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On the road again…  Trust 30 – June

If we live truly, we shall see truly. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Not everyone wants to travel the world, but most people can identify at least one place in the world they’d like to visit before they die. Where is that place for you, and what will you do to make sure you get there?

(Author: Chris Guillebeau)

Travel is one of those things for me that is great in theory, but in practice is very stressful.  I have travelled extensively here n the U.S.with brief forays into Canada and Mexico.  I have travelled for business and for family vacations, by trains planes and automobiles.

Ultimately, the biggest problem with travelling is the journey itself.  It puts me in a perpetual state of “Are we there yet?”

When I was a kid, my parents would pile my brothers and I into the back of a station wagon, and would drive from Phoenix, Arizona to Haverhill, Massachusetts.  This was in the seventies, long before portable dvd players, Nintendo DS games or even Sony Walkmen.  In other words, sanctified torture.

Imagine “National Lampoon’s Vacation” minus Aunt Edna, Dinky or a trip to Wally World at the end of the line.  Add and extra kid in the back of the Family Truckster and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.  We didn’t stop at every kitschy landmark, but it felt like it.  The trip would take five days each way.

One year, we took a case of Coors beer with us for one of my uncles.  At the time, they apparently couldn’t get it back East.  Somewhere around Oklahoma, several of the cans exploded, thanks to the heat of the floorboards and the constant motion of the car.  We spent the rest of the trip smelling a combination of stale beer and diapers.

These days, it’s more economical to drive to San Diego or Las Vegas, rather than shell out airfare.  Dave loves to drive and explore, and our kids like the whole process of travelling.  I would rather the shot.  I’m better if I’m doing the driving, but somehow, it always works out that Dave does most of the driving.  This means that I am the navigator; but, it’s a pretty easy drive to San Diego…just a right, a left, another right and then straight on to the coast.  I am left with nothing to do.

Oh, sure.  A few of you will say, “The journey is part of the adventure.”

Nope.

The journey is five hours of mind-numbing, fidgeting, do-anything-I-can-to-prevent-getting-carsick marathon.

Ideally, they would invent a pill.  You would take the pill before you went to bed at night.  When you woke up, you would be in the location of your choice, no muss, no fuss, no jet lag.

It’s no secret that I want to go to Paris; and, of course, I understand that you can’t get there by car.  It’s still fourteen to sixteen hours stuck in a flying tin can, breathing other people’s air, sitting way too far inside each other’s space bubbles.

With my magic pill, vacations would become more effective.  You would start off refreshed, without being subjected to things like the TSA Grope-a-Dope, lost luggage or weather delays.

I would wake up in some charming little hotel on the River Seine.  Breakfast would be a cup of strong coffee and a flaky croissant, baked that morning.  It would have rained the night before, but the sun would be making an appearance through whispery clouds.  I would spend my days exploring the city, with no timetable or demands.  I would retrace some of the steps my grandparents took and try to find the little ice cream shop that was across from their hotel on the Ile de Cite’.  In my head, I’d hear “La Vie en Rose,” knowing full well that Parisiennes probably despise the song.

When it was time to come home, I would simply drink a last glass of wine, swallow another pill and wake up in my own bed.

Somebody should really get to work on that.

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