It's said happiness consists of having someone to love, something worthwhile to do, and something to look forward to. I can't say I do much worthwhile, but I sure look forward to going places with the someone I love. Nancy must have been bitten early by the travel bug (along with a few mosquitoes, in humid Memphis). She showed me how to get moving to visit the familiar (family and friends) or the new. She had worn out two VWs when I met her, and we've worn out several more cars and trucks since then and been on some wacky flights and in some obscure airports. I just don't know about the future, though: the highways are about threading your way through canyons of thousands of trucks just to be stuck in a standstill down the road, and we don't need to get into what a cluster---- air travel is now. The point of an adventure is NOT to feel helpless; it's reveling in that heady feeling of freedom and power.
The places some friends have been to are astounding: the Balkans, Greece and Turkey, Russia, China, Japan, Vietnam and Cambodia, Australia, even Africa... We actually stepped foot on the African continent, in Tunisia, for a day, and I'm still thrilled to have spent my 60th birthday on Malta. We've got a world map on the wall in Nancy's Worldwide Headquarters (the back bedroom) with map pins in the places we have been to together. The furthest north: Iceland (just the airport); south: Aruba; east: Malta; west: San Francisco. There is hardly an end to the list of far-flung islands I would like to get to: the Dodecanese, Scilly, the Aeolians, Rhodes, the Cook Islands, the Seychelles, Bali, Sardinia, Gotland. And great cities...I'd be happy just to get to my top two on that list, Buenos Aires and Paris.
Our kitchen remodel took the place of any grand trip this year, but Nancy has been away from the Caribbean too long already -- I have the feeling a brochure with palm trees on the cover will show up on this desk sometime soon. You've never seen anyone happier than that well-tanned rascal on a tropical island beach.
So after our short jaunt to Richmond in mid-January to see the Robbin Thompson Band show at the National, and of course the Nimrod, Cliff, we'll have to scan the horizon to see what looks irresistible along with the least painful way of getting there. All that stuff you acquire through the years you just have to store, but the memories of your great escapes -- that's where the treasure is.