Where’s Wilson?, ICLEF’s Newest Blog

Where's Wilson, The Newest ICLEF Blog

This is the first blog in an ongoing series of travel discussions by John Wilson, retired lawyer and trust banker. John says the motivation for the series came when he was preparing his bio for an ICLEF presentation on trusts. He realized that his travel bio was more extensive and interesting than his legal credentials. He has traveled to forty-five states, over sixty countries and all continents except Antarctica.

Traveling As a Young Law Student
by John Wilson

The second year of law school is enough to make anyone want to get away. Not everyone goes to Europe for two and a half months, visits nine countries and does it on $800, including airfare. That was 1972. And, by the way, the guy that I was supposed to ride a Triumph motorcycle through Europe with cancelled the week before and I was on crutches with a badly sprained ankle. It was so much fun that I have continued to  travel for the past forty years.

In the seventies when time and money were both in short supply for a young lawyer, Ambassadair Travel Club was in its prime. It was based in Indy and had its own planes. You could leave Indy at 6:00 A.M. and be on a Caribbean or Mexican beach for lunch. In addition to better known destinations such as Cancun and St. Thomas, more unique places like  Barbados, St. Lucia, Curacao in the Caribbean and Loreto and Hualtuco in Mexico were easily reached.

My personal record for the least amount of time between booking and the flight is fourteen hours (booked at 4:00 P.M. on Friday flying out at 6:00 A.M. on Saturday.) My favorite short planning time trip was when I received the Ambassadair quarterly newsletter on a Tuesday and saw that it had a long weekend trip to Merida, Mexico leaving that Thursday. The price was right. I asked my wife if she waned to go. She replied, “You idiot, I can’t be ready to go in two days. I have to be at work and who would take care of our daughter?”

Having been inspired by her response, I asked her if she would mind if our nine year old daughter and I went. Once again my wife gave me a helpful response, “I don’t care what you do”  ( We are still married, and are going on thirty-five years).

It was only as the plane took off that I realized I had not had full responsibility for my daughter, Maureen, for even a full day. Now we would be “best buddies” twenty-four hours a day, five days in a foreign country with no friends or family along, and Merida is not even a beach town. We had a blast!

It was helpful that at age nine, Maureen, was one of the tallest women in the city. We did tourist stuff in the morning, maybe even something a little cultural. In the afternoon, we had races to the swim up bar at the hotel. In the evening, we enjoyed the restaurants and ambience of a great colonial city that was just a little past its prime.

Maureen is now twenty-nine years old. The Merida trip was the start of years of great adventures with her, which have ranged from getting to Cedar Point the minute the amusement park opened and leaving at closing, to beach vacations, but also trips to some of the great locations of the world, including hiking in New Zealand, and visiting Hong Kong and Cape Town, South Africa.

I travel with family, friends, and sometimes alone. It is not unknown for me to invite myself along if some friends mention they are going to an interesting destination. Sometimes they accept.  Lawyer Greg Shelley got me to Witch’s Rock Surf Camp in Costa Rica last year for an early sixty-fifth birthday. I have traveled on tours and in some very upscale circumstances. I am usually a ‘“value” traveler and still hike and camp. When traveling independently, it is not unusual for me to not have a room booked for the night when I arrive in a town. The results can be fabulous and, if not, the resulting story can still be pretty good.

In these blogs, I will share ideas for travel, tips on planning and execution, including websites and other tools I have found helpful. I will share stories about some of my favorite places, whether they be cities, countries, beaches or adventures.  i am currently working on plans to go to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.  It will be my ninth and probably most challenging Olympics to arrange.  I hope you will enjoy the trip.

If you have travel questions or tips of your own that you would like to suggest please contact the ICLEF travel expert, John Wilson, by Clicking Here.

ICLEF • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Indianapolis, IN

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