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The World Looks Brand New

September 18, 2009


I write this first blog with hopes of expressing my lust for travel but for many explaining a passion can be daunting.  Often times obsessions are connected to childhood experiences that one could only hope to vaguely remember, but luckily for me – in effort to combat the initial writer’s block of my first Travelverse blog – I came to find inspiration by staring at two things tacked on my wall.  The first of which was published for the first (and last) time on December 31st, 1995, and has changed my outlook on life ever since…

The last Calvin & Hobbes comic strip

This was the last Calvin & Hobbes comic strip to ever be published and like many people who grew up in the late 80’s/early 90’s, I was a huge fan of the overzealous boy with a never ending imagination and his stuffed tiger (who to this day I will argue was real and the rest of the world just couldn’t see it).  I own every collection printed of these strips and in hindsight I realize how influential they were to me as I find myself today as an adult who harnesses both Calvin’s adventurous thirst and Hobbes’ logical approach (quite the contradictory pairing).  I still remember reading this final strip on the day it was published, pulling it from the pile of papers near my parents bed on an overcast San Francisco Bay Area morning and immediately cutting it out for safe keeping.  Even at age 9 I knew it was sentimental to me.

The second thing up on my wall is a 2010 calendar.  A little early, yes, but with still over three months left until the new year I always enjoy hanging what Calvin above calls a “fresh, clean start,” or as Hobbes more poetically puts it, “a big white sheet of paper to draw on.”  My calendar for 2010 is even more special in that each month is a different vintage travel poster, a fascination I had instilled in me at a young age while being baby sat by my grandparents, Angelo and Lucy.

My grandparents traveled the world at a time when international traveling wasn’t common and I admired their desire to see the world.  I used to browse in awe through their photo albums and be amazed when holding trinkets from their trips to China or Italy, captivated by images, objects and stories of places that seemed so far away.

Today, we have it easy… with websites, credit cards, better technology and an abundance of options, our world has shrunk and travel has become mundane.  It used to be challenging to fly across the world, encountering a multitude of stops, lugging large suitcases, all while looking your best in a suit and hat.  It was romantic, and that romanticism was captured perfectly in the old airline and tourism posters like these…

Havana, CubaViva ItaliaThe Caribbean

Am I complaining about today’s advancements?  Not at all.  I embrace all the conveniences that the Internet, faster transportation and globalization have to offer… I just miss some of the romance.  Actually, I personally don’t miss it because I still feel it.  What I miss is seeing it in people’s faces when they go through security or drag their bags across a train platform.  Is traveling a hassle?  It can be… but the reward is well worth the cost.

In writing my blogs I hope I aid in easing this hassle for some, whether it be from my stories, tips or information about a destination, but more importantly I hope to offer a glimpse into my own perspective – which is rooted in Calvin’s intrepidness and my grandparents’ ambition – and inspire the traveler in others as I embark on what is my personal life goal – to see as much of this world as possible.

“… Let’s go exploring!”

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Vicky permalink
    September 19, 2009 5:34 AM

    My parents’ dating years were spent traveling Europe. Growing up I always admired their sense of adventure, that they chose to tackle new worlds together 🙂

    I’m excited to see where you and Jon take us readers who love the idea of exploring the world, but can’t seem to make it a reality…maybe you can even convince me to get off my lazy ass.

  2. Kaelyn Slader permalink
    September 19, 2009 11:05 AM

    When I saw the vintage calendar all I could think about was you…

    I am so happy I got it for you now!!! I am glad it can be an inspiration to you and your passion for traveling.

    I can’t wait to travel the world together and bring out the romance.

    I love you Darren.

  3. Mike Brazil permalink
    September 20, 2009 5:29 AM

    Good Morning Debeaux,

    I sit here in the lobby of our hotel on West 40th Street in NYC as I read your blog for the very first time. Over the last week, your Mom and I, along with our wonderful friends, the Cunha’s, Marcotte’s and Cerros’s, have experienced many wonderful places, people and food in and around Manhattan. Stopped in at Coney Island yesterday and had a world famous Nathan’s hot dog. Followed that up in the evening hours with a horse drawn carriage ride through Central Park and finished the day with a walk through Times Square. It’s been alot of fun to once again visit The Big Apple but even more of a blast to be here with such good friends! I know you have been here before but it’s been awhile so begin planning
    one of your next adventures to the “Center of the World”. Wasn’t that a Sunday morning paper that you clipped the Calvin and Hobbes strip from? Your grandparents would be thrilled you are writing this blog and I’m sure Grandma Lucy would be a regular contributor to the comments section. Love ya D !!!!

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