Monday, June 23, 2008

Great Love of My Life

"Traveling is the great true love of my life . . . To travel is worth any cost or sacrifice. I am loyal and constant in my love for travel, as I have not always been loyal and constant in my other loves. I feel about travel the way a happy new mother feels about her impossible, colicky, restless newborn baby--I just don't care what it puts me through. Because I adore it. Because it's mine. Because it looks exactly like me. It can barf all over me if it wants to--I just don't care." - Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat. Pray. Love.
I am not sure exactly when I fell in love with traveling, but it might have been sometime between climbing Sir Arthur's seat in Edinburg and eating gelato in Ferrara. Maybe it was as early as Black Mountain summers. I just know that there is something that makes my heart race with excitement when it comes to traveling.
I think I am a good traveler. Some people can only travel a certain way... stay in certain hotels, travel only by plane, food must be good, etc. Some people only travel for a passport stamp. They race around from sight to sight and really just live their travels in pictures they shot. There are people who are too cheap to spend that money to see the extra museum and people who blow their money on drinks they could get at home. (Okay, if it was milk I might too!) I would say most people don't document their trips in writing or postcards. All of those kinds of people I am not. Every trip is the trip of a lifetime.
Traveling has not always been so kind to me. I reflected on this last week as Amy and I almost died of panic when trying to catch our train in Wuhan. We had to take a bus from Yichang to Wuhan and then catch a train. Our plan was to have dinner in Wuhan. No time for dinner and we had to literally beg a taxi man to take us to the train station. I ate stomach on the train... Anyways, there have been lots of misfortunes in my travels. Breaking my toe is Livingston playing "Stir The Pudding", pigeon pooping on my new white pants in Venice, being mugged in Wuhan and tackling the thief to the ground, losing my shoe in a squatty in snow in Harbin and then smell like poop for several days, walking into a gay bar in London to throw up, but did not realize where I was until I was puking, being stranded in Sri Lanka with no money and no hotel in the middle of war, staying a hole of a wall place in Delhi while being sick, getting a fish stuck in my goggles while snorkeling in Cancun and getting poked in the eye many times, falling off a rice field wall in Daye, being sick in Times Square on New Years Eve, bus I was on hit a donkey on the way home from Shiyan, bought tickets for wrong day to races in Beijing, car lost brakes while driving to Atlanta, etc. etc. While at the moment none of these have been fun to experience, I have to say it makes for a great story for me a great laugh for those who experienced these things with me.
I have had too many good traveling experiences to name. Sadly, some probably have already been forgotten. My computers and books are full of photos and writings from my adventures. While maybe nobody will ever read what I have written and my photos won't be in any museums, I cherish these. Each has a part of my love. A part of my heart. Traveling is the great love of my life.
Hong Kong post soon.

1 comment:

  1. First things first, I love the photo; it’s a perfect representation of travel in all its glory!!
    Thanks for the wonderful post Beth; I love the way you travel and your sense of adventure! He is hoping we get to travel together soon!!