Wednesday, November 18, 2009

From Chiang Mai With Love

Photo: Chiang Mai, Thailand

You know, one would think I'd be used to traveling by now--used to the constant barrage of airport traffic, lost luggage and shifting time zones--but in all honesty, the more I travel, the harder it gets. When I think about it, I can't help but fathom the fact that nothing is ever routine. Every destination is different--which requires a unique mindset for each location.

I'm currently on foreign assignment in Chiang Mai, Thailand--but unlike my previous trips, this one will take me to six countries overall, spanning a time frame of just under six weeks. It'll be Christmas by the time I get home--snow would've fallen, I'd be a year older by then, and like all things redundant, another year would've come and gone.

I'm constantly asked by friends, "how do you do it?" Honestly, there really isn't a secret, nor is there a formula on how to leave things behind, shift everything aside and just say "Bon-Voyage." I just pack my bags, pay my bills in advance, turn off all my lights and essentially--just go. It's as simple as that. It's my job--and it's just as ordinary to me as you packing your lunch every morning and making your daily commute to the office.

Every country is new to me, no matter how many times I've already been there. Seasons change, people change--and when you look at the fundamental truth of where we are in place and time, we too change--and therefore, with every new destination I'm at, it is never constant--new in every sense. So by believing in this notion, it makes it easier for me to travel, to keep an open mind and view the world through virgin eyes. It gives me an excuse to just go.

But I must admit, I do miss out on a lot of the simple things in life. And if you've been an avid reader of this blog, you'd know that I do occasionally have moments of questioning--moments when I'd desperately try to find rhyme and reason for the purpose of my addiction to travel, the lens, and ultimately, the life I live--which, after taking a brief pause to think, I'd find no real prognosis. I certainly don't do it for the money--that's for sure. I guess, you either love it or hate it, do it right--or don't do it at all.

I have friends who say they'd do anything to come with me just once--to carry my bags, load my cameras or set up my tripod. But you know--the one thing that strikes me most is when they say "just once."

Just once is easy. You'd briefly put your life on hold, pack your bags and kiss your loved ones good-bye--and a few weeks later you'd make your triumphant return, throw your bags down and pick up where you left off.

What I'm waiting to hear is: "Ron, I'm willing to travel with you for the next five years straight--to live at airport terminals, feel the jet-lag you feel, go into hostile territory, eat bugs and worms, and at the end of each day, we can still be friends."

Sorry, not accepting resumes at this time.


Dan Denardo said...

Sweet photo, bro.

DUTA said...

Travelling enriches one more than money does. As for family, just do what sailors do, have a woman and kids at every port. Ha!

(By the way I have 95 followers. Wish me more, I love them all).

Wander to the Wayside said...

Yet another enlightening post about your life, Ron. And you're very astute about the nature of those who say they'd like to go with you - just once! Heck, I'd leave my husband and dogs behind to travel with you - but, yes, just once! And I'd only be good for a week or two, until I'd miss my doggies. And grandsons. And my stuff. Oh, and also my husband. So, uh, never mind.

Wander to the Wayside said...

Hi, Ron - again! I was looking closer at that photo, and I'm wondering if that is a temple or home, lived in or abandoned? And I only just noticed the people in the foreground, which made me realize how big the building must be as they are like ants!

Deboshree said...

Lovely picture!

If I was a friend of yours in your country, I would more than willingly come with you.
I long to travel as much as you do. I know it isn't easy and not everyone can do what you do, but I would love to be a friend who could accompany you always and actually see life through YOUR eyes.
Have a great time.


Vera said...

One day you will stop. One day you will be able to put that suitcase away in the attic. One day. Between now and then you are opening up the world for others, including me. One day in the future things will change for you. Enjoy your travels knowing that nothing stays the same forever. Enjoy, as we enjoy sharing your thoughts.

floreta said...

love to hear of your travels :) can't wait for mine

LeSan said...

Ron, I gave you the Best Blog Award. It isn't intended to "tag" you in any way. I just wanted to share your blog with others because I enjoy it so much. I said a little bit about your blog and included your link. I truly enjoy your blog and what you bring to all of us.