The Opposite of Travel

If travel evokes images of moving from place to place and seeing new things without a care in the world, then what I’ve been doing during the last two week since I’ve gotten back to the US has to be the opposite of travel.

I’ve been living in my parents basement, visiting my father in the hospital every day, terrified of my phone ringing because it might bring bad news. No exploration, no foreign places, and very weighty concerns hanging over my head. My grandmother has been to the emergency room twice and even my great aunt fell down and had to undergo surgery on her hip.

I looked at the front page of my site yesterday and saw I had three episodes of my podcast on the front page. Considering that I only show five articles on the front page and I post the podcast once a week, that is pretty sad.

So, in addition to not traveling, I’m also not blogging. Probably not a good thing for a travel blog….

As much as I don’t want to be here under these circumstances, I am trying to make the best of it. If you have to be in Wisconsin, this is the perfect time of year to be here. The weather has been wonderful and everything is green. When I was last here in January I left in the middle of a snow storm.

Last weekend I attended my first Milwaukee Brewer game in almost 30 years with Robert Cole. It was also my first trip to Miller Park. A few weeks ago when I was in Bilbao, Spain I visited their soccer stadium and realized how little attention tourists pay to sports, yet how important sports are to locals. Visiting stadiums and sporting events is something I am going to try to do more of in the future. If someone were to visit me here in Wisconsin, the first place I would probably take them would be Lambeau Field and the Green Bay Packer Hall of Fame.

I have about a dozen articles mostly or partially written. I just haven’t had the motivation to finish them since I’ve gotten here.

My dad has gotten much better, but he is still in the ICU and is going to have to have major surgery sometime next week. I don’t foresee me taking many side trips while that is still hanging over my head.

My current plan is to drive to TBEX and visit DC and Philly on my way to New York. I have no idea what I’m going to do with my car for a week in New York, however.

I want to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers during the last few weeks, and for sticking by me during this inactive period for the website. Believe it or not, I’ve actually set records for traffic and subscribers since all this stuff started. Go figure….

13 thoughts on “The Opposite of Travel”

  1. Hey Gary. Hope everyone gets better.

    As for your car in NYC. If you play it right and read the parking signs closely, you may be able to park the entire week for free without getting insanely expensive parking tickets or paying a ghastly parking garage fee. It’s doable and in safe areas.

    If you go to DC, be sure to stop at Madam’s Organ in Adam’s Morgan. It’s awesome. And be careful there! Not what most people think it is!

    Haven’t been to Philly so I have no tips. Will be reading up in case you make it there before we do (and for other stuff of course)

    Again, best of luck!

  2. This post sounds so familiar. Last year, we had to return to the US and put the travels and blog a bit on hold when family health issues called. Both my grandmother and mother were ill. It’s strange how not traveling feels foreign. Glad to hear your dad is doing better.

  3. It would be an honor to meet you in DC! You have my email address, so please feel free to get in touch. I am a volunteer at the National Air & Space Museum, so please let me know if you plan to visit either of the museum’s two locations.

    • I’ve never been to the new facility out near Dulles. I’d love to spend time taking photos at the museum.

      I think the Air & Space Museum just might be the best museum in the world.

      • There’s no question in my mind that it’s the best museum; that’s why I became a volunteer.

        If we are indeed able to meet up, my Smithsonian ID will save you the $15 parking fee at the museum near Dulles. (The only way to avoid the parking fee otherwise is to take a bus to Dulles, then take another bus (or a cab) to the museum. The museum itself is free, of course.

  4. Hang in there Gary, I’m glad you dad is doing better! Love to meet up with you when you’re in DC if you have time!

  5. Gary, I’m glad to hear your dad is doing better.
    It is interesting how when I consider a site’s author an online friend then I follow personal stuff more closely than I follow the general stuff. The author of a site about aging just moved and I find I am interested in how the move is going. And to be an online ‘friend’ it doesn’t even require you to know who I am. Weird! I have always believed that a real voice is important to a blog and I guess this is an example of why realness is important. I empathize with you and hope everything works out.
    Take care,

  6. Fingers crossed for the speedy recovery of *everyone*. So sorry you’re going through a crappy patch.

  7. I’m sorry to hear about your family’s medical problems. I’m glad that your dad is doing better and my prayers are with you that his surgery goes well.

    On the sideline, soccer is huge in Europe. I’m a huge Liverpool fan and I specially made a trip to Liverpool from London on a long bus ride just to visit Anfield. Though the season was over at that time, being able to step onto my team’s homeground soil was unbelievable! I’ll always remember standing at the benches and looking at the open soccer field and pinching myself In case it was all a dream. Funny but true.

    When my friends visit Vancouver, I make it a point to bring them to GM Place, the Vancouver Canucks hockey homeground!

  8. I’m glad to hear your father is doing well and I’m wishing him the best!

    One of our favorite things to do is to watch local sports when we travel. We went to an ice hockey game in Prague and a handball match in Berlin. There was no soccer at the time, but we also visited the Olympic Stadium in Berlin.

    I think it’s one of the most fun and enlightening things you can do while traveling.

  9. So sorry to hear about your family’s medical woes…but you have to admit, the crappy-stuff-happens-in-threes rule is allowing you to make the most efficient use of your time at home. Sigh…

    Until we can share a drink from the great well of relief at TBEX, here’s to hoping the whole Family Arndt can hold it together for another few weeks.

  10. Way to make the best out of an unfortunate situation. Be happy that at least you could get back to be there. While in Vietnam I wasn’t so lucky.
    Looking forward to seeing you in NYC.

  11. Hey Gary – If you get stuck on the car thing, you’d be welcome to leave it on my street in residential, suburban NJ. It would at least be safe, and cost only a train ticket into NYC ($30 r/t). I’m 15 minutes from the NJ transit station, and it’s only an hour into the city. I’m thinking you’ll probably have better options, but I figured I can at least throw out a backup plan… Hope your dad’s surgery goes ok!

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