Happy birthday Marco Polo: let his legacy be your next travel adventure

Technically, summer is still with us for exactly one more week. We get to frolic in the ever-shortening sun-filled days and perhaps take a swim or two outside, if the weather gods permit. We have a few more days of slathering on the sun block and filling our bodies naturally with vitamin D. Or at least in some places. It is bright and sunny day today in New York City. But last night some neighboring suburbs got down to the mid-30s temperature-wise. Burr.  And, they are still predicting that we will have the coldest winter to come. Still want to catch that Superbowl game live out in New Jersey come February? Speaking of which, New Jersey just has not had the best of luck lately when it comes to weather. Last summer it was devastated by SuperStorm Sandy. Just this past week, it got hit with a major fire again devastating a part of the New Jersey boardwalk. The Superbowl being held there in mid-winter seems like a bad play in tempting fate. The store owners do promise to come back yet again. They are resilient, they say. More power to them, I say.

Speaking of inspirational, can-do attitude. Did you know that today is Marco Polo’s birthdate (c. 1254), the so-called greatest of medieval travelers? So, as you are in the swimming pool, perhaps playing Marco Polo, think of his grand travels and sense of adventure. He introduced Europeans to Central Asia and China. He went on a two-decade long exploration trip where he learned of new cultures, new scientific methods and new foods. He supposedly had traveled almost 15,000 miles. There are some who argue that Marco Polo did not travel to China. Regardless of the accuracy of his travel accounts, what he imparted along the way, in terms of a sense of travel adventure, is priceless and lives on in our collective spirit of exploration.

I just got back three weeks ago from Mexico, but am already planning my next adventure. It keeps me going. It keeps me replenished and it allows me to continuously expand my mind. My son, who just turned five years old, has already traveled to 9 countries and has spent a significant amount of time in 15 states in the US. I keep a map for him to keep track of where he has been. Each trip, whether it is a road trip through Canada or a bullet train through Japan, will eventually shape who he is. Yes, I recognize that he will not be able to remember explicitly all those trips due to his age but they still have helped shape him personality and who he is up to this point.  He is rather outgoing and loves acting like a city Mayor. I hope that awe of the world’s magic is passed on from his generation to the next. I hope that will be part of my legacy.

So, for those of you traveling on your own adventure today or in the near future-enjoy all it has to offer. And, Happy Birthday Mr. Marco Polo.

7 replies »

  1. “Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
    And never mix up your right foot with your left.
    And will you succeed?
    Yes! You will, indeed!
    (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)”
    ― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!


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