Tag Archives: travel


Click on any photo to enlarge all.

Mykonos is a city of light and wind. Citizens are required to whitewash their houses three times a year and color police enforce the color restrictions. Narrow winding streets were a deterrent to marauding pirates and they did a good job of deterring me as well. We were perpetually lost. The wrapped pipes (white, of course) reminded me of African masks. It was obvious to us all why Mykonos is  noted for its windmills, as constant gusty winds helped to cool down the otherwise hot day. Shopping galore, but I resisted the $1500 blouse and instead photographed the resident reigning cat in her royal wicker chair. No dogs were in evidence, but this black cat welcomed us to shore from her comfortable spot under the shade of a concrete bench. A lovely end to our last day of the cruise. Tomorrow we arise at 6 to go to Athens to catch our separate planes to Chicago.  We overnight there and then I head back to Guadalajara, my sister back to Sheridan.



When I was a little girl, no more than just a snip,
I longed to be up in the air or on a sailing ship.
I lusted for adventure––for travel and for more.
I brooded over my dull life––such a crushing bore.
At five I was a dreamer. A backyard visionary.
I imagined me as gypsy, tourist or missionary.
My fantasies weren’t random. In all of them I traveled.
Year after year more restless and wandering dreams unraveled.

Tarzan was my hero and Superman my crush––
their journeys through the jungle or air currents a rush.
I longed for all their freedom––to fly and move at will.
All of their adventures dreamed from my windowsill.
All night I took such pilgrimages over hills and ridges,
crossing raging rivers over extension bridges.
At sixteen I sneaked out at night in my father’s car
and drove for hours through the night, going just so far

that I could be back home before he arose at five
to snuggle back into my bed in our familial hive.
Then slowly I transitioned into who I longed to be.
I swung down from the branches of my family tree.
Trips to far-off places: Australia and Japan,
Africa, Sri Lanka, Bali and Bataan
all came true. As time passed, I ended the charade
of my stationary life and joined the grand parade.

The world one grand excursion, for many years I quested,
thinking that the life that I was born to could be bested,
until at last I learned the truth that what I journeyed for
was simply to unlock the lock and open up that door
that led me deep into myself to find that private world
that lived inside me all those years, so securely curled
that I only found it by first venturing afar.
Thus do we wander far afield to discover who we are.

Prompt words today are transition, brood, random and snip.


The Wager


The Wager

When I was a mere teenager,
my dad made a little wager.
Could I manage to exist
by guile and craft and will and fist

without allowance or assistance?
It was not at his insistence,
and in no way was I miffed
at his challenge aimed at thrift.

I packed a bag and caught a lift.
For one year I would simply drift.
Quietly would I abscond 
and win my keep as vagabond.

I’d leave a life humdrum and canned
to live a life less gray and bland.
And thus I started my vacation
around our great and varied nation.

In California, I mowed lawns,
in Texas, worked at shucking prawns.
Combined wheat in South Dakota.
Then made off for Minnesota.

Washing pots and dishing curry,
worked my way down to Missouri.
In Tennessee I met with luck
and crossed the whole state in a truck,

but by D.C. and Baltimore,
grunt labor had become a bore,
so when I finally reached the ocean,
suddenly I had the notion

to make a call to dad from son
telling him his son had won.
The call I made was not in vain,
for next day I was on a plane.

Tattered, back-sore, sunburned, chapped,
I showed my dad the miles I’d mapped.
He slapped my back and said, “Well, son,
you’ve done what I wished I had done

before I did each of those things
that doing what one ‘should’ do brings.”
He slapped a check into my hand
and promised college, job or land.

I would be sent to school or hired—
whatever now I most desired.
I told my dad I’d let him know
but for just now I had to go.

I hit the bank and cashed his check,
bought new clothes and washed my neck.
Grabbed my passport, kissed my mom,
let her feed me, dropped the bomb.

Hugged my dad, then counted coup
and hopped a plane for Katmandu.
I hadn’t traveled my last mile,
but from now on, I’d go in style!


IMG_5076 2.jpeg

The prompt words today are drift, humdrum, abscond and wager.




I always took the long road home, hoping to take full measure
of all the things along the way in which I could take pleasure.
When life did all its best to make me speed along its road,
I simply switched to unpaved trails to find the mother lode.
My gains were not substantial when measured against gold.
Most of what I’ve acquired cannot be bought or sold,

but the bounty that I gathered will stand me in good stead
as I plan more journeys from my dying bed.
With all my riches gathered, with all my unseen gain,
I will have booked a ticket on the astral plane!


