A Tale of Two Travellers

Lefkada boat
Susanna here, packing and gathering things for a research trip for the new novel, which has me here pondering travel in general, and how different people can visit the same place and walk the same streets and yet come away with such divergent impressions.

I had this illustrated perfectly not long ago while searching for historical details in traveller's narratives of Portofino in the first years of the eighteenth century. In those days, Portofino, Italy, was not yet the grand playground of the rich and famous that it would turn into in the mid-twentieth century. It was a place that travellers put into when they had to, if the weather or the winds were uncooperative. There wasn't much to see—a little fort, a lighthouse, a handful of houses with black slate roofs, a church, a couple of inns, and a good, sheltered harbour.


I only found two travel narratives, both written in French, that mentioned stops at Portofino.

Jean Baptiste LabatIn 1709, a Dominican Friar by the name of Jean-Baptiste Labat had stopped there with some companions. He'd had a terrible time. Everything had gone wrong for him. The innkeeper he'd been taken to had been rude and unwelcoming, the local judge called in to mediate between innkeeper and guests had been largely unhelpful, and the guards at the fort on the hill had been overly protective and suspicious and refused to let Labat and his companion explore and sightsee. On top of which, the local food had been substandard and difficult to digest, and in the end Labat and his companion persuaded their patron to let them move on to the next place without further delay.

MontesquieuNearly twenty years later, Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu was temporarily storm-stayed at Portofino, but even after a day a sea-sickness, he took his situation more cheerfully. "I mended my stomach at an inn," he wrote, "where I found good mullets, good wine, and good oil." And the next day he continued on his journey, quite happily.

It's possible, of course, that things had changed drastically in the space of those twenty years. It's possible the men were taken to two very different inns, with two very different innkeepers.

But I'm inclined to think the answer lies within the men themselves.

One of the things I have to do, as a researcher, is examine and analyze the source of any information I'm using, so I always look into the background of any person whose account I'm reading, so I can weigh it for bias.

The Dominican Friar was, to his credit, a very keen observer of detail. He noted those black slate roofs—very useful for a writer like me. He named the trees, and the crops. But he was also, in his prior post in the West Indies, a holder of slaves, and had personally subjected one of his slaves to a punishment of three hundred lashes.

Montesquieu, on the contrary, believed that "To become truly great, one has to stand with people, not above them."

The more I learned about the two men, the more I could understand what each brought with him into that little harbour at Portofino, and how that might have shaped their time there—why one hated every moment he spent in that beautiful place, while the other found only good memories.

Susanna suitcaseI've always loved the poem Ithaka by C.P. Cavafy, which reminds us, in essence, that we won't meet monsters on our voyage unless we carry them with us, inside ourselves.

So I give the grumblers a wide berth, whenever I'm travelling. Let them be miserable.

I'd rather be like the Baron de Montesquieu, and find good wine and good company. Wouldn't you?

Have you met somebody nice on a holiday? Had something nice happen? I'd love to hear your vacation tales!

 

55 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Travellers”

  1. Lovely, Susanna, and so true! I tend to be an optimist and like people, so I have had good times wherever I’ve traveled. Our basic personalities are the lens through which we see the world, and so we carry them everywhere.

    Reply
  2. Lovely, Susanna, and so true! I tend to be an optimist and like people, so I have had good times wherever I’ve traveled. Our basic personalities are the lens through which we see the world, and so we carry them everywhere.

    Reply
  3. Lovely, Susanna, and so true! I tend to be an optimist and like people, so I have had good times wherever I’ve traveled. Our basic personalities are the lens through which we see the world, and so we carry them everywhere.

    Reply
  4. Lovely, Susanna, and so true! I tend to be an optimist and like people, so I have had good times wherever I’ve traveled. Our basic personalities are the lens through which we see the world, and so we carry them everywhere.

    Reply
  5. Lovely, Susanna, and so true! I tend to be an optimist and like people, so I have had good times wherever I’ve traveled. Our basic personalities are the lens through which we see the world, and so we carry them everywhere.

