By the beginning of the eighteenth century the Grand Tour of continental Europe had become the generally accepted finishing school in the education of the English gentleman. As gender equality and affluence have spread, travel has remained one of the touchstones of the inquisitive mind, the intrepid photographer, and the amateur (in the best sense of the word) cultural anthropologist. The travels around the world that my family and I have made together have helped us to form our understanding of ourselves and of the other peoples with whom we share the planet.
For many of us at Carolina Meadows, the effects of the aging process have made our direct participation in the physical rigors required for such travel more and more problematic. How reassuring to discover that the sheer, exhilarating joy of being able to attend a beautifully-crafted presentation such as the one offered by one of our neighbors, John Haynes, on his study of the Grand Canyon can almost make up for the sense of loss we feel in not being able to trek the Canyon ourselves. That reaction is made even sweeter by my recognition of the enthusiasm and obvious pleasure I sense John experienced in making his presentation.
The recognition of this two-way sense of joy, that of giving and that of receiving, persuades me that there is much to gain by making my own presentations about past travel experiences in which I took particular pleasure. I would hope that others in our community would be persuaded to do the same. In this way my and their regular participation in the monthly meetings of the Travel Adventures program will ensure that the beauties and mysteries of the world will continue to be opened for all of us.