Monday, November 7, 2011

Our African Journey: A Look Backward…and Foreward

Sue and I were married on October 29, 1961.  Over the next half-century, we traveled fairly extensively, usually together but sometimes one or the other of us alone on business trips.  We traveled throughout  Western Europe (England, Ireland, France, Holland, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, et al); throughout the Far East and Southeast Asia (China, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, India, et al); throughout the United States, of course, visiting most states at one time or another, including Alaska and Hawaii; throughout the Caribbean (too many islands to mention); to Egypt, Brazil, Greece, Mexico, Canada, Russia….  I could go on but you get the idea.

Some of those trips were truly magical.  We sailed the canals of France in Alsace-Lorraine.  We cruised the Mediterranean Sea, docking at ports in Mykonos, Israel, Turkey, and Egypt.  We stayed at Cap d’Antibes on the French Riviera and sailing on a private yacht to St. Tropez, being greeted there by the paparazzi as if we actually were celebrities.  We gambled at Monte Carlo.  We attended the Montreal Olympics in Canada as guests of ABC.  We scaled the pyramids at Chichen Itza and Uxmal in the Yucatan and climbed the Great Wall of China.  I lectured to budding capitalists in the former headquarters of the Communist Party in Rostov-on-Don in Russia during that short-lived period (post-Gorbachev but pre-Putin) during which the world still believed that that country might yet develop into some semblance of a democratic state.  We loved it all.

But none of it could compare to the African trip we just completed.

I think there are three reasons for that.  First, this African vacation was a celebration of our 50th Wedding Anniversary and that alone is so momentous an event as to have made it something truly special.  Second, this trip was a gift from our son, Adam, and daughter-in-law, Jen, and that made it all the more special.  And third, while all of our other travels focused on people, places and things, this one focused on animals in the wild, a truly new experience for us.

So, in a way, this trip can be described as having been the culmination of our last 50 years of travel.  But that is not to be understood as the culmination of a lifetime of travel because, God willing, our lifetimes are still going strong.  Indeed, even as we’re warmly remembering our experiences on the final trip of our first half century together, we’re planning the first trip of our second half-century for next year: a trip to the Galapagos with our grandson, Ezra, in celebration of his Bar Mitzvah. 

1 comment:

  1. Debi and I felt the same way about our two African safaris, which included Tanzania, South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe. They were head and shoulders above anything else we'd done. Then we took one more trip that rivaled Africa, one that you two should take if your constitutions will allow, one that scared us out of our wits at times but was the most breathtaking and exhilarating of all . . . Antarctica.

    Thanks for the wonderful update. Congratulations on the big-5-0. Welcome home.