Subject: Getting people to travel
Hello Fellow Adventurers:

Jan and I were at a local restaurant the other night where we go at least once a week to grab dinner at the bar. The menu is sort of northern Italian but with an American bistro mix (please don't ask me what that means). Well last week we sat next to a woman in her late '60's. The friend for whom she was waiting did not show up, so she started talking to us. The bartender and the waitresses all know Jan and I (that may be a bad sign) and they had all asked where we had been and where we were going next. I just finished a trip on the TomBigBee Canal and we mentioned the September trip to Spain. The woman next to me began to ask about travel. She disclosed that she did not have a passport and had never been out of New England. We engaged in a conversation about affinity groups for travel, senior hostels and travel that anyone can afford. I told her that I did not want my headstone to read, "Never Went Anywhere; Never Met New Friends." Jan and I felt as though we were the ultimate pitchmen for the travel industry, but we both had the feeling that she wanted to travel, but was afraid to take the plunge. I made a deal with her: I bought her dinner and in exchange she had to send me a postcard from any place west of the Mississippi or east of Iceland. We will see.

I really am not looking for a response, but I would appreciate an effort on your part to encourage travel. I think that travel transcends nationalism and brings us all closer together whatever your politics may be. Simply stated, travel should be encouraged.

Tom waxing poetic in Carlisle.