When I Am Old I Will Take Vacations
“And [he] sailed back over a year and in and out of weeks and through a day and into the night of his very own room where he found his supper waiting for him and it was still hot” Maurice Sendak
When I am old, I will take vacations. I will shield myself from all the smells, discomforts and quirks that are the basis of my travel memories today. I will not ride public transportation or eat street food. I will not eat food if I don’t know what it is. There will be cruises and trips to safe places with good air, handrails and handicapped bathrooms . Every bathroom will have a toilet seat , toilet paper and paper towels.
I will see the United States and Canada. Vacations will be relaxing. I will not get up at 4am to catch a flight. I will eat gluten. I will not get lost. I will take naps during the day instead of more coffee to keep go ing so I don’t miss anything. There will be spa hotels or beachfront villas. I will not leave my comfort zone. Someone twill always speak English. I will wear the hat with the logo on it they sent me from the company I am traveling with. I will buy those pants that zip off into shorts. You will see me wear bright colors instead of black. I wont power walk or use the treadmill early every morning. There will always be electricity and hot water.
I will become a good photographer. I will be able to recognize the different birds I see in the rainforest. I will learn to play bridge, golf and marjonne (which I had to learn to spell first ). I wont needs to know what it feels it like to wake up in the strangest place I have been in and find some breakfast and coffee. I wont need to find the perfect souvenir beaded bracelet for friends and family. I will no longer be cool and it will be ok.
But I will miss the moments of unscripted perfection – the ones that come from unexpected encounters with people, food, sights and smells. I will miss being out of my comfort zone and immersed in another culture. I will miss connecting with people and communicating with hand motions, bad Spanish and photos. I will miss doing all the things I am afraid of and not knowing the outcome. I will miss a lot.
Most people who are waiting to travel the world, never do. But we are always on a journey So I have to make the most of the time I have and keep exploring, learning, dreaming, and carrying toilet paper and Pepto Bismol. It’s now or never.