My name is Amanda Marko.
People who know me think I travel a lot.
I think there’s no such thing as too much travel.
Upon returning to my former home base in Cleveland, a certain advertisement always caught my attention as I hustled along the underground moving sidewalk from the (relatively distant) D Concourse at Hopkins International Airport. The headline on the credit card rewards billboard stated: No one ever said ‘I take too many vacations’.
Probably true, but it’s likely those who know me have thought “Amanda takes too many vacations.” Not that they’re jealous, but my seemingly frequent trips lead some to be understandably curious about the adventures I have while on the road.
Now that I’m living overseas, it might appear that I’m on a long-term vacation. Realistically, England is my new home base with intermittent vacations when time allows. Regardless, the stories that ensue are worth being told and the pictures are worth being shared.
Wish you were here!
There are three kinds of travelers: those on “do it before I die” trips, those who rush from place to place so that they can check something off their list, and then there are travelers like me, who are evaluating each place to determine its true essence. I look for authentic experiences and then decide if I want to return.
Living in Europe provides a jumping off point for our travels and we’re using this time to take in as much as possible. Part of the fun is knowing that we’ll be back.
My dad always told me “there will always be someone smarter, prettier, richer, faster…” No, this didn’t give me low self-esteem; it was a warning against comparing ourselves to others. My dad was right: comparisons are a sure-fire way to feel pretty awful for no good reason.
Admittedly, I haven’t been more places than the truly well-traveled. I probably haven’t been as many places as most of the upper-middle class Europeans I encounter. However, I’m considered well-traveled by many. Frequent reality checks ensure the feeling is fleeting.
One minute I’m the worldliest person in the room, the next minute, I’m in a cab crawling through the streets of London during Friday rush hour with a taxi driver intent on naming every place in America I haven’t been.
“Mt. Rushmore, how ‘bout that?…Death Valley? …. Ever been to Wyoming? …. What about Alaska?”
“Not yet,” was my response again and again. So much for being overtraveled.
On top of that, a childhood friend recently commented that he was going to his thirty-third state (although airports don’t count in my book), and I scoffed at his supposed accomplishment, until I took a moment to jot down the list of states I’ve visited. The grand total was in the high 20s.
When I return from Europe, I intend to focus on efforts on those places in the beautiful and interesting U.S. of A. that I haven’t yet seen. Then next time I’m in London I’ll look for that cab driver and update him.
There will always be people who have been more places than me, but rather than compare myself to them, I pump them for ideas and suggestions to help plan my next trip. To me, being overtraveled isn’t about the number of places you’ve been, it’s about the places you plan to go.
Even when I’m on the road, I’m reachable.
overtraveled at gmail dot com
Most of the photographs on this site were taken by my favorite travel partner while I was standing nearby, just outside the frame. You can see more of Nick’s work and learn about his photography pursuits on his website.
All images on overtraveled are copyrighted Nicholas Marko unless otherwise stated.