Thursday, June 19, 2008


My Dad used to accuse my Mother and me of having the “Go Bug.” That is one of the things that drew my wife and I together. We both have a strong desire to see the world. We decided early in our married life that we would spend our money on travel and not on houses or other expensive hobbies.

The result is that after 37 years of marriage we have been to many interesting places and have closets full of pictures and our minds full of memories to prove it.

The seven years that we spent running Homer’s Coffee House were wonderful but confining. We can’t wait to hit the road to see what is out there to see.

One of the benefits of travel is that we develop a different view of the world. Confined to our own limited culture we begin to think that what is around us is normal. For example, many Americans are unaware that even though the pursuit of happiness is written into our Declaration of Independence, we are only average among the world’s nations in “happiness” surveys. According to a recent article on “60 Minutes” that very pursuit may make us unhappy. Lack of contentment is a very real cause of misery. The “happiest” people in the world are Danes even though their taxes are high by U.S. standards and they pay about $10 per gallon for gas. They drive less, drive smaller cars, and many things that are very expensive here such as health care and college are free in Denmark. But most of all, the Danes are a contented lot. They are very happy with who they are.

Seeing other parts of the world, and getting to know people from different countries is very enlightening. People who go on mission trips, student exchange programs, or otherwise develop friendships across continents, are never the same.

With airlines getting more difficult to deal with and gasoline over the $4 mark, many people are cutting back their travel plans. Don’t do it. Get out there and see America and the world. Higher cost might affect your style. We will probably find cheaper hotels, shop for airfare deals, or rent a smaller car. I expect that higher costs will cause us to have more road side picnics and fewer gourmet meals. But they won’t cause us to stay home.