Once again I’m thinking too far ahead, as I have been considering where I would take my R&R if and when I was given the opportunity. With free airfare to any spot on the planet, I think this begs the question: Where would you go if you could go anywhere? I mean, it’s no easy choice. I have been so many places in the last 8 years since I first signed those enlistment papers, and my tastes in foreign locales has changed much over that period. There was a time when I was young and had more money then I knew what to do with (oh how I long for those days with just a hint more common sense than I had), I would vacation in places that were hedonistic, filled with neon colored nightlife and cheap thrills. I am not ashamed of this time in my life as I think it served it’s purpose. But those days are in the past and I cant imagine spending two weeks in exploring Thailand or chilling in Sydney’s Kings Cross again. I can look back on those days fondly with out a desire to relive them. I don’t drink( or smoke) as much as I did back then and I don’t wish to play Russian roulette with my health (I can hear my past self say, “Russians! where? :)”.
Please don’t get me wrong, I still love thrills but they come in different packages. Iv’e traded the dirty streets and tourist filled beaches for mountain treks in jungles steaming with the morning mist coming of Kilauea. I love the midnight hiking under the light of the moon more than I ever craved the same under those neon tubes. There is more of a sense of fulfillment, of spirituality in putting my fingers and toes into the ragged crystalline cracks of a granite cliff and attaining a breathtaking view of a tropical coastline than I ever had in the bars of Gate 2 street Friday nights outside of Kadena base.
I also have Jean Luc, and I can’t wait to show him the world. I mean I never spent more that 2 weeks outside of Phoenix till I joined up in 2004. I want to show him a world where there is such a diversity of opinion and wonderment, of culture and philosophy. I want him to take all that for granted and see the earth as I learned to, as a single rock, tiny and floating through space. I want him to grasp all that humanity has here and want to see it pushed into the great wide dark that is our universe.
So, do I spend my magic plane ticket and take him to Disney world, spend the money on the fancy resort when he’s only three? Or do I use the ticket to hike mountain trails in South America or back pack across Europe? Then when I come home, take a weekend and go to Disneyland with him and my family.
Confident in my choice. Todd.