I was sitting in my sister’s home in Texas trying to decide what adventure was next in line. I had the opportunity to go anywhere in the world and I couldn’t decide. Should I head back to Europe first, Spain, Italy and Germany, then Morocco, down to Botswana, over to Durban. Since I would be so close should I include a quick trip to the Seychelles or Madagascar. The incongruity of this moment with my past did not go unnoticed. Growing up poor in New Orleans, I never would have thought that one of my problems would be deciding on the next country in an adventure around the world.
I thought I would never see the faraway places I read about and I longed to know more. The first time the idea that travel might be possible came from an American Express commercial. The commercial made it seem that if you had an American Express credit card you could fly away to Kuala Lumpur for free. The decision was made. I was going to get an American Express credit card and At the tender age of ten I remember marching into the kitchen to tell my mother of my plan to get an American Express credit card. But my father, never missing an opportunity to lecture, kept repeating his favorite statement, “if you can’t pay cash for it you can’t afford it”.The constant beat of that drum in my ear as I was growing up eventually pushed the idea of an American Express credit card completely out of my mind. I can thank my dad and my mom for money management lessons that stuck.