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Talk about summertime travels

Summertime is filled with travel opportunities, primarily due to school schedules and warmer weather. Members of my family have traveled to Orlando, Florida, and Hood River, Oregon. My wife and I and our eldest daughter visited the Gulf Coast this past weekend.

So many people seem to be taking the chance to get away from home for a week or even a day for a vacation of sorts. Our own trip was primarily work related, but we got to spend some time with my wife’s family and worship with them Sunday morning.

Travel always comes with inherent difficulties and possible dangers. Riding in a cramped space for hours at a time, eating questionable fast food and searching out adequate restroom facilities can be frustrating. An aircraft or auto that needs to be temporarily taken out of service for repairs can be even more frustrating and exasperating.

But there are much worse things.

Visitors to the Dominican Republic are persistently having problems with illness. Maybe it’s because the tourists don’t have the built-up immunities needed to thrive in the island nation.  Maybe it’s exposure to unknown bacteria, or such. I don’t know.

Visitors to the beaches of the Gulf Coast are being warned not to swim in greenish-blue waters — to not even allow pets or children to get their feet wet — due to possible bacterial infections and rashes.

Nothing says “vacation” like vomiting and diarrhea, right?

The older I get, the more I find myself wishing for the same machine my father described to me years ago — a teleportation device of some sort that would instantly transfer me from my current location to the location I desire to visit, without all the time and trouble of getting there.

But I still must admit that the best parts of travel are just that — the “parts” of travel. It’s stopping at roadside fruit stands and previously-unknown-to-us tiny museums. It’s picnics at Civil War monuments and selfies at Mississippi Blues Trail markers.

It’s the stories told and songs sung in the car, and occasionally it’s the memories later of how we survived it all.

It’s really the destination and the journey. May you enjoy your travels, or at least enjoy telling the stories of how you didn’t get killed on the way.