Interview with R.C Hand – Writer and Travel Enthusiast
One of the great joys about being a writer is sharing my work with others. This week I am sharing my blog with a fellow writer and world traveler, R. C Hand. He has journeyed to nearly 100 countries on seven continents along with his wife, with Israel being one of those destinations. It is always fascinating to me how people from other countries view my homeland. I was honored that R.C was willing to share his insights with me about his life and his visit to the Holy Land.
R.C. Hand is a retired contractor who has become an avid world traveler. He grew up in Orange County, California where he still resides when he’s not traveling. At an early age, he worked alongside his father as a plasterer, then at twenty-seven, he took over his family’s contracting business. R.C is also an avid writer, with a travel blog and several published novels including: “The Adventures of the Smith Family,” “Sailing Away,” and “Grandpa Ernie’s Secrets.” R.C uses his passion for human plight by listening to the stories of people around the globe and sharing those experiences.
R.C, you have been to almost 100 countries, how do you choose where to travel next? We choose our destinations in many ways. We might see an article in the travel section of the paper, or we might have read a travel book or novel.
Among your destinations was Israel, can you tell me why you chose to visit there? My wife wanted me to see Israel due to her culture and my interest in religion and history. We are not religious, but I understand the importance of religion to the existence of democracy and western culture.
Most people travel to Israel because they feel an attachment to the religious sites, to see the natural wonders of the land and unique buildings and architecture. Did any of these reasons draw you to the country, or was it something else? My wife of thirty-seven years is a non-practicing Jew. She visited Israel after finishing high school and it has held a special place in her heart. She wanted to share that magic with me. I enjoyed Israel very much as it is full of history and mystery. I was unsettled though by the tensions among the Jews and the Muslims. I find it ridiculous that two groups of people that have so much in common can be so unkind to each other. They believe in the same things for the most part as far as I can tell. I guess it is like the Cain and Abel story.
Did you get to spend time at the beach? I live in a small craft harbor across the street from the beach, so we have little need to spend time at the beach when we travel.
Was the cuisine like the other middle eastern countries you have visited? Did you eat falafel? I am fortunate in that I am an adventurous eater and enjoy all food items. I have managed to not become obese, but I could lose a few pounds. Yes, I love falafel, but gefilte fish is my favorite food item from my wife’s culture.
In your book “Sailing Away,” you speak about a young Englishman who travels to many ports on the Mediterranean coast. Did you visit most of the places you wrote about? I have been to nearly one hundred countries and to most of the ports in "Sailing Away." I love sea stories and Mark Twain. We did a Mediterranean cruise a few years back and were supposed to go to Egypt but it was at the time that the Muslim Brotherhood came to the forefront and it became more dangerous than usual, especially for a Jew, like my wife. That part of the cruise was canceled and so we spent more time in other ports.
If you ever come back to Israel for another visit, which place(s) would you return to and want to spend more time at? We are more interested in museums, art galleries and talking with the locals. I tend to make friends quickly everywhere we go have a great time visiting with strangers (to my wife's slight displeasure sometimes). I enjoyed Masada and had read "The Dead Sea Scrolls Conspiracy." The desert is a beautiful and special place. We went to many of the religious sites as tourists do and I found them very interesting, even though I do not practice myself.
How do you think the travel industry will recover from the coronavirus? We will survive the virus as we survive most things.
Where do you plan to travel next? We are off to Egypt next year to Alexandrea and for the cruise on the Nile. They are looking for Alexander's grave in Alexandrea and I hope to see the sites.
To find out more about R. C travels and adventures, visit his website at https://cowboyproductions52.com/category/blog/