Visited 21 countries (9.33%)

August 6th, 2008 by barbie-dull
Visited countries: 21 (9.33%)

Visited countries: 21 (9.33%)

I added Czech Republic to the list of countries I visited. That was last Summer. Updating the map of visited countries is a pretext really, as I meant to blog about travels, after chatting with an old friend of mine.

He realized he didn’t know me as well as he thought when I told him I wasn’t actually seeking to travel. I consider myself extremely fortunate that my work took me to many incredible places. And I’m very grateful to the friends and lovers who engineered my personal travels.

I like to be somewhere else. It is all that is around travelling that is stressful. Getting used to the idea of it first, which takes some time. It is like a quiet struggle between the curious me and the stay-at-home me. This struggle may last until the very last moment. The curious me knows it is going to be wonderful and how this should be a motivation. The other me knows it will be tiring, expensive. The other me knows the amount of work that will await upon returning.

Then there is packing. An additional burden that would not happen if I were to stay home. I pack lightly, quickly and most of the time efficiently. I have learnt that after years of travelling for W3C. Of course, unpacking is equally burdensome. It means laundry.

Also, there is the stress of the journey, be that flying or driving or else (we took a ferry recently for our holiday in Corsica and Sardinia). Flying is the worst. Not that I’m afraid to be on a plane. It’s rather that I hate airport so-called security. What a gigantic waste of time and what a monumental buffoonery. I am exaggerating for emphasis.

At least, none of my anxiety was ever turned towards dreading any danger, or fearing I wouldn’t like the place. I have enjoyed all of my travels so far.

So at last, there is being somewhere else. Enjoying different settings, foods, climate, a different culture, sometimes a different language. Taking photos. Thinking how incredibly lucky I am to be there. Enjoying the compagny. Taking a break from the everyday life. Feeling how tangibly time passes faster.

One Response to “Visited 21 countries (9.33%)”

  1. amy Says:

    Very insightful and very close to my own feelings about travel. I like your descriptions of your mental preparations in getting ready to travel, and your impressions of being somewhere new.

    I am also very much a homebody (after having my couch back in my living room after at least a year I moaned that I wanted to leave my house even less than before) and yet traveling is a great joy too (it is one of the reasons I took the job I have, and traveling with or to see friends and loved ones some of my happiest times).

    One of my favorite lines from the 80s classic, Buckaroo Banzai is “wherever you go, there you are” and this is, of course, true but part of the wonder of it all is just being ‘there’, yourself of course, but somewhere else, unmoored from habits and sights and expectations.

    Thinking of my experiences, I feel it is in large part the company, for me, which makes a new place more enjoyable. I have had to travel on my own to different cities and while it’s interesting to see new places, views, navigate new streets etc. it is more abstract, less enjoyable, somehow the experience of a new place becomes more *real* when shared with people. Maybe I’m more open to exploring when with people I like or maybe sharing experiences can enhance them (like how discussing movies after watching them, with some people, can enhance my experience of the movie – it can increase my liking for a great film or cement for me the flaws. A good movie-going friend is a rare prize.)

    Some of my favorite, most happy and peaceful memories involve sitting quietly in hotel rooms in the town in which I live, sitting in front of our laptops with friends from out of town. In some ways for me the joy of traveling is not how far you go but who you’re with. I guess I’m less of a climb-the-mountain-because-it’s-there kind of traveler and more of a a-joy-shared-is-a-joy-doubled kind of traveler.

    Traveling with or to see you has always been a great joy of mine.

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