    Reply
  6. Now that I’m older, I find traveling rather difficult. And I have found that in trying situations, it is always best to keep yourself in the best frame of mind possible.
    I’m old enough to remember when air travel was quite pleasant. Nowadays the best thing I can say about air travel is that it is the still the quickest way to get from here to there. I don’t miss the complimentary meals and snacks, but I do miss the leg room. I miss the days when the person in front of you could recline in their seat without having their head in your lap (smile).
    I’d much rather take a road trip and be able to stop and relax when I choose to. It’s always pleasant to knock off early and find a motel. Order a drink and relax by the pool. You are almost always able to find someone nice/interesting to chat with.

    Reply
  7. Now that I’m older, I find traveling rather difficult. And I have found that in trying situations, it is always best to keep yourself in the best frame of mind possible.
    I’m old enough to remember when air travel was quite pleasant. Nowadays the best thing I can say about air travel is that it is the still the quickest way to get from here to there. I don’t miss the complimentary meals and snacks, but I do miss the leg room. I miss the days when the person in front of you could recline in their seat without having their head in your lap (smile).
    I’d much rather take a road trip and be able to stop and relax when I choose to. It’s always pleasant to knock off early and find a motel. Order a drink and relax by the pool. You are almost always able to find someone nice/interesting to chat with.

    Reply
  8. Now that I’m older, I find traveling rather difficult. And I have found that in trying situations, it is always best to keep yourself in the best frame of mind possible.
    I’m old enough to remember when air travel was quite pleasant. Nowadays the best thing I can say about air travel is that it is the still the quickest way to get from here to there. I don’t miss the complimentary meals and snacks, but I do miss the leg room. I miss the days when the person in front of you could recline in their seat without having their head in your lap (smile).
    I’d much rather take a road trip and be able to stop and relax when I choose to. It’s always pleasant to knock off early and find a motel. Order a drink and relax by the pool. You are almost always able to find someone nice/interesting to chat with.

    Reply
  9. Now that I’m older, I find traveling rather difficult. And I have found that in trying situations, it is always best to keep yourself in the best frame of mind possible.
    I’m old enough to remember when air travel was quite pleasant. Nowadays the best thing I can say about air travel is that it is the still the quickest way to get from here to there. I don’t miss the complimentary meals and snacks, but I do miss the leg room. I miss the days when the person in front of you could recline in their seat without having their head in your lap (smile).
    I’d much rather take a road trip and be able to stop and relax when I choose to. It’s always pleasant to knock off early and find a motel. Order a drink and relax by the pool. You are almost always able to find someone nice/interesting to chat with.

    Reply
  10. Now that I’m older, I find traveling rather difficult. And I have found that in trying situations, it is always best to keep yourself in the best frame of mind possible.
    I’m old enough to remember when air travel was quite pleasant. Nowadays the best thing I can say about air travel is that it is the still the quickest way to get from here to there. I don’t miss the complimentary meals and snacks, but I do miss the leg room. I miss the days when the person in front of you could recline in their seat without having their head in your lap (smile).
    I’d much rather take a road trip and be able to stop and relax when I choose to. It’s always pleasant to knock off early and find a motel. Order a drink and relax by the pool. You are almost always able to find someone nice/interesting to chat with.

    Reply
  11. Like Mary T, I’d much rather be in charge of my travels. Drive myself, stop as we need, stay a day longer (or leave more quickly).
    In 1998 my husband, my older daughter, and I took a guided tour of specific spots on Great Britain. We saw some of England, and some of Scotland. Our tour guide was from South Wales, so I suppose he will represent the third country.
    I’ve mentioned this tour before (and will probably continue to do so) as it was the most interesting trip I’ve ever taken. The other people on the tour were friendly, but everyone was with one or more companions (family or friends); I don’t believe anyone made new friends. We were very lucky in our group – no one was a chronic complainer.
    The big IF is the timing. You couldn’t tarry at a special-to-you spot. You couldn’t hurry out of Scotland in order to leave the allergens behind, and so on. (Not that I wished to hurry out of Scotland, it fascinated me. But some fall flower was in bloom that affected harder than our ragweed does.
    I fear that my physical journeys may be all in my past. I’ll need to travel vicariously from now on.

