The Journey: Transition or Hell?

Here’s a blog about a book that I’m definitely putting on my To Read list. The book is Eighty Days by Matthew Goodman. Click on the link to Pat Bean’s blog to learn about it. She’s quite a traveler too.

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A journey adventure for two women–one going west, one east–to circumnavigate the globe in 1889

For the two women in this book, the journey was the whole point. They had their own circumnavigation of the world and speed was the key. With transportation what it is today, one often wants to get there, wherever there may be, as fast and as easily as possible. But there’s another way to look at the journey itself. And that is as a transition.

My husband and I are going to Peru later this year, a country we have not visited before. We’ll get there by plane as most visitors there do. We tend to travel on our own thus I am doing a lot of prep work. This exploration of a place is fun for me. I’m sure many of you have had the same experience.

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Peru, a destination, but a journey too.

What interests you most? History, politics, economics, nature, socio-cultural divisions; religious rituals, environmental issues, birding, weaving, pottery? There are so many possibilities and they will be different for each of us. For me it’s history, culture, environmental issues, birding, and, of course, the sights that, in this case, relate to history as well as culture and architecture. For my husband it’s mainly history and the sights with a few other interests thrown in too.

The journey (whether sitting in an airport, on a plane or train, or ?) is a time to assimilate what you have learned, what you might expect, and to be open to how those views might change with what you find out there. Of course, when we were sailing, preparing for and making the journey was a bit more complicated, but it included language and culture study refreshers too.

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When we did our sailing circumnavigation, this photo represents just a few of the “tools” involved in our planning and our journey.

For example, the journey can be a time to familiarize yourself with the local language if not your native tongue and you are not multilingual. Listening to a common conversation through your headphones can be not just a practical experience but one that eases the transition from one place to another quite different one.

I suggest using the journey time as a cultural transition, rather than getting caught up on your emails, texts, or latest novel. Of course, sometimes it’s sleep that eases the transition best!


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