We:30 Share & Tell: Blake Brings her Love for Traveling

Every Wednesday at 3:30 we get together to celebrate an employee who exemplifies our core values to inspire, share, evolve, exceed and be 100% jerk-free. Our Share & Tell edition invites an employee to share something that inspires them and has a unique story. This week Blake, our Social Media Specialist, shares her love for traveling!

Some of my absolute favorite memories center around traveling, and enjoying new experiences with friends and loved ones. My mother was a high school teacher, so growing up it was simply a fact that each summer we’d go somewhere. Whether it was just a “quick shot” road trip over to the Grand Canyon or a mother-daughter bonding trip to Paris, traveling was instilled in me to be an important, completely necessary part of my life. 
Of course, having an extended family of over 20, and for some reason feeling the need to travel together as much as possible, made many of these vacations absolutely ridiculous. As in, “20 people in a one-bedroom cabin in Maine” ridiculous, or, more recently, when my cousin and I forced my mom and aunt to get out of bed at midnight and go with us to a bar in Mammoth. From my first airplane trip to Maine when I was less than one year old, to my most recent trip to Cancun, here’s a list of the most memorable places I’ve been and what I remembered most about the trip:
  • Mexico: (main cities: Cancun, Ensenada, La Paz, Loreto).  My mom forced me to hold up the two heaviest fish ever (that I caught!) for the subsequent 204,583,084 photos she took.
  • Costa Rica: My mom and I went spelunking through a cave and watched an active volcano “drip” lava after sharing a cab with strangers (they looked nice!).
  • Maine: (main city: Millinocket). This is where my grandmother grew up and we would go back often to my great grandparents’ cabin (which ONLY HAD AN OUTHOUSE). Memories include being eaten alive by mosquitos, illegally rafting down various dammed rivers, holding a “church service” in a makeshift teepee for my grandma, being held by Canadian customs while trying to cross the border because they thought we were kidnapping my cousins, to name a few…
  • Paris: Ate dinner in the Eiffel Tower.
  • Munich: We joined a German bachelor party…they’re pretty unique.
  • Rome: We randomly found a bar where all the drinks were named after Harry Potter things – our shot had sparklers. That was also where we rewrote the words to Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” to be “Poper Face” (I have copyright on that!).
  • Barcelona: Apparently, everything is closed on Second Easter and no one in the city can tell you what Second Easter celebrates.
  • Venice: We got lost...a lot.
  • England: Every.Single.Person on our tour was over 60 except my two cousins, my mom, my aunt and myself.
  • Ireland: There was a bit of running away from bouncers at a bar with my cousins.
  • Scotland: Sheep?
  • New Orleans: I held a baby alligator and a pygmy goat, played the washboard in a bar, and then was pseudo-adopted by two elderly couples who felt bad for me when I was eating alone. They still have a standing invite for me to use their apartment right on Bourbon Street.
  • Whistler, BC:  Best memory: I went for snowboarding camp and it was majorly epic. The town itself was summer weather but the top of the mountain would still experience white-out conditions. We learned from a few semi-pro and pro snowboarders.
  • Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland: I went paragliding in the Alps.
  • Orlando: DISNEYWORLD!

The next “must visit” places on my bucket list:
  • Thailand – Must pet an elephant!
  • Romania
  • Machu Picchu – to hike the Inca Trail
  • Turkey
  • Holland – to see the poppies
  • Pompeii
  • Berlin

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