    Reply
  12. Like Mary T, I’d much rather be in charge of my travels. Drive myself, stop as we need, stay a day longer (or leave more quickly).
    In 1998 my husband, my older daughter, and I took a guided tour of specific spots on Great Britain. We saw some of England, and some of Scotland. Our tour guide was from South Wales, so I suppose he will represent the third country.
    I’ve mentioned this tour before (and will probably continue to do so) as it was the most interesting trip I’ve ever taken. The other people on the tour were friendly, but everyone was with one or more companions (family or friends); I don’t believe anyone made new friends. We were very lucky in our group – no one was a chronic complainer.
    The big IF is the timing. You couldn’t tarry at a special-to-you spot. You couldn’t hurry out of Scotland in order to leave the allergens behind, and so on. (Not that I wished to hurry out of Scotland, it fascinated me. But some fall flower was in bloom that affected harder than our ragweed does.
    I fear that my physical journeys may be all in my past. I’ll need to travel vicariously from now on.

    Reply
  13. Like Mary T, I’d much rather be in charge of my travels. Drive myself, stop as we need, stay a day longer (or leave more quickly).
    In 1998 my husband, my older daughter, and I took a guided tour of specific spots on Great Britain. We saw some of England, and some of Scotland. Our tour guide was from South Wales, so I suppose he will represent the third country.
    I’ve mentioned this tour before (and will probably continue to do so) as it was the most interesting trip I’ve ever taken. The other people on the tour were friendly, but everyone was with one or more companions (family or friends); I don’t believe anyone made new friends. We were very lucky in our group – no one was a chronic complainer.
    The big IF is the timing. You couldn’t tarry at a special-to-you spot. You couldn’t hurry out of Scotland in order to leave the allergens behind, and so on. (Not that I wished to hurry out of Scotland, it fascinated me. But some fall flower was in bloom that affected harder than our ragweed does.
    I fear that my physical journeys may be all in my past. I’ll need to travel vicariously from now on.

    Reply
  14. Like Mary T, I’d much rather be in charge of my travels. Drive myself, stop as we need, stay a day longer (or leave more quickly).
    In 1998 my husband, my older daughter, and I took a guided tour of specific spots on Great Britain. We saw some of England, and some of Scotland. Our tour guide was from South Wales, so I suppose he will represent the third country.
    I’ve mentioned this tour before (and will probably continue to do so) as it was the most interesting trip I’ve ever taken. The other people on the tour were friendly, but everyone was with one or more companions (family or friends); I don’t believe anyone made new friends. We were very lucky in our group – no one was a chronic complainer.
    The big IF is the timing. You couldn’t tarry at a special-to-you spot. You couldn’t hurry out of Scotland in order to leave the allergens behind, and so on. (Not that I wished to hurry out of Scotland, it fascinated me. But some fall flower was in bloom that affected harder than our ragweed does.
    I fear that my physical journeys may be all in my past. I’ll need to travel vicariously from now on.

    Reply
  15. Like Mary T, I’d much rather be in charge of my travels. Drive myself, stop as we need, stay a day longer (or leave more quickly).
    In 1998 my husband, my older daughter, and I took a guided tour of specific spots on Great Britain. We saw some of England, and some of Scotland. Our tour guide was from South Wales, so I suppose he will represent the third country.
    I’ve mentioned this tour before (and will probably continue to do so) as it was the most interesting trip I’ve ever taken. The other people on the tour were friendly, but everyone was with one or more companions (family or friends); I don’t believe anyone made new friends. We were very lucky in our group – no one was a chronic complainer.
    The big IF is the timing. You couldn’t tarry at a special-to-you spot. You couldn’t hurry out of Scotland in order to leave the allergens behind, and so on. (Not that I wished to hurry out of Scotland, it fascinated me. But some fall flower was in bloom that affected harder than our ragweed does.
    I fear that my physical journeys may be all in my past. I’ll need to travel vicariously from now on.

