We’ve now worked our way though a 24-part trip report and I have neglected to share what truly made the trip a great one. It was the company.
I have taken so many amazing solo trips around the world, but all of my most-cherised trips have been with others. While I will always have fond memories of the lounges, flights, hotels, and sightseeing on this Tanzania trip, my finest memory will be sharing the time with my good friend Denny.
Denny and I met while I was working for Star Alliance in Frankfurt. He is an IT Consultant and his desk was not far from mine. We’d be busy during the day, but every month or so we would get together for dinner at the best steakhouse in Frankfurt, often with a few other colleagues. Those dinners are some of the finest memories of my time in Germany.
After dinner, we would retire to an amazing Cuban-style cigar bar around the corner and in a basement. I do not smoke, but it was not about the smoking or drinking — it was about the conversation.
I spent nearly every weekend in 2011 traveling (45 countries in that year alone) and one of the best weekends was a trip with Denny to Jordan. Spending time in both Amman and Petra, we had quite an adventure.
After I left the company, Denny and I stayed in touch. Our dinners were not as frequent, but as I dated Heidi there were several opportunities to remain in touch. Denny is an American who has quite a history working for United Airlines. He was on United’s first-repsone team on 9/11/01, tasked with comforting one of the United 93 Families. It is no mystery why Denny would be pulled from his IT role to do this — the man knows how to comfort people and has a way of communicating that is simultaneously uplifting yet perspicacious.
The Relationship Grows
Each autumn Denny invites me and two other colleagues from Star to his beautiful Green Lake, WI home for a weekend on the lake. It is an absolute highlight of my year.
Denny and I had talked about another trip after Jordan but the years flew by. He and his wife did make a special trip all the way to Germany for my wedding, which I appreciated so much. We finally decided upon Zanzibar for the trip and worked out availability and a date in which we could both leaves our wives for a week!
I love to surround myself with older people. I’m getting old myself now, but there is still much to learn and far better than any textbook is the real-life experience of those who have gone before us. The conversations were deep and no matter the topic, Denny took my viewpoints seriously. It made the trip fly by.
Ask anyone who knows Denny and they will tell you this above all else — he’s one of the most generous people you will ever meet. No, he did not pay for this trip, but over the years I can think of only perhaps my own father and mother who have been more generous to me. Generosity, at least in my case, is not infectious…and I take no pride in writing that. But I want to be a generous person. I want to be like Denny. “It is far better to give than to receive” is more than a trite quote. It is true.
We’ve talked about Cuba as our next trip. It is a lot easier to get there today than it was four years ago when we first mulled it over!
Read More of my Tanzania Trip Report
Detour: My Other Africa Trip Report
Review: Lufthansa Welcome Lounge Frankfurt
Review: Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Frankfurt
Frankfurt to Istanbul in Turkish Airlines A330 Business Class
Review: Turkish Airlines CIP Lounge Istanbul
Istanbul to Dar Es Salaam on Turkish Airlines 737-900 Business Class
How to Obtain a Visa on Arrival in Tanzania
An Honest Cab Driver in Dar Es Salaam
Review: Hyatt Regency Dar Es Salaam
Ferry from Dar Es Salaam to Zanzibar
She Tried to Deny Me Entry Into Zanzibar!
Review: Park Hyatt Zanzibar
An Amazing Journey Through Stone Town in Zanzibar (Pictures)
Looted But Not Livid in Zanzibar
Review: Zanzibar Dhow Lounge (ZNZ)
20-Min Flight from Zanzibar to Dar Es Salaam on Fastjet
Transit in Dar Es Salaam (DAR)
Review: Tanzanite Lounge (DAR)
Turkish Airlines 737 Dar Es Salaam to Istanbul Business Class
Review: Turkish Airlines Arrivals Lounge Istanbul
Review: Hyatt Regency Istanbul Ataköy
Turkish Airlines Elitism at IST