TimYang.com ::: The Geek Blog

Monday July 26

The end of travelling

I was having dinner with a friend last night and I was describing to her some of the unusual things I'd done while travelling.

When I was in Hong Kong, I spent an entire morning walking through the streets near the harbour, going from restaurant to restaurant trying all their wares. In Hong Kong, practically every restaurant does a different dish or does it in a different way. You could spend days there and never eat the same dish twice. And I determined to do that. I had turtle, snake, wild boar, frogs, chicken in herbs, pastries with weird fillings. I was quite stuffed.

A few years ago, I acted on impulse and bought a flight to a country I had never been to, on the spur of the moment and left almost immediately. This was to India.

A couple years ago, I made a journey to Bangkok, looking for a friend who had stopped writing for several months. I didn't know the language, I didn't know anyone. I just went. (I later found that, as an agriculture expert, he was on a field project, literally in a padi field.)

In one of my future journeys, I want to do an overland crossing from Burma into India through an untried route, passing through rebel-held territory. I also want to do a sea journey from northeast Malaysia to the Philippines.

At first I thought I did all these things because they were dangerous. And then I realised that none of them actually were. With the future journeys, hundreds of natives make the same crossings and the majority don't suffer any thing more than sunburns. Adventure wasn't quite the correct word for them either.

I wanted weird and unusual stories to tell. But who was I to impress? Many of the people I've met on travels just aren't interested or have done things as interesting or more so.

The truth is, when I was growing up, I was poor but many of my cousins were rich. They went to many places that I think I would never visit in my life. Places like Kenya on safari; cities throughout the US and Canada; yacht journeys around the Australian and New Zealand coasts.

I think I just wanted life experiences to top all of them. Things that they would never do.

Now that I've reached that epiphany, it sounds all silly. And I don't think I really want to do all that any more. I haven't seen any of my cousins in years. Heck, I don't even know where my own brother or sister are.

And I don't care about any of them enough to want to impress them any more.


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