Sunday, November 24, 2013

Why I choose an Adventure over a Vacation.

People often ask me why I travel as I do, why do I spend my time in a country traveling from area to area and needing a vacation when I come home, and the answer is very simple.
When you plan a vacation, you know what you will see before hand and everything else is planned out, when you plan an adventure, you are going into the unknown with no real time frame, only the beginning, and an end.
I grew up as a traveler, my father during my childhood was an over the road bus driver so I spent much of my youth riding with him.
I liked it as I am a chatty inquisitive person so I always got to meet someone new and interesting as on the bus there is only time for three things, talk, reading and sleep.
My parents also were into adventure. On my fathers days off we would saddle up the horses, load up the fishing poles and head into the wilderness.
I grew up thinking my head on a saddle was supposed to be a pillow when camping.
I thought a tarp was better than a tent as I had better things to do than sit in camp, there were caves to explore and fish to be caught. I honestly thought that bathing in a cold creek for a few seconds was a true bath in the wild. I drank out of every stream I came across and it was not until high school would giardia find my father and me on a much milder level. Cooking over the open fire and picking ash out of ones food is the best. I loved to forage when I was younger, and often would grab me some elk thistle and a grouse or two that happened in front of me.
Along with our trips came the usual mishaps of riding horses in the wild. They would of course become spooked or simply have a bad irritable day. I remember vividly Satan losing her cookies and being used as a pack mare at that time, tossing everything we had all over the trail.
We would spend the next few hours wandering around in the brush trying to locate our basics, my aunt would complain as we never found her toothbrush.
I liked this, it was fun, and I saw the wilderness in a way most never will, in a way that early explorers and settles often saw it. As such I never really bought into the boogyman nonsense, mind you my mind like everyone elses wanders, but it is much easier for me to control those thoughts.
I know there are dangers, but those are part of life in general, tens of thousands of people die in a car accident every year, yet nobody thinks twice about jumping in a car. There have only been a handful of documented Grizzly Bear attacks resulting in death, yet people panic at the very thought of one.
When a journey becomes an adventure your life is expanded upon, you will probably meet some person whom you never knew existed, a person who is helping you fix that broken strap on your back pack, or pull your motorcycle from a ditch.
When you are in an adventure you find things and places you never would see as a tourist, but unfortunately you miss a few things that other tourists may see, that is ok to me, as I believe I get a far better understanding of what a culture truly is about, and that rarely is what a tourist sees in a tourist area.
I often recount this, as it has had a major impact on my life, and that is when in 2007 I was backpacking about the Philippines province of Luzon and would stay in a small town where I was the first white person since WW2. I wrote a story about it which you can find among my blog, but the most amazing aspect of that story is the beginning of it all. When I would arrive at the house to which I would stay at 4:30 AM and breakfast would be waiting for me. After a morning of hiking I would return for lunch and there would be no food as they had cooked the last of it just for our breakfast.
I ask you, where can you find such genuine generosity when staying at a Sands?
Since my last trip to the Philippines much has changed, some of the things that I saw were destroyed in the earthquake and now the typhoon. How fortunate was I do have seen those things while they still stood.
I guess I will continue to travel on in my own way, I do not mind flying somewhere, but when I do, My feet will hit the ground running.
My next adventure is by Motorcycle and shall take me over some 4000 miles in three weeks, I am beyond excited. My ignorance of the area shall be lifted and hopefully I will meet more wonderful people to share stories with, and whos life I will change, and who will again change mine.
One thing more I shall gain, is more knowledge, and ultimately, more fulfillment as a person.
I leave you with one of the most Amazing quotes ever written.

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”

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