Recently I became engaged in a conversation about travel that was quite disturbing. The person with whom I’d begun conversing had a lot of negative things to say about travelers, and questioned the intent of our lot.
“What’s the point in traveling?” She asked. She continued, “It’s not like you’re going to change the world.”
This frustrated me, as you’d very well guess. Sure I travel for leisure, but that is not always my reason for escape. It is my hope that through my travels I can inspire others to find their respective blisses, whatever they may be. It’s also a goal of mine to obtain a better understanding of how the world is run, and have a working knowledge of the many different infrastructures out there, and get a sense of best practice so that I may one day be able to make a difference in my community. But I digress.
As I mentioned above, travel does not have to be all about one’s uninspired leisure. There are a number of ways to use travel as a means for a greater purpose, or— let’s say— for the sake of enlightenment. I can’t profess to be well-versed in every method of purpose-driven travel (in fact, I welcome your suggestions below) but I’ve compiled a varied list that came to mind immediately when I thought about my own experiences abroad, as well as the experiences of those in my immediate circle.
I was perusing the world wide web and came across this wildly hi-larious and kind of distressing account about a woman that pays extra on her Southwest flight to board first because she is the type of person that just needs to be insured she can pick the seat she wants.
So far, so good. Makes sense to me.
Until, she is asked, bullied, and then passive aggressively harassed for not moving.
Here’s a snippet of her blog post:
babies are the ONLY personal choice for which people other than the CHOOSER (and in some cases perfect fucking strangers!) are expected to concede and/or accomodate. even though i, who has not chosen to do anything more strenuous than drink myself sick and tell dirty jokes, PLANNED my trip to suit my requirements and PAID extra money for a little bit of reassurance, am supposed to inconvenience myself and get up from where i’ve settled and sit where i don’t want to because YOU had a fucking BABY?
Read the full account HERE (it’s a post with series of occurrences, the travel story is in the last 3 sections, but the whole thing is awesome).
As a black woman and solo traveler, I can see this story through the lens which the writer writes and I appreciate her resolve and sense of humor. But you don’t have to be a black woman to be annoyed if this was you…
My first memory of wanting to go to Paris was between the ages of 6 and 11. I know it was that time of my life because of where my family was living at the time. I was watching Babar on HBO. In the episode he was driving down the Champs Elysées at night, during Christmastime. I remember feeling that I have to do that one day. I guess that’s when this all started.
I attended the FIAF Travel Day Fair, yesterday, March 22, 2011. The first booth I visited was Call in Europe. A phone and my food are the most important things to me when traveling. Discussing the phone options in France reminded me of a conversation I had a few weeks ago at Les Enfant Terribles. A couple, who are regulars there as well, were going to Paris to get married. They were picking the brains of the staff about where to go, what to do etc. My friend, and bartender, told them about The Phone House where they could get cheap cell phones to use. I laugh thinking about the man’s quip, “It’s not Le phone house?” I added my notes to the inside of their travel guide by referring them to Real Time Travlr (the Founder, TastyKeish, is one of French connections).
In every profession there is an elite level that only a few have reached. In Lyon, France 16 pastry chefs compete every four years to be known as an M.O.F or Meilleurs Ouvriers de France competition (Best Craftsmen in France).
They train for years and some return after many repeat trials in what essentially is the Pastry Chef’s Olympics. Families are affected and hearts are broken, but it seems to be worth every hardship.
If you would like a real understanding of why France is home to some of THE BEST pastries in the world, watch “Kings of Pastry”.
Last night an 8.9 earthquake rocked Japan accompanied with tsunamis near the coastal towns. As of today there are earthquakes occurring on the west side of Japan and continued aftershocks. Our prayers are with all of the citizens of Japan.