Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The company we keep

Why do we vacation in the same spot every year?

Well, primarily it's to see Grandaddy Canada, but in addition to that, it's to enjoy the magnificence of the place in which I was fortunate enough to have been born.  For the third year in a row, Cape Breton has been voted the top island destination in North America...
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...and the third-best island destination in the entire world, out-ranking places like several Hawaiian islands and the Galapagos:
Screengrabbed from:
Of course, that's just one travel magazine's vote tabulation, but it doesn't stop there.  National Geographic named it as one of their "drives of a lifetime" and the list of awards goes on, if only I had the time to tabulate it, which I don't.

Anyway, when I see things like that, I marvel at my own statistics, and wonder how any one person could have been so cumulatively lucky in life.  I grew up on one of the most beautiful islands in the world, was educated in the second-highest ranked undergraduate university in Canada and then the thirteenth highest-ranked university in America (depending on whose compilation you listen to), and moved into prosperity here in greater Houston, assembling a limitless career and the greatest possible family.  Last week, Lawrence was asking me if I feel yet like I've given back sufficiently to the world that spawned me.  Answer:  an emphatic no.  I'm not sure what I could possibly manage to give back that would be on par with all that I have been lucky enough to receive.

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