Monday, April 26, 2010

Traveling Musings

Being so mobile recently, I figured it’d be appropriate to record a few thoughts about traveling. Traveling Musings.


One aspect about traveling that has lots of room for exploring a deeper meaning is the concept of packing, which entails scaling down our typical daily use items {plus excess} to just the necessities. This really forces the “packer” to consider what they find to be the most useful and essential items. There are the packers, however, that include far more than they would ever need for the “just in case” and “what if” scenarios {I’m guilty of that…to a small degree}. Over-preparedness at times, though, can give a packer baggage. Literally. A packer can’t take too much that their “baggage” weighs them down and inhibits them from being successful in the very purpose of their journey! Something to note, too, is that said packing could mean putting cell phone, license, cash, and keys into a purse or a tote for a day out. OR, it could entail packing several pieces of luggage, a backpack, a purse, a briefcase, a lap top carrier, a duffel bag, and a carry-on.

~Traveling Solo~

Recently I've been taking trips without anyone else accompanying me during the journey; rather, they've been meeting me at my destination. Last weekend on the train, traveling alone was interesting in terms of handling three heavy bags of luggage and encountering bizarre characters without having moral support {laughing}. The GOOD thing was that I could sleep on the train since I wasn't operating it. The trip I just returned from was by car, so my tired eyes could glaze over, but not close!

Other drivers who could see into my car during my travels this past {long} weekend no doubt thought that I was having one huge party with myself at first. Singing and jamming to the music, slurping up my Zero Bar Mocha Java Cooler with gusto. But by the end of the trip, I was definitely in “zombie mode.”

On long trips, even those taken in the winter, I drive with the AC on for at least part of the trip. {fall, spring, and summer- the whole time!} The motion of the car lulls me to sleep. I always sleep as a passenger! Blasting cold air is a necessary albeit uncomfortable way to keep me awake, which is prettyyyyy important while operating a 1.5 ton machine flying down the freeway at 80 mph umm 60 mph.

~Favorite Mode~

My favorite mode of transportation is the subway! All of you who know about my germophobic tendencies probably think I'm a huge ball of contradictions with that preference! I don't even really think the subway's odor is that bad, either. I even like the whooshing sound I can hear through the grates in the ground when I hear the subway pass by underground.

Even people who are accustomed to city life tend to dread riding the subway at times; I've heard more than a handful of people say that the subway smells like pee {although I think their word choice was a bit stronger :-D}. However, I really came to enjoy riding the subway when I lived in Philadelphia winter/spring '09. I love being able to get around the city without having to worry about parking, which can be very tricky in a city like Philly. Also, I'm a people-watcher; I OBSERVE all day long. The subway is the perfect place to do this. I'm fascinated with being in the same temporary space with people of all walks of life. At any given time, a random subway car can house business people, college students, homeless people, North Philly locals, South Philly Italians, tourists, etc.

One night I was riding the subway back to our rowhouse by myself {go ahead, wag your finger at me and give me the safety lecture}. I was the only white Caucasian person in my section of the subway at the time. I wasn't consciously aware of that fact until something happened a few minutes into the ride. There was an older guy in the subway car who was clearly strung out {I mean to say, his behavior was substance~altered.} He slowly looked around our subway car, his gaze stopping at me. He said, "Hi whitey!! You're white!!! Hey whitey!" I just smiled and looked away, not ignoring but not fully engaging him either; everyone around me cracked UP! In my experience, that rarely happens on the subway; people like to stare a lot on the subway, but I rarely observe any animated interaction. Mostly I see people sitting like bored blobs, afraid to break their apparent anonymity. While this guy's inhibitions were pretty much non~existent due to other factors, I liked how the other passengers who had previously been stone~faced enjoyed the joke. :-)

~You Can’t Come Home Again~

Every time you travel, be prepared to grow and change! When you return, some things will be familiar, but you can't expect everything to be exactly as you left it. Things will change during your venture away from home, but the biggest change will take place in you.

"It's a funny thing, coming home. Nothing changes. Everything looks the same, feels the same, even smells the same. You realize what's changed...

is you."

~quoted from The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

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Thank you for taking the time to muse aloud with me,
to share your heart
& allow your thoughts to become words.

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Leah