Reid Champagne has been a writer for more than thirty-five years. He started the Always and Forever blog in November 2017 following the death of his beloved traveling companion Carolyn Marquardt, as a way to show fellow widows and widowers that life goes on.
Reid was kind enough to answer some of our travel questions below.
TA: How many years have you been traveling and what got you hooked?
Reid: Began traveling again with Carolyn in 2012, forty years after we'd first met in Munich in 1972.
TA: Do you specialize in a particular type of travel?
Reid: My main interest in travel is to do so by train. For me the train is the destination.
TA: What is the best vacation you've ever taken?
Reid: I traveled alone by train throughout France in September 2017 and discovered I loved the simple thrill of just going, with no plan in mind.
TA: What's one place you've always wanted to visit?
Reid: Prague, and then to leave there for somewhere else.
TA: What's one thing you ALWAYS pack when you travel?
Reid: My eVest, which contains everything I need and can't afford to lose.
TA: If you could only give a traveler one piece of advice, what would it be?
Reid: Expect delays and snafus. And always have an ebook at the ready.
TA: Where was the most unusual place you've ever stayed?
Reid: My Airbnb near Gare de Lyon in Paris featured a "shared bathroom" located in the other guest room. You were also required to clean the room and change the sheets before checking out.
TA: What's the strangest thing you've ever eaten overseas?
Reid: Escargot, and this from someone who grew up in New Orleans on crawfish and raw oysters.
TA: What's a travel scam travelers should be wary of?
Reid: The "gold ring" scam practiced by gypsies in Paris. Twice, young women approached us on the Pont Alexandre bridge in Paris claiming they found a wedding band on the ground that's too big for them. They offer to give it to you, and then after they walk away they come right back and demand money in compensation.
TA: What's something that other tourists do when traveling that drives you crazy and why?
Reid: The photo pose of holding the Eiffel Tower in their hand. I mean, seriously. In a gift shop I held a miniature Eiffel tower in my hand, and had Carolyn take that with an idiotic grin on my face.
TA: What's one piece of advice you'd give to travelers your age?
Reid: Never trust a fart.
Learn more about Reid:
Visit his website Always and Forever.