As most of you who read this blog know by now, most of the content is based on various adventures I have had in my life. During my early years, most events had to do with my adjustment to life: employment, wanting to be a writer, where I lived, where I grew up and my relatives.
Once you hit a respectable age in life where most of the things previously mentioned have been covered, you enter what I call “the vacation” part of your life. You have worked, you have saved and you have a retirement check of some sort coming in. You are no longer one of the active people of society. You become a “vacationer.”
True, I traveled a lot during my youth and pre-retirement. Five of us even went on a round-the-world trip one summer that was to last 80 days. Now, that was some jaunt and we had innumerable events to take place in those 80 odd days. We were young though and in an era of our lives where pills and aches and pains had not yet set in. The problem was that we had to work these vacation trips into our job schedules. A vacation is generally thought of as an activity that is geared to make you forget what day of the week it is. That is not the case when you are young. I don’t care where you are or under what conditions, you will still know the day of the week.
Not so when you hit the golden years which I prefer to call “the vacation years.” Here we are not bound by the convention of a clock or a calendar. We are what we call fancy free. We can go and do as we please. The problem is that our bodies are not as full of zip as they used to be. We can no longer backpack our way through life’s adventures. We are now laced into organized tours or boat cruises.
Now don’t get me wrong. Adventures are still available just for the getting up off your couch. You can for sure find many things to write about by taking a cruise or an organized tour. For example, not too long ago I took a boat cruise to the Mexican Riviera, consisting mainly of the cities of Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta. Seven days of no thought of what day of the week it was. Seven days of socializing with just about anybody you can imagine. From that trip came my latest book MURDER IMPOSSIBLE, which takes place on a cruise ship traveling the Mexican Riviera.
I just finished a vacation of five weeks that included two weeks in Paris, fifteen days in Turkey and three days in Venice. In Paris, I stayed with my good friends Ken and Christian. Then I met up in Istanbul with Rod, my friend of 45 years. We went on a guided tour call “The Treasures of Turkey.”
This expedition turned out being like we were in the army. We had to get up early, pack and unpack daily, and overeat at numerous buffets. The hotels were splendid but on such a schedule, it was not possible to enjoy all their amenities. We were herded into many wonderful ancient cities such as Troy and Ephesus; were in Gallipoli, the site of the horrific battle between the Australians, New Zealanders and the Turks a hundred years ago; we saw and heard so much interesting history; quickly realizing though it all that I was blessed to have 18 wonderful Australian traveling partners (Rod and I were the only Americans—the rest of the bus was from Australia.) After fifteen days of intensive vacationing, we all ended up a bit like zombies from the TV series “The Living Dead.”
Upon the fulfillment of “Turkey’s Treasures” to our ears and eyes, Rod and I went to Venice for three days. What a beautiful and wonderful place that is. Of course it might sink any day now from the kazillions of tourists moving through its many winding, small streets and water canals—all taking “selfies” of themselves. I noticed that one of the biggest sellers in any market was a “selfie” taker—a pole you can buy to make photo magic via your smart phone of yourself and friends in captivating surroundings. I even saw some people texting as they were gliding through the canals of Venice in a gondola. On a ferry I saw three veiled women taking “selfies” of themselves. Nice eyes, would be about the only comment anyone seeing the out takes could remark.
I come back home and I’m totally fatigued. I have a bad case of jet lag because Turkish time is 10 hours ahead of us. My body is having to readjust to being awake when I’m supposed to be asleep and vice verse.
So, no way about it. Vacations are interesting but they are work. You need a lot of “r and r” once you get home. Your mind must reflect on all the marvelous things you’ve experienced while your body must recuperate from a large dose of time-change overload.
Cheers and I’m glad to be back. And I did get enough adventure for another book.