The Ramblin' Man: An Introduction

    Mark Twain once said, "Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime." I have to agree with our pal Mark; what would life be if we spent all of our time only in one place? Boring, to say the least. He knew it, I've known it for quite a while, and you know it, too.

    To quote Robert Louis Stevenson: "The great affair is to move." Every two weeks, I’ll use this space to track and recount such movements, whether grand or slight. To travel, in the conventional sense, is to journey to new places — new cities, new states, new countries and continents. But to travel can also mean to experience a familiar place in a brand new way, to take a walk in the woods behind your house and pay attention to the everyday natural beauty you may take for granted. Viewed this way, there is no reason we shouldn't all be traveling as often as possible.

    Our focus here will be on more conventional traveling, but take care not to neglect those less conventional journeys; we need them now and again. My personal travel resumé has seen me to the summit of a mountain in Vermont, an "off-limits" section of the Great Wall of China, and a lemon orchard in rural Uruguay, among a bevy of other destinations. I don’t quite know when I caught the bug to see new places, but I assure you that the urge to travel is contagious — and I’m not complaining.

In the heart of the Concrete Jungle.

In the heart of the Concrete Jungle.

    I hail from a small, rural town in Northern Michigan, which, along the lakeshore, is actually one of the most scenic places in the world — at least I like to think so. Lake Michigan was a constant background for me growing up, and there was always something mystical about being unable to see what was on the other side. What could be out there just behind the horizon? Pushing aside the fact that Wisconsin waited on a distant shore, the possibilities are endless.

    The downtown view from atop the Empire State Building in Manhattan, the roar of the water gushing from La Garganta del Diablo at Argentina’s Iguazu Falls, the solitude and serenity of a cabin in the woods in New England — these are the reasons the journey continues. And new places will never stop popping up on the list, for I was born a ramblin’ man.   

    Let's go places, together.


NEXT TIME: A Journey to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, or, Trolls Cross the Bridge