Wednesday, June 16, 2010


In the early 1970s when Ben was stationed at Aviano Air Base, Italy, I served as editor of the Officer’s Wives Club publication called “Grapevine.” It was just a fun piece, produced back in the days of manual typewriters and duplicating machines, but the issues continue to serve today as a reminder of our wonderful years in Italia mia.

The other day I pulled out my first issue as editor and re-read a small excerpt from the publication, The Art of Living. The author, Wilfred A. Peterson wrote a series of such books, most of which are no longer in print, although I see limited used copies available on Amazon.

I have been unable to find current contact information, but with summer traveling months upon us, I decided to take a chance and share a few words of Peterson’s wisdom with you. Yes, the world has changed from that relatively simpler time, and there are plenty of reasons to tread the world more carefully. However, the basic rules of decency and zest for travel still apply today. Enjoy!

"When you pack your bags to explore the beauties of your own country or to travel around the world, consider these keys to a happy journey: Travel lightly. You are not traveling for people to see you! Travel slowly. Jet planes are for getting places and seeing places; take time to absorb the beauty and inspiration of a mountain or a cathedral. Travel expectantly. Every place you visit is like a surprise package to be opened. Untie the strings with an expectation of high adventure. Travel hopefully. 'To travel hopefully,' wrote Robert Louis Stevenson, 'is better than to arrive.'

"Travel humbly. Visit people and places with reverence and respect for their traditions and ways of life. Travel courteously. Consideration for your fellow travelers and your hosts will smooth the way through the most difficult days.

"Travel gratefully. Show appreciation for the many things that are being done by others for your enjoyment and comfort. Travel with an open mind. Leave your prejudices at home. Travel with curiosity. It is not how far you go, but how deeply you go that mines the gold of experience. Thoreau wrote a big book about tiny Walden Pond. Travel with imagination. As the old Spanish proverb puts it: 'He who would bring home the wealth of the Indies must carry the wealth of the Indies with him.'

"Travel fearlessly. Banish worry and timidity; the world and its people belong to you just as you belong to the world. Travel relaxed. Make up your mind to have a good time. Let go and let God.

"Travel patiently. It takes time to understand others, especially when there are barriers of language and custom; keep flexible and adaptable to all situations.

"Travel with the spirit of a world citizen. You’ll discover that people are basically much the same the world around.

"Be an ambassador of good will to all people."
I wish you safe travels this summer and the years ahead, wherever your voyage may take you!

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