The Joys of Travel and Life: When?

Tony's Pizzaria Ventura

blog by Ken McAlpine

Welcome to our weekly blog about the joys of travel and life. For the two are one. Travel, like life, is about making the most of our moments, for we only have so many. With that in mind, another moment together. Thank you for coming along for the ride…


When my friend David was twenty he worked for a gentleman with polio, helping with simple things that aren’t so simple when you have polio. One day, David said he was going to Europe.

“When?” asked the gentleman.

David continued on, talking about the places he planned to see.

“When?” asked the gentleman.

David gave a vague timeline.


“Fine,” David said. “September 19th.”

And that was the exact day he left.

David spent 13 weeks wandering Europe alone. Hopping trains and ferries, he found his way to England, Scotland, Holland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, and France. It wasn’t the trip of a lifetime, but it was one memorable trip in a lifetime. Years later, David remembers details that would make Rain Man throw in the towel; singing in the streets with new Aussie friends (Oktoberfest), standing transfixed before breath-stealing art in a village church, eating hard-boiled eggs topped with funny little crocheted hats in a 400-year-old castle (a longer story).

When David tells these stories a light comes into his eyes, a light every traveler understands, even those long past twenty.

Writes travel writer Pico Iyer: “We travel, in essence, to become young fools again – to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more.”


Ken McAlpine has traveled the world as a writer, from the depths of Palau to the heights of the Andes, but no matter where he goes, he can’t wait to come home to Ventura. We hope his stories remind you of why you love the place you call home, and this gift called life. For more info, please go to