Tuesday, May 22, 2007

05.20.07: Wheels Up

Well, I am on my way. Getting out of town has been far more stressful than I had anticipated. Leaving for Europe for four weeks would have probably been stressful enough in and of its own right, but to further complicate things both my wife and daughter have been sick this week. Aside from being paranoid about getting sick myself, I have been continuously worried about my family as I depart for this month long journey. You would think that I haven’t done this before by how nervous I have been.

I am also a bit surprised how difficult it was to leave my 2 year old daughter. I keep telling myself that she will never remember any of this anyway, but it was difficult none the less.

Now that I am on my way, I am much more relaxed and ready to get going. As I passed by one of the many bookstore kiosks at the airport today, I noticed Italo Calvino’s “Invisible cities” prominently displayed. That book is a favorite of mine, and I have read it several times. I considered stopping to purchase it for a brief moment, until my rational side kicked in. I am currently carrying about 20 pounds of reading material for the trip. I think I have enough to read already, but I do enjoy Calvino’s imaginative and poetic prose. For those of you who haven’t read this book, I highly recommend it. The story, as told by Marco Polo, is an assembly of imagined cities from Polo’s travels, or perhaps it is simple a description of Venice, told over and over again. I am considering this sighting as a good omen as I depart, and this classic travel tale will be in my mind as I begin this trip.

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