To travel is to take a journey into yourself. ~danny kaye
If you ask me… is a collection of posts with insights and opinions on travel: the why of it all. Why travel long-term on some trips and short-term on others? Why pick one place instead of another? Why did the traveler cross the mine field? Why, why, why? For opinions on these vital questions, read on…
Everyone who has ever packed a bag, tucked their passport in a safe pocket, and either flown, hiked, sailed, hopped a train or flagged down a passing horse cart has a viewpoint on travel. I have covered a lot of ground (and seas) in years of traveling and in the process, tracked down my own perspective on the why of travel. My views have adapted over time in response to my budget, age, the people and cultures I have visited and at times, to their reactions to me. Those are normal evolutions in the approach and thoughts of a traveler as they grow and flourish along the way. But the traveler’s philosophy also changes in reaction to searing heat and bone-crushing cold, discomfort, illness, border crossings, and land mines in your path (both literal and figurative ones). Often the bad bits make for great stories later. Sometimes it requires a fair amount of time to pass before a traveler can be objective enough to laugh or reflect on it thoughtfully.
if you ask me… Dispatches
Whenever I plan a trip, one of the first things I do is check to see if there are any World Heritage sites where I’m going.
You never forget your first time, right? Especially when it’s a food first time.
Travel makes us promises. If we are always connected electronically to what we left behind, we may not allow the delivery of those promises.
Do your homework in advance about the locale, the possible scams, the culture. As a traveler, you are an ambassador. Be yourself, be respectful, and represent the best of your own country.
Browsing through old travel journals makes me up my journaling game for the next trip.
Eavesdropping and random conversations with strangers are among a traveler’s favored activities. Find out what happened to Flossie, the brawlers on the Moroccan bus, and the Irish kid on the train to Cobh.
Take a kid on a trip: across town or across the country, and you’re opening up doors and giving them a peek behind curtains. Trips with kids are the stuff of dreams.
Have you ever felt the spasms of traveler’s guilt about getting away from home? You’re in good company. Here is how to fight it.
Would you take a trip to Mars? Taken the Oregon Trail west to resettle? Do you prefer a resort or the shenanigans of a flexible plan?
Travel bonds you to people who were strangers just a moment ago, and sometimes, so does vodka. Rivers of vodka.
Some people say that if you live in a place, you’ll barely scratch the surface of what’s to see and do. Try being a traveler in your town.
In which an upgrade to first class teaches me a lesson or two.
Listening to Irish radio, thinking about why people travel and how it changes us.
Travel is not a vacation for me. It’s a vocation. Like a mission, only without guns or religion.