Tag Archives: travel

A Suede Jacket From Florence, Italy, Reminds a Nobody of Days Gone By and…Fashion?

A memory found me the other day.

Nothing too earth-shattering, but just…well…a memory from March of 1995.

See, at the time I was studying in Scotland and for Spring break a group of us traveled to Greece and Italy.  I bought a suede jacket.

I really didn’t want to, but you know how it is when your friends pressure you.  So, I bought it.  Wore it for a while, but eventually outgrew it.

The other day, going through a closet, I happened upon that jacket.  I checked the pocket and lo and behold!  There it was.  The receipt from that purchase.  From what I can tell from the old-time credit card receipt, it cost 200,000 lira and came from a place in Florence called “Florence’s Moon.”

Well, it brought back some great memories of friends I’d made, awkward moments, the beauty of Florence, and a nice time in my life.

Unfortunately, I lost track of the folks who goaded me into that purchase, as we’ve all melted into the scenery of life.  It’s now almost 20 years later and the jacket is now at a Goodwill store, but that receipt.  For some reason I just couldn’t part with it.

As a die hard Nobody, I thought back to roaming those European streets, ducking into cafes, huddling under umbrellas, and exploring whatever life had to offer.  We had budgets (definitely didn’t budget for that jacket!), a will to travel, and each other.  When we got short with each other, it was generally not too long afterward that the fence was mended and life was good again.

There was no Riviera, no throngs of fans.  We pooled our money, stayed in one room, and now?  Well, many of the memories don’t reside in magazines or movie screens but in crumpled up receipts that in a moment splash a bygone era in front of the mind’s eye.

If you’re part of Nobody Nation and you’re reading this, think back…what memories lie in your mind?  What quiet moments, lost people, or old places stir your emotions…even for a second?

And as for that jacket?  Hey, even a Nobody needs to donate old things to make room for new fashion!  Just not anything from Florence!

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Your Travels May Never Be WordPress Freshly Pressed or Travel Channel Material, But They Can Be Important to You (Mexico, Part 3)

And so, the last installment of the Mexico journeys has arrived. I’ve told you a little about the Dreams Resort in Puerto Aventuras, something about Chichen Itza, a bit about Ik Kil Cenote, and a given you a touch of the coconut licor.

But what we haven’t really gone into in any great detail is the feeling.  That’s right, the feeling of just traveling along as one person in the big world.  No, this journey to Mexico wasn’t an epic 1960s jaunt in an old jalopy.  I didn’t hit the road for months with a guitar and notebook, riding the rails to see a land from coast to coast.  There was no guru waiting for me, teaching me the great mysteries of life.

And no, no one will write poems or songs about my measly week in at a Mexican resort.

But there was still a feeling.  I met people…young people…who had been traveling for weeks, months…on their own, or in small groups.  They were having their own adventure in the world, wishing it could continue on.  I’ll admit, I sort of fall into that category.  My life path isn’t the most…normal…on the planet, but I’m good with it.  However, I always find myself wishing I could get out there more and explore.  And for me, that’s what this one little week was.  It was a chance to get out and explore.  See something new.  Experience new things.  Take some time with my thoughts.  Be on my own schedule.  Not have to apologize for who I am or justify what I’m doing.

I guess when people ask, “Why did you go alone to Cancun?” I say something along the lines of: I have the rest of my life to travel with, travel for, travel because of…but how many times will I just get the chance to travel, period?  I’ve been to many places on this incredible globe and I cherish those memories.  But many of my greatest pleasures have been the places I’ve been alone, or the moments alone I could steal from a world of people.

I walked the streets of London solo and took in Phantom of the Opera as a one-man show.  I’ve skied off by myself into the back bowls of Colorado, stopped, and heard nothing by my heartbeat, the silence, and a lone crow riding the wind.  I’ve wandered windswept Scottish shores, viewed meteor showers and northern lights from lonely piers in Canada, and had moments of bliss watching elephants methodically grazing and chewing the greenest leaves in Kenya.  There’s been quiet time wandering the streets of Old Jerusalem in the early morning before even the prayers of the day were awake.  I’ve wiped beads of sweat from my brow in an archaeological square in the Ukraine—just before sitting in a rickety chair to wash pottery only recently liberated form thousands of years of silent dirt.  I’ve made my way though the alleys of Vienna, Edinburgh, and Paris and waited out front of Chartres Cathedral for my host family.  I’ve run up steps at Machu Picchu and barely caught my breath enough to get back down, sipped cold beer at a café in Cuzco watching the saints march by, and have been in an airplane with tipped wing over the Nazca plains…then waited for a bus in Ica I thought would never come.  I’ve knocked the red dust from my shoes after a short hike in Sedona and laid awake at night alone in a shaking tent listening to the monsoon rains pound the forest outside.  I’ve gazed at the formations in the Valley of the Gods that were so still and quiet, my eyes watered from the pounding in my ears.  And now?  Well, now I’ve wandered the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza alone, swam in a sink hole with me and a hundred fishes and strangers, and read Capra’s The Tao of Physics on the Caribbean in Cancun, Mexico, pausing only to order one more San Marino Coconut Licor on the rocks con un poquito de naranja.  And I didn’t give a lick if the grammar was wrong.  The waves crashed, the breeze played, and the sun set, all in perfect time.

