Think of this like a thesis from my 4-year overseas education, a “master’s degree in life.” I share it not as an evangelist, but an offering.
As a traveler my kindness is what I have to give, and it feels good to give it, regardless of the outcome. And kindness often comes back to me.
Some of the meals I’ve eaten overseas rate among the most memorable in my life. But when I say “memorable” I don’t necessarily mean in a good way.
The typical cliché used to describe people like me who go traveling for extended periods of time is to say that, “He is finding himself.” Setting aside the belittling way that expression is generally used – as if the instinct for self-discovery is to be mocked rather than celebrated – after almost 17 months on the road I’ve found the common idea of “finding oneself” to be totally inaccurate.
In March, I visited the movie-set-turned-tourist-attraction of Hobbiton in Matamata, New Zealand. This was the actual location used for the filming of the “Lord of the Rings” and “Hobbit” trilogies.
They say we never forget our first time, and in my experience that maxim applies to more than just its colloquial uses for drugs and sex. For me at least, it applies to travel, as well.
Here in Part 3 of my “How I Pack Series”, I’ll illustrate how my choice of backpacks and gear combine on the daily to make me compact, prepared, and most of all, organized.
In mid-December I opened my email and discovered a surprise: a playlist, automatically curated by Spotify, that included the 101 top songs I had listened to for the year. Curious about what might be on it, I clicked the link, and scrolled.
In Part 1 of this series, “How I Pack”, I discussed my overall philosophy behind packing my bag for long-term travel. Here in Part 2 I’ll cover specifics of what I’ve chosen to put in my pack, how much, and why. Please bear with me, as this post will be somewhat long, with photos.
The worst was that in looking at MY OWN image, I could see everything I sought to avoid knowing about myself. I couldn’t hide that. I had to transform it.