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How old were you when you the first time you went?

How old were you when you the first time you went?

Old Jun 25th, 2009, 06:15 AM
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1. At what age did you first go to Europe?


2. Where did you visit?

A 12 day Scandinavian Cruise including St Petersburg (the highlight for DH and I)

3. What circumstances took you to Europe?

I won 2 free tickets on American Airlines to anywhere they fly. So, it was a toss-up between the cruise or Paris. We opted for the cruise thinking it would be more exotic!
That darn first trip began my addiction to Europe!
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Old Jun 25th, 2009, 06:23 AM
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I was 16 yrs old.
It was the trip of my life.
I went alone. My 9th grade "boyfriend's" family had been transferred to Paris from Michigan for the father's job. We wrote for two years and then he asked me to come for Christmas.
My mother finally relented IF his mother would write a letter to her inviting me and confirming there would be proper supervision.
So I was off to Paris. My mother insisted on sending a hostess gift to the other mother and selected a "lovely" expensive traditional, flowered robe. Little did we know that the other mother was a bohemian, hippy type wife and mother of 8 who believed that children basically raised themselves. I saw her once on the entire trip. They had an amazing 10 bedroom home in the ambbasador area of Paris. What a fun trip this was. While my friend went to school everyday I roamed Paris by myself. I visited all the museums and walked the Seine. There were a few scary moments like when I accepted a ride to the Rodin Museum from French soldiers (in a truck no less) and then realized they were not honest in their intentions. Fortunately one of their buddies or supervisors saw the situation developing and came over and sternly called them off.
Then there was the time I went to visit old friends of my parents. I waited outside their apartment until after dark. I then walked up and down a nearby street. When guys started approaching me I decided to use a "disguise" I wrapped a scarf around my head and limped. Hmm, still did not work. Guys still tried to pick me up.
When my friend got back home after school we went out on the town with his American School of Paris friends. Always on mopeds and always with lots of cigarettes and great music. It was so fun. A real international group of interesting kids.
As if that was not enough, I took an overnight train to Torino, Italy for 5 days to visit my grandfather for Christmas and then back to Paris, again all alone.
Still not over.
New Years in Paris. How fun. First we went with the group of friends to a party in a classy, high rise apartment building. I had my first glass of wine ever. Sadly I had a cold and had taken a decongestant before going out(didn't know not to mix meds and alcohol). I felt myself sinking into the chair and then realized that with only half a glass of wine I was drunk. My friend helped me to the bathroom where I spent an hour on the floor. Then the group headed out in a van to the Champ Elysee for the Midnight celebration. I was so out of it I was on the floor of the van and picked my head up briefly to see the festivities. Then fell asleep.
A few years later we "broke" up but remained friends. We still correspond intermittently. He is married with 6 kids and I am married with three. I am headed to Paris in 3 weeks with my family and I know it will bring flashbacks of that wonderful trip in 1971 and my honeymoon in 1980. Oh the great memories..... But still can't believe my parents wheo were pretty strict let me take the trip!!
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Old Jun 25th, 2009, 06:24 AM
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(i probably answered this already but...)

40, exactly, Switzerland, for my birthday
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Old Jun 25th, 2009, 06:36 AM
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I went to Venice, Florence, and Rome as part of a college course when I was 20. Each of us had to pick a paticular artist or building ahead of time to do a presentation about when we were there. I picked Raphael, so whenever we saw one of his paintings, I told them about the history of it.
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Old Jun 25th, 2009, 07:04 AM
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1. 23

2. Lux, France, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Germany (West and at that time East), Denmark, Scotland , England. As many places as we could squeeze into 6 weeks on a Eurailpass.

3. Did the grand tour on about $1700 1977 US dollars IIRC after graduating from college with an interest in Art History. I have been back about 15 times over the years. Wish I had gone earlier- my nine year old daughter has been over six times now- twice this year....

