I am Linda Dello Stritto and I started Gallivantress to share the joys of getting into a car and hitting the open road in America and in Europe. Road trip by automobile is my favorite means of travel. Most of my European adventures take place in November during the low season because I prefer to explore new territory without throngs of people. Sometimes that means there are less choices for lunch or dinner, or the weather may turn cold. More often, it has meant seeing the foliage change color in some of the most beautiful places in the world. The intimacy you can have with a special place is enhanced if you are not shoulder to shoulder in crowd of tourists. I thoroughly enjoy a contemplative experience and a slower pace to really get to know the essence of a particular country or culture. For me it leaves a more lasting impression.
You know all the arguments against travel by car, especially in Europe: forceful drivers, different road etiquette, signs in various languages, narrow highways and streets, and no parking. But with a little planning and common sense, road travel can offer freedom and surprise that no other mode of travel can. Traveling by car offers experiences along the journey that you would miss by plane, bus or train.
My experiences as an expatriate living in Britain and in Southeast Asia influenced my travel preferences. I like to travel independently, and most often choose a local house or apartment rather than staying in hotels. My primary prerequisite for a place to stay is an amazing view of nature (if outside a city) or a fine old neighborhood or historical building (if in a city). Big city or small village, it is all about the view from the windows or balcony. I have gone on organized tours with firm agendas, and they are not for me. This blog is for those who like to set their own direction and pace. For me, driving is the perfect mix of order and spontaneity. Order because—let’s face it—you have to get to your next destination in time. Spontaneity because a smart plan leaves time for side trips or relaxed breaks.
Throughout my life, I have been interested in cultures other than my own. My trips include the “big sights and attractions,” but also seldom-visited, out-of-the-way places that often can only be reached by foot. Architecture is one of my passions, and I have been impressed by both the World Heritage sites and the modest out-of-the-way places where remnants of ancient practices sometimes still survive.
I currently live in Houston, Texas and as often as I can, I set out on road adventures in America, Europe and beyond.