Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.

Theodore Roosevelt, The Strenuous Life

By , on December 2, 2010


Through a minor planning error, I rented a car to go from Denver to Colorado Springs instead of flying directly into Colorado Springs. The direct flight approach would have been fully reimbursed. But the car trip was illustrative. I got lost a few times, searched for a place to eat and found a suitable local pizza joint frequented by regulars, and got on a critical road too soon causing me to drive through downtown Colorado Springs. At one point, I needed to do what men hate to do: admit I was lost and ask for directions.

On my flights and shuttles, I was tourist, surrounded by fellow travelers who were all being helped by stewards, drivers and other attendants. While fussing with a car in a strange town, I was fending for myself. When I identified myself as a traveler in the pizza joint or by making that obvious with a request for directions, I was a struggling visitor. The latter role harkens to my days of long ago crossing the country by van, bicycle, and rented truck with my wife. There is a pleasure in visiting a place and exploring the local flavor. I have no desire to be one of those tourists with a camera hanging from my neck while wearing a Hawaiian shirt, shorts, and white shoes and socks.

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