Let's talk about traveling. Want to?
It's one of my very favorite things, from the first trip in my memory--Pennsylvania--to the one I just came home from: Nashville, Indiana.
Honestly? I don't remember much about the trip to Pennsylvania--I was only five, I think. I remember sleeping in a chair that stretched out flat in a motel room, that my cousins had cool tricycles, and that there were sidewalks all over the place on Jones Street in Hollidaysburg that made riding them so much fun. I remember my grandpa advising me to watch my step at Horseshoe Curve right before he tripped and that the adults talked a lot. Why would they talk when there were so many things to do? (I came to understand this later...)
A trip with my friend Shirley and her parents to Washington, DC in 1965 deepened my love for this country and its traditions. Many, many years later, I still remember how it felt to stand in front of Mr. Lincoln in his memorial, the powerful sense of sacrifice that came with visiting Arlington National Cemetery, the pride that came along with being inside the capitol building. At the national fireworks on July 4, there were several hundred thousand people in attendance, well beyond anything I'd ever seen, much less been part of.
There have been other trips that remain vivid in my mind. Back to DC with our kids, to Ireland in 2009, to Vermont when the sense of homecoming went so deep I still feel it, to the Blue Ridge and the coast of Maine, to Florida's white sand beaches. I have loved everywhere I've been, although a few times the only things I really loved were the people we were there to see. Texas, anyone?
Writing retreats are some of my favorite excursions. Something about sitting in a house on the side of a mountain with laptops and glasses of local wine and/or endless cups of coffee just brings out the best words in writers. I can't explain it, but there you go.
I guess there hasn't been much point to this column. Are you surprised? But I'd love to hear how you feel about travel. About your favorite places or even about your Texas. Any advice on where I should go next or how I can talk Duane into it?
God, I love traveling.
Have a good week. Go somewhere. Be nice to somebody.