Hank Carson European Travel Journal, 2nd Installment

My psych-eval therapist suggested I write a journal, to jot down my feelings, both sad and happy. That gave me the opportunity to describe and focus on my emotions, regrets, guilt and more. Thus far writing has been a positive influence on my life. I look forward to writing about my travel experiences to get away from the depression and regrets.

As a former LAPD homicide detective, I wanted to escape from the US crime scene. Taking advantage of my free time I went to Europe t osee some of the wonderful art that I had studied in college. I’d love to travel with a companion, but I don’t have anyone who fits the description in my life now. I need time alone to gather my thoughts and just concentrate on sightseeing and studying the art and culture No need to complicate my life at this time.

Fortunately, I had a few Navy, college, and high school friends who spent time in the Med and were familiar with Italian and French cities. I was able to pick their brains before I left for Europe, and I could communicate with them via email. Also, there was my ex-wife’s sister-in-law who went to school in Paris when she was in college. These friends were very helpful in giving me advice for places to see and some of the best ways to travel economically around the country.

I started this journal after the shooting incident to help get my feelings out and try to feel centered again. Prior to that I had only written reports for the murder books, and a couple of small articles for the Police Gazette. That was an interesting experience. The struggle is ongoing. This entry shows I still am working on letting go and fighting depression, PTSD, isolation, and bottled up emotions.

Although officially disabled from doing the job I loved, writing a journal provides a semblance of a balanced and happy life. But it just isn’t enough. How did I move forward? By moving.

While in Italy, I started writing about what I saw and did. I loved the places I visited, and the food – Wow! It snapped me out of my melancholia, and I regained a feeling of appreciation for art and life.

While traveling, I sent emails to a few friends and my daughter about the places I visited and the food I sampled. This evolved into a blog. A high school classmate of mine, who was living in Arizona, shared a couple of my stories with a friend who is an agent for freelance writers. She contacted me and asked if I were interested in selling my stories. I said thanks, but no thanks. We stayed in contact, and I included her in my emails. When I returned to the States, I wanted to see more of the U.S. so I bought the motor home, adopted Molly and traveled around the country. The agent, Alex, who is now my agent, persuaded me to let her place a couple of my stories in the Good Sam and other RV publications. Eventually, she got me to take an assignment to write about a specific locale for RVer Magazine. It was about my travels along the old Route 66. That started my new career and some interesting events and conflicts.

The next installment of my Travel Journal will begin my actual journey.

Read more of my Journal with the next installment. Be sure to come again, Monday – Friday.

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