THE FLIP SIDE (added 3.10.10)
There is something about travelling that at times renders you helpless to accessing your memory bank, blinds you to common sense and traps you in moments of insanity that allows you to make the same foolish decisions time and time again.
The roadside vendor the guidebooks warned you about that you simply had to try on your last trip, you tried, were violently ill for days is suddenly luring you back in a few years later. The smells intoxicate you, and as your senses take over, your memory diminishes and fades into oblivion as you reach for a piece of something you can’t pronounce and that resembles nothing you have ever seen before.
As you are hunched over the grotty toilet if you are lucky enough not to have a hole in the floor in your cheap ass room you swear never to do that again, all the while wondering why you even bother making promises to yourself you know you wont keep.
Travelling is about experiences. The good, the bad and the ridiculous. No journey is complete without pushing your luck and pushing out your food contents.
Every single tripI go on, I swear to do more research and be a smarter planner and a safer traveller. The very idea of planning sends me into a fit of stress and angst though, and as I wander aimlessly through side alley ways, getting lost, frustrated and worried, deep down I know these are where I discover the best photos, find the most amazing sights and discover my most treasured memories, and I secretly high-five myself for not sticking to the maps and a planned schedule.
To every street merchant who sold me shoddy merchandise, every con artist who ripped me off and every smiling local who pretended to be my friend whilst secretly scamming me; I thank you! For while you momentarily caused clouds on my sunny day, you gave me the stories to be shared and retold time and time again. You give me the words to put on my pages, to fill the paragraphs that make up the chapters of my life.