    Reply
  16. My husband and I visited Kauai about five years ago and had a wonderful trip. We stayed at a smallish bed and breakfast (now defunct) and sat down to breakfast with eight or so convivial fellow travelers. It was a great meal with fine food (macadamia pancakes as I recall along with local white pineapple and other fruit) but best yet was the conversation; I don’t think any of us wanted to get up and head our separate ways.

    Reply
  17. My husband and I visited Kauai about five years ago and had a wonderful trip. We stayed at a smallish bed and breakfast (now defunct) and sat down to breakfast with eight or so convivial fellow travelers. It was a great meal with fine food (macadamia pancakes as I recall along with local white pineapple and other fruit) but best yet was the conversation; I don’t think any of us wanted to get up and head our separate ways.

    Reply
  18. My husband and I visited Kauai about five years ago and had a wonderful trip. We stayed at a smallish bed and breakfast (now defunct) and sat down to breakfast with eight or so convivial fellow travelers. It was a great meal with fine food (macadamia pancakes as I recall along with local white pineapple and other fruit) but best yet was the conversation; I don’t think any of us wanted to get up and head our separate ways.

    Reply
  19. My husband and I visited Kauai about five years ago and had a wonderful trip. We stayed at a smallish bed and breakfast (now defunct) and sat down to breakfast with eight or so convivial fellow travelers. It was a great meal with fine food (macadamia pancakes as I recall along with local white pineapple and other fruit) but best yet was the conversation; I don’t think any of us wanted to get up and head our separate ways.

    Reply
  20. My husband and I visited Kauai about five years ago and had a wonderful trip. We stayed at a smallish bed and breakfast (now defunct) and sat down to breakfast with eight or so convivial fellow travelers. It was a great meal with fine food (macadamia pancakes as I recall along with local white pineapple and other fruit) but best yet was the conversation; I don’t think any of us wanted to get up and head our separate ways.

    Reply
  21. I couldn’t agree more with this, Susanna. I’ve always been lucky in my journeying, and I suspect it has a lot to do with keeping yourself open to the new places and people. The first time I travelled alone in France, so many people warned me beforehand that the French would be unhelpful and rude. Not at all true. I had only rusty schoolgirl French, but I tried with it, and found people were generally kind and friendly.
    Such an interesting contrast of personalities in your two examples. Amazing how they can pop up so vibrantly over a distance of time and through the barrier of a different language. Well done. And good luck with your trip.

    Reply
  22. I couldn’t agree more with this, Susanna. I’ve always been lucky in my journeying, and I suspect it has a lot to do with keeping yourself open to the new places and people. The first time I travelled alone in France, so many people warned me beforehand that the French would be unhelpful and rude. Not at all true. I had only rusty schoolgirl French, but I tried with it, and found people were generally kind and friendly.
    Such an interesting contrast of personalities in your two examples. Amazing how they can pop up so vibrantly over a distance of time and through the barrier of a different language. Well done. And good luck with your trip.

    Reply
  23. I couldn’t agree more with this, Susanna. I’ve always been lucky in my journeying, and I suspect it has a lot to do with keeping yourself open to the new places and people. The first time I travelled alone in France, so many people warned me beforehand that the French would be unhelpful and rude. Not at all true. I had only rusty schoolgirl French, but I tried with it, and found people were generally kind and friendly.
    Such an interesting contrast of personalities in your two examples. Amazing how they can pop up so vibrantly over a distance of time and through the barrier of a different language. Well done. And good luck with your trip.

    Reply
  24. I couldn’t agree more with this, Susanna. I’ve always been lucky in my journeying, and I suspect it has a lot to do with keeping yourself open to the new places and people. The first time I travelled alone in France, so many people warned me beforehand that the French would be unhelpful and rude. Not at all true. I had only rusty schoolgirl French, but I tried with it, and found people were generally kind and friendly.
    Such an interesting contrast of personalities in your two examples. Amazing how they can pop up so vibrantly over a distance of time and through the barrier of a different language. Well done. And good luck with your trip.

