I’ve just reread and thought about the words of the late Oliver Sacks written at the age of 80 in a column for the New York Times. Not being so many years away from that age myself, I want to put down a few words of my own.
All my life I’ve been curious—mostly about countries and cultures other than my own. Looking back, I see that I’ve traveled a lot. In my younger years I didn’t always recognize the source of this
urge to travel. I just knew that I wanted to go some place where I’d never been before. One advantage of my long life is that I can look back and discern its throughlines. I get a sense of what my life as a traveler has been about. I imagine it as a destiny, one that I wish to complete before I die.
In the last fifteen years, since my retirement, my pace of travel has accelerated. I’ve visited different countries as well as my own, sometimes alone and sometimes with my dear wife, who, borrowing a line from a novel by Charles Dickens, I’m wont to call “the companion of my youth.” My trips have occurred under different guises. Some have included trips to far-flung friends and family; others to destinations inspired by art, architecture, and random curiosity. Taken as a whole, they constitute my life’s single great adventure, some of which I’ve recounted and continue to recount in the posts on this blog. Istanbul, June 9, 2016