My little fiancee and I took a week and traveled down to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. It was a great week. Weather perfect, food wonderful, people friendly, priced just right! We saw some great stuff and she even para-sailed! I sat in the lounge chair sipping pina colotas and took pictures.
What I enjoy about travel is meeting people. I am a very friendly fellow, I think I got it from my mom, and I am not shy about starting a conversation with strangers. I have learned many things, about people, customs, places and ideologies just by engaging folks. I have discovered people like to talk about their lives and homes. During this trip I had conversations of length with couples from Michigan, Bend, Oregon, New Jersey and a fellow from Chicago.
The fellow from Chicago was on the return flight from PV to Phoenix. We started talking, first about football then I detected he had an accent. After further discussion he revealed he was from Albania, having moved here as a child. He was 30 which is the same as my oldest son. He talked about his country and we discussed communism and America. He remembered leaving communism and he was not at all sad to leave it behind. Albania was the last European country to boot their commie masters. He was studying for his masters in finance and I told him maybe he'd be the Fed Chairman someday.
He was a Cubs fan and he was happy to be an American. His roots were in a "tribe" and he said even through the millenia, the different tribes stuck together. The Romans, Turks, Germans and all the other conquerors never defeated the tribes. He however was grateful that coming to America, the tribe was left behind and he and his parents became Americans! A unique human experience. He maintains his Albanian pride but it is subservient to his becoming and being an American. I was totally impressed. He is more of an American than most liberal Americans.
He was proud to be an American, he wants to be a working, contributing patriotic American! How refreshing to hear this. After all is said and done, these first generation people are the most American American I know. Unlike the spoiled liberals we have hatched here over the years these people appreciate our country. Especially recognizing where they came from as a comparison. They know what lack of freedom means. They know what an overbearing government regulating everything is a non starter for them. This man will be a fine example of what a person from a country with no freedom can achieve when his life is free. America, he loves it and won't leave it.