"Perhaps it’s useful to pass along some recent thoughts about travel.
"I’ve recognized that my travel motivation comes from being restless and bored with where I am and what I’m doing. Need a break or a change.
"And I’ve slowly learned that that condition and those needs can be addressed without going far, or being gone long, or spending much money.
"Here’s my program - in two parts:
"I thought maybe I’d go to Bali. Never been there. First, a visit to a travel bookstore, got guidebooks, maps, a history, and literary accounts of life in Bali. Also bought a couple of huge coffee-table books of photographs of Bali. A video and a music CD. Talked to some people who’d been there recently. Checked the web. And checked the fares. Bali Time for a couple of weeks for Fulghum.
"If you asked me if I’ve ever been to Bali, I would say, 'Yes, but only in my imagination. I had a wonderful time.' Two weeks on the couch every evening with my mind somewhere else resolved the bored-and-restless syndrome. I even dreamed Bali. And I didn’t come home disappointed or disillusioned by enduring the tourist madhouse that Bali has become. I was already home. Rested. Unstressed. And several thousand dollars ahead.
"In that spirit I’ve also traveled to Tibet, Mongolia, and the west coast of Norway. Next is a journey to China on the Silk Road. I won’t be gone long.
"The second part of my new travel program is more local.
"Never have I visited my own city, Seattle, in the same spirit and style in which I visit a foreign city. Local boredom comes from traveling in local ruts. There are many parts of Seattle I’ve never seen – and many lovely things I’ve missed on the grounds that I’ll get around to them someday.
"Here’s the plan: equip myself just as I would for going abroad. Take a taxi to a nice boutique hotel downtown. Walk or use only public transportation. Eat only at restaurants I’ve never visited. Go to music venues I never attend but intend to. Talk to strangers. The natives will speak my language. Ask directions even if I think I know the way. Get lost. And found. Packing for the trip will be a cinch. No airport stress, lost luggage, or money exchange confusion. And if it proves to be a bad call, as some vacations are, I’ll just catch the bus that stops at my corner and be home again. No problem.
"You get the idea. Treat home as a foreign city. This is now on my Bygod I’m going to do it list. I promise a full report."
[So, readers, where do you want to go? Or have you 'been'? MKS]
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
(Click on the title bar to go to Fulgham's original, more meandering blog posting.)