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Old Jun 25th, 2009, 07:05 AM
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1. Age 15 (summer of 2000)
2. Italy, Austria, Switzerland and France - 21 days
3. I was a People to People student ambassador. I was offered a chance to interview for the program, was accepted and the group of 40 students spent a few months researching the places we would go. I had an amazing time and it started a absolute travel addiction. Europe was followed by Australia, Costa Rica and then the UK and Ireland most recently. I'm now planning a trip to Egypt and London and trying to figure out when I can travel again after that trip. Europe has such a huge mix of cultures, sites, and destinations that it's a wonderful place to start your travels and you can go back for years and never see everything.
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Old Jun 25th, 2009, 07:17 AM
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age 16- 6 weeks in France. 3 Evian 3 Versailles. AM French classes.
Cried first time I saw the Eiffel Tower.
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Old Jun 27th, 2009, 04:12 AM
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TravellingDiva - 12 years old along? You were so brave. And so lucky!

BarbaraLouise - Your story is amazing. I have been to Paris, but it was nothing compared to the way that you saw Paris!

frenchwow - I also cried the first time that I saw the Eiffel Tower. And the Grand Canal in Venice. I am sure that I will also cry in two weeks when I am on top of the Swiss Alps!!
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Old Jun 27th, 2009, 04:21 AM
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I was 4 the first time I went to Europe. I went to Scotland with my Mother. My mother is from Scotland and she married a sailor and was home for the first time in 5 years. And I have taken an overseas trip from the USA ever since. And I will keep on traveling until I take my permanent vacation
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Old Jun 27th, 2009, 07:41 AM
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1. I was 23...turned 24 in Paris
2. Spent one week in Switzerland; one week in Paris
3. One of my sisters was studying in Besancon, France.

One of my sisters spent her junior year in college in Besancon, France. I decided to visit her and met her in Geneva. We had a Eurailpass and travelled around Switzerland. We spent the first day in Geneva and the first night in Lausanne. After a short visit in Lausanne and boat ride on Lake Geneva, we made our way to Zurich and then onto Zermatt, one of my favorite places I have ever been to. I've been to Zermatt 4 times, now....I can just sit and look at the Matterhorn all day.

After a few more stops in places like Lucerne, and an over night stay in Besancon, we took the high speed TGV to Paris, where we spent one more week. I turned 24 in Paris....had lunch at Le Tour D'Argent that day. Mind you, for the most part, I didn't eat in expensive places like this or stay in fancy hotels on this trip....just wanted to try this place out on my birthday! It was a fine lunch, but we had an even better dinner at some small hole in the wall place near the Georges Pompidou center....for much less than half the price of Le Tour D'Argent!

The travel bug bit me, and I've been back to Europe a total of 16 times on vacation, plus I also have worked in The Netherlands for 4 years. One thing I really regret is not having spent time studying in Europe during college, but the work experience was very satisfying. I'm looking forward to my next trip back!
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Old Jun 27th, 2009, 11:39 PM
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My first visit to Europe was when I was eight years old. My father brought me to Italy and Venice. I remember how grand the Piazza San Marco was and how lovely the music was as the musicians played merrily, and the crowds of people just strolling along. I learned later it was the Caffe Florian, where Casanova used to romance his paramours , one of my favourite places. I also remember the Parmigiano cheese in powder form. They used to be in rippled glass bottles that you could sprinkle all over your pasta and pizza. I rememeber too, going to Capri and visiting the exquisite Blue Grotto where the ancient Roman Emperors had wild orgies. As the boat went under the narrow and very low opening, I was so worried my head would hit the rocks at the top of the cave.
I love Europe, Paris, Geneve, Venice, Rolle, Roma, Wien....By Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet, a renowned Travel, Food & Wine Writer/Editor.
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Old Jun 28th, 2009, 01:42 PM
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1. Age 18

2. Greece - Went all over the country including Athens, Olympia, Delphi, Meteora and a few greek islands.

3. It was our last year of High School history trip, there was about 20 of us with 2 teachers. Really the most amazing time. I have been back to Europe 5 times, and once I got to live in Scotland for 6 months on a University exchange. Going back this year, cant wait !!
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Old Jun 28th, 2009, 02:39 PM
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1. age 33
2. London, Paris, Venice, Florence, Rome
3. My husband and I took an American Express Tour.

