Reflections on the 3rd Month

Posted: December 11th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Thoughts | No Comments »



I can’t believe it’s been 3 months already!  As you may have seen from my earlier post, Travel Time, time is a bit skewed for me.  3 months seem to have gone by in a flash, but at the same time, we’ve settled into the rhythm of travel so it seems as if we’ve been traveling forever.  Istanbul has been great fun but it means I’ve again fallen a bit behind in posts.  I should be able to catch up a bit over the next few days since we’ve a couple days of rest scheduled over the next week.  Here are a few more reflections I’ve had in the last month. 

Traveling isn’t all WOW moment

Perhaps I’ve conveyed exactly that sentiment in my own blog, because, frankly, if I wrote EVERYTHING we did on a day-to-day basis, it would end up as the most boring blog ever.  Even when Rick and I discuss our own reminisces, it’s much more interesting to discuss the crazy time I fell in a Bangkok canal or standing on the Great Wall of China than the day we spent sleeping and typing on the computer or the story of me sewing up holes in our clothes.  But that’s what happens during a large chunk of our trip because a long-term trip isn’t the same as our two-week honeymoon or a week-long cruise.  We need times of rest and time to work and we can’t wait to go home in order to do so.  It has to be built into our trip. 

The very act of traveling involves an awful lot of sitting around

In fact, we probably spend an equal amount of time waiting to travel, than we actually spend traveling (which drives Rick nuts).  Sometimes, it’s because we have to arrive early to an airport for flights or there are long layovers.  Or we have to check out before noon from a guesthouse but our train doesn’t leave until much later in the evening. Or maybe it’s because our bus arrives at 4 in the morning and the reception of our next accommodation doesn’t even open until 7.  So, while it’s not the most enjoyable, waiting is a fact of life and we’ve found ways to pass the time: reading, writing out blog posts longhand, daydreaming, sleeping, and playing cards (Rick & I have an ongoing competition of Pusoy Dos.  We’re currently tied). 

Adaptation is an important skill to have.

Every place we go to involves some sort of adaptation, from the tiny (figuring out how to flush the toilet) to the big (ending up in a new city without our luggage).  It keeps us on our toes, but so far we’ve made it through relatively unscathed in our own way.  It’s certainly helpful to have a partner to shoulder the burden.  Sometimes, two heads are better than one.  Sometimes, both heads end up a frustrated mess.  Still, it’s better than being frustrated all by myself. 

The best thing about traveling is the accumulation of knowledge. 

I’ve learned new things on an almost-constant basis since we stepped foot on that plane in LAX.  We’ve broadened our knowledge about art and centuries of history through museums & tours, plus about rich cultural traditions through both observation & conversations.  Carolina, on of the employees at our Istanbul accommodation, Mavi Guesthouse, taught me how to play backgammon (anyone interested?).  Since Rick and I are uber-nerds, we watch documentaries through Youtube or muddle through online self-paced classes that interest us when we have fast internet.  When our internet sucks, we read books voraciously.  I feel like we’re on a self-initiated study abroad: taking the best parts of college without those pesky deadline-ridden papers & exams. 

Traveling is SO worth it.

So, even though there are challenging moments and our savings dwindle slowly but surely, the experiences and knowledge we’ve gained have made this trip (even in such a short time) so worth it.  We’re not graded on anything.  We won’t receive any certificates or qualifications that look good on a resume.  But this trip has been so invaluable in our lives and our ways of thinking.  I’m excited for what new treasures each succeeding month will bring. 

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