Americans are particularly funny about their travels. I have noticed it throughout my life. We tend to stay in our own country, which is understandable–it’s fucking huge!! Regardless, part of the point of traveling is to go to other places to see how people live–to speak to them and see what their lives are about, how they are getting by on their side of the rock.
The more that I speak to my brethren, the more I see how little we travel. Sure, we all know those people that are serial travelers to Vegas and Hawaii for the west coast and Florida for the east coast. We don’t generally go to experience culture, but rather to escape our own reality of things.
Vacation for the American is just that–to vacate, to leave, to part ways. American’s don’t travel, they don’t wander, they don’t go on walkabout. This is a generality of course–we do travel, some of do wander and a few of us might actually go on walkabout.
Someone said the other day, We don’t travel like John Muir did, with nothing more than a sketchbook and an imagination and perhaps a new pair of boots.
The fact is that we must prepare for that harsh world that lies outside of that comfort zone known as home. Think about all of those things you own and assess how much of it is for that harsh world you have to travel in everyday.
All of this came about because I had recently overheard that a friend of mine was going out East for a few weeks to check it out. I offered to have a drink with him and go over some details about things I experienced while I was there–the more information you have, the more time you can have to focus on the pleasantness of the trip. Anything to speed up past the minutia of traveling helps, right?
This fellow actually said that he would prefer just to go about it on his own. “We have totally done our research.” was the quip.
I retreated. The east is a messy place and time can easily get away from you. It’s not like the rest of the world where you can get by on “roughing it”. Countless hours and days can be wasted if you don’t know when or where to go during certain times. But the issue was a little deeper than that– I think this guys problem was also a common one– people don’t care to hear about your adventures as much as they want to make their own–they want to make the same mistakes that you make, they want to wait in the same lines that you wait in.
It also is hard to believe that things could be so different somewhere else until you have actually been there and seen what there is to see and do. When I got off the plane in China, I had not the slightest clue what the hell I would do if I got off that plane and there wasn’t someone there to rescue me, but I would have managed and that is the adventure.
Eventually, we did get to talking a little bit about the trip he was going on. He eventually told me that I was just telling him all the things to watch out for, but I wasn’t giving him any advice.
My response: it’s up to you to find the diamonds–another traveller’s job is to help you not fall in the mole holes on the journey.
You will never spoil your trip by talking to other travellers– you will own what it yours, no journey is like another. It’s for you to take and for you to see.
That’s how it is out there.
….fragments of everything have come together.
yet some grow further apart.
Lili has been here for close to a month and we are finally beginning to feel somewhat settled into the place and things are beginning to come together. I feel like I will once again be able to take up this blog and writing again as soon as I can get my head out of the work I am engaged in and begin to think about the next steps of what were going to do for the next couple of years.
We watched a little No Reservations this evening, with Anthony Bourdain and it made us both linger for the open road– specifically Brazil. Although finances do not allow for such a trip just now, it is on our minds and we will eventually hit the road again, this time as a married couple, our lives connected in every possible legal way… It will be a nice way to travel and I look forward to spending many days wandering around this earth with my wife.
I have a week of work left before getting laid off, but I can’t seem to start freaking out about it. The last 9 months of work have been good, easy and fun, but all things must come to an end and this job was beginning to get overly boring and mentally taxing, so I am not all that sad that things are coming to an end. We all like money, we all need money and there is a certain level of comfort one has from having the same old job, but there wasn’t much of a future in the team I was in– I need something that continues to have some level of excitement in it, along with a sense of accomplishment, mixed with the greater good.
I do wish that we did have a small nest egg left over, mostly because we need to travel during this free time we have, for there soon will not be that shared time that we can both enjoy at the same time. This is the way of the world.
Finally, a moment to write.
So much to talk about, so many things to discuss and its almost midnight, so allow me to just puke it all out and put it into it’s right place later.
Special thanks to Jason and Apple for opening up their house to me and making it possible to pay off some bills and save a few dimes before Lili arrived.
Since I have just used arrived in the past tense, this means that she is in fact, here. Lili arrived Wednesday afternoon, which I must say is one of the most exciting and strange moments of my life. It was the moment where it all became a reality, all of the waiting, all of the phone calls, all of the stress, worry and everything else you can image came to a closer as she called me on her cellphone and said, “I’m down at baggage claim.”
The details of that are for another time…
The last several weeks leading up to this moment were gradually getting busier and busier, both in my professional life as well as my private life. Work at Microsoft has been fast paced and higher stress as Windows 7 comes closer to release.
Apartment hunting was also total choas. Jason and Apple wanted to get the place ready for when her brother moves here from Thailand and I decided it would be better for us to move into our own place and not have anytime in the basement while we looked– so I started to look…
Seattle has had some definitive times where it has really had a building boom– you can see it in the design of places (Hello brown 70’s cabinets!!)
..and along with that comes the new modern, green, green look-alike over-priced postage stamps .. Searching and searching to find the right place in the right neighboorhood– Fremont (nothing good for the price), Ballard (Old and New, see above), Magnolia (Too Goddamn Far, train tracks) Green Lake (nicer places) and Ravenna (where we settled).
The place is perfect– right near good places to see and hang, third flood with a deck, tiki torches, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms… perfect– especially after looking at other boxes of crap throughout the city– Lili instantly feel in love with it and each day it is becoming more and more our place.
All of that, mixed with a glorious couple weeks of some well needed sun and a new Dave Matthews Band album to boot!!!
Anyway, I will get into more details later– just wanted to put an entry in because the office I have been waiting years for and the wife I have waited decades for are all here now, so you will be hearing a lot more from me than before.
Hope all is well, wherever you happen to be on the rock.