We admit it: We’re addicted. Traveling is our passion. We love experiencing new cultures and learning about different ways of life.
Our first rule of travel: Don’t plan too extensive an itinerary — it’s no fun spending most of your vacation getting from one place to another.
I suppose for Wally, it all began with Madame Boyar. She was my high school French teacher, who convinced me to join the trip to England and France one summer. Maybe it was at the moment she told me to sit in the lap of a statue outside the Musée d’Orsay and grab its breast (so she could use the pic in her slide show presentation). At any rate, I started getting a hankering for travel.
I’m also lucky that my family are travelers. We’d spend Christmas in some far-flung locale — Tuscany, St. John Island, Belize — and I studied abroad my junior year of college in Luxembourg.
But it wasn’t until I visited my friends Debba and Matt, who were living in Bangkok, Thailand, that I became a goner. The Thai people’s way of life was so vastly different from my own, and it was such a rush to explore their world, with all its colorful chaos and customs.
As for Duke, he hadn’t been too many places before he dated me. Our first trip abroad was to Vietnam and Cambodia.
“I’m throwing you in the deep end,” I told him.
We arrived in Hanoi, in the middle of the night, and as we were driven to our hotel, past motorbikes covered with precariously balanced cages stuffed with chickens, catching strobe-like glimpses of people squatting on dusty streets, Duke turned to me and said, “Why did you take me to Hell for my 40th birthday?!”
But in the light of a new day, after a Tiger beer and some sleep, as the speaker outside our window droned on with what we imagined must be propaganda, Duke’s attitude changed completely. He was ready for an adventure.
He’s hooked now, too.