Friday, February 4, 2011

20 Years From Now

Washing Cars and Clothes

Before any major trip there can be days, weeks, even months of planning. Making reservations researching travel options. Just lots of details to be sorted out. 

Then the adventure begins and it takes on a life of its own. While traveling time becomes more fluid. Yes, you have to be ready to catch a train or know the closing hours of a museum, but the daily framework of life is looser. 

Work left on the desk when the plane took off receives the care and attention of colleagues. The pets enjoy the affection of others who love them. The pool still gets cleaned, the grass gets mowed, the leaves fall.

The "real" world gives you a hall pass and marks a little time.

Upon return, there is a bit of jet lag. We call to let folks know we arrived home "safe and sound". Exhortations are made about "missing that storm". We get waves from the neighbors who ask about the trip and fill us in on what happened on the block while we were gone. 

"To Do" lists get made. Cars and clothes get washed. Doctor appointments get firmed up.

In reading another blog recently a fellow traveller attributed a profound insight to Mark Twain. The insight was that 20 years from now we will draw a blank trying to recall time spent focused on making money and keeping up with day-to-day activities.

Conversely, 20 years from now, time spent in travel, in the company of our loved ones, and in meeting new people in new places, will be fully and fondly remembered. 

So I guess the question is balance.

It is important to take the time to immerse ourselves in different places and cultures. It balances out the carefully packaged and frequently exploitive view of the world beamed to us each day by our increasingly polarized media.

The immersion of travel reshapes our outlook on the world. It results in an appreciation of the vital differences between worldwide cultures. After all a planet where everyone thinks, eats, believes, and acts the same, would be a sad place.

Then we return home, and its sweet. The dogs are giddy to see us. The cat wants out. We rejoin our precious normal routines. 

A good life left, is a good life returned to. 

Until the next adventure...

Roadboys' Travels © 2011

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