Judy Wakeman is a long-time friend of Muu and has been sharing her travel stories with us for years. She keeps the spring in our step and her spirit of adventure is worth sharing! We had a little interview with Judy which she helped us turn into a photo collage of her journeys. Enjoy!!
Hi Judy! So, tell us where you’ve been? Where have your travels (and your Nuu-Muus) taken you?
We’ve visited Canada, Mexico, the Bahamas, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Aruba, St.Martin, St.Kitts, Columbia, England, France, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Scotland, Italy, Croatia, Czech Republic, Turkey, the Netherlands, Belgium, Iceland, Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar, and Guernsey. We have traveled extensively in the US - New England, mid-Atlantic, Deep South, all over the West and Northwest, especially the National Parks.
Phew. That’s quite the list! Where would you say you hail “from”?
When not traveling, my husband (John) and I reside in Stuart, Florida, which was just voted "Americas Happiest Seaside Town". I've lived there over half of my life and am originally from Cincinnati Ohio, the Queen City of the Midwest.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I am a retired Special Educator of 33 years. When I’m not traveling, I stay busy with volunteering, kayaking, biking, hiking, Pilates and yoga. We frequently "activity-sit" our two local grandsons (ages 3 and 6) which involves trips to the park, pool, beach, zoo, library, and various community events. I also enjoy cooking and delivering meals to seniors, belong to 2 book clubs, and try to keep up with a very active husband who also does not know how to say NO to a volunteer position. I also help my husband manage our rental business, which consists of a handful of condominiums in 55+ communities. He handles the repairs and maintenance and I keep the tenants happy!
Sounds like you’re quite the pair.
Yes. I share my passion for travel with my husband – our mutual love for travel is almost as strong as our love for each other! Our marriage has always depended on travel as an escape from the busy years of our teaching careers, rental business, the blending of two families, community activism, and the demands of life in general.
How did the travel bug bite you?
I have always wanted to “go "somewhere". Even as a kid I loved going away to summer camps. Travel opens so many doors to seeing and understanding the world and is the thing that balances my busy life. If I didn't have a trip on the horizon, I would go crazy!!!
How would you describe your travel style?
My traveling style is light, cute, versatile, and athletic - this is why my Nuu-Muu dresses go wherever I go! My husband and I find it much easier to travel light - we each pack a carry-on suitcase and a backpack (even for a 6 week trip!). This means NO chance for lost luggage!
While traveling, John and I prefer to rent an apartment, house, or cottage, and stay 5-7 days in each place so that we can really experience the culture. We shop in the local markets, talk with the neighbors, and cook most of our own meals. In other words, we try to fit in.
Can you name a favorite place?
It’s so hard to name a favorite travel destination - each one is special - we work hard to plan and research what we want to see and do. However, I really enjoy off the beaten path activities such as climbing Ben Nevis in Scotland (the highest point in the British Isles) or kayaking the canals of Venice and seeing how people really live in that environment. Of course, there was also our accidental bike ride into a gorgeous park along the Adriatic Sea in Croatia. Once inside, we discovered it was a nudist colony!
Surprises are one of the best parts of travel, wouldn’t you say?
Yes! An unexpected travel event happened last May in Italy on the island of Sicily. We had rented a small house on the northern coast of the island for a week and a car to do day trips. John and I were walking around a lovely hill town village on a Saturday afternoon and heard a lot of celebratory noise coming from the town square, so we headed that way. The local church was celebrating the festival of St. Joseph, a Catholic festival. The church welcomed the community to have a fish meal in honor of St. Joseph who fed the poor and needy. When the locals saw us peering into the colorful festival they insisted that we join and made room for us at the table. It was so unexpected and delightful - especially the gallons of homemade wine!
Awesome! What’s left on your bucket list?
My bucket list is for John and I to keep traveling until we are 100! At that point, we might need to think about giving up independent traveling and hire a tour guide - we might need help with the luggage!
We hope you make it! Any advice for folks planning their first trip?
I would advise novice travelers to not try and see too many places at once. You miss the real travel experience and culture if you rush from one place to another - in other words, forget about the punch card!
Also, less is more - one carry on, a backpack, 2 pairs of shoes, and, of course, a rainbow of Nuu-Muus! Actually, I build my travel wardrobe around my Nuu-Muu dresses. For example, on our last trip to Europe this past May and June, I had three Nuu-Muus that I coordinated with colorful leggings, several long sleeve shirts, and 2 matching jackets. With limited space, Nuu-Muus are the answer. They look just as good in a London museum as they do on a bike in the Netherlands, and I receive so many compliments while traveling with my Nuu Muus.
I was wearing my Fleurty Nuu-Muu when I waved to Queen Elizabeth as she traveled in her carriage to open Parliament - she actually waved back! I wonder if it was the British Union Jack I was waving or my Nuu-Muu that caught her attention!
Awwww, we’re so glad they work so well for you. We are sure it was the Nuu-Muu!! (Or your zest for life.)
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