Last year during September, I was riding around Western Ireland on a bicycle. Two years ago during that same time, I was taking a 500 mile walk through Spain. All of which makes me wonder about different modes of travel. What are the benefits? What are the problems? Why choose one mode of transport over … Continue reading Modes of Travel (Part 1)
In the Broadway musical Hamilton, the Schuyler Sisters sing about New York as the “greatest city in the world.” Lately, as a bit of escape I have been reminiscing about cities I have been to and wondering what I think is the “greatest city” in the world. One city always comes to mind for me—Istanbul,Turkey. … Continue reading Why is (Istanbul) the Greatest City in the World?
2020 is the 50th anniversary of a number of record albums that have remained favorites throughout my life. Perhaps that is because in 1970, when I was 15 years old, I really started paying attention to the popular music of my day. There is a huge list of great albums that came out that year. … Continue reading The Hard Part is Letting You Go
I have always believed that travel “opens our minds.” But George Stone, writing in a recent National Geographic Online newsletter contends otherwise. The idea that travel makes you a more open-minded person is rooted more in well-meaning fiction than in fact…But if travel truly were fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, wouldn’t more of the … Continue reading Does Travel Really Open Our Minds?
Growing up, when we would visit my grandparents—my mother’s parents—we would always find a reason to sing, “Over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go…” The song was especially relevant for holidays and always a reminder that visiting our grandparents (even if they lived in the same town) was a treat, … Continue reading Over The River and Through the Woods – On Family Trips
Travel is about memories. Our journeys are about the memories we make while we are moving from one place to another. But they are also about the collective memories that we witness and share over time and space as members of the human community. Military wreckage on the Normandy Beach. Ancient stonework attesting to the … Continue reading The Most Important Memories I (N)ever Had
There is one pilgrimage we will all take. We do not have a choice. There is one path we will all walk. John O’Donohue describes it bluntly in his book Anam Cara: When we look into the future of our lives, we cannot predict what will happen. We can be sure of nothing. Yet there … Continue reading On Being a Pilgrim (Part 5 – A Journey to Death)
It has been almost two years since Lena and I made the journey to Spain to walk the Camino de Santiago. [A refresher: the Camino de Santiago is an ancient pilgrimage pathway through Spain to the tomb/cathedral of St. James. The route Lena and I took, the Camino Frances, is about 500 miles long, from … Continue reading On Being a Pilgrim (Part 4 – Can’t Let it Go )
One of the most common—if expensive—pilgrimages known to people in the United States is a trip to the “Holy Land.” I had heard about this kind of travel ever since I worshipped as an adult in a Christian church. I have known people to use a large chunk of his or her life savings to … Continue reading On Being a Pilgrim (Part 3 – Theme Park or Holy Journey?)
I have had a really hard time writing during this past week. Mostly, in the midst of all the protests on behalf of our Black brothers and sisters, it seems like my words are not the most important words right now. It really feels like talking about any pilgrimage I have been on, whether literal … Continue reading On Being a Pilgrim (Part 2 – The Stones Will Shout)