me long to stay forever in both places AND for different reasons.
WHY I LOVE SCOTLAND?
- It may be cold in temperature, but warm in heart
- Everywhere I have been from the Isle of Skye to Edinburgh, to Oban and Inverness the Scots have been lovely. They genuinely greet you with interest and curiosity hoping to help you out
- I love the landscape – YUP, EVERYWHERE!
- Lots of history
- I LOVE THE food! I really do – from the seafood on the coast to culinary talent pretty much everywhere we have visited, I was surprised by the cuisine of Scotland
- Potential Outlander Cast sighting (just kidding~kinda)
- Weather – I have been to Scotland now in every season – doesn’t matter – JUST GO!
WHY I LOVE ITALY?
- Again, its the people!
- I have taken over 20 trips to Italy in the past five years and I still have three more this spring!
- Italy is EASY ~
- Language – most places in Italy, speak English, but its fun to try Italian
- Tourism – especially north Italy – they have figured out tourism and do it well
- Autogrills (REST AREAs) are the bomb – download the APP! ~ you’re welcome
- Stay in an AGRITURISMO
- TAKE A COOKING CLASS!
- Embrace their culture
- Italians are born teachers, they love to teach and share
- Enjoy a gelato on the square in ANY town in ITALY
- Talk with your hands! I’m from New York, so it comes naturally for me
- Absolutely, the food, mange, mange … if people want to know about my weight gain, I happily blame Italy. It is not the wine, I don’t care what haters say.
WHY SMALL GROUP TRAVEL?
I am a part of the sustainable tourism movement. You may not have heard about it, but we are trying to educate and sustain tourism throughout the world by promoting smaller not bigger as well as environmental and consumer impacts around the globe.
By traveling in small groups we have less of an impact on communities, parks, monuments, historical sites, etc. Some people think if you travel in mass groups it is “helping” the countries, but newer studies show especially in more desperate economic countries over 70% of their tourism dollars leave their country. These tours are also structured to support other chain businesses not located in the host country.
My small business concept at ©Travel with Wendy is to use all things local, if I can. Local restaurants, no chain accommodations, local tour guides, local cooking classes, and create authentic, unforgettable experiences. It does cost a bit more for this luxury, exclusive personal experience, but it also is an unbelievable adventure that will leave you with incredible memories and making new friends around the globe. Yea, checking a box on a Wendy trip is not an option because, it’s always an adventure!
What is your favorite DAY TRIP?
Hmmm, I don’t know if I have a FAVORITE, but I have created E-books that have over 30 different day trips. So I guess that answer would be like how do you love your kids? I love ’em all.
What is your favorite hike?
My favorite local hike is probably the Blueberry Hut Hike (Bad Wildbad) in Kaltenbronn. This day trip and hike is in my Hikes around Stuttgart book and we have made so many memories including making friends with Jürgen and his family at the Grünhütte. But again, I love to hike so a day out in the Black Forest or around Stuttgart with my boots and Camelbak is a favorite day.
What are your future plans?
This is the other question that everyone wants to know. So the cool thing about moving to America, is I can easily rediscover it. So I have plans to create ©Travel with Wendy tours and blogs about AMERICA! I have already begun a little bit by visiting Nashville recently.
I hope to be discovering more of America AND continue with my European favorites as well! I have 2019 DESTINATION Tours available in Europe and after my summer in States, I am hoping to add more tours for eager travelers. Traveling the way I do includes everything I love, education, history, sharing and connecting people.
So to answer the original question? What are you going to do next? Well, I’m gonna continue to travel and SHARE! Stay tuned… because there’s more adventure ahead.