Saturday, October 15, 2005

I Do Have a Birthday Coming Up...

I just got a subscription to National Geographic Adventure. After perusing my first issue, I think Budget Travel would have been more in my league. I was flipping through, amazed at the pictures of all the different places I could go. I could only daydream for a moment though, because then my eye would catch the trip estimate at $2,000-$5,000. At the moment, I'm still trying to figure out how I'll afford to go to Arkansas for Christmas.

But it's still fun to look right? Until I made it to page 82, where I discovered that for a cool $100 million, I could orbit the moon in 2008. Maybe this would make a nice birthday present. Or it could be the perfect trip for my friends and I to take after graduating from grad school.

Reading this reminded me of Mr. Pitts, the former president of the insurance company I worked for in Memphis, Tennessee. He still came into the office, though he had retired and handed the company down to his son. One entire wall of his office was a world map with flags next to all the places he had been. He had literally been to every single continent at least three times. He had the best stories, and might be the only millionaire I've actually wanted to spend a little time around.

Every Valentine's Day, he and his wife hosted a dinner at their house for all of the employees with no dates. This might sound a little cruel, but it was actually wonderful. The dinner was excellent, he and his wife were wonderful hosts, and he would always bring out different items from his travels to tell stories and play with. My coworkers and I spent almost an hour once trying on all the different hats and clothing he had worn in Antarctica.

I don't have any desire to take any of the National Geographic trips. I'm much more entertained by small trips that I make up myself as I go along (such as my recent to trip to North Carolina.) But, I wouldn't be surprised at all if Mr. Pitts is orbiting the moon in a couple years. I might just e-mail him now to find out if he has already started planning his trip. Or if he's gotten a map of the solar system for the opposite wall in his office. It's definitely time for him to branch out.

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