Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Up In The Air

Where did we leave off? Ah, yes - the miracle of flight! It turns out that there are some miracles more miraculous than others. All journeys of any magnitude have their snags, or unintended diversions. It's fine; we'll just get that out of the way early to make way for smooth sailing.

Due to circumstances beyond my control (mostly), I am not currently in Barcelona, as predicted, but rather enjoying my friend Alison's couch in Manhattan. It happens. New York loves me and wants to keep me around. I get it. One could be forced into greater torment than an extra 22 hours in The Big Apple. Evidently, there is a Brooklyn winemaker with a tasting room open at 2:00pm and they are expecting me. Well, this is a working vacation.

Cross your fingers for me that my next post is from EspaƱa. Por favor.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Longest Ride

May this stay with you for always, and be a reminder of the risks you took, the dreams you achieved, the adventures you had, the people you met, the food you ate, the dance you danced, and the difference you make. Keep doing what you are doing - grow yourself. And make sure you go out and meet the world, because it really wants to meet you.
For whatever reason, I like to commemorate special days - probably more than the average person. Sentimental, I guess. Sue me. The journey of life is a long ride, and much of it is a solo excursion. I've been on several trips by myself, and a good part of what keeps me going are the unique unexpected turns that appear as if from heaven. Most of the time, these surprises are not newsworthy, and often you keep them to yourself, because certain moments just can't be replicated in tale... not to any great effect, anyway.

However, to neglect the discoveries made on the ride would be a crime. Every sentence of the book is a purposeful piece of the puzzle, and every scene of the movie is the result of meticulous editing. However, on a long ride, we cannot simply hold on to every detail. Our brains are trained to discard extraneous information, and we make it a point to hang on to what we deem necessary for survival. Much of what we encounter are duplicates or seemingly inconsequential. The discoveries are encounters that change our world in some way.

What I have always enjoyed about venturing out into the world is that the opportunity for discovery is limitless. Why would you challenge your way of thinking if you never heard your opposition? How can you truly comprehend the might of water and wind if you have never walked in the hurricane? How can you be satisfied with the ride if you have never taken the reins? How can you see what lights up the room if you don't open your eyes? All of these discoveries add to the journey and help complete who we are. So, the special ones? Yes, keep them as part of your story; the ride wouldn't be the same without them.

Dear Sam

One of my earliest memories is being carried on your shoulders, holding onto your face and feeling your whiskers. You were tall and strong and free. You taught me throughout my life that seeing the world is important. Travel should not necessarily be an escape - it is a journey. We do not leave the world or our lives behind, we seek them out. For, in travel, we lead an expedition to discover all the colors, flavors, sights, and sounds that can only be found at the other end of the horizon. There are people we have to meet, and there are mountains we have to climb. Away is not simply where we recharge; we charge.

Thank you for showing me this, and for inspiring me to make the world smaller and more wonderful every time I journey... But I guess, "va sin decir."

Watch my back, will ya?