012 The Travel Bug

Quick Note #1: I’m back after a 3 week hiatus! Long story short: A wedding invitation to Thailand, led to a few days in Bangkok, Ao Nang, Singapore and Dubai!

Quick Note#2: I know, I know, there are a million posts out there about traveling and about how it changed lives, but bear with me here, I’m not telling you to leave everything behind and go.. yet.

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.
—Mark Twain


The quote above is one of my favorite quotes out there. It is also a bit unfair since traveling almost always involves money, money involves access, and access involves privilege. But I love the idea behind it. The idea of learning what’s out there, and by out there I don’t just mean going to your antipode. I mean reading, learning, realizing that the more we learn we are not only becoming more educated, we are becoming less ignorant.

Up to the age of 24 I had travelled to 2 countries. Then I went to South Africa on a sponsored trip by CUNY/CCNY and the awesome Zak Ivkovic. A few trips here and there as I started getting more money from my Room Service job and I caught the travel bug.

I caught it bad.

To the point where in the past 3 years, Bet and I have travelled for 180+ days, to almost 30 countries, and have gone all the way from a World Cup Game at Maracaná to a Champions League final in Berlin. From eating elk hot dogs in Helsinki to eating pizza in Napoli. From the castle at Sazlburg to the castle at Sintra.

(Here’s the part where I humblebrag).

The best part of the travel bug is how ignorant it makes me feel.

New York (voted by me as the best city in the world 17 years in a row) is awesome, but even living here where you are free of ignoring institutions telling people who to love, or what skin color shall rule them all, or at what time should the subway close, we end up getting caught in that bubble we create of the familiar, of the safe, of “the way things should be”.

My Dad (also voted by me as the best dad in the world 33 years in a row), just visited the Louvre last year. For the first time in his life. At 65. I have been there 3 times and he knew more about the layout, about the pieces, about the history than me. Wherever we went in our trip he knew a lot more without ever setting foot there. He grew up not affording to take a plane so he read, and he read, and he read. And that is the reason many people admire him.

So there.
Get out there! or don’t! But read, learn, catch that bug of the unknown.

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