By Jill Arnold
I just returned in the wee hours of Monday morning from a week of travel while working a remote 20-plus hour a week job, tending to the blog (I’ll never tell how many hours I spend on it weekly but you can measure it by volume in coffee grounds), trying to focus long enough to draft an abstract, working on a PowerPoint presentation and not seeing much of Atlanta.
In spite of living in what felt like finals week, I loved Atlanta. Then I arrived in South Florida on Thursday and loved South Florida. As I reflect on all of my travels in life, though, I’m having a hard time trying to remember if the place where I found myself wasn’t always the BEST place I’ve ever been. I seem to remember driving through some absolute shitholes in Arizona while on “vacation” as a kid, but that might have been confounded by the fact that we were stuck four in a row in an old Chevy Silverado… because you should definitely make sure you’re pressed up against other people in a big metal box when it’s 112 degrees.
What makes travel interesting for me is the people I meet along the way, which exercises an undue influence on my opinion of that region. From the lovely Jamaican auntie who decided to walk up and hug a stranger, to the guy at the hotel whose dad served in the same branch of the military in the same year and in the same now-closed base as mine (and how that came up in our dinner conversation I have no idea), to Miriam, the CPM (Comedic Professional Midwife), to Hilary, whose caffeinated, fast-talking presence immediately synced up with my own, to Elizabeth and her unbelievable ability to report news without stumbling on a single word, to sweet Betsy and her gorgeous mother, who stunned me when she rounded the corner looking and sounding just like the woman from Biloxi who I had known as my grandmother since before I could remember and to whom I never got to say goodbye last year before she was lost in a sea of hospice drugs, to Chuck, who confirmed my suspicion that he is something of a visionary… I am grateful to have had the privilege to meet their acquaintance and that of everyone else I met last week, too. The pleasure truly was all mine.
I’m usually not a huge fan of looking through people’s travel pictures, but I thought I’d share some in case anyone does actually enjoy looking through other people’s pictures. I took the liberty of trying to make them at least a little more interesting than the typical line-up and pasted in the option to comment through your Facebook account if that interests you. You can click through the pictures by the numbers at the top.