In 2012, I drove my tiny Tiburon from Florida to Galveston, Texas, stayed there for a week by myself and drove back to Florida. Why I did that was a long story. It was possibly the longest time I’ve spent all alone here in America or elsewhere.
I’ve spent over 36 hours on the road back and forth. Halfway in both directions, I had to spend the night in a hotel. The two-bedroom condominium unit I had rented was facing the Gulf of Mexico. It was a beautiful view, mostly a sad one for me because I had nobody to share it with.
At dusk, the waters looked steely cold and did not fail to remind me of the devastation it did to that island in 1900, when 6,000 – 8,000 people lost their lives to the Galveston Hurricane. It is the deadliest natural disaster in the U.S. history. I saw some of the renovated Victorian houses that survived that tragic event.
After that hurricane, a group of engineers built a “10-mile long, 17 foot high seawall to protect the city from floods and hurricane storm surge. Mr. Robert of the “Robert’s Rules of Order” fame, was one of the engineers. (Source: Wikipedia.)
On my last night, I went to a club and listened to a live music while enjoying a mug of beer. I had to remain sober so I could drive safely home the next day.
While in one of the gas stops, a store clerk asked me if I was traveling alone to whom I replied yes. You must be on a business trip, he quickly concluded. I said no. While looking at my wedding ring, he said, “You must be seeing your mistress,” he added. “I am happily married,” I replied, smiling. My confident smile must have wiped away all his doubts.
When I came home, my wife and kids must have missed me so much. I got the tightest hug from my wife who had tears in her eyes. As for me, I was happy to be back home and alive. I harbored a strong resolve never to travel again without my beloved wife.