Sometimes it can be embarrassing being an American tourist. While gazing out the window of a charming 19th century Innsbruck, Austrian hotel one in our group commented “The floors creek.” “Don’t ya have hamburgers?” was spat out by another. Critical, demanding visitors who have no notion of adapting much less appreciating the customs and offerings of their hosts display haughty ignorance … typical of spoiled, narrow minded dilatants. Too often Americans are ‘blinded’ by and oblivious to their impediment of standards skewed by facades … the gaudy, superficial catering to plebian ‘tastes’. The sleek, the new, the commonplace ‘defines’ them. ‘Golden arches’ becomes their Mecca … oblivious to the delights of the world’s more mature variety. Fortunately food and customs from around the globe are now more evident in American cities. The tasty fare and colorful celebrations by our Indian, Vietnamese and Caribbean ‘transplants’ are harbingers of a more integrated, homogenized world. Intrepid strangers are strangers no more.

Apologize for the foregoing, shrill lambaste by the author. An old pet peeve. It appears that we are becoming more accepting of ‘differences’ … diversity. A positive thought. So … vacationing. Europeans often refer to this as holiday … a notion of celebrating .. of ‘embracing’. For Americans this is an opportunity to vacate … leave the job and home … escape. A common attitude. Drugs, partying, movies and T.V. … all a means to leave the ‘real’ world. But this ‘time off’ from responsibility provides opportunities for sharing and growth. So vital in today’s world of fragmented families, generation alienation and self first attitudes.

Parents should ‘make plans’. Nothing more important than sustaining bonds. Hiking mountain trials, ‘boating’, visiting exciting or culturally rewarding locales: ‘Adventures’ knit relationships that can last a lifetime. When friends and partners travel and discover together they are dependent on each other; they can strive to improve their compatibility. What one may find appealing, engrossing the other can learn to appreciate. A great opportunity: Vacation time. Unencumbered by labor and stress, ‘soul mates’ renew and reinvigorate togetherness. Families ‘bind’ and share lasting memories.

Accommodations, essential when traveling, can lessen ‘frictions’ and divisiveness. If loving one another is an earnest endeavor. So. Open your mind and heart to your companions. Delight in mutual experiences. Sing along and laugh. Life’s precious moments abound.



©2007-2008 Edwin O'Shea and All or part of only one topic, including all definitions and essay, may be used without written permission. Please see full copyright notice on home page.