For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. 
The great affair is to move.
~ Robert Louis Stevenson ~

Make it Memorable


When I was in second grade, we lived in Brockton, Massachusetts.  On a chilly and overcast day, my parents took us to Plymouth, where among other things we saw Plymouth Rock.  We were quite impressed with the notion that we were viewing the rock which the pilgrims first stepped on, when arriving in the New World.  (Yes, I know the poor enshrined rock has had quite a history of moves and breaks; but nonetheless, it is still “Plymouth Rock” and I embrace the notion of what it represents.)  I remember ice-cream, and I remember playing with my camera – yes, for some reason, my father gave me my first camera when I was seven years old.  It was one of those perfect days, which so many years hence, I still fondly recall; and that when given the opportunity, I attempted to recreate the day years later.

When my nieces were still living in California, the two oldest girls came to visit me in Maine; among the many touristy things which we did, was a drive to Plymouth, to see her rock.  I have no idea if the day meant to them, what it meant to me; but I do know even now, I would still recommend the drive.

One of the most important elements of any successful trip is that it be memorable and hopefully fondly recalled – though I make room for those less than perfect moments, in my memory bank.  As time passes, even terrifying moments, like soldiers surrounding you and your group, in Panama, pointing there weapons, and shouting threats, can become a memorable, and no longer terrifying moment, which can be recalled with a sense of survival and accomplishment.  There should be events and activities which rush to the forefront of our mind, when we retell our travel tails. 

 Are you going on your dream vacation to Disney World or the South Seas?  Are you on a honeymoon cruise of the Caribbean or silver wedding anniversary trip back to Las Vegas, where you married?  Are you simply getting as far away as possible, trying desperately to eliminate stress from life?  A trip is defined by its purpose, but purpose can be enhanced.  Are you off to Ireland or Mexico to search for the village where your family came from?  If so, do a bit of research before you go.  Do not simply arrive with the name of the town.  Make sure that you take copies of family photographs, both current and past members.  Be armed with as much knowledge about your forefathers as possible, including names and important dates, so that you can know what to ask, and how to access archives to enhance the information you collect. Visiting the place where your family came from is memorable, but actually making a connection with a person or place, directly related to your family and purpose will truly make the trip unforgettable!

People, both the known and unknown, can be a deciding factor in making a trip stand out.  Traveling together can either make or break a relationship, hopefully your travel partners are people who have passed your own litmus test – like your spouse or child, and thus they are guaranteed a spot on the plane, or it is your best friend from college who also wants to go island hoping in Indonesia.  Once on your trip, you anticipate that the time spent with your travel partners will enhance the relationships as you share new experiences, which produce positive growth; it is true that sometimes the exact opposite happens, as you realize your travel partner simply wants to stay in their hotel watching reruns and order room service.   There is little you can do when the latter happens, but you should not let someone else stop you from expanding your own horizons; either way you should be open to new people.  I write these words with caution.

 You must be wise.  Do not go off on a boat alone, with a complete stranger, who promises to take you to the most beautiful location in all of the world; but do be open sharing a cup of coffee with a fellow traveler or taking a suggestion on a place to see, or exchanging email addresses* with someone reading a fascinating book, with whom you have shared a delightful conversation, or who happens to be standing in the same ticket line as you.  There is nothing wrong with strolling through a garden or museum with a stranger who may well become a friend.  If you are going off to find that long lost family and you met a person who knew an uncle, that had a neighbor, who was a second cousin, and they invite you to dinner – have dinner, it does not have to be at their house, if you are uncomfortable, but it could be in a nearby restaurant.  The interactions we have with others will play a large role in making our trip special. 

Timing can also be crucial in helping to make your holiday memorable.  Often, time off is scheduled around school or work vacations, or events like weddings or a Bar Mitzvah which we are going to attend.  That however, should not preclude you from investigating what else may be going on, during the time which you are in the area.  Do look into local festivals and historically significant events, which may be marked, while you are there.  Seeing a reenactment of a major Civil War or Revolutionary War battle can actually be fun and memorable!  Was there something special created where you will be going, or did a famous person live nearby? 

Also, timing and weather go hand in hand.  Will you be in Sacramento, for that February wedding?  Why not drive up to Lake Tahoe and enjoy a snow day, especially if you are from a place like Florida, where snow is a rarity?  What about a drive through the New England mountains in mid-autumn, to see the changing leaves?  Take advantage of what is different about the area, even if it is not part of the original plan.  If you happen to be stranded in Europe, during a volcanic eruption, make sure you get a souvenir!  Years later, when the frustration of not being able to go home, and having to pay extra money for unplanned hotel stays and food has passed, you will find a certain honor and joy in telling your friends how your survived the interruptions of the eruption – I promise.

Finally, do not overlook the ice-cream!  Stop for ice-cream, or fried dough, or sweet tea, or whatever regional food is being offered by the road side.  Be brave and bold, and try new things on your trip.  Bad food and experiences can be as memorable as good ones, especially with the passage of time.  Try something new.  One of the nice things about vacations is that they give you the opportunity to throw caution to the wind.  I have had horrible foods on my journeys, and I do not regret a single bite; I have also been introduced to wonderful dishes, which I have added to my repertoire.  Do not limit your sense of adventure to food, go into a curious looking shop, or stop at an unexpected attraction.  I am not knocking McDonald’s, I think they have the best coke in the world, their restrooms are usually clean, and the food is dependable and reasonably priced; however, do not let McDonald’s define your trip.  With rare exceptions, the stories you will tell, will not be about a cheap burger, at the airport. 

Often, as in the rest of life, what makes a trip memorable are the people with whom we share the journey, when and where we go, and what we do while we are there.  Go off and enjoy your adventures, and make new memories!  That is all for now.




2 Responses to Travel

  1. From the Editor on January 14, 2017 at 1:36 am

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Copy Protected by Chetan's WP-Copyprotect.