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February 2, 2007
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Volume 35
Issue 05
 
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Tour De Life by Beau Burriola
A new year, a new destination
by Beau Burriola - SGN Contributing Writer

Five years ago, in a fantastic display of overdramatic panic over my positive HIV test, I made all sorts of resolution lists: I made lists of books I'd read, lists of people I'd make amends with, and even a list of sins I thought I'd wanted to experience before my time was mercilessly and unceremoniously snuffed out.

Of course, when I came out of my melodrama, the actual change to my life wasn't that impressive. Death was no more on the horizon than were gray hairs, high blood pressure, or water-swollen ankles. But one of those "panic" promises never went away. Instead, the passing years have made my commitment to that resolution stronger.

Somewhere in the middle of all that panic, I decided that I was going to travel somewhere overseas every year to experience another place full of another people. That resolution might have evaporated as quickly as the others, had the experiences I've had not been so life changing.

Last year in Sicily, I decided where I wanted to go next. Julien and I were sitting on the steps of an ancient outdoor theater built in 3 BC that the locals of Taormina call "Teatro Greco," quietly admiring the way the sun shone through the pillars and mingled with glints off light reflecting off the Mediterranean Sea. That place, unchanged for more than two thousand years, made me want to see more of the same ancient era.

Since making my decision to travel next to some of the ancient isles of Greece, I've been daydreaming. The months of talking about details, deciding which isles and festivals to catch, and planning the weeks out have made going to Greece feel more inevitable. Though things have come up to make it more difficult or unaffordable, my resolve to go hasn't changed.

I wish it hadn't taken an over-reaction to HIV for me to want to see the world the way I do now. I wish I would have decided to live my life more fully without having to make a big mistake to want to, but now that I've decided what's important, I'm going to keep right on traveling.

There will always be bills I can't pay, there will always be things that need my time and attention, and there will always be a lack of money to make everything work the way I want. But there will not always be time to see the world.

So, for another year, I'm happy to put the life I can't always control on hold for a moment to chase a dream that I can.

Beau Burriola is a Seattle-based writer gathering more old shoeboxes to stuff full of memories. E-mail him at beaubrent@gmail.com.
visit Beau at www.beaubrent.com

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