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Sunday, August 26, 2007

What happened to the the journey?

I asked: what happened to 'the journey'? Is the process of getting 'there' no longer as important as it once was? My friend Greg says: "Get me there as painlessly as possible. That is still important, but airports are airports, and other than the quality of food, and perhaps the entertainment system, planes are planes. Once landed, then the journey becomes, or can become, important... land and sea travel afford many more 'memory' possibilities. Running around Saigon in a 1968 Honda 90cc motorcycle with two duffle bags hanging off each arm (passenger). Taking a small long tail to go to Ko Lanta Island in South Thailand. Taking the train from Kuala Lumpur up through Malaysia and into Thailand. Trekking across 6 countries in Africa in the back of a Bedford truck. Taking the subway from Charles De Gaulle into Paris. Taking any TGV fast train in France. Riding around Melbourne in a Tram. Hitching to the step pyramids of Sakarah (Egypt) in old diesel lorry, sitting on a crate of dates, a chicken on my lap. I think ground transportation has elements of excitement, adventure, and most importantly a closer look at people and their culture in a 'real' every-day environment." I found this photo I took on a road trip in Morocco. Greg, is this what you mean?


franki durbin said...

Hopefully Virgin America can rekindle my love affair with air travel, but many airlines take the joy out of flying - no matter how close to the front of the cabin you are seated.

But I will admit, from the moment I sit in the taxi on the way to the airport I do a great job of getting myself excited. I know I'll be exposed to new scents, new languages, new customs, new people. And that's the key charm of travel - the people. I always meet fun people along the way.

The journey must be fun, or we lose a bit of ourselves along the way. I love the journey. It's part of the trip itself. And considering that many of the locations I still ed to arrive at are halfway around the world, it behooves me to enjoy the flights and cab rides to get there.

Speaking of cabbies.. they can offer some of the most genuine color to a trip. Never underestimate the knowledge of the person who sees hundreds of people daily from his 'mobile office.' The cab driver can lend sage advice to the most well-heeled traveler - if one will listen.

As my grandfather always says, "You've got to get out and meet the people."

Lara Dunston said...

I so know what you mean! But I want to hear more about your grandfather and his sage advice!