Travel Makes No Sense
Can you believe it? My fourth day here and I ran into an old friend! All the way over here in Vietnam! His name is San Miguel. We used to hang out a bit when I lived in Spanish Harlem, and suddenly right in the middle of the market…there he was! Well hello, Delicious. We meet again.
But truth is I did not move to Asia to drink San Miguel. Or to eat KFC. Or pizza – why does every person here ask if I like pizza? Just because I’m American does not mean I love pizza. Ok, fine, I do love pizza (damn you, Accurate Stereotype!), but that’s beside the point. The question is: why did I move to Vietnam?
Because I’m a big, fat dummy.
Why else would I trade in my perfect life in sunny Cape Town, complete with weekend adventures, wonderful friends and an oceanfront apartment, for a place where I know no one, speak the wrong language and don’t know how to ride a scooter? Must be dumb, that one.
This is part of a fundamental deficiency many of us share. We love to travel, but at the end of the day travel makes no sense. Gasp! Is a travel blog allowed to say that?! I speak the truth, Comrade.
Travel is a messy, confusing dictator who scares you into doing what it wants. You don’t want to cross a road of oncoming scooters. Does Travel care? No, it pushes you right into the street! You don’t want to eat that suspicious looking meat. Travel laughs and stuffs it in your face. Travel takes your money, gets you lost and makes you cry when you have to say goodbye at the airport. What a bully.
So why do you succumb to Travel’s whims time and time again? Why do you sacrifice stability, friendships and convenience for the glory of tripping around some weird new place? Maybe it’s because of some elusive idea that you are bettering yourself, learning new things, stretching your limits. And sometimes, just sometimes, Travel cuts you a break.
After all, my move to Cape Town started off as just another one of Travel’s demands. Before that I was happily settled in pura vida Costa Rica, spending days at the beach and nights salsa dancing. Gallivanting off to Africa seemed pretty dumb.
And before Costa Rica I had a pretty cushy life in New York. Good friends, good job and a view of Central Park. Not bad. Why break things up to move to the middle of the jungle?
Let’s not forget how good I had it in Rome, London, Durban, Michigan…each move seemed downright dumb at the time. But Travel threw a fit and I gave in. Sucker…or maybe not. After all, each move, each dumb trip has seemed not-so-dumb at the end.
It’s true that Travel makes no sense, but maybe that’s not always a bad thing.