Like most people, my travel has been severely limited this past month and for the foreseeable future. I was scheduled to have already been to Beaujolais in France, I would have been heading to California this week, and then South America at the end of the month. Perhaps the most disappointing? I was due to attend the Giro d’Italia (Italy’s version of the Tour de France) in May.
Instead, in the past few months, the furthest I have been from our home in Houston has been about 10 miles when I went on a bike ride out to the Western edge of the city. If you take the bike out of the equation, the furthest I have “traveled” is 3.1 miles to our local grocery store, the H.E.B. (Update: this last week we did drive to Arkansas for a few days)
Thus, this lull is causing me to become a bit stir crazy and my wanderlust is in full bloom. Pretty much since the beginning of the pandemic, I have wondered where I would go if I could. Where would be the first place I would visit once it made sense to travel again?
So far, I have “visited” Palermo, Sicily; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Lisbon, Portugal; Bruges, Belgium; Alentejo, Portugal; Philadelphia, New York, Houston; and in France: Paris, Burgundy, Champagne, and Provence.
When I started graduate school however many eons ago, after a few months of struggling to manage my time, find ample funding sources, and understand the dissertation process, I bought the book Getting What You Came for: The Smart Student’s Guide to Earning an M.A. or a PH.D. (insert comment about the stupidity of buying the book a few months after already starting classes).
While I guess the book was useful (I eventually graduated), I distinctly remember the book starting with two written in stone caveats, which went something like this: “Whatever you do, do not get married or have children while you are in grad school.”
While decidedly not pregnant, I was engaged with a date firmly set and a honeymoon already planned. When I presented this newfound evidence to my betrothed, I do not remember what she said, but her look has been permanently seared into my psyche.
A scant month or so, she was walking down the aisle on a beautiful October afternoon. A few weeks after the ceremony, we were boarding a jet that would take us to Athens, Greece, and another, much smaller plane would carry us on to Santorini, one of the Cyclade islands in the Aegean Sea.
Coincidentally, I had visited perhaps the most pictoresque of the Greek isles the last time I was “in school” during my undergraduate years.
As my now teenage son (he was born during my third year of grad school, proving, I guess, that I can read but not learn), it has been a minute since I have been to Santorini, but recently while trying to merge photo libraries on my computer, I ran across the photos of that honeymoon trip (which I had the foresight to digitize some time ago–yes, my young millennial, they were taken using film).
We took a ton of photos during those ten days (no, I can’t remember how or why I was able to miss that much class) and here are some of my favorites.