And now we are headed home. Our return flight was on American Airlines. This was the only US based flight since boarding our first flight on JetBlue from Boston to New York on February 22. Many, but not all, of the airlines we flew on in Africa and Asia offered more comfort, better food and better service than US based carriers but I truly welcomed the carry-on policy of American Airlines. Our initial descent into the US was at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Again, many US airports pale in comparison to the airports in Doha, Cape Town, Durban, Dubai, Singapore and Tokyo, but it was great to return to the US. Our tired selves had burgers as we waited for our flight to Boston.
On the flight from Tokyo to Los Angeles, I watched the movie, “Brad’s Status” that was filmed in the Boston area. To my delight, Ben Stiller’s character is taking his son to Tufts University for an interview and as they arrive on campus and get out the cab, my Milton Academy classroom building was visible. I remembered that some of the movie was filmed on our campus, but it seemed like a welcome home sign to see my workplace in a movie on our return flight.
My daughter, Alicia, picked us up at Logan airport and of course it was great to see her and her fiancé, Bob, who had been staying with us at the time. I returned home with mixed feelings as I re-entered my usual routine. I truly love what I do, and it was great to not have that routine since mid-January.
There is so much to learn, appreciate, understand, accept and enjoy about other cultures. It was such a privilege to be able to look at so many different cultures, one after another, in such a short time and with fresh eyes and an open heart. I think that universally we all want to be safe, happy, have a decent place to live, enough to eat and drink, a sense of purpose, good health and people to love and who loves us in return. Just because the exterior of this may look different to other parts of the world, these fundamentals are the same.
Traveling to different places helps gain a perspective of “Planet Earth” and the truth that we all share the same planet. It’s easy in the US to not understand that we occupy a small area of the earth and that there are other ways of worship, governing, relaxing and dealing with daily life. Although there are different nations, we are all equal as human beings.
Finally, Frances and I are eternally grateful to Milton Academy and their policy of supporting sabbaticals. We know how fortunate we are to have had the time and resources to plan and undertake this lifelong dream come true. We are also grateful to the many people who helped us plan our way, treated us to a meal, and hosted us during our trip. Heartfelt thanks to Frances for capturing these photos which so vividly take us back to, and allow us to share with you, each country we were so fortunate to call home for a few days. This opportunity has created a treasure trove of experiences that we will never forget.
With gratitude and love,
Bob Sinicrope and Frances Scanlon