    Reply
  25. I couldn’t agree more with this, Susanna. I’ve always been lucky in my journeying, and I suspect it has a lot to do with keeping yourself open to the new places and people. The first time I travelled alone in France, so many people warned me beforehand that the French would be unhelpful and rude. Not at all true. I had only rusty schoolgirl French, but I tried with it, and found people were generally kind and friendly.
    Such an interesting contrast of personalities in your two examples. Amazing how they can pop up so vibrantly over a distance of time and through the barrier of a different language. Well done. And good luck with your trip.

    Reply
  26. Generally my trips abroad have been very pleasant. It does not, however, take 20 years to make a difference. On my first trip, there were a few anti-American comments, yelled from a distance. But then the USSR rolled into Czechoslovakia, and we were everyone’s BFF.
    And a mendicant friar versus an aristocrat having very different experiences is very believable.

    Reply
  27. Generally my trips abroad have been very pleasant. It does not, however, take 20 years to make a difference. On my first trip, there were a few anti-American comments, yelled from a distance. But then the USSR rolled into Czechoslovakia, and we were everyone’s BFF.
    And a mendicant friar versus an aristocrat having very different experiences is very believable.

    Reply
  28. Generally my trips abroad have been very pleasant. It does not, however, take 20 years to make a difference. On my first trip, there were a few anti-American comments, yelled from a distance. But then the USSR rolled into Czechoslovakia, and we were everyone’s BFF.
    And a mendicant friar versus an aristocrat having very different experiences is very believable.

    Reply
  29. Generally my trips abroad have been very pleasant. It does not, however, take 20 years to make a difference. On my first trip, there were a few anti-American comments, yelled from a distance. But then the USSR rolled into Czechoslovakia, and we were everyone’s BFF.
    And a mendicant friar versus an aristocrat having very different experiences is very believable.

    Reply
  30. Generally my trips abroad have been very pleasant. It does not, however, take 20 years to make a difference. On my first trip, there were a few anti-American comments, yelled from a distance. But then the USSR rolled into Czechoslovakia, and we were everyone’s BFF.
    And a mendicant friar versus an aristocrat having very different experiences is very believable.

    Reply
  31. Lovely post, and about something important. How people treat you depends to a great extent on how you treat them. Waiters, shopkeepers—all the people you encounter not just when traveling but also at home—are much more likely to be friendly and courteous if you also are friendly and courteous.
    For the other reaction, an anecdote. A young woman was working as a waitress in a restaurant, and was taking the order from a couple. The wife told her husband what her choices were, and he relayed the information to the waitress. Slightly confused, the waitress asked him, “Why doesn’t she just tell me herself?” He replied, “She doesn’t talk to servants.”
    When you insult the restaurant staff, what can happen to your food before it arrives at your table is rather frightening.

    Reply
  32. Lovely post, and about something important. How people treat you depends to a great extent on how you treat them. Waiters, shopkeepers—all the people you encounter not just when traveling but also at home—are much more likely to be friendly and courteous if you also are friendly and courteous.
    For the other reaction, an anecdote. A young woman was working as a waitress in a restaurant, and was taking the order from a couple. The wife told her husband what her choices were, and he relayed the information to the waitress. Slightly confused, the waitress asked him, “Why doesn’t she just tell me herself?” He replied, “She doesn’t talk to servants.”
    When you insult the restaurant staff, what can happen to your food before it arrives at your table is rather frightening.

    Reply
  33. Lovely post, and about something important. How people treat you depends to a great extent on how you treat them. Waiters, shopkeepers—all the people you encounter not just when traveling but also at home—are much more likely to be friendly and courteous if you also are friendly and courteous.
    For the other reaction, an anecdote. A young woman was working as a waitress in a restaurant, and was taking the order from a couple. The wife told her husband what her choices were, and he relayed the information to the waitress. Slightly confused, the waitress asked him, “Why doesn’t she just tell me herself?” He replied, “She doesn’t talk to servants.”
    When you insult the restaurant staff, what can happen to your food before it arrives at your table is rather frightening.

