The planning completed, it was time to execute. We woke at 4:15 am for our flight out of Tucson to LA, LA to Tokyo, and 31 hours later arrived in Kuala Lumpur. We had been mauled by the TSA, fought through swarming masses of travel-crazed, oblivious-to-their-surroundings people, and sat in seats meant for people the size of 3-year-olds for hours on end. The short-term reward; Severe and painful jet lag.
Ok, so why do we do it? Why do we want to travel the world? Why not stay at home in our comfortable surroundings and enjoy our hard earned retirement? I’m writing this because I’m really not sure, because I’m tired, and yes, very cranky. I need to see it defined on paper so I can feel that the pain is worth the reward of the journey.
But what is the reward? Is the reward about the sights, like the magnificent Altiplano in Bolivia, or is it about the immersion into other cultures like the Sherpa of Nepal, albeit for only a brief time, or how about new foods, smells, sounds? All may be good candidates to justify the excruciating agony that is travel today.
But, if that is all there is to it I might just hang it up and sit in the comfort of my nice house. It’s just not enough. In thinking about what I remember the most from various trips, what meant the most to me, it was how I dealt with all the issues that arose, the excitement of communicating with people that didn’t speak a word of my language but which usually resulted in much laughter, eating, drinking, and general merriment. I remember walking across the market towards the Flan Lady for my daily dose of flan in Tarija, Bolivia. She’d spot me, smile a wonderful smile, and start preparing my flan. We’d arrive at her little stand and she’d hand me a small plastic cup filled with flan. We would attempt small talk, using our limited Spanish, I’d pay her the 25 cents for my flan. As we’d depart she’d say: “see you tomorrow?”. “Si” we’d respond. She’d smile. What did I learn? What did I gain from our little encounter? That a simple life can still be a happy life, that there is a difference between want and need. That what makes life is human interaction. A kind moment shared.
So, bottom line: I guess we do it, travel that is, for personal growth. Wisdom acquired through sharing time with someone ‘different’. Yep, that’s why, and well worth the pain of the journey. I can’t share that gift with you via this blog, but I can share some photos of what we’ve seen. Enjoy!
Hike, Drink, Live, Laugh
The Vino Hikers
P.S. My most proud accomplishment after doing this ‘adventure’ travel stuff: No bed bugs!
12 thoughts on “The ‘State’ of travel today: Getting from point A to point B can be, and usually is, a real pain in the derriere.”
Beautiful! Can’t wait to see the pix from Laos.
Thanks! Yeah, Laos is very beautiful. We’ll be posting photos soon. What are you up to these days?
Glad you finally made it to the gateway of your newest adventure! Love the photos. We will follow your every post, holding down ing the fort here in Clarkdale AZ while you are gone. (Well Brian will at least while I am gone to China and Tibet 🙂 Leaving in 55 days.)
Glad you like the photos. China and Tibet sounds like a great trip. Please keep us posted on your adventure. Say hi to Brian for us.
Please keep the pictures and the stories coming. I would love to do this kind of traveling one day (mainly for the food), but for now it’s a pipe dream…
Yeah, the food!!! The food so far has been amazing and very affordable. We’ll be posting regularly, so keep checking or sign up for the email alert at out blog: http://www.vinohiking.com. Thanks for following.
Didn’t expect such philosophy. Sounds a bit more like Pat than Carrie; or is the writing a joint effort? Were the monkeys a nuisance? When I was in Bali they were rather assertive (even little scary). Obviously youse guys have the knack of getting people to relate to you.
No I (Pat) wrote this one. Yeah, I guess I was feeling a bit philosophical. No, overall the monkeys were well behaved, although one threw a coconut at Carrie and it barely missed her. How are you doing? Shoot us an email.
No it’s not worth it, never has been, don’t be silly. Glad you made it safely though.
Yeah, I know, We’re having a great time. Slow and easy, that’s how we’ll get it done. What we’ve seen of Laos so far is absolutely beautiful. Food is great as well. Say Hi to Marnie.
OMG how exciting!!! 🙂
It certainly has been fun, challenging, crazy, and frustrating so far. Hope all is well in Clarkdale.