Like most married couples, we’ve evolved over the decades. Like most blogs, this one has evolved with us. Like many people, we had some clue about the starting point of our journeys, but like most, we had no idea they would lead us here.
And here has us travelling a little farther every year out of our roots (Texas, England, and Belgium) and comfort zones. With bases in Los Angeles and Bruxelles, we’ve naturally traipsed all over Europe and western America. Next year, we’ll be adding stations in Boston and Mumbai (or thereabouts). No one knows where our wanderings will take us, but we’ll muddle through them together. Gladly.
We have to recognize that we don’t travel like most people. We get to the Louvre once a year, for example, but we’ve got it down to a half-hour, including getting in:
- Winged Victory
- Grand Peintures
- Mona Lisa
- Venus de Milo
We do the British Museum in 15 minutes (Elgin Marbles and Rosetta Stone). The sculpture garden of the Rodin and the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris are perfect places for a nap, but we couldn’t tell you much more about them. We conquered the Vatican at 7AM one winter morning, when we snuck in with a group of workmen and hung out in the top of the dome, but we’ve never done the grand tour.
Actually, we’ve never done any kind of tour, except for two obligatory cruises (the Alaskan coast and the Greek Islands), and it took Glinda a decade to talk Lockhart into those. Walk streets and other forms of blatant tourist routing bring out the grumbles, from Siena to the Matterhorn to Oslo. For whatever reason, co-operation has always been a struggle for both of us. We object to being herded or spoon-fed in any situation.
So guidebooks really don’t help us much. Instead, we research like crazy ahead of time (original sources if possible—books, newspapers, journals, movies, documentaries, etc.), and then talk to anyone along the way who will spare us a clue how things really work.
Our traveling (and blogging) focus is therefore twofold:
Originally, the intent was to document scenes for Lockhart’s eccentric novels. Then we started to sell photographs to travel magazines and such under Glinda Raye’s glindarayepix moniker. The two approaches continue to influence each other—we search for original and hopefully odd photographs that together tell a story we either researched or stumbled onto. The key word is serendipity—we want to fill our lives (and blog) with serendipity.
We spend hours walking around any village or city, checking out eating places and setting up our food schedule, even in places we know backwards. Occasionally, we blow a meal, but not for lack of effort. By definition, a traveler has limited time resources, so every bite has to count. We probably overdo it (friends certainly think so, especially on a subarctic Parisian evening with patience slipping away), but we eat much too well to concede this one.
So travel is both an extension and an expression of who we are and of our continuing fascination with the world and with each other. If we had to come up with a mantra, it would probably be: To live, you have to keep moving, and the only direction worth moving in is forward.
Or something like that.