What to Write About…

f the choice is to go on a trip or not go on a trip, it’s probably best to go on the trip. No really, go, get out of the house, hit the open road, you’ll never regret it, and when you travel for a long time, you’ll come to appreciate your home country, city, family, dear ones, more than you will ever know. And, if there’s one thing it will teach you, when you are old and own your own home, you will always love the people you have chosen to be around, more than you could ever know. If you are 18 or 19, don’t hesitate to go on a trip, a really long trip. I didn’t. I found on my trip to Europe, a really long trip, I came to appreciate staying put, even if staying put meant being shoved into a cramped little dorm room. Oh yes, and don’t miss out on having a roommate from a tyrannized little country where freedom is rare. Be aware of people who have less than even your poorest neighbors in your own country, for, after all, you have the luxury of traveling whereas most likely they won’t ever leave the borders of their country. You’ll be lucky to live in a country, for a while, where almost everyone gets around by public transportation. Who needs a car. I found it so much more stimulating to not have a car. not having the responsibility of a motor, a glove box, or tires, oh yes, airing up the tires, and where would I have done that? That brings up the matter of cleaning the human body, I had to ask in English than in mediocre German where to clean my body. Fortunately, I knew the word Douche and I knew it meant shower, and Bhanhoff train station, so I learned that there was a public shower at the train station and that I had to bring several half mark coins because I would have to plug the water meter with coins and before the water ran out, or just take a one coin quick shower. Ah, the joys of the youth hostel because that’s the cheapest arrangement I could make for a one or two-night stay in a town, and I learned my backpack could not go unattended because there are plenty of thieves in such accommodations. Then later I learned of the pension like a mini motel where only the young woman we traveled with needed special arrangements and didn’t think it fair that two men slept in the same bed, then, the young woman had to foot the bill for one room whereas two young men could split the cost, then so lucky to have American passports because we could go anywhere in Western Europe but we could not go beyond the Iron Curtain so we stuck with Austria, Switzerland, Italy, and France. Finally, let me say that I nearly kissed the ground when I got off that Fin Airplane, $212 round trip good for one year.  I split for first class between Chicago and Des Moines, hometown, travel-weary but I’d learned to swagger into a liquor store and fake my age. I actually did this at age 20, for in three months I would turn 21. I bought myself a bottle, for I had really learned to drink in Europe. Dedicated to Susan Weinkauf. .via What to Write About…

Published by elgwyn

I was a University and community college instructor before retiring. I also worked in fast food restaurants, and retail stores. I am an ordinary man writing for because I want to write and because my education prepared me to write; BA English lit, MA English, EdS higher education, and MFA creative writing, free verse poetry and essays. Blogs are an answer to high-priced self-publishing. Walt Whitman had to self-publish his first 1000 copies of the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass because in 1855 poetry did not sell. Most poets make a living in other ways than writing. Wallace Stevens was an insurance executive, and TS Eliot was a banker. Many writers teach, and always there have been writers who have written because they needed to express their thoughts and feelings. They wrote not necessarily to make money but to express "the old universal truths of the human heart" according to Faulkner. Here I reach a wider audience I missed than by self-publishing, and I stand a better chance to reach a wider audience for less expense than self-publishing. I self-published my first books, Winter from Spring, and Meditations on Gratitude; poetry and photo books which were easier to self-publish than to seek a not to seek a publisher company. This blog allows me to write for an interested audience because I write poetry and personal essays. I write for a friendly audience and present to you a slice of my writing. Perhaps you will enjoy what you read.

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