Why we travel. Reflections on returning from Brazil- A guest post

I love to travel and will keep doing it as long as there’s still wind in my sails. A friend just returned from a three week odyssey through Brazil, posting nearly every day about the vivid sights and smells of towns and vistas she discovered as well as the perils of bad hotels, missed connections and jetlags from hell. But her closing post , her coming home reflections, really spoke to me about why we continue to fling ourselves into the world with such pluck and joy every time we take a trip.

Monday, 12 December – Reflections from the Last Flight Home
By R, a private blogger

“Contrary to popular belief, traveling is not glamorous. Being other places can be a thrill, but the actual traveling is work…hard work. By this time on the trip nothing is really clean (including me). I yearn for a good cup of brewed decaf, the ability to brush my teeth with tap water, a reliable washer and dryer, food I know the name of, and a language where I am quite articulate and generally understood.

In this day of Netflix, 50-inch flat screen TVs, YouTube, and the Internet, I could certainly see everything from the comfort of my own living room. Why not order out for a pizza and watch the world in comfort? On TV, I can watch a parade of butterflies, but I can’t be in the middle of it and feel them softly touching my face as they go by…I can’t share Shabbat with the Jews of Sao Paulo while in Palo Alto…I can only feel the intensity of Iguazu by being near it no matter how many PBS documentaries I watch…and there is nothing like learning the history of a place while being immersed in it. I can watch other people and places from home, but I cannot be with them unless I am willing to go there.

And so, here I am – dirty and tired (been up for 24 hours already) and eager to be home…so I can start planning my next trip.”

I totally get that. Don’t you?!

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