I write this blog as if it were a letter in a bottle, cast out upon the open sea to bobble in the surf and ride the great currents wherever they may carry it. To anyone who finds it, rimed and barnacle-crusted, as they walk along the shore – have the kindness to pull the cork and read what this pilgrim has scrawled.

I dedicate it to all the travelers, both those who are on the road and the others who are at home with maps and journals in their laps, plotting their next escape.  Whether you travel by tour bus or tramp steamer, in rags or in resort-wear, I bid you hurrah.

I especially honor those women who go it alone, the ones who don’t allow their solitary status to keep them bound to a too-familiar place. Here’s to those who sit at tables for one, to you who read in coffee shops but welcome a friendly smile and relish a good chat. Come and sit with me if you find me, let’s trade travel tales and stories of all the people we have been.

Next stop – Thailand. But more of that tomorrow.