Something occurred to me today. After 10 months of travel, we’re in the U.S. seeing the sights like a tourist, and it dawned on me that I love travel.
I’ll give you the background of this epiphany. We’re in a hotel in Barstow California. (For those that don’t know, Barstow is a popular waypoint for tourists — never a destination.)
I’ve come down to the dining area to have my “free” breakfast, and I spy a gadget that I’ve never seen before. It’s a pancake making machine. At the press of a button, The Pancake 3000 (probably not its real name) will spit out a couple of very flat pancakes in a couple of minutes. I typically like the places that have the make-your-own waffles, so seeing a pancake machine is definitely a novelty.
I’m standing in front of this machine, waiting to press the “OK” button, and I’m marveling at its ingenuity, and there’s a gentleman standing next to me waiting for his pancakes. I comment about the machine, and he comments that he’s never seen one either. I notice a slight German accent, so I ask him where he’s from. He tells me Germany, which I kinda figured. I ask him where in Germany, and he tells me that it’s a town south of Munich.
I exclaimed, “Munich is a beautiful city. My wife and I really enjoyed it there.” He smiled, and asked me when we visited. I told him it was during the Spring, and it hit me.
This complete stranger and I now have something in common. I don’t know his name, but we share an affinity for a place. In the many countries we’ve visited, we’ve talked to hundreds of fellow travelers, and I’ve either enjoyed their home country, or it’s a place to which I want to travel.
And now this stranger and I are waiting for pancakes, and we’re connected by this simple thread. He’s here in the U.S. being a tourist, and (hopefully) enjoying his travels.
So to the German tourist:
Safe and happy travels to you.
And if our paths cross again, the maple syrup is on me!
I love travel. It provides me the ability to see sights, enjoy new cultures, and connect with people!