October 25, 2021

Time Travel

Gayle Bickers, MD

A few of the famous (and infamous places) that I’ve been privileged to explore include Las Ramblas in Barcelona, the Rammelsberg mine near Goslar, Germany, a Roman gold mine in northern Spain and the Bebelplatz in Berlin.

My pediatrician husband and I began our wanderings in 1974, spending a month in Africa. To date, we have visited every continent except Antarctica, and we’ve experienced many wonderful adventures along the way. For example, in Maulbronn, Germany, I was befriended by the monastery cat and in the Australian outback, I received a big hug from a large kangaroo!

While not always luxurious, we once stayed at a sleek ArtHotel in Dresden. Another time, however, we were literally locked in the room of a rather derelict Indian hunting lodge. And in Bharatpur, India, we awoke to find tiger prints on the veranda porch the next morning.

All of these memories and a few thousand more rattle around in my mind, in slide boxes too numerous to count, and now, on my computer. We were blessed to journey through places now too dangerous or expensive to contemplate, and we always returned so appreciative of the United States, especially after being herded through an airport by teenagers carrying AK-47s!

One memory that stands out after all these years and places is this — In Bury St. Edmunds, England, a cathedral docent tearfully thanks us for the U.S. effort that allowed her to escape the Russian occupation of Poland in 1945.

I've regretted spending money on a lot of things, but not a dime on travel. If you can, go and see other faces and other places. Do it wisely — mental and emotional riches will be your reward.