Those of you paying very close attention might have noticed my new tagline: to travel is to live – a quote from Hans Christian Andersen that I first saw at Torvehallerne an outstanding food hall in Copenhagen (click here to see photo and read more about it). I wholeheartedly concur with Mr. Andersen’s sentiment – and I couldn’t have said it better. I love almost everything about travel whether to new places or familiar haunts. In fact, this blog was launched during a four hour layover at Frankfurt Airport and, as I write this post, I am sitting at Boston’s Logan Airport!
While getting from point A to point B may not be as luxurious or glamorous as in the past (although I am willing to give the Orient Express a chance to prove me wrong), from the time I clear security, the adventure begins. I can tolerate and even embrace some of the inconveniences that come with 21st century travel, but dirt undoes me. I’m afraid cost cutting and over scheduling means many planes and trains are cleaned with a lick and a promise, if that. This may be why the sight of the Shinkansen’s Pink Ladies with their mission accomplished is so welcome. The bullet train is not only fast, it is immaculate. In addition to Japan and the usual suspects of Finland and Scandinavia, I have found Turkey and Croatia to be among the cleanest countries I have visited (45 so far, but who’s counting). Not having to worry about the state of the “facilities” is a welcome reprieve (and if you haven’t had the opportunity to check out a Japanese “washlet,” add it to your must-see list).