Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Those who ignore History are doomed to struggle it
See, I'm about to embark on another long and meandering period abroad, traveling, staying in hostels, observing foreigners and mocking local cuisine. What, you say, is it September 2009 all over again? No, gentle readers, alas, I never could get that Delorean working. So hard to get a dependable lightening storm these days. And while I know I spent the majority of my time in Spain with my mouth wide open, marveling at the struggle of it all, I'm actually getting fairly excited to dust off my passport, say farewell to my Netflix, and get back on the horse (or plane, or train, or whatever).
Now, I know what you are going to say. You are going to scream at your computer screen, Leah, you strugglesome little person, are you insane? Don't you remember the last time, the farm, the jamon, the Spaniards as a people? Well to that I respond, yes, vaguely, but I've been trying to forget. And I know that traveling is stressful, uncomfortable, and full of strangers who don't speak your language (yes, even in the UK, snogging? Loo? Cheers? COME ON), that's honestly sort of part of the fun of it. I mean, if it was comfortable and easy, wouldn't it be just like home? Granted I live in Struggledelphia, so the levels of comfort and ease have yet to be determined, but the point remains that it is the difficult aspects of travel that make it so interesting and so exciting, and so painful, in a sense, because the rest of the world is not nearly as convenient as our very own US of A, and there's these things like clean water and bribing officials and the necessity of claiming to be from Canada, all of which come with a very steep learning curve. But it's learning that is the key word there, because at Casa Franqui we don't take vacations to relax or to enjoy our time with each other or to stroll serenely down the avenues of life. No, we plan on packing as much art, culture, eating, drinking and struggling into whatever short amount of time we've allotted for our adventures. And this week my whole strugglesome family is heading to Istanbul for 10 days together, because you CAN spell Turkey without "intense family dysfunction", but why would you ever want to?
So we are off to bargain for carpets and spices and concubines for a little while, finding the bizarre in the bazaar, so to speak. And believe you me, it's going to be epic. And once the rest of the clan abandons me for this "job" business the papers talk so much about, I'm on my own again, and I'll be heading north for a little while, stopping by the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and England, and then, like a European explorer in the 15th Century, I'll be making my way from the West to the Far East, and that whole visa situation? Well we will finally get to see if that works, or if I end up doing time in a Chinese prison. Either way, you're laughing!
And as I pause here, at the precipice of my next 7 weeks of travel, I do hope you'll all stay with me as I struggle all over again. If anyone has any travel tips, please let me know. Don't worry, guys, I promise I wont make the same mistakes this time. New ones, sure, by the thousands, but the same ones? Well, that would just be crazy!