That has been my advice to those who share their travel dreams with me. This month marks my 56th birthday and though some might say I am neither young or good looking, I know that inside, that 20 year old who ventured abroad on his first trip to Europe armed only with his innocence is alive and well. During that Summer of ‘ 72 I hitch hiked all over Western Europe living out of a sleeping bag with my world in a back pack and a budget of $5. a day.
“ I wa wa wa wa wander..”
The need to wander is perhaps as much a part of the hierarchy of human needs as food, clothing, shelter etc. The Germans even invented a word for it, wanderlust. If you accept that human beings have been around for at least 100,000 years and that civilization only goes back about 5,000 years, then we have spent at least 95% of out existence as wanderers. “ They call me the wanderer, yeah I’m a wanderer …”
People eventually settled into towns and anyone who was still out wandering about was labeled a Barbarian. That’s because the ancient Greeks thought that anyone who didn’t speak Greek sounded like he was going Bah Bah Bah. Years later the Beach Boys wrote a song called “ Ba Ba Ba , Ba barian “ Not wanting to be ostracized, pretty soon everyone settled into towns with the end result that the majority of people lived and died within 20 miles of the place they were born. This was because in the words of George Bush, it was Hard Work ! The very root of the word travel is from the French word travail which means hard work. Back then you had two choices of transportation, on foot or on horseback, neither one of them comfortable unless you were too dumb to know the difference.
“ Leaving on a jet plane …”
Ask most people what the most significant advances are of the last century and most will mention computers, telecommunications or medicine but seldom will you hear transportation. I am in awe everytime I get on a Jumbo jet and fly around the world in a few short hours to destinations that used to take months. And still people moan louder than a dying calf in a snowstorm about the rigors of flying. Others will pay the equivalent of a months salary just to travel on the same plane in a little extra comfort. On my first trip to Europe in 1972 my ticket cost about $400. The amazing thing is that you can still fly to Europe for about $400. or what I spend on a good weekend at home.
Travel is the one investment that will always appreciate, never go down and will enrich your life till the end of your days. Mark Twain said, “ Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the things that you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.
"Explore. Dream. Discover. “