Treasured Travel Memories: From Grand Canyon to the Olympics

by  ShermansTravel Editorial Staff | Apr 6, 2020
Chania, Greece
Chania, Greece / iStock / Gatsi

During this uncertain time, we have learned that people may not be traveling right now, but will be desperate to do so in the future – with gusto. While we’re committed to continue providing you with content that will help you dream about being abroad from the comfort of your own sofa, what about past travel experiences? The trips we once remembered from slideshows or family photo albums that have now become one of a thousand on our iPhone. This is a family trip that you took to the Grand Canyon as a kid or last year’s backpacking adventure to Thailand. This was your honeymoon to New Zealand. They make us the explorers that we are today and while the vacation might be over, the memories are forever. Here, the staff at ShermansTravel share their most treasured travel memories. This week, we’re sharing some memories from our staff, as well as some incredible travel writers. We hope that you enjoy it.

On Being a Model in Los Angeles 

“On a trip to Los Angeles last summer, my local friends texted me one morning and said, “Two of the models for the AQUA Headwear photoshoot backed out. Would you be willing to come to Malibu and get your picture taken on the beach?” I have never been a model, but the answer was obvious. So we drove north in the photographer’s Jeep, armed with white wine and beachy props, to spend the day laughing in the sun and capturing our raw happiness on camera. Trips like this remind me that the best vacations don’t require far-flung locales or foreign countries, but they will push you to be spontaneous and step outside of what you know.” Elyse Hauser, freelance writer

A Magical Spin Around Lake Como

“In September of 2018, I spent a few days on Lake Como with my partner, Charles. We stayed at Filario Hotel, a splendid boutique property on the eastern shore of Ramo di Como, a few miles south of Bellagio. I read the best way to explore the lake was by boat, and so I had the hotel arrange a private rental for us. The morning of, a fellow from the rental company met us at the hotel's private dock with our very own motorboat. He gave us a quick demo on powering the engine and steering, and after dropping him off at the rental marina, we were on our own for the next four hours. The experience was utterly exhilarating. I had never driven a boat before...but caught on quickly. We saw so much of the lake that day: the northern arm that stretches into the snow-capped Alps, the colorful town of Varenna, the immaculate Villa del Balbianello, George Clooney's lakefront villa in Laglio, a secluded cove in Nesso fed by a 650-foot waterfall, and the list goes on. I left my heart on Lake Como that trip, and actually returned a year later to fulfill a yearning to be back in that magical region of Italy.” Greg K, Director of Email, CRM & Retention

A Father-Daughter Trip to the Olympics  

“In 2016, my dad and I went to Rio for the Olympics. It was a trip of many firsts: my first Olympics, my dad's first Uber ride and the first time in Brazil for both of us. Ahead of the trip, my dad told me that we needed to "blend in with the locals" and couldn't "look like a pair of tourists" for safety reasons. I flew from NYC and he traveled from Chicago and when we met in Rio, my dad was dressed like this [photo below]. I love that this is his non-tourist, definitely-not-from-Chicago look. When the Olympics ended, we made a pact that we'd go to Tokyo for the 2020 games. Obviously that's not happening now, but we're okay with waiting another year. The trip to Japan will be my dad's first time eating sushi, and he's excited to have 12 additional months to learn how to use chopsticks. Looking at this photo I'm reminded that travel isn't just about where you go, but also who you go with that makes the trip.” Amelia Mularz, freelance writer

The Galápagos Islands and Adorable Sea Lions

"I often reflect on our family trip to the nature-rich Galápagos Islands, a UNESCO-designated archipelago located about 1000 km off the coast of Ecuador. We encountered so many incredible creatures, including gigantic Galápagos tortoises, blue-footed boobies, Galápagos sharks, frigate birds, and spiky iguanas. But it was a colony of Galápagos sea lions on San Cristóbal Island that held our attention. Each day, we spent hours observing adult males protecting their harem, females tending to newborns, and playful pups tumbling about in the tide pools. In the evening, at least one member of the colony would lumber up the sand, cross the wooden boardwalk, and snooze in the cafe's outdoor seating area. Even though the trip was a few years ago, I always smile when I think of these Galápagos sea lions." Nancy Besharah, freelance writer and blogger 

Traveling to Cure a Broken Heart 

“When my fiancé and I split up shortly before our wedding, I knew the best anecdote for me was to travel. I traded in two airline tickets for a honeymoon in Hawaii to one solo seat to Australia. Besides being about as far from the US as possible, I knew there wouldn’t be a language barrier Down Under. With our wedding planned for late December, I left on what would have been my wedding day arriving in Sydney two days later.  Not only was I instantly transported from winter to summer, but the warm, welcoming culture and laid-back vibe of Oz stood in stark contrast to the chaos I had left. I stayed for two weeks sightseeing in Sydney, Melbourne, and Canberra, driving on the “other” side of the road, shopping in trendy boutiques, aimlessly wandering city streets, staying at a working farm, hiking the Blue Mountains, singing along to Australian folks songs, and feeding a baby joey abandoned by its mother. It was the perfect cure for a broken heart.” Sheila Consaul, Communications Consultant and Freelance Travel Writer

Taking a Right Turn on the Ring Road in Iceland

“My boyfriend and I drove the Ring Road in Iceland over 11 days using a spotty GPS in our rental car and a road map from our guide book. On day 8, we drove to Snæfellsnes peninsula, the location of one of my must-sees, a mountain and waterfall combination known as one of the most photographed landmarks in Iceland: Kirkjufell. We were getting closer to our Airbnb after a long day of driving when the map told us we had to decide if we wanted to circle the peninsula in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction. Shortly after choosing counterclockwise, I could barely contain my excitement as we approached a mountain and realized it was Kirkjufell. It was the sunniest day of our entire trip, perfect for capturing this landmark in its best light. If we had chosen the other direction, we would have had to find Kirkjufell two days later on our way back to Reykjavík. Two days later it rained. That split second decision ended up giving me one of my favorite views of the trip.” Heather Sweeney, writer and editor

 A Last-Minute Trip to the Grand Canyon 

"Instead of spending all our days soaking in the sun in Phoenix where we were booked for our February break, I realized the South Rim of the Grand Canyon was within a drivable distance and we managed to score a hotel room last-minute, too.  We had our two rambunctious twin boys in tow and even then it was such a peaceful trip – they were awestruck by the vastness of the canyon, the colors of the sunsets against the snow on the cliffs, the chill of the air in the mornings and how dark the sky became at night. We took the days leisurely, hiking through nature, playing games together, watching movies and eating slow meals. Now as we are forced to stay at home for a while, I try and conjure the peace we felt as a family at the Grand Canyon just a short while ago and it reminds me that maybe this too is also an unexpected adventure and before we know it we'll be traveling again." Terumi Pong, blogger and traveler

A Honeymoon in Greece 

"I have so many travel memories, but the one that I keep going back to is my two-week trip to Greece in 2015. I married my husband Scott at Agreco Farm, a traditional Greek estate, on the island of Crete. It was a simple, private ceremony among close friends and a few rescued animals, overlooking vineyards and olive groves near the Sea of Crete. After a week of dining at seaside restaurants in Chania, enjoying the famous pink-sand Elafonisi Beach, and exploring the archaeological site of Knossos, we headed to Santorini and stayed in Imerovigli, where the sunsets were more intimate. We ended our journey with memorable visits to Athens’ Acropolis and the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion. My favorite moments remain the warmth of the people, authentic Cretan food, and swimming in the balmy springs near the island of Nea Kameni in the middle of the flooded caldera. It was a dream come true and I can’t wait to return one day." Lavanya Sunkara, freelance writer 

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