As I write this Ed Note I'm driving to an airport in England heading to Prague. I'm thinking about how lucky I am but probably not for the reasons some of you are thinking. On and off this trip—a much needed vacation—I've been thinking about the importance of stepping out of comfort zones, new experiences and the constant goodness that happens to us when we open hearts to new people and new places. I like to think the overall benefit of all this is best felt back home, back in Tucson.
Tucson will always be my heart place where everyone I love lives and returns to. It's the place where my soul feels most at home. Leaving and returning is sometimes the best way to understand how that works and appreciate home even more. One of the experiences I love in travel is talking to people about their own backyards and the places they love most. So far, staying with close friends of my love, I've seen a countryside of Hampshire and stopped in pubs for beers and lunch. Stopped to look at rivers and thatched cottages. And even the small pleasures of life like dinner outside in a back yard garden, coffee in the mornings and conversations that revolve around life and politics and friendship.
It's all reminded me about how we share Tucson and where we take people to understand the heart and soul of our desert city. For some it's the saguaro covered vistas of Gates Pass. For others it's a big bowl of menudo at Tania's or a drive out to San Xavier mission. And then quite often it's our own home and small places that mean good conversation over dinners, coffee and beers.
And so, yes, guess what? I've thought about you. I've thought of you a lot. And our biggest issue of the year. Best of Tucson. We're in the middle of our second round of voting. So yes. I'm reminding you. I've seen the past weekend what some feel is the best of London and Hampshire. Through their eyes I see the heart and soul of their home. In conversations I've recognized how much we have in common rather than differences. So, good people, folks I adore on this globe. Vote. Put your heart and soul into it. Remember it's a reflection of our life and city. You. It's what we want people to know is the best of the place our heart and soul calls home. It's Tucson. Vote.
— Mari Herreras, firstname.lastname@example.org