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Epilog 2006
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Now that the super cruise is over my real World Trip had ended and I was headed home, whatever that means to a single person with wanderlust in his heart and vagabond mentality. Actually, I had made up my mind that I would stay home, for the most part, this year and enjoy the Oregon summer of sailing and local adventures. Any trips would be short and at least within North America, maybe.  In booking my flight home from San Maarten all schedules required a stop for the night en route to Tucson – my first stop on the way home.  So why spend overnight in Miami when I could do it in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Well, I also needed to see my new granddaughter, Rilyn, and have Thanksgiving with my Family in Tucson, AZ. Besides, it was on the way to Oregon, isn’t it?


11th  November –Last Leg Home


I arrived in San Juan and entered the United States. It was a quick ride via taxi to my hotel, the Wind Chimes., not first class accommodations  but adequate. The neat bar downstairs served a great quesadilla. This was one of the hotel sections of the city and had some good restaurants. There was a park right on the ocean where I sat and watched the kids play on the climbing structures.  All of a sudden two kids came streaking by on some sort of wheels on their feet – yep, a new type of shoe with a wheel in the heel. Hence, all the kid needed to do was get a running start then lift his toes and glide along on the wheels in the heels, interesting.


12th  November –In San Juan


Today I took my own tour of the island; I rented a car and drove to the other side of the island.  I stopped in Ponce, an interesting and very old Spanish architecture town but with a large influence of larger America. This is a real cross between USA and Latin America – Spanish is the standard language but English is spoken almost everywhere.  Naturally, it has a zocalo with a Cathedral plus an interesting historic old fire house.  There was not much else to see so I drove back but via a different route along the Guayama and Humacan. The narrow two lane road went through small villages along the Coast, a neat place to stay cheaper than in San Juan. I even drove over a mountain range viewing the dense rain forest.  The finished driving back to the big city with all its traffic.


13th  November –In San Juan


 Now it is time to move on to my Family destination, Tucson, AZ  While the cold, wind and rain raged in the Northwest the weather was great now in the Southwest and I know why folks come to Arizona for the winter.  I had a chance to visit relatives then have Thanksgiving at my Daughter’s house that include son Ross as well as my Aunt and Cousin from nearby. It is amazing the building boom that is going on in Arizona for retirees.


So, I had my first review lessons in baby care then I was given a “laboratory” exercise in taking Rilyn, now six months old,  for a ride in her stroller.  I was doing quite well for the better part of two hours, when it dawned on Rilyn that Mom had not been around for a while so she began to scream. Alas, at this point there is little Grandpa can do but to make tracks to where Mom is – yep, a Mother’s feeding did the trick. It was explained to me that babies have needs and wants, mostly the former. However, I clearly found a want – to keep strolling. As soon as I would stop Rilyn took note and fussed until we were once again moving.  Yes, “they” do have control. Alas, I did pass my first lesson and lab fine with more laboratory experience to come. Fortunately, and naturally from my point of view, Rilyn is the best behaved baby in the world,  also the smartest since she had me well under control and I have had 23 tears if education plus child rearing experience.


29th  November –In San Juan


Finally, I was headed to Oregon and Home on the Coast in Waldport beside the beautiful Alsea Bay. However, the nice warm Caribbean weather had morphed in to cool, windy, and rainy winter.  I would have turned around and headed back but Oregon is home and I really don’t mind the weather.





How can relate the true value of such a five month trip around the World.  I had accomplished my initial travel goal of a visit to Mongolia which grew into “why not” goals to visit a friend in Japan I met 40 years ago, travel across Russia on the Trans-Siberian Railway, see Eastern European countries, sail the Greek Isles, have relaxed fun in Italy-France-Spain, then return to the New World via a very large first class sailing ship (why would I want to come back in a mundane fashion by plane?).  So, now I have been around the world three times – once across the middle, once via the southern hemisphere, and now by northern trek. Since I have also traveled quite a bit in South America, New Zealand, and Australia I consider my world travels almost complete. Any next such travels will focus on particular destinations.  I have been challenged with meeting many different people, cultures, food, and amenities as well as much beauty in the expressions of the people and views of our Earth.


Analysis and Observations: I have traveled mostly by myself which gave me great flexibility but next time a companion would be nice. My treatment by the people of the world has been extraordinary in their friendliness, helpfulness, and companionship; many times I stayed with families giving me great insight into their true culture.  On this last trip I noticed that many of the cities seemed to be similar in shops, new cars, good restaurants, and bustling folks everywhere but the outstanding thing was the vast building that is taking place – everywhere [the USA is not doing this new building]. Would I take such a trip again? Yes, in a heartbeat. Maybe I will, but it will be a on a new path and different road and with more creature comforts along the way – I really like the first class travel but it is the third class venues that provide the greatest experiences.


Conclusions: Our World is now truly becoming a Global Culture and Economy, whether some people want it or not.  IT seems to be that cultural collaboration will have to be the focus if the global WE are to escape the confines of tribal mentality.  The global integration conceived by Chinggis Kahn in the thirteenth century is still struggling. It would appear that with all our education and understanding of the fine aspects of culture, sociology, psychology, theology, politics, etc. that “we” would have a handle on global collaboration and a development process to achieve it. Ah, well – “we” seem to fall into the trap of focusing on Ego, Power, Money, and Sex instead.   There are no answers only solutions to be discovered to attain a peaceful and fulfilling global culture.  Meanwhile, I think I shall just retire into the highest quality of life environment I can to make every attempt to further document my findings and display my photos.


Doug Mecham

World Traveler & Vagabond

January 2007

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