Those that know me know that I am big into traveling. It is something instilled into me by my parents who made a point to take me all sorts of places when I was growing up. Mind you.. “all sorts of places” translates to endless road trips all over the mid-Atlantic and new England parts of the country. I think we hit up every civil war battleground, historical site, Amish junk shop, museum, and “pretty location” that exists.
These were amazing times. Stayovers at the Super 8 Motel. The Good and Plenty Restaurant. Hours and Hours in the back of my dad’s white Cadillac watching the world go by.
Don’t get me wrong. These WERE amazing times for a kid my age in the 80s. This was The Top as far as travel with your family was concerned. I also learned a lot too. The last trip I took with my parents as a kid was when I was 15 and that was Washington DC (the 2nd or 3rd time we had been there). By that time I was seasoned and roadworthy. I knew my shit when it came to going about the world.
When I got older, and got married, my wife and I made a point to get out as often as we could. I also had the benefit of a job that sometimes gave me the opportunity to go off somewhere on their dime. Numerous trips to the west coast and southwest were funded by them. Again.. really amazing times.
A few days ago we came home from our first trip to the Mediterranean part of Europe: Greece. I’ve wanted to go there ever since the idea popped into my mind in 2000. Rather.. a good friend went there and told me about it.. so I just decided I wanted to go to0. That didn’t happen. Other really great things did.. but Greece didn’t. So… 23 years later here I am recovering from jet-lag after flying home from Athens/Santorini. I finally made it. It was as wonderful as you can imagine.. exhausting… but wonderful.
There are a lot of other places I want to go for the first time: at least three other trips to Europe I want to take.. plus some spots in the country I have shamefully not been to (I think I am the only person in any of my circles who has NOT been to Las Vegas).
But here is the thing… I realized just a few minutes ago that Greece is the farthest place on my list of places that I would ever realistically want to go to. Santorini clocks out at about 5000 miles from home. That is farther than Hawaii, and any other place on my list. I make a point of saying “realistically” because.. well.. lets be honest.. I am not a spring chicken anymore. In addition, my interest in “roughing it” is less and less as the years go by. Would I love to go to Thailand? Japan? Australia? YES! absolutely… but… at this point in my life do I have ANY interest in THAT long of a flight? No. Plus the logistics of those kinds of places is far beyond what I would want to do. I can’t see myself wandering around Thailand looking for street food, or visiting the “outback” where things are trying to eat me. I have become more of a 5 star hotel kinda traveler now.
So there it is… I’ve already stretched out as far as I would ever (realistically) want to go from home. 5000 Miles it is.. to the beautiful island of Santorini… and you know what I? I am ok with that.