Barbara Weibel and The Albanian Chapter of My Life

You get to know the greatest people through this blogging business.  One virtual friend I’ve made is Barbara Weibel.  Her very popular blog, Hole in the Donut, recounts her midlife travel adventures after ditching her workaholic corporate life.  And I do mean adventures.  Barbara is game for anything.  She’s currently on a months-long Latin American trek, most recently in Chihuahua, Mexico, finding it safe for travelers.  After she comes back from this long jaunt, she’ll be home for a few weeks, then headed to China with a one-way ticket.

I greatly admire Barbara for her writing, enthusiasm and sheer love of travel.  However, in many ways, she couldn’t be more different from me: I hardly walk around the block, I told her, without thinking that, well, you never know, I might not make it back.  Before I take a flight, I always wonder about my will.  I usually enjoy myself once I get to a new place without dying, but almost always look forward to coming back home, where I speak the language pretty well and know it’s safe.

Anyway, today Barbara is graciously posting an account I wrote of an unfortunate trip to Albania I took (and barely survived) with my husband and son in 1998.  My husband keeps reminding me it left us with great stories to tell, but I have to admit, it took awhile before I could enjoy the stories.  Now, 12 years later, they’re kind of funny.

Barbara herself has Albania at the top of her must-visit list.  Knowing her, she’s going to love it.  Please read my post and her excellent blog.

(Copyright 2010 by Ruth Pennebaker)

Read one of my favorite posts about candid notes on my most recent travel experiences

3 comments… add one
  • Winston Link

    That would be me– standing on a little porch in the night, drinking and smoking like a fury, afraid to go to sleep.  Only I wouldn’t be drinking anything alcoholic, it would only serve to swell the foreign demons.  What do Albanians drink anyway?
    But I am acquainted with an Albanian.  A lovely young lady, she somehow met and wed a U. S. airman who is now stationed here.  She waits tables at one of our fave burger joints.  This delicate doe-eyed creature speaks impeccable English.  I can’t imagine her knowing a thing about bunkers or barbed wire.  I must ask her.
    I don’t venture far.  My feet grow cold and numb whenever I chance  to cross the county line.  But occasionally people from far-flung places just come here to brush past me.  Alas, I’m only a destination, never a traveler.  But someone must stay home and provide the local color!  I volunteer!

  • ruthpennebaker Link

    Winston, I think you’re a destination every bit as fascinating as Albania.  All you need is an agent.

  • Winston Link

    Hmmm… spit-polishing my barbed wire and checking my teeth.

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