    Reply
  34. Lovely post, and about something important. How people treat you depends to a great extent on how you treat them. Waiters, shopkeepers—all the people you encounter not just when traveling but also at home—are much more likely to be friendly and courteous if you also are friendly and courteous.
    For the other reaction, an anecdote. A young woman was working as a waitress in a restaurant, and was taking the order from a couple. The wife told her husband what her choices were, and he relayed the information to the waitress. Slightly confused, the waitress asked him, “Why doesn’t she just tell me herself?” He replied, “She doesn’t talk to servants.”
    When you insult the restaurant staff, what can happen to your food before it arrives at your table is rather frightening.

    Reply
  35. Lovely post, and about something important. How people treat you depends to a great extent on how you treat them. Waiters, shopkeepers—all the people you encounter not just when traveling but also at home—are much more likely to be friendly and courteous if you also are friendly and courteous.
    For the other reaction, an anecdote. A young woman was working as a waitress in a restaurant, and was taking the order from a couple. The wife told her husband what her choices were, and he relayed the information to the waitress. Slightly confused, the waitress asked him, “Why doesn’t she just tell me herself?” He replied, “She doesn’t talk to servants.”
    When you insult the restaurant staff, what can happen to your food before it arrives at your table is rather frightening.

    Reply
  36. >Montesquieu, on the contrary, believed that “To become truly great, one has to stand with people, not above them.”< What a wonderful approach to life, one we in the US, indeed, the world, would do well to embrace in these uncivil times: For best results, build up, don’t tear down. In the end, we’re all in it together. Terrific post, Susanna.

    Reply
  37. >Montesquieu, on the contrary, believed that “To become truly great, one has to stand with people, not above them.”< What a wonderful approach to life, one we in the US, indeed, the world, would do well to embrace in these uncivil times: For best results, build up, don’t tear down. In the end, we’re all in it together. Terrific post, Susanna.

    Reply
  38. >Montesquieu, on the contrary, believed that “To become truly great, one has to stand with people, not above them.”< What a wonderful approach to life, one we in the US, indeed, the world, would do well to embrace in these uncivil times: For best results, build up, don’t tear down. In the end, we’re all in it together. Terrific post, Susanna.

    Reply
  39. >Montesquieu, on the contrary, believed that “To become truly great, one has to stand with people, not above them.”< What a wonderful approach to life, one we in the US, indeed, the world, would do well to embrace in these uncivil times: For best results, build up, don’t tear down. In the end, we’re all in it together. Terrific post, Susanna.

    Reply
  40. >Montesquieu, on the contrary, believed that “To become truly great, one has to stand with people, not above them.”< What a wonderful approach to life, one we in the US, indeed, the world, would do well to embrace in these uncivil times: For best results, build up, don’t tear down. In the end, we’re all in it together. Terrific post, Susanna.

    Reply
  41. In the past, I worked for FEMA. My entire job was traveling from disaster to disaster.
    Every place I went, I met nice people. Friendly people – in Rhode Island a lady offered to let me come home with her and sleep on her couch so I could have someone take care of me. In North Dakota, I got to meet several veterans of World War II and I heard amazing stories of surviving the Battle of the Bulge. In Pennsylvania, a man made a recording of a song for me.
    Each of these people had just survived terrible things in their lives. Some of them had lost everything they had. Yet, they were kind and caring and simply wonderful human beings.
    Yes, at times I met some people who were not so nice, but the ones I remember most are the ones who were kind and thoughtful and made me feel glad to meet them.

    Reply
  42. In the past, I worked for FEMA. My entire job was traveling from disaster to disaster.
    Every place I went, I met nice people. Friendly people – in Rhode Island a lady offered to let me come home with her and sleep on her couch so I could have someone take care of me. In North Dakota, I got to meet several veterans of World War II and I heard amazing stories of surviving the Battle of the Bulge. In Pennsylvania, a man made a recording of a song for me.
    Each of these people had just survived terrible things in their lives. Some of them had lost everything they had. Yet, they were kind and caring and simply wonderful human beings.
    Yes, at times I met some people who were not so nice, but the ones I remember most are the ones who were kind and thoughtful and made me feel glad to meet them.

