John Grogan made me want to start writing about my travels. He wrote Marley & Me which is about his dog Marley who he and his wife Jenny raised since he was a puppy. Even though Marley drove them absolutely crazy, they loved him anyway and John wrote about every single mishap that Marley created in their lives, from doggy-training gone wrong to basements torn apart on account of Marley’s anxiety attacks during Florida hurricanes.
I thought it was a cute story and it is the only movie that made me bawl like a baby right there in the theater. I never cry during movies. I never even cried during The Notebook, which is something I am actually proud about.
I cried because just two weeks before, my brother had to put down his dog Maggie. He had her for almost 14 years and she was such a big part of his life that when she died he was not all together. So I could relate to John’s story and all of the joy and pain he went through with his dog. One of the main reasons why Marley & Me is so successful is because there are millions of readers out there who can identify with John. They have a dog that they love to death and consider a member of the family and know exactly what it feels like when they lose that family member.
I read John’s Q& A at the end of the book and he talked about how he kept journals writing about his experiences with Marley. That is when I remembered my own journals. I had two of them filled with daily entries about working and living in the UK and travelling on the Eurail. I moved to London just a few months after I graduated from college with no clear career path in sight. I found a temporary job there for 6 months, saved some money and traveled with my two best friends to 15 other countries in 9 weeks. I had always wanted to travel and see what was out their first while I still had the freedom. I did not see the immediate need to find a full-time job or go to grad school. I had plenty of time for that later on.
Those 8 months were the best months of my life and changed me for the better. Until my next trip, I am going to write about where I have been so far so I can relive everything twice. If these stories do eventually get published, which I hope they will, I hope they inspire you to travel because I believe travel is one of the best things you can do for yourself. If there are readers out there who love dogs just as much as John Grogan does, then I am sure there are readers out there who love travel just as much as I do.