The Suitcase Lady


October 16, 2012, 9:17 pm

My uncle was an intrepid world traveler. One rainy night my aunt found herself standing in the middle of a muddy field on a remote Caribbean island after the plane she and my uncle were on had skidded off the runway. She informed my uncle that his adventures would be solo ones in the future. He continued to skid off runways and stay in concertina wire protected hotels until well into his late seventies.

After his death, I handled my aunt’s affairs, which included their mail. I received my uncle’s International Traveler newsletter. Despite repeated attempts to inform the subscription department that my uncle was no longer traveling on planet earth, this publication arrived in my mailbox for many years.

International Travel News will win no literary or graphic design awards. Written and photographed by serious travelers, it appears to be aimed at those adventurers who collect countries the way birders find birds for their life lists. These folks don’t let a small insurrection, rampant tropical diseases or lack of potable water get in their way.

I must report that I found one article  that applied to my husband and me. To paraphrase:

Most travelers yearn for the new vista, untrod mountain or unique adventure. But a few folks (note the word “few” ) like to return to the same places and explore them in depth…..they crave details and intimacy.

Count us in this group. Set us down in a place like Amsterdam and we will be happy, again and again. The rings of canals and canal houses have enduring charm. The bakeries exude aromas that promise and deliver bliss. Dogs are welcomed in cafes, and cats occasionally share a table with the cafe patrons. Everyone loves music, art, flowers, cheese and bread. The populace exudes happiness.

I guess we are simply old fashioned hedonists.

Breakfast in Amsterdam

Breakfast in Amsterdam

4 Comments for this entry

  • Sutapa Mukherjee on Facebook

    that’s how it is for us with Kauai :-)

  • Mary

    Sutapa! It’s good to know that you also have “a place of the heart” as my Hispanic friends say. We have not been to Kauai but would love to go there. As for those adrenalin genes, I guess we feel no need to activate them by scaling mountains or crashing around in whitewater rapids!

  • eve

    And wine!
    You are making me lonely for Paris.
    For the revisiting . . .

  • Marco

    It is good to have “a place of the heart” Mary, although such things can get mixed up. In my youth I’ve scaled quite some mountains around the same city of Gmünd in Austria. Some of them several times, and I still love to go there. but I have changed and the love did wear off a little. perhaps it was the beauty of it all and not so much the innate charm that you described so aptly. I would expect that to last.