Our Tuesday Fox asked, “Is there a place that you have traveled to when you were younger that you wish you could visit again?”
Looking at the wording of this question – specifically, the phrase “wish you could” – I get the feeling she’s inferring that we’re supposed to name a place we’ve visited that we’re not likely to visit again for one reason or another. Right now, my health and finances are such that traveling almost anywhere is possible, although a year-long cruise around the world might be out of reach. But then, I’ve never done that before, so it doesn’t qualify.
Until a few years ago, I traveled a lot. Since retiring from full-time teaching in 2005 I’ve been to Japan, England, France, Mexico, and Greece. When the pandemic hit, my brother and I were working on a plan to allow our mother to spend several months with her sisters: one of us would fly there with her and spend a week or two before coming home alone. Then the other one would fly out a week or two before the end of her visit and then bring her home. But of course, that trip and many other “maybe” trips were put aside.
During my high school years, I went on two memorable trips. One was to the American Rocky Mountains with a group that created a travelogue. And then during the summer between my junior and senior years I had the honor of playing in the American Youth Symphony and toured England, Ireland, Austria, Switzerland, and Italy.
My family didn’t travel much together, but we went on one trip to Gettysburg, Mammoth Caves, and Niagara Falls. My husband didn’t enjoy traveling, but he went with me twice: to Las Vegas for our honeymoon and with our daughters to Montreal. Without hubby, the girls and I went everywhere. Both of our daughters played in the marching band the year that they were invited to play in the Fiesta Bowl in Phoenix, so I joined a large group of parents who went along to cheer them on. When my older daughter was in college, she did a presentation at the American Psychological Association’s Convention in New Orleans and invited me to go along. I’ve got relatives on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, so my younger daughter and I went to visit, and alone I’ve gone on short trips to Texas, South Dakota, and Louisville.
So I’ve managed to see quite a bit of the world as well as several parts of this country, and choosing only one place I’d want to return to is quite difficult. I’ve mentioned before that I’m an optimist, and I’ve found beauty in each of these places. Each has its own story, including the challenges that every society faces. I wouldn’t mind visiting any of them another time. But one trip that made a profound impact on me was when I went to Greece. I spent time both in the city of Athens as well as on the island of Paros, and I loved both! So much beauty, so much history, and I’d love to return and soak it up again. But my bad back and knees would prevent me from enjoying it completely. My back seizes up whenever I try to sit on hard surfaces, and it’s really difficult to find upholstered chairs anywhere. My knees hurt when I go up and down stairs, and there are a whole lot of stairs going up the hill to the Acropolis! So unless some Greek millionaire invites me to his estate and includes a muscle-bound lackey to carry me and my thick pillows around, I probably won’t return, except by looking at the many pictures I took.
What trip would you like to repeat?