Friday, January 06, 2006

Three Coins in a Fountain

Had lunch with my uberboss today. He wanted to talk to me about the upcoming sabbatical (woohoo! Eleven more days) and was quite concerned that I was going to come back. I plan to -- barring winning the lottery or something like that. I'll send a note out to the people at work this week and explain that I am "taking a few weeks off so I don't have to start offing the clients." Anyone who has worked with me in the past six months should have that picture loud and clear already.

 from had hoped to take Nin to Italy (sans her five-year-old son), but I think the schedule is just not going to work out this month. She will be taking her NCLEX (nursing licensing) exam this month and is job hunting (if anyone knows of good nursing gigs that are for DAYS in the Twin Cities, give me a yell). My mother had originally offered to take care of said nephew, but she is flaky and won't commit to it. I'm not surprised. She is Queen of the Drama Queens, and likes prove her power by screwing with other people's plans. Also, the timing for the trip is tight -- we definitely want to be out of there before the Olympics start in Turin. We originally wanted to go for 2 weeks, so we'll have to see what eventually fits. So, possibly over the summer or even next year.

Which would be a shame, really. Traveling really does open doors for people and provide a common ground with a whole group of fellow travelers. Considering that only about 20% of Americans have passports (the number varies based on who you talk to, sometimes as low as 7%) it's apparently a small club around here. Experiencing another culture is critical to understanding your own (and yourself, I think). Not everyone is like us, and there are a lot of people who need to be smacked upside the head with the idea that America is not the end-all-be-all of culture. We export our culture at a staggering rate, but too many people have never traveled outside of their own tiny sphere and view anything different as "less". Sad, really.

I'm a johnny-come-lately to the whole travel thing, of course. I got my passport at age 30. Still, the weeks that I have spent wandering the countryside in the UK or trundling through the desert have been fabulous. I've met new people, embarrassed myself by mispronouncing French, been spit on camels, and eaten foods that I still cannot identify. I love getting lost, derailing the whole itinerary, and spending a few days lodged in some out of the way town that no one ever visits. I want to share that with my sister before she gets bogged down with work and single-parent motherhood and all the things that take up your time when you have to join the real world. I hope it works out.

No comments: