Rona the Ribibiter: Using Travel to inspire Quilters out of their comfort zones and come alive!

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How to Easily Start Planning a Big Travel Adventure

Rona Herman

Travel Plans for the BIG ‘Return to Ireland’ trip has commenced!

I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but I’m going back to Ireland!! This time I’ll be staying 4 whole weeks traveling from coast to coast taking pictures, doing research and, of course, sampling the whiskey.

What makes any grand adventure ‘GRAND’? A Grand Plan!

I know there are some amazing computer apps and sites and gizmos that claim to dominate the market in their ability to track your travel plans down to the minutest details of even what your hotel bathroom towels might smell like. However, I’m more of an old school fuddy duddy. I still prefer those tried and true printed maps. That’s right. The giant fold outs that never seem to refold in quite the same way but manage to show every road, town and attraction your world traveling heart could hope for. It might also be the fact that I’m a quilter and we do tend to be tactile individuals.

Unfortunately, the first map I found was a bit small for my purposes. Sure, it showed all the major cities in Ireland but lacked the real depth (and size) I was looking for.  

Then I stumbled upon the National Geographic page. Did you know they have Adventure Travel Maps!? Neither did I. But boy was I pleasantly surprised. These beauties are waterproof and tear resistant. Plus, they are a grand 36” x 24” in size. Now, we’re talking. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this glorious find.

However. There’s always a ‘however’ right? Well, on the plus side, the map was everything I dreamed and more. Every motorway to back road in every city to county town. It shows lighthouses, castles, abbeys and ‘must see’ places. On the down side… it’s 2 sided. That’s right. The country is split in half with one on each side. Not exactly something I can put up on a cork board and put in marking pins. So, I ordered a second map.

Then, I hit another road block. With 2 sides put together, this map has now become a whopping 36” x 48” in size! Umm… my little cork board just won’t suffice. Back to the great interwebs I go. After great searching and price matching; I decided on this wonderment.

The great thing about this board is it was SUPER easy to put on the wall. I just held it up until it was where I wanted and marked a spot on the wall above where I wanted the ‘hangers’ to go. Then, screw in the screws. Hang the hangers and pop in the board. BOOM. I’m now a handyman. Or, handywoman. Handyperson? Is that a thing?

Once both the board and the 2nd map arrived I was on my way. Much to my chagrin I realized that I did not own any actual map pins. Push pins I have a plenty, but those cute tiny little multi-colored map markers were a miss. Back to the interwebs (again) and Amazon’s 1-day Prime service, NOW I was ready.

One thing you’ll learn about me is that I have a planners mind. I like organization and knowing exactly how and where and when. I live for color coding and list making. Numerous jokes have been made about my lists, mostly from my husband and son. But when you’re good at something, make it shine. Enter those beautiful pins.

Each color now has a designation and I’ve begun pinning. Each quilt shop is marked in purple. The lighthouses are all in yellow. Not sure what it is about lighthouses, but I just love visiting them. The history and the beauty. If those magical buildings could talk.

Red and Green designate the places on both mine and my sisters ‘must see’ lists. Blue are the places we both want to see. Pink are the places that would be great if we have time and, finally, orange are the ‘quilty’ places I want to visit for my book research.

Obviously, more will be added as time goes on and my lists grow. I’m sure I’ll rewrite them at least 50 times between now and next May. Either way, the fun is in the planning. And we are now one giant step closer to those Emerald Shores!!

As always, Hoppy Quilting, my friends!

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