TRAVEL — SEPTEMBER 27 WRITING PROMPT
One of my retirement plans involves seeing more of the world
I used to say that I had seen more of the world outside the US than in it, but my husband, who was born outside its borders, is working to remedy that! We both retired early a couple of years ago. Now, we’re traveling more — the kids are grown, our time is our own, and we can finally indulge our wanderlust.
In the past few years (including a few before retirement, but mostly after becoming “empty nesters”), we’ve visited Hawaii, Florida, Nevada, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Tennessee. We have plans to visit New England in a few weeks and take our first trip to the Florida Keys — hurricane season permitting — soon. In the past several years, we have also traveled to Turkey, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, the Canary Islands, and Portugal. All of our trips are “memorable” for different reasons.
I remember, though, one of my favorite TV shows from childhood, “Night Gallery,” had an episode called “Hell’s Bells.” In it, a hard-riding motorcyclist played by Sonny Bono dies. He’s a little confused, though, because his afterlife involves sitting around a comfy living room watching two couples share their home movies from trips they’ve taken. He finally gets an audience with the devil, who informs him that he is, indeed, in Hell. He asks what the old couples ever did to land themselves in Hell, and the devil informs him, “What’s Hell to some is Heaven to others.”
That’s always at the back of my mind when talking about my travels. Travel, like golf, has got to be more fun as a participant than a spectator!
But I will share just a few things that made some of these places special — beyond the fact that they are all marvelous places to visit and experience for yourself:
Haleakala, Maui, Hawaii — you don’t realize how much “light pollution” affects you until you stand at the top of the world, before dawn, and marvel at the Milky Way — visible to the naked eye. I got tears in my eyes and could not help exclaiming, “My God, they’re all still there. The sky is still full of stars…”