- 12 November 2001
- Fiesta Americana
- 526 KM
- 226202 KM
If all goes as planned, we drive back into the US tomorrow, after spending 34 months exploring 114 countries. As many have written, travel is addictive. Perhaps, travel is one of the few genuinely good-for-you, all natural drugs. The more I search, explore and uncover, the more I want to dig deeper, stay a little longer and visit just one more special spot. So many places pull me back; I am tied to them forever, and I love knowing this. To paraphrase a wonderful Mexican saying, “Once you’ve danced the dance, it is yours.” Even now, before this journey is complete, I find myself thinking of the places I’ll return. My mind is crammed to the brim with rich, vivid memories of people, terrain and food, museums and cathedrals, landscapes even. I imagine, upon return, much time will pass before I can sort through everything jogging, and sometimes, racing around my head.
I’ve always been a dreamer, thinking of what next and when will I do this. But now, I often dream by reliving a wonderful experience from the last 34 months. Sure, I’ve moaned often about bureaucrats, tough conditions and much more, but the goodness I’ve experienced in 114 countries far outweighs any maddening situation or ridiculous, time-wasting, 50-year old statute we’ve dealt with, granted, with clenched teeth. Even the bad is now not so bad! Plus, stories of corruption, wars, bombs, small arms fire, pick-pockets, horrible roads, absurd laws enforced by ludicrous, self-important officials – all make for a much better story than utopia, which, by the way, we have yet to find. Poverty, illness, child soldiers, prostitutes, oppression of women, religious intolerance, dismal education, corrupt politicians, wasteful expatriates – have slapped reality hard in my face.