A couple of days after graduating from college, I struck out to roam Europe for the summer—like thousands of 20-somethings do every year.
IT’S A WONDERFUL RITE OF PASSAGE / For me it was liberation from 18 years regimented by school, summer camp and part-time jobs. Taking a break between college graduation and your first job is rare gap in life’s timetable to be completely unscheduled or to be scheduled completely as you choose. It’s a time to ponder what’s important to you. To observe and soak up life in extraordinary places. To energize your desire for wandering 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 cover the whole summer ahead, I boarded a flight from Dallas to Luxembourg. It was my only day with a set schedule for the next three months. Every day after I roamed. It was a perfect summer.
THAT FIRST TRIP WAS IN 1976 / I’ve been to Europe repeatedly since then and circled the globe north, south, east and west. And, I’ve emptied a box of pins marking my map of places I want to go.
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 explore, research and plan my next trip. It’s a gene I got from my father who was alway eager to travel somewhere new. A blog seems natural, blending a career of words and the love of visiting new and favorite places.
Writing comes easily to me comes easily to me. Travel writing is fueled by my unfettered desire to far 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 for life. And go far.
POSTSCRIPT / Trafana is my blog name. It has its own story. Enjoy.
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Bon voyage! LYSM