5 Months, a little reflection ...
-- Story by Chris --
We've been on the road
for 5 months now -- Where has the time gone?! Back home, friends got married, others
had babies, some got new jobs, and a few even moved. It's brought us closer to
family, and we've made a lot of new friends. I can't imagine the changes a full 18
months will bring, let alone another 7 months.
For me, the past 5 months have been fun, interesting, and
sometimes work -- yes, work. Although we're not employed or generating income, we
haven't been sitting on a beach every day, sipping Margaritas -- Well, not every
day. For each country we visit there are so many things to do and see, we barely
have time to write our journal entries.
Traveling is exciting as there are so many
experiences to stimulate the senses, but there is a finite amount of time -- For us, when
the money runs out, the trip is over. Our biggest mistake so far, I think, is our
aggressive itinerary. When you think about taking off a year, or year and a half,
from work it sounds like an incredibly long period of time. Now, take out a world
map, look at all the countries you would want to visit, and you are left with only a
maximum of 2 weeks in most countries. Imagine, two weeks to see an entire country!
Unlike a typical 2 week vacation, for a big trip, I would recommend less
destinations and more quality time within a destination.
All of their culture is distributed
throughout many areas within the country. A visit to one or two major cities will
only give you a glimpse of the culture and history. In Europe, we've seen historic
sights from the B.C. era right through the 20th century. Wars have affected the
cultures and sometimes changed the landscape. With countries sharing multiple
borders, major cultural and economic differences can sometimes be only a few miles
away. Our goal now is to reduce the number of places we visit and to spend more time
in those areas.
We have been pretty lucky so far with our
safety, motorcycles, experiences, and especially with the people we meet. We've been
successful obtaining documents and crossing borders, but as we're leaving the European
Communities, we've noticed a slight change. "Pay-offs" (corruption may be
too strong a word) have become more common, and getting proper documentation and border
crossings will become harder as we move through India and Southeast Asia.
When we started this adventure, we didn't
know what to expect. We are still fairly new to the game, but we've learned a thing
or two so far, and we're getting accustomed to the routine of traveling. My fears of
life on the road have been replaced with fears of "afterwards" -- so I won't
dwell on this now.
I guess the biggest thing I've learned is to
not get hung up on the little things, like I used to: What's done is done, and if
you can't do anything about it, then just move on. There's always another day.
Our biggest problems so far have been technology: internet connections;
digital camera discs failing; and Palm Pilot issues. We've gotten used to the fact
that our ability to check/send emails from our laptop is not always guaranteed, that
loading website updates may not always work, and that readers will understand. If
things break or need to be fixed, there may not always be a simple solution and we just
have to adapt to the situation. These are not life threatening issues, and there's
. . . and these are my rambling
thoughts after 5 months on the road.