You never really leave a place you love,
For you take a piece of it with you,
And leave a part of you behind.
It’s almost midnight, but the full moon casts enough light for us to make our way through the forest. Snowflakes drift about in the pine-scented breeze and packed snow crunches beneath our feet, yet my family and I don’t mind the cold as we make our annual trek down the mountain.
We’ve traveled to this tiny hamlet deep in the Rocky Mountains every New Year’s week since I was 15. The area has long since passed the status of “vacation destination” to become a kind of second home to us. And this year, like all the others, we’re attending the local New Year’s Eve dance.
The walk from our log cabin to the church, where the dance is held, seems to pass in no time. The strains of Dixieland music greet us as we near the wooden church. Inside, some 200 people of all shapes and sizes — tall men in flannel shirts, women in jeans and sweaters and children of all ages — move to the catchy tunes. We are not a flashy people in this part of the high country. There are no airs or pretenses here.
I join the crowd, trying to keep up during the fast swing dances and polkas. We laugh and kick up our feet, not caring that we don’t know the moves. Then the band draws the crowd into a segment of silly songs. I sit this one out, watching as the crowd — including my parents and siblings — move in a giant circle, performing the beloved “Bunny Hop.” The image of 200 people hopping in a line makes me grin. “These are my people,” I laugh, shaking my head. We may not always look sophisticated, but we certainly have fun.
As the New Year’s countdown begins, I head for the door, hoping to catch some fresh air. Outside, thousands of bright stars decorate the night sky. I stare out into the distance, thinking about the year that has passed and wondering about the year to come, hoping that it finally brings peace.
At Go World Travel, we are also thankful for another year. This month, we offer a special section on cruising, and then Canadian Diana Ellis takes us on safari in Kenya. Gabriel Constans muses on the age of globalization, as he enjoys a cup of coffee that takes him “around the world,” while Julie Skurdenis travels to Iceland to explore that country’s past.
There are over a dozen other stories from around the globe in this issue. We hope you enjoy them.
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