Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The Allure of Travel

This morning I have been wracking my brain for what to write in today's post. I have ideas all day long about possible topics that don't pan out because they're really just random thoughts that don't go beyond three or four sentences - and that's stretching it. I think that I will have to come up with a laundry list of topics to blog about if I want to survive 30 days of NaBloPoMo because some days I have nothing to say.

I didn't have anything to write about until I visited NaBloPoMo this morning and looked at the topics for discussion for the group called Those Who Wander. One person asked what was the most exotic location I've ever visited, and another person asked how far in advance do I plan a trip (and if I use any guides). Just thinking about travel makes me miss it BAD, because I look forward to the next trip just after wrapping one up. I have got the bug, the travel bug, and it makes me itch like crazy. I take local trips around LA to satisfy this itch until the next big trip comes - one that involves a plane and being around another culture.

Why do I love traveling so much? For me, it’s the excitement of visiting a new place without having to worry about the everyday stuff like going to work, commuting during rush hour, dirty laundry and dishes that need to be washed. When I am traveling, the only things I care about are where I’m going for the day (or where I’m not going if I just want to hang around and nap all day) and what I’m eating. There is no stress over deadlines, maybe except when trying to catch a train or airplane to visit another destination.

For me, the excitement of traveling begins at the airport. Most people hate waiting at the airport for their plane to arrive; they hate the hassle of lining up to get their tickets, then lining up again for the security checkpoint. To make this as stress-free for me as possible, I always get to the airport early (at least two hours before departure time for domestic flights and least three for international), take my time going through both lines, and read a book or magazine while waiting for my flight. Waiting at the airport gives me quiet time and allows me to really get into the book or article I am reading. It’s a nice change of pace from the work environment, where someone is always calling you or e-mailing you or talking to you. Sometimes it feels great to just relax and not have to worry about responding to someone else.

My next trip is January 2008 and is work-related, meaning that I will most likely be working long hours during the week with a possible reprieve during the weekend (no promises though!). Despite the heavy workload I am really looking forward to visiting China and can’t wait to try real Chinese food and look at the tall buildings framing the Shanghai skyline. After that, I am planning on going back to the motherland, Philippines, in May to visit family (Grandma is turning 75) and to explore the islands. I haven’t visited since 1990 and lots of things have changed since then – for starters, the babies that are now full-fledged adults! Great, now I feel old.

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