It's All About The Journey

By Tony Moorby June 17, 2024

I’ve spent a lifetime of travel. They say it broadens the mind and I must say that I agree. The value of travel is in the journey, rather than the destination – another truism in my judgment. 

My twin brother and I weren’t born into a travelling family – after the war we were happy to stay put and dad saw most of Europe from twenty thousand feet but as the sixties rolled around and new-found prosperity was more common, we participated in what were known as Package Tours. All-inclusive from the air fare, travel to the hotel, full board accommodation and tips, they took all the worries away about languages, customs and so on – all you had to do was turn up.

The quality of hotels and their surroundings were a bit of a crapshoot; many bore no resemblance to the florid photos in the expensively produced catalogues. “A view for miles…” might have involved sticking your head out of the window and looking up! Or they forgot to mention that the hotel was next to the local railway – heralding the dawn with prolonged blasts on the horns – not the greatest cure for the ever-present hangover.

Everything was cheap; our first two-week package to the Costa Brava on the coast of northwest Spain near Barcelona cost us sixty-six pounds each (about $100 back then). A Bacardi and Coke was about 25 cents – 5 cents for the Bacardi and 20 cents for the Coke!

Anything to do with hygiene would have suited a third-world country and we all suffered the inevitable consequences. It wasn’t meant as a weight-loss retreat – only our minds were broadened!

Things soon improved and we got more and more adventurous. From resorts in the South of France or the Portuguese Algarve to art appreciation in Paris, a great time was had by all. My first honeymoon was on Cyprus – we left one day before our hotel was strafed by Turkish MIGS at the beginning of the 1974 war that separated the island and still does today.

I’ve seen the length and breadth of Great Britain from sunny seasides to grueling industrial cities and I still love it all, except that I would rather serve a sentence in the Tower of London than deal with its traffic. I’ve noted before that the English countryside is singular and unmatched.

Eventually, work dictated where I went; even to the point of coming to America – and moving here in 1982. Sales development was my major responsibility back then, on behalf of a rapidly growing auto auction network to touch every important city for vehicle distribution.

We had to develop buyers and sellers so we joined as many industry associations as we could. National and state dealer associations, both new and independents, took me to almost every corner of the US, as did national bodies like NAAFA, AFLA and the rest of the sell-side representatives for fleet and rental companies. No one wants to meet in Minot, North Dakota (with apologies) so I enjoyed destinations from Maui to Minneapolis and San Diego to St. Pete. It may be cold in Minnesota in winter but the warmth of the people makes up for that. 

That’s really the point; all this travel has introduced me to so many different people. Their customs and practices and what makes them tick, have enriched my experiences and vocabulary. And the food. Boundless hospitality from a crawfish boil, family get-together in New Iberia, Louisiana to picking crabs on the Eastern Shore of Maryland or BBQ in Austin, Texas gave me the inquisitiveness to become a reasonably accomplished family cook.

I broadened my mind as well as my girth; I used to sport a 38” Long suit – a tent might now be more appropriate!

Last modified on Monday, 17 June 2024 15:28