Most blogs are promo or diary/journal it seems. What did I want Time and Place to be? Journal. Opinion. Discovery. Well written with enough travel insights so that it can be enjoyed the way you enjoy reading your favorite newspaper columns on a regular basis.
Time and Place IS of course intended to be personal…but with a little outsider perspective so it is not all about ME. It feels like it started out with the right idea but that it is sliding off the rails right now.
Possibly this is because for the third time (once in Bergen, Norway—bad bad flu; once in Windhoek, Namibia—RA flare-up) in my years of travel I am quite ill, this time with some disease that hampers breathing. Now that the scary part is over I am just listless and bored…and wondering why I want to travel all of the time when many places in the world are fine for their own inhabitants but not so enticing for the casual visitor. And it is so much better to be home when sick. My fluffy comforter, my dulce de leche ice cream, my books and channels and friends with whom to kvetch about the unfairness of it all.
IT IS A BIG WORLD AFTER ALL MR. DISNEY
So what is it? I keep pondering this apparent travel addiction as the countries add up. As I realize there aren’t so many places that still send the old travel bug galloping up my spine when their exotic names appear.
Big swaths of the world—Russia and the Stan countries, Southeast Asia, India/Nepal/Bangladesh, much of West Africa—lie ahead of me on this every-country quest. Tens of countries—scattered on many continents—are still to grace my passport. The work goes on. Find affordable plane tickets, hotels. Don’t get sick. Enjoy something! Go to every country in the world. Really?
To go to every country in the world is like going to every neighborhood in your town. The poor but interesting or sad or threatening; the boring but pleasant and/or safe; the funky but historic; or the rich and tacky/rich and luxurious/rich and perfect. You go there for dinner, here for groceries, there for a party, here to the cleaners, there because it’s on the way to another there. Here because you live here. That is how I think of my travels—just familiarizing myself with all the neighborhoods of my whole world.
My ennui makes sense though. As more and more of the ‘neighborhoods’ are checked off my list the thrill of discovery is replaced with an acknowledgement of the familiar –which we all know can have its monotonous side.
Surfers Paradise, Queensland, Australia is in the ‘boring but pleasant’ neighborhood category. Not bad for a family trip. The purpose is for my grandson to have a good time. And for me to get yet one more passport stamp. New Zealand next; same mission. But with rain and lamb chops. So ‘boring but pleasant’ is perfectly appropriate destination sometimes. BUT STILL…