Planes, Trains, Automobiles….. and sneakers

Call me Sam.  I was born to travel.   I lived a fairly mundane life most of the time.  I could sit in the house for hours on end.  Content to relax at home.  Some might say I was a closet homebody.  And all too often it did appear that way.

Get out of the house “they” would say.  Go.  Do something.  Don’t be so lazy.  Fulfill your destiny.  Go.  Go.  Go.

And then inspiration hits.  A destination.  A dream.  A driving desire to fill my life with a few changes of underwear and socks and a whatever else might be needed during my time away from home.  And I was off to my destination with a dream and a companion.


I do love to travel.  I was born it seems to travel.  Long trips, short trips, exotic encounters, domestic weekends.  Frankly…. the longer the better.  I feel purpose during a pilgrimage.   It is like a mission accomplished when I finally leave home.  I don’t know what takes me so long to finally leave the house.  Blame it on my traveling companion I guess.  I am not good at leaving and venturing out by myself. I am not afraid, but I am just a bit immobile at times.

But when I move, I am like that bodies in motion tend to stay in motion kind of thing.  I really will go anywhere, anytime, and honestly, not that I am unfaithful… but I will go with anyone.

And I could tell you all some stories… don’t get me started.  I could talk for hours.  OK, get me started… here are a few short snippets regarding my jaunts around the world.

When did this travel thing start for me?  Summer Camp on a Greyhound with dozens of high school aged strangers.  A bus trip to Colorado and a week in the mountains.  The Collegiate Peaks and Mount Princeton and a rustic cabin on the banks of Chalk Creek.  I loved to just sit in that cabin and be quiet and listen to the sounds of hundreds of high school campers playing outside during the day.  Or when the sun went down, and in the stillness of the night, I could hear the water of Chalk Creek rushing by my  cabin on its way to and through the West.  And I loved the week.  But secretly it was the bus trip that I remember most.

This was my first encounter with a group of strangers.  Strangers of every size and color it seemed.   It was and incredible experience.  There were at least 40 of us on that bus.  Crammed in a small moving compartment.  It was the first trip of its kind for most of us.  And though the highlight of the trip should have been the Colorado Camp.  And that camp.  And  Silver Spurs Ranch was special.  But what is my favorite recollection?  The trip home.  You heard me… the fricken bus ride home. And really after a week in close proximity we were hardly just strangers any longer.  An overnight bus ride with now familiar companions.  And a special closeness to at least one new friend.  I won’t kiss and tell… but I guess I just did.  And then we parted, having made our way together to Colorado, and back, and some might say… second base.  OK, I would say it.  Thank you Greyhound.  From that point on… I had to go somewhere and meet new sojourners when I had the chance.

The best somewhere was probably the 2 week European vacation.  Two weeks with my companion and no one else.  No tour guide.  Not another soul going with us.  But I knew I would meet some special friends along the way.  Oh my.  Oh my.  What a chance to be filled and be fulfilled.  This was not just a sweatshirt and shorts kind of journey.  I was a careful carrier of clothes and film and brochures and a journal and special snacks.  I was committed to carrying everything I would need and nothing I didn’t.

This trip included my first overseas plane flight.  May I say that Newark International airport is a zoo.  I was not treated too kindly.  And that Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is quite the place to meet up with the friendliest strangers.  Everything they say about Amsterdam is true… at least the parts I still remember.

And the European train system.  Eurail Train passes are the best.  Snuggled tightly in an overnight train compartment, to take a night train from Oslo, Norway, and wake up in Stockholm, Sweden, the next morning.  Then repeat the process for Stockholm to Copenhagen. And on and on around Europe.

Well there are many stories I could tell.  Vacations in Tahiti.  Cancun.  Vancouver.  The Aloha State. Phoenix, Seattle and New York City. Business in San Francisco and Spokane. And of course the Goodwill Donation Center.

And that is the real start of this story.  One day I was taken from my resting spot in the closet or my house to the doors of the Goodwill Donation Center.  There I was inspected and cleaned and approved for a trip to the Goodwill Retail Store.

My rebirth, my re-purposed life, my real adventure started at Goodwill.  Well it actually started when I left the store.  Believe it or not.  I actually once stayed at a Goodwill store for several weeks until the adventure began with a new companion.  I was taken from this store by my new walkabout buddy.  My new best friend found me and fitted me with straps so we would always be together.  What a life.  I live life anew.

I move around now on shoulders, powered by sneakers.  I have the best travel companion ever. No closet life for me.

Call me Sam.  My full name is Samsonite.  I was born to travel with you.

I will come along for the trip of your life.

I am your servant.  I will hold your dirty socks.

No complaints. Whether Planes, Trains, Automobiles….. or sneakers

All Aboard.

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