Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Longing ToTravel Again

I love travel and travel writing, and I've come to that point in my life at which I can again venture away from home. I know many of you feel the same. As has happened to many Boomers, life overtook us. Baseball and basketball and band and orchestra kept us busy for many, many years. Now, together with my wife, I have rekindled my interest in travel. This, coupled with an interest in fine cooking, good wine, and the company of close friends, has rekindled the latent embers of a vagabond’s life, which many of us enjoyed 30 to 40 years ago. Our hair was long then, and we took chances. We explored the world and learned much.

Now, I want to explore again. I did that in 1970 when my friend and I sold all that we had and went to Europe for six weeks. My net worth then was $900. I went again in 1972, this time with the woman who would eventually agree to marry me, and who has agreed to stay married to me for 32 years. We traveled Spain during the time of Franco. We went to Alamana in Madrid, where Ernest Hemingway came to get drunk. We ran amok in the mesones, and we took the train for 12 hours to have paella in Valencia. An English aficionado taught us the fine points of the corrida, and we learned first hand what Hemingway wrote about in Death In The Afternoon. We spent time in Rome, sat in the Coliseum, toured the catacombs, traveled to Florence and stood in awe of The David. We crossed the Alps. We reveled in the Mathauser in Munich.

If you are a Boomer, you know what I mean. If you are our children, you may have already experienced what we did then. Or, perhaps, your journey still lies ahead.

BoomerTraveler is for all of you. It is for you who are our children to tell us what you have found, where you have found it, how much it costs, and how we can get there. And it is for us, those of us born between 1946 and 1966, to go again to the places we have been, and to the places we could not get to when we were young and free. It is time to go again to Valencia, to Rome, but also to Athens, to Prague, to Moscow, to Samarkand, to Angkor Wat, to Beijing, to Bali, and to Auckland.

What we did then was marvelous and exciting; can it be any less so now. It’s time to grow our hair long again and go forth.