They say just hearing a song can transport you to another time, another place...That lyrics can evoke emotions or memories...A tune can transport you... Well, leave it to some straight-shooting, no nonsense Midwesterners to take this sentiment literally!
It never fails. Whenever we tell someone we are going to Algeria and Tunisia we get "the look." The look is part "why would you go there? I expected you to holiday in the Carribean;" part "are those real places? Am I being punked?" and part "it can't be safe. I hope I don't see you in the news."
Inevitably, "the look" is accompanied with a big, fat "why?" as though we are like Magellan heading to a never-explored land. Even though it is a common response to most of the trips we plan, I still get a little taken aback by it. I have managed to hold my tongue and usually supply a simple shoulder shrug. My husband (Kyle) playfully responds with "to play in the sand!" My dad justs notes its a part of the world where we have not visited. Camels, sand dunes, exotic flavors, the Mediterrean Sea and adventure are more than enough to make these Northern African countries a draw, but if there is time and we have the energy, we'll give you the rest of the story...
A song made popular by The Duprees in 1962, "You Belong to Me," really captured the imagination of a young boy from Wabaunsee County attending school in a one-room school house. (Yes, I am talking about my dad.) He remembers hearing the song in the gymnasium of Wamego High School with the scratchiness that only comes from an old-school record player.
"You Belong to Me" is a love song of one person professing to another about traveling the world but all the while never forgetting about his romantic interest awaiting at home. You have probably heard the song, though may not be reminded simply by the title.
The Duprees may have made it popular, but many other artists have recorded it and, in my opinion, improved it. Patsy Cline produced a wonderful version, as did others such as Dean Martin and Bette Midler. Kyle's favorite version of the song is by Bob Dylan and is featured in the movie Natural Born Killers. Without question, Vonda Shepherd recorded the best version and that is why we featured it at our wedding during the father-daughter dance.
"See the pyramids along the Nile..."
Dad and I first visited Egypt in 1992 where the sight of the pyramids actually took our breath away. No other travel moment has had quite the impact. I'll never forget navigating the outrageous Cairo traffic complete with bleeting horns, donkey carts and smog. Our little rental car rounded a corner where the tall buildings seemed to part like the Red Sea and there, with great abruptness, we first saw the pyramids. They have drawn us back several times. Kyle joined our travel group in 1999 when we celebrated the Millenium in the Middle East with a stop in Egypt. We returned again in 2009.
"See the sunrise on a tropic isle..."
Dad traveled with mom to Hawaii in the 80's where they first visited a tropic isle. Kyle and I joked we experienced our first tropic isle when we lived in the UK in 1995! (Okay, maybe not!) But the three of us agree, there was nothing like watching the sun rise or set in Sri Lanka days before the the infamous tsunami struck the island. The beauty of Sri Lanka grabs hold of you in a way you least expect. I often find my mind wandering to high tea on the veranda of the old English hotel we stayed at in Columbo, overlooking the sea...makes you wonder why we live in the middle of the States.
"See the jungle when it's wet with rain..."
We should have just stayed in the jungle region on our climb up Kilimanjaro in 1997--it would have been a much more pleasant adventure--even with the rain!
This bucket-list driven adventure culminates in the lyrics "See the marketplace in Old Algiers..."
You guessed it, none of us have been to Algiers. We tried to plan the trip a few times, but government relations and politics always seemed to ruin our plans. We have experienced all the other lyrics that make "You Belong To Me" so wonderful, but not Algiers. We decided to (literally) let this song take us to another place, another time.
Of course, the plan is not to land in Algeria, take a sweep through the casbah, and come home. We have our sights set on oases in the Sahara Desert, camel markets and dipping our toes in the Mediterrean among other things. Oh yeah, and we will "Fly the ocean in a silver plane..." and "Send me photographs and souvenirs..."
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