    Reply
  43. In the past, I worked for FEMA. My entire job was traveling from disaster to disaster.
    Every place I went, I met nice people. Friendly people – in Rhode Island a lady offered to let me come home with her and sleep on her couch so I could have someone take care of me. In North Dakota, I got to meet several veterans of World War II and I heard amazing stories of surviving the Battle of the Bulge. In Pennsylvania, a man made a recording of a song for me.
    Each of these people had just survived terrible things in their lives. Some of them had lost everything they had. Yet, they were kind and caring and simply wonderful human beings.
    Yes, at times I met some people who were not so nice, but the ones I remember most are the ones who were kind and thoughtful and made me feel glad to meet them.

    Reply
  44. In the past, I worked for FEMA. My entire job was traveling from disaster to disaster.
    Every place I went, I met nice people. Friendly people – in Rhode Island a lady offered to let me come home with her and sleep on her couch so I could have someone take care of me. In North Dakota, I got to meet several veterans of World War II and I heard amazing stories of surviving the Battle of the Bulge. In Pennsylvania, a man made a recording of a song for me.
    Each of these people had just survived terrible things in their lives. Some of them had lost everything they had. Yet, they were kind and caring and simply wonderful human beings.
    Yes, at times I met some people who were not so nice, but the ones I remember most are the ones who were kind and thoughtful and made me feel glad to meet them.

    Reply
  45. In the past, I worked for FEMA. My entire job was traveling from disaster to disaster.
    Every place I went, I met nice people. Friendly people – in Rhode Island a lady offered to let me come home with her and sleep on her couch so I could have someone take care of me. In North Dakota, I got to meet several veterans of World War II and I heard amazing stories of surviving the Battle of the Bulge. In Pennsylvania, a man made a recording of a song for me.
    Each of these people had just survived terrible things in their lives. Some of them had lost everything they had. Yet, they were kind and caring and simply wonderful human beings.
    Yes, at times I met some people who were not so nice, but the ones I remember most are the ones who were kind and thoughtful and made me feel glad to meet them.

    Reply
  46. I love travel so much that I have a hard time thinking of a bad travel experience. Almost every place has something noteworthy about it. Even a few total screw ups(getting turned back at the border, missing connections, car breakdowns) have turned out to be funny and great conversation pieces in retrospect, although they were not amusing at the time.

    Reply
  47. I love travel so much that I have a hard time thinking of a bad travel experience. Almost every place has something noteworthy about it. Even a few total screw ups(getting turned back at the border, missing connections, car breakdowns) have turned out to be funny and great conversation pieces in retrospect, although they were not amusing at the time.

    Reply
  48. I love travel so much that I have a hard time thinking of a bad travel experience. Almost every place has something noteworthy about it. Even a few total screw ups(getting turned back at the border, missing connections, car breakdowns) have turned out to be funny and great conversation pieces in retrospect, although they were not amusing at the time.

    Reply
  49. I love travel so much that I have a hard time thinking of a bad travel experience. Almost every place has something noteworthy about it. Even a few total screw ups(getting turned back at the border, missing connections, car breakdowns) have turned out to be funny and great conversation pieces in retrospect, although they were not amusing at the time.

    Reply
  50. I love travel so much that I have a hard time thinking of a bad travel experience. Almost every place has something noteworthy about it. Even a few total screw ups(getting turned back at the border, missing connections, car breakdowns) have turned out to be funny and great conversation pieces in retrospect, although they were not amusing at the time.

