Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Thoughts on Travel

I have traveled. I've been to Korea, Japan, to every state but Idaho & North Dakota, to the Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia, Quebec, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, & Ontario, to England, Scotland and France. I actually LIVED in the Republic of Korea for nearly 5 years. After years of non-use I still speak a smattering of French, Chinese and Korean as well as American-English and a smattering of American Sign Language. I feel I can go many places and get along quite well.

But the truth is that I mostly travel under protest. I don't like travel for travel's sake. Just as I don't shop for groceries I don't need to shop for a place to lay my head. As I age I've become even more recalcitrant about travel. I like new foods less and less. I like searching for "facilities" (and you KNOW what I mean) less and less. I have traveled enough to know that the people will likely be nice and good (mostly), old stone buildings seem to be no more than old stone buildings, and most "things" one sees, or rather are shown, have little value.

You see, many tourist destinations have been marketed as great, unique, and necessary experiences. They are seldom any of these things. Of course, there are exceptions. The Grand Canyon (or the Green River Canyon for that matter) & Cliff Dwellings on Mesa Verde, and the Adirondack lakes seem to live up to the hype. Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco, not so much.

What is worth travel is the being with friends, family and accomplishment of constructive tasks. I never minded going to Florida, even driving 13 hours straight without a break, to see the in-laws. I really enjoyed my visits. Yes, I shared some neat experiences with them such as eating at Lambert's Cafe or visiting the National Naval Aviation Museum. That one visit to the National Naval Aviation Museum elicited more family military history than had 10 years of direct questioning of my father-in-law. What a wonderful experience and not just for me.

One of the things we've taken to doing to make travel my dear wife wants more bearable for me is to ride the steam engine (train) excursions in the area to which we've traveled. We've even taken trips with that as the primary (for me) goal. We both enjoy the scenery and Nana enjoys seeing new places and the new foods. Ok, so I lose a little weight. No big deal, right?

1 comment:

Zane D. Clark said...

I guess you could ask if its the journey or the destination. Of course the most important issue is whether your wife is happy.

My wife and I like to be there but not so much the travel. But we only travel to our boat and not somewhere else.

Then going places on the boat is a different issue. There it is both the journey and the destination.