Welcome to Living Seasonally, a post written through the five senses by the curious traveling team of Carla and Rick Tocquigny. While we are in our fifth decade of exploring the world, we travel like kids in a candy store, journeying around the world with wonder, delight, and pure joy.
What is Living Seasonally? We coined this term after residing in some of the greatest locations that the U.S. has to offer. Through our corporate life in America, we enjoyed spring in Texas and North Carolina, summer in Colorado, autumn in New England, and winter in Florida.
Living seasonally is the adventure of living around the world during our favorite seasons.
Our point of distinction originates with a constant hunt for secrets. Carla is the captain of research. As our head “spelunker” she unearths little known, experiential crescendos for each trip.
We have a quote around our enterprise which drives this curiosity.
“Travel talent hits a target that is currently seen and heard. Travel genius hits a target that no one has seen, touched, tasted, smelled, or heard.”
We optimize the joy of travel by diving into locations with ALL five senses to find what the tourist misses, but the traveler notices.
Here is today’s High Five, emblematic of what you will read with every Living Seasonally blog:
1. Fragrance – Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Scootering through Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam, our noses absorbed aromatic blends of pungent spices mixed with the smoke-flamed outdoor cookstoves. Clinging to our college student guides from the Back of the Bike night food tour, we sped through thousands of scooters, stopping at five different local eateries. Sweet smells of sticky rice and coconut ice cream and sizzling chicken grilling on an open fire right on the sidewalk wafted out to us. The aromatic ride, camaraderie, and laughs made this experience a delight.
2. Taste – Hallstatt, Austria
Hiking behind the 12th century St. Michael’s Chapel in Hallstatt, Austria with its flower-bedecked cemetery, we followed the two-mile forest trail called Welterbe Rundweg. Reaching the glorious viewpoint over the Hallstatter See, we realized we not only needed a cappuccino but something more substantial. We ordered the beef goulash at the small restaurant, slurping up this delicious soup prepared with just the right amount of beef, potatoes, and chili powder seasoning. It was so delicious that we ordered a second round. If we had our choice, we would drop in for a bowl of goulash for lunch today!
3. Sound – Falkland Islands, South America
Our goal of viewing penguins while in the Falkland Islands was realized through a 90-minute jaunty jeep drive over small boulders, through river beds, and bouncing over tufts of moss and lichen with Derek Pettersson. There were no “roads” on our route to Johnson’s Harbour Farm on Volunteer Point. Imagine the stereophonic sound of 3,000 King penguins and 7,000 Gentoo penguins roosting during prime nesting season. The gorgeous green ocean water, white sandy beach, and the echoes of penguins mesmerized us. Their mournful pleas to each other and the sweet replies of the babies brought us tears of sheer happiness.
4. Sight – Murren, Switzerland
One of our spectacular visual delights is the soaring skyline mountains around Murren, Switzerland. Rising above the lush Lauterbrunnen Valley below, this tiny village is nestled at the base of scenic hiking trails, green forest vistas with waterfalls, and sweeping views over the jagged Swiss Alps. Sitting on our deck at the Hotel Bellevue each evening, we reveled in the beauty of this world. From the cows walking the path up to the hills, cowbells clanging in various notes, to the hues of green on the hiking trails, we were living in nirvana.
5. Touch – Arezzo, Italy
Touch is connection and true community. Our best memories of Living Seasonally are always about meeting new people. From B&B owners to shop keepers, we love to hear their stories and learn about their lives. On our last trip to Florence, we took a road trip through Chianti and decided to spend a night in Arezzo. An old mill dating from 1150, nestled along a creek, Chiusa dei Monaci B&B was a delightful discovery. At an expansive breakfast the next morning, Cinzia regaled us with stories while we feasted on crostada from her kitchen, salamis and pecorino cheese from the local market and fresh homemade jams from the fruit of the surrounding trees. Her mission was “Ubi bene, ibi patria”, meaning “when you feel comfortable, there is your home”. Connections when you travel are magical.