travel now. or in three years.

14 Apr
I visited a man named Norm on Thursday at a care center.  He’s sweet and always makes a few off-handed comments to note.  “What are you wearing on your feet?  Moccasins?” [They were red heels.]  “Men in Owatonna are tall.  At least six feet.”  
Last week while we were visiting, he shared his wisdom that went something like this –

If I could give people advice, I would tell them to travel.  Don’t wait.  People work hard and settle down with families and plan to travel later when they save their money, but things don’t always go as planned.  It might not happen.  Travel now.

Oh, Norman.  I could have hugged him for this comment, and oh how I want to do exactly what he suggests.  Today in my mailbox I received my first issue of Travel and Leisure, a magazine that boasts hotels, restaurants, and travel plans far too luxurious for my salary.  But I love to look and dream.  [And I used my frequent flyer miles to pay for the subscription, which, I suppose, is slightly backwards.]
This month, an article on Madrid is featured.  I was lucky to travel to Madrid when I was a sophomore in high school with a school group.  It was beyond awesome – a group of, oh, fifteen of us and five of them were Bananas and three more guys who grew to be close friends because of the trip.  [Two of whom are now married to Bananas!]  My eyes were opened that trip – my first time on a airplane and the longest I’d ever been away from home [two weeks].  We discovered Kinder eggs, spent a day in Morocco, and saw incredible cathedrals and fortresses.  We explored the halls of the Prado museum, walked the streets of bustling European cities, and learned the joy of eating bread and cheese for breakfast on open-air patios at our hotels.  
It’s been nearly exactly 12 years since that trip, since I caught that disease people always talk about – the travel bug.  I want to go back.  I wonder what it would be like to experience a European city for a second time around.  I feel more experienced, more ready for the adventure of travel.  It’s funny how that feeling and urge coincides exactly with my severe inability to afford anything like it.  [Thanks a lot, Norm and T&L.]
It makes me want to brush up on my Spanish [aka start over] and say that in three years – come hell or high water – Madrid and I will reunite.  I would also settle for a return visit to Istanbul, or going for the first time to Ireland or Norway.  Really, I’m not too picky so I guess I should rephrase – in three years – come hell or high water – I will get on a plane and cross an ocean.  
One can dream.

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