    Reply
  51. Great post. Thank you very much. I found that several responses particularly resonated with me. Part of my working life was as a trauma counsellor specialising in children and adolescents, and often people tell me how hard that must be but I have always felt privileged to work with so many heroes and heroines. I’ve also found that it is not just the personal characteristics of people but their the interaction between their view of their world (my people are the best and the rest of you are the plebs and should be grateful I am here) and the view of the hosts (during one of my trips Americans were putting Canadian flags on their backpacks to stay safer). I’m Australian and we have gone from everyone’s best friend to the friend of the USA in many places and it has changed how we are treated by some communities. The other factor that I have found makes a big difference is the form of transport I use. In 2011 I did the Camino and the experience of walking from place to place was extraordinarily different to driving, trains, etc. Seven years later I am still yearning to get out and meet people on my feet and be in less of a hurry, both to get somewhere and to make judgements.

    Reply
  52. Great post. Thank you very much. I found that several responses particularly resonated with me. Part of my working life was as a trauma counsellor specialising in children and adolescents, and often people tell me how hard that must be but I have always felt privileged to work with so many heroes and heroines. I’ve also found that it is not just the personal characteristics of people but their the interaction between their view of their world (my people are the best and the rest of you are the plebs and should be grateful I am here) and the view of the hosts (during one of my trips Americans were putting Canadian flags on their backpacks to stay safer). I’m Australian and we have gone from everyone’s best friend to the friend of the USA in many places and it has changed how we are treated by some communities. The other factor that I have found makes a big difference is the form of transport I use. In 2011 I did the Camino and the experience of walking from place to place was extraordinarily different to driving, trains, etc. Seven years later I am still yearning to get out and meet people on my feet and be in less of a hurry, both to get somewhere and to make judgements.

    Reply
  53. Great post. Thank you very much. I found that several responses particularly resonated with me. Part of my working life was as a trauma counsellor specialising in children and adolescents, and often people tell me how hard that must be but I have always felt privileged to work with so many heroes and heroines. I’ve also found that it is not just the personal characteristics of people but their the interaction between their view of their world (my people are the best and the rest of you are the plebs and should be grateful I am here) and the view of the hosts (during one of my trips Americans were putting Canadian flags on their backpacks to stay safer). I’m Australian and we have gone from everyone’s best friend to the friend of the USA in many places and it has changed how we are treated by some communities. The other factor that I have found makes a big difference is the form of transport I use. In 2011 I did the Camino and the experience of walking from place to place was extraordinarily different to driving, trains, etc. Seven years later I am still yearning to get out and meet people on my feet and be in less of a hurry, both to get somewhere and to make judgements.

    Reply
  54. Great post. Thank you very much. I found that several responses particularly resonated with me. Part of my working life was as a trauma counsellor specialising in children and adolescents, and often people tell me how hard that must be but I have always felt privileged to work with so many heroes and heroines. I’ve also found that it is not just the personal characteristics of people but their the interaction between their view of their world (my people are the best and the rest of you are the plebs and should be grateful I am here) and the view of the hosts (during one of my trips Americans were putting Canadian flags on their backpacks to stay safer). I’m Australian and we have gone from everyone’s best friend to the friend of the USA in many places and it has changed how we are treated by some communities. The other factor that I have found makes a big difference is the form of transport I use. In 2011 I did the Camino and the experience of walking from place to place was extraordinarily different to driving, trains, etc. Seven years later I am still yearning to get out and meet people on my feet and be in less of a hurry, both to get somewhere and to make judgements.

    Reply
  55. Great post. Thank you very much. I found that several responses particularly resonated with me. Part of my working life was as a trauma counsellor specialising in children and adolescents, and often people tell me how hard that must be but I have always felt privileged to work with so many heroes and heroines. I’ve also found that it is not just the personal characteristics of people but their the interaction between their view of their world (my people are the best and the rest of you are the plebs and should be grateful I am here) and the view of the hosts (during one of my trips Americans were putting Canadian flags on their backpacks to stay safer). I’m Australian and we have gone from everyone’s best friend to the friend of the USA in many places and it has changed how we are treated by some communities. The other factor that I have found makes a big difference is the form of transport I use. In 2011 I did the Camino and the experience of walking from place to place was extraordinarily different to driving, trains, etc. Seven years later I am still yearning to get out and meet people on my feet and be in less of a hurry, both to get somewhere and to make judgements.

    Reply

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