Travel Makes No Sense

Ah, Cape Town…

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.

Why did I ever leave you, Cape Town?!

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.

Why trade this…

…for this?

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.

There’s hope for us, yet, Vietnam.


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7 responses to “Travel Makes No Sense”

  1. Samantha says :

    I was feeling so depressed until I got to the end of this post. Good luck girl!

  2. Suzanne says :

    …you’re so right. No matter how irrational your initial move may feel, travel always opens your eyes to why you made the move and for the right reasons. You’ll do awesome and love “Hello Vietnam!” just like all of your other adventures! So proud of you, girl!

  3. JD says :

    You only have one chance at this life, so we’ve got to live it to the full! I know you’re going to look back on this time in your life, and think it was awesome! Memories are made of times like this, and every day that goes by, is one day closer to Justin coming over – and all of us too! Can’t wait – need an adventure in my life too! Love Bev x x x

  4. Chris says :

    This is a great piece! You’ve given me COURAGE.

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