The Most Important Thing to Leave Behind When You Travel.

Typically, I take three trips a year, two of which are for NARP* meetings. If you travel as much as I do, it’s nice to have an understanding wife. 
No, wait! That doesn’t begin to do justice to what I’m getting at. Let me rephrase the thought.
If you spend close to two months a year traveling, it’s important to have an understanding wife. That’s especially true in my case because my wife knows perfectly well that I could do what I actually need to do in two weeks, certainly not eight. 

It’s easy to find an excuse for the third trip. This year it was a reunion at my old prep school back on the east coast. Whatever the reason, I manage to stretch them out, adding days and stops here and there … just traveling. Because that’s what I enjoy most in life these days.

The first NARP meeting is in Washington every year in late April and there’s another one around the third week of October somewhere on the Amtrak system. In recent years, those Fall meetings have been in Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Grand Rapids, St Louis and, most recently, in Jacksonville.

I usually fly to the West Coast and take the train to those meetings. In the case of the Washington meeting, that means a three-night Amtrak ride each way. I love train travel and I have the time, so the time involved is not a problem. And because NARP is a non-profit organization, I can deduct my travel costs to and from those meetings. Of course I always manage to find interesting places where I can stop off on the way over or coming back. This year, it was a three-game series between the Red Sox and the Oakland A’s at Fenway Park in Boston. One year, I went to Washington by way of Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago and New Orleans.

This year, NARP’s October meeting is in Salt Lake City. On my way there from here on Maui, I’ll be stopping off in Seattle, Paris, two small villages in France, Paris again, New York City and Chicago.

Yes, as I said, if your going to travel like that, it is essential to have an understanding wife.

*National Association of Railroad Passengers