When Stephen first suggested traveling all around the country to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary, Bela thought he was insane. Now as we approach the start date of the trip, she recognizes he was brilliant. She’s getting excited because publishing the book and the trip are about connecting and reconnecting. At our time of life, and in our time of writing, nothing could be more important.
How is this happening? How is writing the book and then making this grand trip resulting in renewed connection?
People have responded to the story of how the main character of Pilgrim Maya overcomes great grief and tragedy and finds meaning in her life. On a local overnight camping trip to test out our gear, Bela sold a copy in the bathroom of the state park as she was boiling morning coffee water to bring back to our campsite. She told a woman at the comfort station about Maya’s story of loss and recovery. The woman replied that her son had died unexpectedly several years before. As Bela left the bathroom the woman said, “Go tell your husband you just sold a book!”
One recent Sunday, Stephen got up early to buy our morning paper and to search in the Springfield Republican newspaper for the printed version of a fantastic article about us writing together. He talked with the woman who works in the store, a woman we see every Sunday. When he related the story of the book, she said her son had died in a tragic accident just two weeks prior. Bela went back later and gave Debi a copy of Pilgrim Maya signed by both of us.
On the trip we’ll be seeing many old friends, some of whom we haven’t seen in many years. We’ll also see Bela’s brother Paul and his family in Arizona and Stephen’s brother Athan and his wife Keiko in the L.A. area.
Then there is connecting with our vast American country, and with Big Nature. The drive will bring home the grandness and expansiveness of America. We’ll drive for hours and see places wildly different from our little green enclave in Massachusetts. We’ll drive across Texas! We’ll camp in sites of stunning beauty like Crater Lake in Oregon and Bryce Canyon in Utah, and stay in remote areas like the Boulder Mountain Lodge in Utah.
Here’s a short YouTube video about our overnight camping test run.
“Will we ever return? . . . Our fate is still unknown!”
If you have any traveling stories you would like to share with us, we’d love to hear from you.
Wish us luck!
Bela and Stephen