Jim Intriglia

Renaissance Soul, Unleashed.

Sabbatical Day 1: We Have Liftoff!

After two months of planning and making preparations for our trip, we wait at Denver International Airport for our flight to Colombia.

After two months of planning and making preparations for our trip, we wait at Denver International Airport for our flight to Colombia.

It's 11pm July 2; I'm sitting in Denver International Airport, waiting for the plane that will take me on the first leg of my flight to Colombia, South America. With my laptop and an amazing assortment of other stuff packed into my trusty Brightline flight travel bag, I'm ready for a much overdue vacation.

In the years that I have walked this good Earth, I've visited the British West Indies, Mexico and Canada-- a fraction of what the good Earth has to offer in the way of experiences. While on a week-long mini-sabbatical last year, I decided that an ongoing goal of all future sabbaticals would be to explore places I have never been. Thus was planted the seed to visit Armenia, located in Colombia's Coffee Triangle.

When Jackie invited me to celebrate her daughter's Quinceañera in Armenia, Colombia, I jumped at the opportunity to celebrate my honorary daughter's 15th birthday and meet 100 or so of Jackie and Alexandra's family members.

Jackie was quick to point out to the airline ticking agent that her native countrywas know as one of the happiest countries in the World. Frequent gatherings of family and friends are commonplace in Colombia, where it's not uncommon to celebrate a national holiday every month. Cali is know for it's discotheques, where amazing dance performances by couples are more the norm than the exception.

Cali, where Jackie was born and raised, is known worldwide as the Salsa capital of the world. The performance of Salsa by dancers in Cali is highly competitive among professionals Salsa dancers and couples that dance salsa for health and entertainment.

It's now forty-five minutes before our flight begins to board. A father and his teenage son arrives with soccer ball in hand. After placing their bags by their seats, father and son begin to kick the ball around the concourse. A quick fake, and the son scores a point by kicking the ball between his fathers legs. Score! Father and son settle down into their seats and await the boarding call for the flight. Game over.

Nearly midnight, the terminal is alive with arriving and departing passengers. People tap away on their laptops, while others watch movies and catch-up on their reading via their tablet computers. Still others text away on their phones, while others enjoy their own personal movie on their pocket home theaters.

With all of the planning and preparation now behind us, it's hard to believe that eight weeks earlier an idea was spawned and manifested through faith, belief an action. Now it's time to explore and enjoy the fruits of our labor.

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