Look, folks.  I’m not naïve.  I know there’s probably a snowball’s chance in hell I’ll ever be on the WordPress Freshly Pressed page.  I know my journeys aren’t the stuff of legend, or even significant to the world.  They won’t land me on the Travel Channel or get me a guest article in some glossy mag.  In fact, at Nobody’s View, we’re just one guy in the world having the most common experience of all — the anonymous trek through the world of daily living.  That’s why we’re here.  That’s why this blog exists.  That’s why I write and write and write.  Because I want us to share together what we all share alone…and with so many others.  So no, my treks aren’t famous.

But to me?  Well, to me these journeys are priceless.  I know only a few of you will ever read this.  Heck, maybe it’ll just be a tiny handful.  But I want to leave you with this message:  Look at the pic in the header up there, and the other two pics in the post.  They’re not from Mexico, but they represent two of the quietest moments.  The header is the pic of one person taking a picture of a distant landscape on a sun-parched highway.  The second is of an accidental stop in Utah overlooking the Goosenecks and Monument Valley.  It was silent.  Silent.  Silent.  The third?  Well, same as the header, but even more quiet.  Those pictures aren’t art.  They’re memories.  Memories of quiet and blissful isolation.  So, if you have the spirit of adventure welling up within you, you don’t have to jet off anywhere exotic.  You don’t need your A-1 camera.  Lace up your shoes, jump in your car, catch a bus, hop a plane, and just move an inch to the north, south, east, or west.  Honor that feeling of movement by simply taking you to a new or favorite place.  Take in the sights.  Take in yourself.  And just make a memory.

You never know when you’ll have that chance again.

Adios, and happy travels.

[Author’s note: this writer received no incentives regarding any resort or products in this post]

Yes, Bosses — I Did Go Away to Dreams Resort Puerto Aventuras in Quintana Roo, Mexico (Mexico, Part 1)

(Pic above is the side beach where I spent most of my days reading, in Puerto Aventuras)

——–

No, we here at Nobody’s View didn’t drop off the face of the earth, although, it may seem that way.

The last year has been…interesting…to say the least.  I’ve been working a lot, thinking a lot, and, well, just being me a lot.

As you probably know from your own life, that can be kind of taxing.  A lot.

So, I made I decision.  I was going to India!  Yes!  Finally!  After years and years of dreaming, I finally started planning the trip.  The realization of a lifetime of anticipation.

Alas, as the planning went on, I realized it just wasn’t going to be feasible right now.  So, I decided to can those plans.  Indeed, I was going to can the whole going-away thing.  Then, something interesting happened.  My bosses essentially ordered me to take a vacation.  Two different bosses.  Two different sets of marching orders.

Now, those who know me know that I don’t often skip off.  There is one trip I take per year to a family stead in the great Canadian north, but other than that…well…I stay home a lot.  I have that adventurous spirit, but unfortunately, my wallet is more of a homebody.

But not this time.

I went to a travel agent who’d been helping with India and I gave him a price.  Not a high price, but a price.  He starting his fingers a-typin’ and after some discussion, we narrowed my choices down to three places: Honolulu, Kona, or  Cancun.  Three different places.  Three potential hotels.  Three places to get away.

Well, I’m not an beach person.  I prefer the mountains.  But y’know?  The spirit lately has been to try new things and, if you read the blog you know about my issues with the sea.  So, in the spirit of exploration and the dreamy visions of the Caribbean blue, I jetted off to an all-inclusive resort in Cancun.  Why not Hawaii?Well, the great travel agent said to me, “All the hotels are under your budget, but don’t forget…you still have to eat.”  Touche, travel agent.  Touche.

So I took off.

All by my little lonesome.

I didn’t take much.  Just a lot of clothes (that I never really wore) and some books that I have been waiting to read.  There was sunblock, two spiral notebooks, a camera, and some money.  Not much.  Just some.  Also?  An openness to whatever was in store.  No plans.

I stayed at Dreams – Puerto Aventuras, on the Caribbean.  All I could eat, drink, rest, and stare at the ocean.

And I did all of that.

What was amazing was how comfortable I was just being alone and how quickly my years of Spanish came back to me.  I mean, it wasn’t an astounding vacation, but simply an excuse to go away and not turn on email or cellphone.  That’s all.

Now, there was a little more.  Some surprises.  But those will be coming in other installments here at Nobody’s View.  Stay tuned for some descriptions of the trip and some tips and tricks for getting about in the Yucatan/Quintana Roo area.

For now?  Well, we’ll just let this entry into the blog stand as a testament that yes, I do occasionally relax.  So, if you’re one of my bosses reading this: Yes, I went on vacation.  No, I didn’t do any work.  And, finally, yes…I’m very glad to be home, although I can still hear those waves, see that radiant blue, and feel the sand beneath my feet.

Next time though?  The mountains….

[Author’s note: this writer received no incentives regarding any resort or products in this post]