As the Paris portion of our first trip together ended, it was already clear Carol and I were well-matched as traveling companions. And by this I mean, Carol is the polar opposite of the flake that I am. She’d made peace with my OCD approach to train schedules, and had gently nudged me toward finding […]
The one drain plug in this whole footloose, carefree and otherwise leaf blown approach to travel I outlined earlier presents itself when it comes to scheduled departures. Whether it’s planes, trains, busses or river ferries, the posted schedule has the same play on my neuroses pertaining to time as melting ice packs have for climate scientists.
At the time Carol and I took off for our first European trip together, I had completed two solo journeys of my own during my year of widowhood. I had not traveled solo since my vagabonding days of the early 1970s, and I immediately experienced the true “freedom of the road” again that traveling alone […]
While Carol has proven to me that companion travel is superior to solo, nothing has changed about my attitude to group tours. I have the one direct experience to look to for proof. When the door to Cuba had opened up back in 2016, Carolyn and I had booked a Roads Scholar tour of that […]
There are two ways to travel internationally. The one is to stand out like a sore thumb in dress, be loud and obnoxious, condescending to local customs, steadfastly refuse to try to communicate in the native tongue, complain of every inconvenience and disparagingly compare every experience to how it’d be better back home. In other […]
The idea of seeing Europe the way Europeans live there has been a strong organizing principle in my travels, both solo and with Carol. It’s an odd choice, but among my many of choices in life, it doesn’t surprise me. It actually cozily fits my natural incuriosity concerning life. But observing Parisians as they scramble […]
While the coronavirus lockdown has been – for me anyway – a walk in the park without the walk, I could see Carol’s edges fraying like an overused couch. Six months without a planned trip for two people whose relationship has been defined by travel, Carol was itching to get on the road again.
A contingent of Carol’s family recently headed off to Portland, Oregon for the holidays. Since I had made a couple of train trips there, I was asked to recommend places to go and sights to see. As the experienced reader of this blog may have immediately discerned, I had precious little to offer. Outside of the famous Powell’s bookstore, there was the historic landmark of the city’s Union Station, which I was aware of only because that’s where I had disembarked from Amtrak. There was the homeless encampment surrounding the station, the motel with the iconic 1950s era sign, where I stayed quite cheaply, and a sports bar near a strip joint that had been located within walking distance from the train station.