I love to travel! Been doing it since I was a kid and my parents let me pick out which campground we'd stay in for the night (top requirements on my list were swimming pool and playground), and now I'm in search of unique places to stay with friendly people, great views, away from the tourists.
Years ago I traveled to Italy with my sister and friend, and we shunned the group tour and managed to have a blast, seeing all of the hidden alleys of Rome, all on our own timetable. So while I enjoy a few hours on a guided tour to learn everything I can about a place, the rest of the time I'm scouring maps, Best Of lists, and talking to the locals and friends to find out what I should see and do.
There's nothing better than going for a run on my first morning in a new place - it gets me settled, and I can see the lay of the land, where I'll get my morning latte, plus a few sights along the way. So my passions are running medium distances, hiking up tall things with the promise of a good view, wine and beer tasting, reading and learning.
And when I travel, I'm always amazed by the kindness of strangers, who then become friends.