Showing posts with label Paul Theroux. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Paul Theroux. Show all posts

Monday, December 31, 2012

2013: We’ll Be On the Road ~And Going 60!!

In his book, Dark Star Safari, Paul Theroux chronicles his solo trip through Africa taken in celebration of his 60th birthday.  When I read it several years ago, I thought to myself,

“How good it is that a person that old still travels like that. . .”
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The Scout is already at work planning travel escapades for 2013. He’s been at it for weeks already. . .seems he began sometime during our Winter Road Trip.

Don’t you love this end-of-the-year moment in time when the new, untouched year - only hours away - beckons with possibilities for adventures and travels? 

0006100-R1-009-3While the possibilities are endless, the trip The Scout’s currently focused on is the one we will take to celebrate The Scribe’s 60th birthday. 

(The Scribe who is now quick to point out that Paul Theroux wasn’t that old after all! )

Earlier this year I quoted in a post another favorite writer of mine, Frances Mayes, after learning that a couple of our friends were dealing with cancer. By the end of the year, eight of our friends had had their life altered by the disease.  The quote I had used back then still rings true for us:

“Life’s little wake-up calls. (Do they have to be so numerous?) Scroll down the list and start to wail – or shout out Carpe diem.”

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Life’s little wake-up calls, Frances called them. She got that right!  Each friend's news was a reminder that hitting  60 is reason to celebrate!
Knock it out of the ballpark.

Dance in the street.

Put your feet up and watch a sunset.

Seize the day.

Pack the bags.


The birthday is six months away, but if all goes as planned the trip in launch in the spring. Will it  rival Paul Theroux’s?   Will it result in a book as his did? It just might! It’s going to rock no matter ~ because this is the year we hit the road – going 60 all the way.

DSCF2065But before we set out to discover all that 2013 holds for us; we want to take a moment to toast each of you’ who have come along on our journeys this past year via TravelnWrite. To you, we raise our glasses and say:
“Thank You!

Carpe Diem!

Happy New Year!

Happy Travels!”

*Photos in order:  Outside Ely, Nevada, Naxos, Greece, on board Carnival Spirit off Mexico's Baja Coast, Waikiki, O’ahu, and somewhere in the Mediterranean on board the Celebrity Constellation.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

TPThursday: Travel Guilt or Gratitude?

Thanksgiving Day is being celebrated throughout the United States today with traditional acts of gluttony and, hopefully, with some time spent on gratitude (the day’s original purpose).

We are bypassing the culinary gluttony this year for. . . What else? Travel gluttony.  So, as I was stuffing our bags instead of a turkey, I was thinking about how grateful I am for the freedom and ability to travel as well as the joy it brings.

I recalled a passage from Paul Theroux’s  book, “Pillars of Hercules”.  Thanksgiving seemed the perfect day to share it with you:

“Did the traveler, doing no observable work,

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                             (Early morning Milano, Italy’s train station)

freely moving among settled, serious people, get a pang of conscience? 

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                             (Afternoon Bologna, Italy)

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                           (Evening Cetona, Italy)

I told myself that writing – this effort of observation – absolved me from any guilt;

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                             (Squero di San Trovaso, one of Venice’s few remaining gondola workshops)

but of course that was just a feeble excuse.

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                              (Wine store in Venice, Italy)

This was pleasure.

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                         (A piazza in Milano, Italy)

No guilt, just gratitude.”

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Happy Thanksgiving ~ we are grateful to all of you for stopping by on this Travel Photo Thursday. Remember to stop by Budget Travelers Sandbox for more armchair travel.

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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Where Paul Theroux Goes. . .so do we!

Paul Theroux, the prolific writer of travelogues and novels, is a favorite of ours. Through his books, we’ve followed him around the Mediterranean, India, England and Africa  . . . as he has travled on trains, ferries, and even on foot.

He inspires us to stretch ourselves until our comfort zones tingle . . .

It was after she strapped the mask over her mouth and eased on a pair of rubber gloves, that I started to feel nervous; about the time the reclining chair began elevating my feet higher than my head. 

“Paul Theroux did it, so can I,” I told myself.  But when she had me open my mouth and the instrument she held  began whirring, I thought, “Do I really need to do what Paul Theroux does?”

RivieraNayarit2012 054Our first stop in  Bucerias, Mexico was to have our teeth cleaned thanks to an article of his published in many U.S. newspapers that told of his walking into Nogales, Mexico. While its focus was on border crossings, among his experiences was returning with cleaner, whiter teeth.

Each of our cleanings took about an hour and included an exam by the dentist.  The total cost for both was $91US.  When compared to the cost of having it done at home, the savings had nearly paid the cost of one of our airline tickets.

We are not advocating an exodus to Mexico for dental work. We tried it and were so comfortable with our experience that a future cleaning might prompt our next visit south of the border.

While the article sparked the idea, we went to this dentist because he came recommended by gringo friends who’ve gone to him for years.  His web site explains his qualifications, has photos of his office that we reviewed prior to our trip.  (The waiting room was never empty and every patient was an American on the afternoon of our visit.)

There are hundreds of web sites citing both pros and cons of having dental work done in Mexico.  We didn’t research any of them prior to our trip simply because if Paul Theroux could do it, so could we.

What travel experiences have made your comfort zone stretch until it tingled?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

More 'Novel' Destinations

I've said before, we think the research is half the fun of the trip, so in preparation of our upcoming trip to Hawaii, we've dug out some of our favorite novels to get us thinking about sun, sand, sea and swaying palm trees. Among our favorite reads: Stories of Hawaii by Jack London, a collection of short stories he wrote as result of his five-month stay in 1907 and subsequent trips in 1915 and 1916.

Another favorite that kept us laughing is Hotel Honolulu by Paul Theroux -- this is one you either love or hate, as this noted writer tells the tale of a down-and-out writer who becomes manager of the fictional Hotel Honolulu (actually it reminds us both of the places we stayed decades ago just out of college).

Last year a wise publisher began re-issuing the six books that make up Earl Derr Biggers' Charlie Chan mystery series, about the charming Honolulu detective who quickly won our hearts after reading the first book. Trying to make them last as long as possible, we are just reading our third, this one, "The Black Camel" - which was made into a movie in 1931.

Honolulu Stories, Two Centuries of Writing, a tome of more than 1,000 pages, edited by Gavan Daws and Bennett Hymer, is both a history book and a collection of beautiful poetry, lyrics, and stories. We found it at a Costco in Honolulu and debated the wisdom of buying such a bulky, weighty book. . .it is such a treasure we haven't regretted succumbing to its call.


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