Gap Year Girl, Fellow Traveler

I’ve been in Denver for a day now and have found myself reminiscing several times about the last time I was here. It was 2009 and I had come out for a work trip with my boss and her counterpart. It was the most amazing 72 hours. But this post isn’t about that trip, it is about my boss, who is now simply my friend, Marianne, who helped expand my world of travel.

There are people who travel and then there are true travelers. Marianne is a true traveler. Thanks to our work trips we’ve hiked the Rockies in the snow, flown to Germany, and tipsily watched fireworks from the lawn of our hotel in Anaheim. She taught me about “doing the Frankfurt Book Fair” and I taught her to look for birds, even in urban areas. At one point we auditioned for The Amazing Race together.

So it was with great joy that I watched her shed her possessions, including her home and job, and fulfill a lifelong dream to travel Europe for a year. A gap year, only not a post-collegial trip, but post-career adventure.

Marianne and her husband, Joe, traveled to France and from there spring-boarded across Europe, with a brief sojourn to Morocco. They experience the highs – literally a hike in the Alps – and the lows – dreary, isolated winter days in medieval towns without wifi.  Marianne posted about her trip in a blog and as readers we tasted the wine Italy, felt the sun in Greece, and smelled the fields of flowers in France. We met fellow travelers, helpful innkeepers, and local eccentrics. We got to know Marianne as much as we got to experience new places.

As someone who loves to travel, it was inspiring to see how an actual person I know could explore the world for a full year. I know that careful planning and spreadsheets were involved, but more importantly she made her leap of faith accessible.

gap-year-girl-round-3Why am I telling you all of this? Marianne has written a book about the trip – Gap Year Girl: A Baby Boomers Adventure Across 21 Countries. I enjoyed following her adventure and I think you will too:


2 thoughts on “Gap Year Girl, Fellow Traveler”

  1. Thanks for the plug, Davida! I’ll never forget that trip to Denver! I had my first cucumber martini (or was it a few?) and our hike in Estes Park while staying at the Stanley is an indelible memory…

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