I studied French in HS and college and was hoping to spend my junior year in France. I wanted to so much, but my parents were afraid I would party my way across the continent. In 92,I got cancer for the first time and not long after my husband was diagnosed with a somewhat serious heart condition. At that point, we decided to go to Europe at least once a year. Instead of moving to a fancy neighborhood, we spend that money on travel. Since real estate has tanked here, I think we did the right thing.
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Old Jun 28th, 2009, 02:40 PM
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1. Age 22
2. Greece for three weeks
3. My best friend and I were going to see our agapis
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Old Jun 29th, 2009, 04:24 AM
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Age 52

Finland, Sweden

I was terrified. For some reason I had never believed I would ever go to Europe. I worried so much that I couldn't even order food and how would we make out.

It was a mind blowing trip and I've never wanted to go back to Finland in case returning would spoil the 'majik' of it all! However after 5 more trips over and visiting, Ireland, Scotland, England, Italy, France, Switzerland I'm actually thinking a return to Finland might be coming up soon.
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Old Jun 29th, 2009, 05:15 AM
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I was in my 20's when I first went to Europe. My friend and I went to Paris. People were very friendly. At first it was like going to many other trips I had been on until we got off the Subway in the evening by the Arc de Triomphe. We looked up and saw the Arc and Eiffel Tower both lit up and in the same view. It was one of those breath taking moments where you just stand in awe and say I am now in Paris. Since then I have been back to Paris a number of times and have seen much of the rest of Europe.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2010, 01:29 PM
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I was 40. Surprised my wife (kids were in on it) with a trip to Paris at Christmas 2005 for a February 2006 trip. Had to delay it because she didn't have a Passport and getting one ahead of time would have let the cat out of the bag. Went to the Post Office on Monday the 26th and the darned thing didn't arrive until January 30th for a February 3rd flight!

What were the circumstances? As a kid (until college actually) had term passes from TWA as both parents worked for the airline. Even with that, and that TWA flew direct from MCI to CDG at the time, I never went. Didn't take the French class sojourn as I was involved with sports which I used for college scholarship money. Time flew by and I had still never went. Planned it as a second honeymoon, but when it came to booking tickets, the prices were 1/2 what they were during the initial phase($418.00 per person R/T from MCI), so I called the boys and let them in on the deal and told them they had to talk to their professors at school and get permission to miss class because they were going as well. Since then have made plans three times to return and various medical issues arose in the group that ultimately cancelled all three. Currently working on a surprise trip next March for our niece and nephew to Normandy and Paris for eight days. I've definitely been bit by the travel bug, at least for France.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2010, 01:57 PM
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At birth, born here in Ireland. I was 16 the first time I left Ireland though and that was a school trip to UK, Germany & France.

Just to reverse this slightly I was 33 the first time I visited the US.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2010, 06:21 PM
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1. 47
2. Ireland
3. Eldest daughter and I saved up for 4 years and did a Green Blur self-drive tour. We were such babes in the woods, but had a lovely, lovely time.

Now in the process of taking the rest of the children and the grandchildren. Eldest daughter now has a 1½ year old so her turn has to wait awhile.

One of the best days of my life was the day my first passport arrived in the mail.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2010, 04:22 AM
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I was 26, an unmarried female and had just received a $1000.bonus and decided to leave my job and travel to Europe.This was in 1956.
I went to Italy met my deceased fathers family, many uncles,aunts and cousins I never met some of which I never heard of. I spent 3 weeks with them in Calabria a fabulous visit even though my knowledge of Italian was to say the least minimal and they spoke no English
I then traveled solo to Sicily, Capri, Ischia, Naples, Rome, Florence, Venice.
Then on to Majorca,Marseille and finally Paris.
My entire trip was for 5 1/2 months.All with only $1000.
I traveled by ship and was on one of the last voyages that THE ANDRIA DORA took.
This trip started my love affair with Italy and Paris.
Since this trip I have been very fortunate in having a job that took me to both countries, and ASIA several times a year.
Now retired,80 years old.widowed I still go each year and still love discovering new things to see and do.
I am looking forward to a 4 week trip this Spring to Paris and Nice mostly solo.
I have broadened my travels to include England, Amsterdam, Norway, Sweden,Germany,Austria,Spain,Mexico, Some of these trips were made with my husband.
Remembering the first trip and that I could see so much and spend so much time on $1000.still leaves me amazed.
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