Northern Italy, 1986

Along the Ligurian Sea


“Faraway places
With strange soundin’ names
Faraway over the sea
Those faraway places
With the strange soundin’ names
Are callin’, callin’ me”

Songwriters: Alex Kramer / Joan Whitney

It was the last night of my first trip abroad, and near the end of the first trip Barbara and I would take together. The wanderlust I had only experienced with books, TV, and movies was a real thing now, inescapable; I was firmly ensnared on the travel hook. 36 years later Barbara and I are still traveling together, through life, and to some of those faraway places, with strange sounding names. A couple of years after this trip my work began including a lot more travel, and that, combined with personal trips, has led me to 48 states and 45 countries. That doesn’t sound like much when you consider there are almost 200 countries in the world, but we continue to work on expanding our list.

A few years ago I found a postcard pinned to a bulletin board backstage at a performing arts theater where we were teaching. It said, “The world in which you were born is just one model of reality. Other cultures are not failed attempts at being you: they are unique manifestations of the human spirit.” (Wade Davis) A couple of lessons I’ve learned from all that wayfaring are that people all over the world are more alike than different, and that they can invent an almost infinite variety of workable solutions to the same or similar problems. So now, whenever I see a ship heading out the Savannah River to ports unknown, it is a romantic image to me, and makes me think of lines from “Moon River” written by a Savannah favorite son, Johnny Mercer:

“Moon river, wider than a mile
I’m crossing you in style some day
Oh, dream maker, you heart breaker
Wherever you’re goin’, I’m goin’ your way

“Two drifters, off to see the world
There’s such a lot of world to see”

I have created a new gallery on my website with the photos from the beach that last evening. To see that go to

  1. Lena Meeks

    Your writings just keep getting better. And the pictures are beautiful. We missed you and Barbara at the HVJ party.
    Lena Meeks

  2. Claire Shaw

    Beautiful picture and beautiful writing.

    1. John Hall

      Bill , Your stories are so wonderful to read. You and your beautiful wife Barbara enjoy yourselves wherever you go. John Hall