A couple of days after graduating from college I struck out to roam Europe for the summer—like thousands of young 20-somethings do every year.
IT’S A WONDERFUL RITE OF PASSAGE / For me it was liberation from the prior 18 years ordered by school, summer camp and part-time jobs. It’s a rare gap in life’s timetable to be completely unscheduled or to be scheduled completely as you choose. To ponder what’s important to you. To soak up life in extraordinary places and to energize you to conquor the world. And, at last, to be a full-fledged adult far, far from home.
So, packing as few clothes and as much money as possible to stretch over the whole summer ahead, I boarded a flight from Dallas to Luxembourg. It was my only day with a deadline for the following three months. Every day after I roamed. It was a perfect summer.
THAT FIRST TRIP WAS IN 1976 / I have been to Europe a number of times since then. I hope to say many times somewhere in the future. And, I’ve added a box full of pins to my map of places I want to go someday.
THIS TRAVEL BLOG IS INSPIRED BY MY HEROES / Everyone has heroes—conquerors, innovators, chefs, sports stars. But ask me to name a hero and I’ll give you Rick Steves. From my perspective, he lives a dream. He seems like a genuinely nice guy who works hard, enjoys life with friends everywhere and has the most splendid view out a big window on the world from which he writes. For that matter, I’d list as heroes Arthur Frommer, Rudy Maxa, Peter Greenberg, Eugene Fodor, Bill Bryson and every other travel writer and blogger who has followed his or her traveler’s heart. I hope to follow and learn from these heroes and have as much fun wherever I go near and far.
ABOUT ME / I am a native Texan living in Dallas. It’s a great place to live and a great city for traveling to and from. I am a writer by training with a couple of journalism degrees. I’ve spent my career marketing and selling with words. When not doing that, I like to think about, read about and plan the next trip somewhere. It’s a gene I got from my father that keeps me eager and ready to go somewhere new. A blog seems natural, blending a career of words and wanderlust.
Make no mistake, I am not a travel expert or consumer advocate or seasoned, savvy travel writer, as my heroes are rightfully ascribed. No, sir. I am a baby boomer jumping out there and finally trying something I’ve admired others doing for a lifetime. Well, I’m staying in my comfort zone of writing, because that comes easily. But everything else is fueled by unfettered desire to travel out farther in the world, tell stories and show pictures of places I’ve been and plan to go that others will enjoy or someday visit on thier own.
TRAVEL MAKES ME FEEL FREE, independent, confident, vulnerable, self-sufficient, connected, privileged, a citizen of the world, one in 7,000,000,000, ageless, wiser, grateful. It transports me from my familiar and fortifies my sheer pleasure in living, my instincts, my joy of beauty, my appreciation of other people’s daily lives and my treasured memories. It heightens my taste for food and wine, art and architecture, color and texture in the world.
That’s how I felt in the summer of 1976. It’s how I feel about travel today.
I plan to travel far.
POSTSCRIPT / Trafana is my blog name. It has its own story. Enjoy.