Charley and I have done a lot of traveling together over more than fifty years. It started while we were engaged. I was still in college and he was an Air Force officer assigned to
For two years we drove back and forth between Colby College in Waterville,
Maine, and Dover Air Force Base in his white VW “Beetle,” shouting fraternity
and sorority songs to stay awake: “Give
a rousing cheer/For the boys are here/Lift your glasses high…” Dover, Delaware
|Saigon, Viet Nam 1967|
“Try again under ‘Pamela Carey.’ That’s spelled C-A-R-E-Y.”
”Wait a minute! Here she is! Her card was stuck to the card in front of it.”
“Honey, it’s me,” Charley said quietly, knocking on my door. Since I was expecting him the next morning, I was sound asleep with my hair in curlers and a mud-gunk mask all over my face. Today cell phones would prevent such tragedies. “Open the door!”
Half asleep, I stumbled to the deadbolt and slid it back. Thirty seconds later, bits of my mud mask hung all across Charley’s stubble.
We began to travel with another Air Force couple, but he was a pilot and none of us stayed in one place very long. Eventually we traveled with friends from each town where we settled. We learned quickly there are close friends you can travel with and close friends you can’t. After we had kids, we gave up travelling with other couples. It was too exhausting to make decisions for more than four, and some of the other females qualified in the “bitch” category, were ALWAYS thirty minutes late, or simply couldn’t make up their minds. Charley and I needed our “quiet time,” without any explanations for the hours we might be missing-in-action.
|Buzios, Brazil 1982|
Travel is one of the things we enjoy doing together most….unless there’s an argument. And on foreign trips, especially, one of us will always get pissed off, probably from a lack of sleep. Let’s face it – we all dream of an idyllic trip before we leave, but no trip can be perfection. There are often mis-communications, unforeseen emergencies, as well as plain old physical discomfort. No accommodations are quite like home. A sense of humor and the ability to “roll with the punches” are indispensable, even if the punches come in the form of a stolen car or poison ivy surrounding your torso. As we age, "rolling with the punches" has become more of a "get on your feet before the countdown."
|Baldissero, Italy 2005|
When our sons were playing amateur and professional baseball (college ball and the Red Sox organization), we traveled across twenty states to watch them play. During Charley’s professional life, we traveled around the world on business. In retirement, we devote several weeks a year to international travel. In addition, we drive from
Massachusetts to Florida
and back as “snowbirds” each year. On
one of those trips, we didn’t speak from Massachusetts
to South Carolina. It wasn’t smart to have an argument before
leaving on a 1200-mile ride together in a small metal cylinder!
|On the equator 2008|
|Galapagos Islands, Ecuador 2008|
|Machu Picchu, Peru 2008|
When we travel we are on a figurative journey without a map. We know memories of the unexpected, the funny, the touching, and the exasperating will remain with us long after we get home. We will always have that! It’s mind-blowing to immerse ourselves in another culture, even if it's within our own country. It teaches tolerance and respect. It’s about “crossing borders into foreign regions of the soul,” as Sue Monk Kidd said in Travelling with Pomegranates.
|Sampling the lagers in Castlebar, Ireland 2017|
|Our date with the raptors, Ireland 2017|
I've developed some unwritten "rules" along the way to help us survive our trips. Sometimes we
follow them; sometimes we don't. May those who journey together do so in reverence, excitement, and
never-ending repetition of the mantra, "Zip it!"
| Athens, Greece 2014|
|Dubrovnik, Croatia 2009|
|Puglia, Italy 2010|
|Monet's Giverny, France 2011|
|Zulu headpiece So. Africa 2011|
|Relaxing in Key West|
|Oia, Island of Santorini, Greece 2014|
|Island of Majorca, Spain 2015|
|Utah Beach, Normandy, France U.S. Navy Memorial|
|Disney World 2014|
|Bonita Springs, Florida|
|Harbour Island, Bahamas 2015|
|Cape of Good Hope, So. Africa 2011 |
Photo below Las Vegas, 2007
|Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris 2016|
|Lacco Ameno, Island of Ischia, Italy|
Amsterdam, Netherlands 2016