Tom Neal Tacker is an experienced journeyman who caught the travel bug from a kiss in a Spanish nightclub. Tom has traversed the globe ever since. Discover how this kiss turned into a love affair with travelling.
Two beautiful women, one blond and buxom, the other raven haired and svelte, eyeballed me from a corner table in a flashy Marbella nightclub.
I was sixteen on a first trip to Spain. From my innocent view they looked glamorous, 40-ish and intimidating. Experience trumped naivety; I couldn’t stop looking at them.
Who were they? Courtesans? Bored Housewives of the Costa del Sol?
A couple days before, during a visit to Toledo, I vomited in El Greco’s garden. Too much sangria the night before, while unaccustomed to mixing cheap plonk with oily fried calamari, I was recovering my dignity in a flashy nightclub—at least I thought I was.
My travelling companions danced under a mirror ball interspersed by rest stops at our table to sip on tall glasses of kiddie sweet Cointreau and orange juice. They hadn’t noticed the two women whose sophistication held my fascination like a wayward moth caught in firelight.
Turning my attention to my friends sitting opposite during another breather from grooving to Dancing Queen and Disco Inferno, I didn’t notice the two glamour-pusses approaching our table.
The blonde one grabbed my head in her two soft hands, bending my face backwards to her mouth. I could see her red moistened lips leaning towards mine. She kissed me long and hard then said in heavily accented English, ‘Too much baby, too much!’ and left.
My friends looked at me all agog, completely speechless.
I didn’t realise then that part of my innocence was forever lost in that kiss.
Travel as the great eye-opener did however become a guiding principle for my ceaseless vagabondage.
Curiosity, imagination, yearning for the unknown, all became own goals, driving my life’s path in wildly different directions.
Constant travellers relish learning why the world is rounding itself into an ever increasing complex orb. People are characters on our planetary stage, appearing stage left or right, unpredictable or not, it doesn’t matter so long as the play goes on.
YourLifeChoices is a credo isn’t it?
We make daily choices in our lives. I reckon the choices we are given while travelling bear greater rewards than most.
Do I sit an extra hour in this Parisian café hoping a nostalgic glimpse of the Belle Epoque will sweep past my view?
Do I turn left on this Yosemite trail because the park ranger mentioned she’d seen mountain goats hanging around an alpine meadow a few kilometres further along the day before?
Do I return to the carpet shop in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar in hopes that a better price for the tapestry will be offered? Can I drink more mint tea?
Do I skip the shore excursion to Pompeii in favour of lunch on board and the chef’s promised ‘best pasta’?
Actually that last choice is a tough one.
I would choose a pasta lunch and Pompeii. There’s plenty of restaurants around the site anyway. Why miss one in favour of another?
Which is one reason why someone like me is the go-to guy for professional travel advice.
It’s something I’ve been doing since I was a kid, since I lost my parents on a Miami beach aged 8 and decided that I preferred my own scenic route.
This is an intro story, the first of an ongoing fortnightly appearance where you’ll find inspiration, suggestions, laughs, pathos, occasional bathos and loads of information for your own next adventure.
Who knows? You may even be kissed on the way!
Read more of Tom Neal Tacker’s travel insights at www.nakedhungrytraveller.com.au