As I prepared to board my flight to Mexico, I wondered… who would I sit next to? I imagined I’d speak with my first local, a Guadalajaran who could give me tips and suggestions for my time in Mexico. We’d speak entirely in Spanish and I’d begin my immersion a few hours early. Instead, I sat next to perhaps the most American man imaginable and one of the only other gringos on the flight. James is a retired travel agent and a delight to converse with. He generously took the time to share his perspectives and experiences.
I have been in the travel business which is a very wonderful thing to be in because it’s a joyful occupation. When people are traveling they’re usually traveling for adventure or they’re seeking something.
I’ve covered pretty much the whole world and, though I still love the United States, I’ve found out that Mexico and Ajijic
(where I’m staying now) is the most delightful place climate-wise and people-wise. I love the people of Mexico.
Right now I’m on vacation but my mission for my life is to become more like Jesus every day. Just to be kind and considerate of everybody I meet, and never to slight anyone or offend anyone with harsh words or bad language. That’s basically my mission for the rest of my life.
On Being American
I think we’re very fortunate to be born American and to be raised in this particular time in our present age. We’ve had all the advantages, all the technological advantages. But I think we’re losing our personal touch and that the nation is growing colder and showing less love towards others. I think we’re seeing that become more and more apparent.
Same thing with our politicians. They’re raising millions of dollars, blowing millions of dollars on these races. And when the president gets in, we don’t see much change. But I am hoping for the future that we do, and I’m hoping that we will take the country back and put it like it was when I was a kid, back in the 50’s.
In the 50’s of course, it was the “Age of Innocence” almost, until the 60’s and 70’s came in and things changed. Now, people don’t have to be married, they just live together and if they don’t like it, they separate.
So, basically that’s where I come from.
One Amazing Experience I’ve Had
Flying over the Alps in a Hydrogen balloon. I did that in the late 70’s and I was one of three: there were two Germans and myself in a balloon. We flew over the Alps and, because it was getting dark, we had to land and be rescued by the Swiss Army.
It was a money raising feat for the orphanages in Europe. Whatever we paid for the voyage went towards the orphanages. And then we carried air mail in the balloon and had it posted in the next town. It was really fun. I went 10k feet up in the air, it was pretty chilly, but we didn’t need oxygen. When we landed probably the most interesting thing was getting back down. We had radio with our headquarters, but they were miles and miles away, so we had to wait for the car to come get us. Some people who flew over ended up in Italy, some people Austria, but we ended up still in Switzerland. It was a great experience.