When she was ninety-two, Dorothy Reynolds told us “You two need to be doing the things you want to do now, before you end up like me and can’t do them anymore. If there’s somewhere in the world you want to go, you should go there now.” At that time, Dorothy couldn’t move from her bed to her wheelchair without some help but her mind was sharp as a tack. It was still sharp the day she died two years later and I still think about her traveling advice.
We went to Mexico the year before she died and to Hawaii a couple of years after. In Mexico, we shopped, ate goat tacos and toured a cemetery. It was an omen for driving in Matamoras during rush hour traffic.
In Hawaii, we watched a polo game on the North Shore of Maui, snorkeled off Waikiki and went scuba diving at Big Island. We’ve talked about getting passports and traveling to Europe. I’d like to go to Ireland and Scotland during their warm season but I’m not sure they have one. Randa would like to go to Greece and Italy. We might compromise and go to Puerto Rico or Bermuda or maybe we’ll win a lottery and go to all of them.
If we never get to any of them, it will not be a huge disappointment to me. Frankly, I find the idea of traveling in a foreign land quite intimidating, particularly in one whose language I neither speak nor comprehend. I have these fears of getting lost, getting ripped off, getting mugged, or ordering some dish that is unspeakably disgusting.
Come to think of it, they’re pretty much the same fears I have of traveling in Milwaukee.
But, for love of Randa, I’ll probably confront and conquer these fears or at least learn to live with them. They’re really no bigger than the fears I had of remarrying twenty-five years ago and that turned out to be a pretty good visit. Having the right Guide makes all the difference.