Sometimes I envy our Brit friends whom we mingle with in the south of France. Or our Danish friends. Swedish, etc.
They can go back to the UK in a couple of hours to see family and friends. Pop back and forth across the Channel every few days if they like. Super-cheap airfares.
Not so easy when people you'd like to see more are across an ocean. Not so inexpensive. Three days, basically, of travel just to get there and back - same day going over, leave Europe in the morning, arrive in the States in the afternoon, but better part of two days coming back, red eye, long layover in London, another flight, maybe a 3-4 hour taxi and train ride.
The time passes easily. Get some work done on the flight over. Sleep on the way back. (The most recent trip was wonderful - three empty seats, three blankets, three pillows, fully reclined for several hours and woke up fresh and with my body clock in sync.)
Now that the year of cancer is over and Donna-Lane is stronger, we'll ease back into traveling, perhaps even across the pond a time or two in the coming months. We talk often about people we want to see in Boston, in New York, in Texas, Arizona, Oregon.
Curious, at least to me, we don't think in terms of "things" we might be interested in seeing. Maybe it's because I think I've seen pretty much everything I ever wanted to see in the States. Grand Canyon, check - via helicopter, check. Rockies, check. Mount Rushmore - probably awesome, but it's so out of the way, is it really worth it?
There are a few golf courses I would still like to play. Pebble, of course. Maybe I can catch Bandon Dunes when we're in Oregon. I might sell my soul to take a few divots at Augusta. Might like to play the IBM course I grew up on one more time. But the top of that bucket list is The Old Course at Saint Andrews. What used to seem like a major excursion is now more or less in my new backyard.
And much as we like living in a little village in the south of France (with one of the biggest, best beaches in the world five minutes away that we almost never get to) and in the internationalist city of Geneva where peace elsewhere is argued over, what makes both of our places special is the eclectic mix of people we are fortunate to spend time with.
We often schedule our back and forth around who is in which place. And even though we get to spend more time with our Euro friends, sometimes the occasional visiting Yank, it's never quite enough before they have to move on or we do.
So maybe it's not so much the distance or the ocean. It's that we're blessed with an abundance of friends, family, and family of choice. Look forward to seeing each of you as soon as we can.