The first time that I went on vacation on my own was during college with two good friends, the first trip that I planned without my family was very important. It was a milestone if you will because this trip was solely financed by me with my hard earned money, as it always seems to work out, things mean more when you are the one who paid for it. The appreciation is much richer, my friends and I spent a week and a half in Acapulco, Mexico. It was beautiful, I learned how to water ski there, we relaxed and spent our days without a care in the world. A true vacation.
I decided to take the modified version of the topic because I’ve already written about the five books that have influenced me and I didn’t feel the desire to revisit the subject. Luckily, I have had the really good fortune of having traveled quite often during my lifetime and I’ve seen a few interesting places that made an impression on me, for good or bad.
My first trip to Mexico was during my college years with two friends of mine. We decided to go to Acapulco for spring break. Mexico is beautiful but for one terrible aspect, the local people living in poverty while the tourists are vacationing in the lap of luxury. I remember walking down the main boulevard, we were looking for something, I don’t remember what, but the boulevard was littered with boutiques that could be easily found on Rodeo Drive, such as Chanel, Burberry and others. I was heart-broken to see poor mothers sitting on the sidewalk with their handmade wares laid out on blankets with their children sleeping all around them hiding from the sun. It seemed wrong to have such poverty amidst all the trappings of overseas wealth that perpetrated the cycle. Seeing the injustice reinforced my political beliefs and desire to help the downtrodden.
Visiting the Netherlands opened my eyes to the depth and breadth of the horror of world war two. I had the privilege to visit the house that had been occupied by Anne Frank and her family. The intensity of the place makes its mark on you. Afterwards, I visited Rotterdam, a whole entire city that had been bombed to hell during the war. Seeing it rebuilt but keeping certain reminders of its tragic, heroic past made an impact on me.
Athens, Greece was a wonderful place to visit. Walking through the Acropolis and realizing the thousands of years that had been witnessed by others before me, made me feel incredibly humble and aware of how small I am in relation to this universe.
Taking the tour of the Vatican was incredible. especially as a lapsed catholic. To see all the riches and the priceless artifacts under the roof of Vatican City; it made me angry and sad at the same time for all the poor people in the world.
Costa Rica is a great Eco tourism destination. Being face to face with all the wildlife, some of them quite dangerous and lethal gave me a whole new healthy respect of mother nature and her kingdom. A guide, very nicely pulled me off my next intended foot step, to keep me from stepping down on the deadly Fer de lance viper. He was shaken, as was I, because he told me that with the hospital being an hour away, my chances would have been slim to none.
All these adventures have broadened my horizons and left me with memories that are thankfully seared in my mind. I look forward to new adventures and new stories from parts unknown.