My Year’s Top 10

Top 10: Places & Experiences

listed chronologically, rather than order of importance
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND. Watching a Belgian couple perform a harrowing piece about a Chechnyan school attack at the Edinburgh Fringe and later sharing a table and hour-long lunch with a German (former) Member of Parliament and her sharp-shooter husband.
GOREME, TURKEY. Staying several nights in a fairy-chimney cave and then hot air ballooning over Cappadocia with a couple from New Zealand, who were out to visit all of the -stan countries.
MUNICH, GERMANY. Spending a week with my sister Linda in Albania and then rendezvousing with her in November to explore Munich, Bavaria, and Salzburg…and, best, holding her hand each night as we wearily returned to our hotel room. This kinda was the sequel to our short trip together to Istanbul, with which she fell in love and returned months later.
BRAN, ROMANIA. Hosting fellow Fulbrighters in a hillside lodge (with fireplace!) before and after we explored Dracula’s castle, all with our high hopes about what our grant year might bring. Some of those hopes came through; others didn’t…but having each other as our own support group proved invaluable throughout the year.
DEARING, GEORGIA. Returning home to my family for one week at Christmas and sensing, more than ever, our quickening immortality, while still feeling our steadfast love for each other. I never know if there will be another gathering of all of us, so I never take for granted any opportunity we have together.
FEZ, MOROCCO. Being “adopted” by the Moroccan family who operated (but didn’t own) the historic riad where I stayed as sole guest for three nights. Sharing meals with them, playing with the grandson, drinking mint tea…all while being bathed in their smiles and laughter.
DORTMUND, GERMANY. Spending a long weekend with my dear friend and kindred spirit, Caroline Thomas, and her wonderful husband Peter. Being able “to pick up” where we left off five years earlier without missing a beat speaks volumes about such a rare friendship, and it so greatly warmed my heart.
CLUJ, ROMANIA. Standing in a circle after opening night with my cast of The Fantasticks and making toasts and drinking home-brewed pálinka to celebrate and commiserate our journey together. To work so intensely for one month with such brave, talented, and welcoming students was the what and when I so needed.
TBILISI, GEORGIA. Exploring this ancient but eclectic city and savoring its spicy food and then taking two, day-long road trips with multi-internationals, all of whom are in love with traveling and experiencing the world. And on those same trips, those two long lunches with local host families, who loved us for loving them.
SIBIU, ROMANI. Reuniting with an old friend Stuart from grad school to experience an international theatre festival, but, more importantly, to share the positives and negatives and uncertainties of our lives as well as our commitments to forge ahead.