Despite being of age I missed out on much of what the 1970's offered its 20-somethings. Not that there's anything amiss about studying chemistry in college, proceeding to medical school and residency, or getting married, the achievements that shaped me favorably forever. But some experiences of the times did not happen and do not recapture easily. Too little prosperity at the time, too much now, or at least too many obligations.
In that era, people used to go on wild spring breaks to Daytona Beach, but it would be unthinkable to spend my father's money that way. My own kids mostly agree. I could have done a medical school elective in Alaska or the Nebraska prairie but didn't, opting instead for six weeks of anesthesiology in Philadelphia on a grant that funded my fiance's engagement ring. And people backpacked in European hostels, did a semester in Israel, or found somebody with a VW Bus redone with a psychedelic exterior to journey coast to coast via roads other than the Interstate. I never did any of those things, not then, not now. Made it to Israel as a tourist for my 25th anniversary and to Europe for my 40th, no serious money limitations but no extravagance either. And the itinerary was a lot more secure and a lot less flexible than for my contemporaries to headed off to whatever they might find as 20-somethings.
One my home from Europe a few months back, the jet's entertainment module offered a feature on those 1970's travels that other people took. As well as things turned out for me personally, missing out on that borders on a regret. Now that I am retired, I theoretically could. In fact, my father, a relative newlywed and newly retired person of about my age did exactly that, taking his time with my stepmother to traverse the country from Florida to Los Angeles over six weeks. My own life still has fixed obligations, though. A cat that needs care, but at least in theory could travel. We take university courses. My wife participates in musical activities. Six weeks on the road cannot happen. Ten days on the road, just myself if need be, could, limited by my own willingness to proceed. But as a 60-something, and a highly accomplished one, my life has become a series of predetermined destinations to pursue, which no doubt accounts for what has been accomplished. The GPS is set to take me someplace and I know when I have arrived. Driving in a direction but without an end point to mark arrival doesn't really register in minds like mine.
The video on the plane tempted me, though. I should make an effort to see what roads are there without setting the GPS first.