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The Twilight Zone

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Daily Prompt: Comfort Zone.

What are you more comfortable with — routine and planning, or laissez-faire spontaneity?

“You are traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land of imagination. Next stop, the Twilight Zone!”

With all possible respect to Rod Sterling…

I like to do things.  I like to go out.  Have fun.  Enjoy the people I love and care about.  And if the planets align, I LOVE to just go out and do it!

I do not like to be the one making the plans.  Being to one to make the decisions for a group of people actually brings me great discomfort.  Maybe it speaks to my slight submissive qualities.  Who knows…

But, on the other hand, once plans have been made and if they have to be cancelled – Oh boy… While I like to think I am flexible enough to deal with it, I frequently have a hard time with it.  Particularly if I am really looking forward to it.

I guess I prefer to live my life in The Twilight Zone of planned spontaneity.  If such a thing exists.  And since we are journeying into the wonderous land of imagination, I am going to say it does.  Why?  Because it is my blog, and I can say what I want to…

When my ex-husband and I went on our 2 week honeymoon across country (previously mentioned in “Oh the Places I Won’t Go,”) we spent the entire trip like that.  We had certain dates when we had to be in certain places.  In between, we would open up the map and the AAA TourBooks, and see what was between point A and point B.  We saw some interesting sights!  The world’s largest road-runner, the town where Billy the Kid was finally apprehended amazing Anasazi ruins atop a mesa, and stayed at a former brothel in Sante Fe (which I have since learned are being converted into low-income apartments).  We loved that feeling of being able to just explore.

I wish life could be more like that.  Know where you have to get to, but enjoy the path in between.

Oh, the Places I WON’T Go… (The Serious Version)

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Daily Prompt: No, Thanks.

Is there a place in the world you never want to visit? Where, and why not?

As I stated in yesterday’s post, “Oh the Places You’ll Go,” I can find beauty in just about any location.  However, when I do, it is finding the beauty of the LOCATION.   The buildings.  The landscape.  The flora.  Despite crumbling buildings, I can find a small detail that I find fascinating.

The same does not stay true, however, when faced with the plight of the people.

I am a very emotional person.  I FEEL so much.  When I see people who are hurting – physically or emotionally – I feel it as well.  It can move me to tears.  My heart hurts for them, and for the frustration I feel that there is nothing I can do.  Particularly for the children.  So, being faced with the people of abject poverty is a challenge for me.

Call it a first-world problem.  Call it overly empathetic.  Who knows.

For our honeymoon, The Monkey Daddy (my ex) and I drove from Atlanta to Las Vegas and back.  A wonderful two-week journey.  We had the opportunity to see much of the country – we went in an out of 17 states, even going out of our way to just pop in to the state to say we had been there (Florida and California).  One of our overnight stops was in El Paso, Texas.  We figured that since we were right there, we should cross over the border into Juárez, Mexico.  You know, see the sights, shop a little.  Yes, we were informed it is one hell of a dangerous city, but we wouldn’t stay long.  An hour.  Tops.   Afterall, we were so close and we could then add another location to our list!  So, we parked the trusty Jeep Cherokee (after being told it was best to NOT take it over the border) and walked across the bridge into Mexico.  El Paso is like any other mid-sized American city with its own urban poverty.  But, walking over the Rio Grande into Juárez was literally like walking from our first-world comforts into third world.  Not twenty yards down the road, we were approached by the first begging child.  A gorgeous little girl, about 5 years-old.  Huge black eyes, peering up at me.  Locking with mine.  Beseeching me.  I wanted to gather her up and take her home with me.  I gave her the change in my pocket and with a little “Gracias,” she scampered back to her mother who was seated on the ground in a doorway.  And we continued walking.  A block away, another child.  A boy.  Again, I wanted to take him away from that life and bring him into mine.  This time, it was my ex’s pockets that were emptied its change.  After he ran off, I took a good look around us.  Not just at the LOCATION, but at the people.  It was then that I realized I could go no further.  No little authentic Mexican tchotchke  from the old Mercado Juárez was worth the heartbreak I was feeling for the children I saw around me.  So, we turned around and walked back to the border.  Of course, we were approached again – and by the same little girl from before.  This time, I gave her some bills – and prayed that her mother was going to use it for food.

I have never forgotten that feeling.  And I never will.  It taught me my own limitations.  And it exposed me to my own first-world guilt.  Not that I am rich – I mean, I am a TEACHER after all.  But I knew that as little as I had, it was still so much more than what these children had.  And so much more than what any child in a like situation may have.   I can’t rescue all of the children of the world.  As much as I would love to try.

Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

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Daily Prompt: Places.

Beach, mountain, forest, or somewhere else entirely?

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The breathtaking majesty of the Rocky Mountains.  Rising as if trying to reach heaven.

The urban decay of The French Quarter in New Orleans with its tilted buildings, looking as if they will crumble if I but lean on it.

The noise and lights and business of Times Square, making even night seem like day.

The buildings of Paris, glowing as if lit from within.

The layers of colors of the Arizona desert, stark and faded from the sun.

The peace and tranquillity and silence and misty coolness of the forests of North Carolina,

The power and strength of standing at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, healing my soul.

Choosing one would be impossible.

Choosing one would make me feel unfaithful to the others.

Choosing one would make me feel unfaithful to myself.

Maybe I have a split-personality.

Maybe I am indecisive.

Or, maybe, just maybe, it is because I can find beauty and strength and power and peace and wonder in all the places I’ll go..