Travel

But, I want to see that place. with the thing. you know.

One of my favorite lines from any movie is one from the movie Eurotrip. “We can to see Europe, not some crappy statue.”

I think this statement leads to an important question about why people travel. It leads to an interesting thing, which is how you set up your travels and where/when you go. Basically, this would be: what do you travel for?

Personally, I’m an art and architecture guy. I like big, old, historical building and monuments. I like history. I love good paintings, specifically the Old Masters. The big cathedrals, the classic basilicas, the coliseum, the area lines of Nazca, that’s what I find interesting. I like god statues and excellent paintings. The Hall of Rubens in The Louvre is possible my favorite place on earth.

This is me. That what I dig. I have friends that are all about new experience. They like meeting new people. They like to interact with individuals and meld into different cultural settings. If that is your interest, that’s awesome. However, you will need to set up your travels differently than I set up mine. And that, is good!

I have other friends who are about new personal experiences. They want to skydive, scuba dive, BASE jump, or surf. They want to ride motorcycles in the desert (I do enjoy this). They want to test themselves against something new. That’s cool too. These people set up their travels differently than the two groups above.

It is important to know why you want to travel, and what new experiences that you want to experience. This way you end up travelling the right way. You also end up travelling to the right places, at the right times. And, most importantly, for the right reasons.

I structure art and architecture into my plans, and I go to new places to see new things. I understand what I want to see before I decide to buy my plane tickets. I know the experiences that I want to have before I start looking at new destinations. When I do start looking, I look for the things I wish to find.

I have to admit that I also have traveling friends who have no preconceived ideas about what they want. They simply want something different than what they currently are experiencing. I think these people may have to hardest problems in choosing a new travel experience, simply because everything presents itself as new and exciting. I’m happy I don’t have that problem.

I guess all of this boils down to: understanding what you want makes it easier to get what you want. Sitting down and thinking about what you want to do is a solid use of your time. I do this a lot. I do it while watching TV or doing other residential tasks. If I see something on a TV show and it looks awesome, I put it on the list of new places. Sometimes I go there, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes it takes five or six years before I get there.

Case in point. I watched a show on Machu Picchu back in 1995. It looked cool. I really wanted to go there. I did. In September of 2012 I bought a plane ticket to Lima, Peru, and went to find the Not-So-Lost city of the Inca. That’s how it happens in my world. Never just let the idea go. Because, it may not be the best idea this year, but it may be THE BEST idea next year. There really is no explaining it sometimes.

No matter what possesses you to go exploring, embrace it! Figure out what makes you happy and chase after that. Find that things that gives your travel meaning and do that. Travel should be a lot of things, but most important is that it should not be something that you don’t want it to be. If you like old building, like I do, great. If you like meeting new people, great. If you like having new experiences, great. Go do that. And, take a lot of pictures while you do. You’ll be happy that you did.

Now, go. Get out there.

Aaron.

 

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Machu Picchu, September of 2012. Taken by yours-truly, from the corner of the entry path. It is one of those places on the globe that will make you happy you put forth the effort to go there. Seriously.

 

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Travel

West-to-East, or some other route?

If you are traveling to see the world, which way do you go? Can you call yourself a traveler if you only stay on the main route? Do you need to venture farther afield to see it all?

The majority of people take, what I like to refer to as the East-West route. They basically go from east to west, or the other-way round, along the equator of the planet. The America to Europe travel. Or the America to china and South East Asia. Some People are adventurous and extend or connect the two lines together, adding stops in the Holy Land, India, and the like.

There is a valid reason for this seemingly straightforward route choice. It’s called history. The expansion of the European Renaissance, the Crusades to the Holy Lands, the conquests of Alexander, The Great Silk Road, they all go basically West-to-East. The majority of the great civilizations are located along the wider part of the equator. The desire to explore and expand boundaries have historically been along this path.

This means that most all of the old, cool stuff that travelers want to see and experience are also located along this wider path around the equator. This being said, the answer to the original question can probably be answered as yes, you can call yourself a traveler if you go this way. A person can see a great piece of the world going this way. They will end their journey with stories to last a lifetime.

For full disclosure, I have spent a large portion of my traveling life utilizing the West-East route. Normally, exploring Europe and the North African area. I like the Old Masters and the great stone cathedrals of Europe.

Recently, however, I have started to expand my horizons. I added sections of the globe that were farther afield. I did so, because I wanted to see other cultures and old stuff not found in, what I like to call, the historic belt. Trips to Central America, and South America, and most recently out to the Land Down Under (Australia). There were new things to see in these places; like rain forests, the great lands of the Inca and the Nazca, and natural wonder like the Great Barrier Reef.

I would submit that travelers should add diversion to their standard routes. Going north to south can add new favor and excitement to traveling. The regions outside the equatorial belt offer many natural and cultural highlights that should be added to any traveler’s agenda.

I am happy to confess that a person can spend the majority of their life traveling around just one continent and not experience everything it has to offer. I have been traveling around the continental United States for over twenty years and still haven’t seen all of it, by any stretch of the imagination. If you enjoy Europe and the experience you are having there, then by all means continue to go. But, if like me, you like to see what new things the world has to offer, I would say that you should spend some time going North-to-South.

Lawrence of Arabia made a lasting name for himself by traveling the Silk Road. Doctor David Livingstone did the same thing by exploring the darker parts of the African continent. I give you these two examples to show that, in my opinion, there is no Right Path. Travelers travel, and explorers explore. It’s the quest that makes it all worthwhile. The going and seeing, not what way you took to get there.

Yes, you can be a traveler going around the globe from west to east. Yes, you can be a traveler going around the globe more north to south. I can guarantee that there is a never-ending host of things to see along the way.

 

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The Monkey. The Nazca Lines, in the deserts outside Nazca, Peru, 2012 range. Taken, obviously, from the air.

 

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