The prompts today are road, speed, substantial and astral. Here are links:

Favorite Quote: Day 3: Wanderlust

This is what I had to say about wanderlust four years ago!

The prompt from RDP today is wanderlust.

lifelessons - a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown


A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it. ~George Moore

This quote says succinctly what I have been saying to friends lately.  I no longer feel the push to travel but would rather stay home and think and write.  At first this made me feel old and then I started to realize that it is in the natural order of things to seek and then reflect.  It is not just a question of energy, but more a matter of the direction of one’s curiosity.  The more I traveled, the more I found that things do not vary that much.  Everywhere I’ve gone, the same personalities are sprinkled over the landscape.  Only the landscape and the percentages change.  Once you’ve found a place where there are the greatest number of people who appreciate you for who you really are, you have…

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The Smell of Curry


The Smell of Curry

Would that sentiment were only
positive and never lonely––
but all emotions of the world
in sentiment are tightly curled.
Every memory we cherish
is doubly edged with “live” and “perish.”
In every city, country, land––
bad and good go hand in hand.

The blend of cardamom and lentil
always makes me sentimental.
Odors of turmeric and its ilk,
garam masala and coco milk.
Curry spices being roasted,
degree of peppers being boasted,
chickpeas, carrots, potatoes, rice––
stirring in each thing that’s nice.

What do I think of when I smell
and taste that it is going well?
Bombay and wedding saris thin
sliding down my youthful skin.
Visions of a midnight ride
to cages with young girls inside
sold by their parents and then resold
nightly for a bit of gold.

Traffic, sitar music, fingers
scooping curry––all this lingers.
The beauty of that winsome song
that showed me where the world’s gone wrong.
His action, swift, unthinking, curt
of small coins cast into the dirt
to deflect those who beg and bleat,
surrounding us in every street.

Palaces and then the clash
of children in a world of trash,
the refuse of this giant city
the world they lived in—what a pity.
Back when traveling was new,
experiences were so few
that India changed my life forever.
So, will I forget it?  Never.

Since it was a journey that changed my life forever–both the physical journey through the streets of Bombay as well as that journey of the senses I go though every time I cook or taste a curry, I’m rerunning this poem written two years ago for the dVerse Poets’ Pub prompt of “Journeys.”

Visited Places

Lots of places here.  To see their story, click on first photo to enlarge all and read the captions, then follow the arrows!!!

For Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: https://ceenphotography.com/2018/10/16/cees-fun-foto-challenge-places-people-visit/

Hard Transit


Hard Transit

My grandfather and his two teenaged daughters
drove a wagon to Dakota to claim a homestead.
I never asked how many weeks they traveled, or the hardships that they faced.
The young don’t know what answers they will wish for until it’s too late;
so only imagination serves to describe the heat,
day after day with no water except for what they carried,
coyotes, gray wolves and the glaring sun of the treeless prairie.
My aunts were just young girls dealing with the difficulties young girls face
in the sparsest of conditions. No mother. No outhouses.
The jarring ride—grasshoppers so thick the wagons skidded off the tracks,
and that loneliness of riding into
the emptiness of a strange world.

Now, I stand impatiently at the immigration window,
then the ticket line and the security line.
I empty pockets, discard water bottle,
remove computers from their cases, take off shoes,
raise my arms for the check,
struggle up the escalator with bag and purse,
find the right gate,
negotiate the walkway to the plane,
lift the heavy carry-on and lower myself into the too-small seat.
“Plane travel isn’t what it used to be,” my neighbor says,
and we console each other about how hard it is.
“Nine hours from Guadalajara to St. Louis—
a plane change and a three-hour layover in Atlanta,”
I grumble, and he sympathizes.


This is a rewrite of a poem I wrote so long ago that even I don’t remember it! The prompt today is sympathize. 

Travels with Two Ducks (The Continuing Saga of Little Duck, Episode 5)

(To see the commentary and photo details, you need to click on the first photo and on each photo as you follow the arrows.)

As promised yesterday, we brought Little Duck along with us in our northward journey to Des Moines to visit my nephew and then to St. Paul to visit my sister, niece, her husband and grand nieces. So far it has been quite a trip, as these photos will bear witness to:

Unfortunately, in our rush to get registered in the hotel and to get to my nephew’s house on time, Little Duck was forgotten in the car and so is regrettably spending a night in solitaire.  No doubt he’ll have plenty to relate to us in the morning.  In the meantime, we are having a peaceful rest all on our own!!

The prompt word today is “Pretend.”