Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The Purpose of Travel

A long time ago, I lived to travel. I saved my teacher's or assistant editor's salary so I could use it on trips to Europe, Greece and what was then called Yugoslavia. I'd plan these trips for months, find cheap charter flights (one of which almost stranded me in Athens), stay in minimal hotels — and have the time of my life.

The travel bug has never really gone away. It's just taken a back seat to raising a family and earning a living.

I'm hoping it will make a big comeback next week when I travel to New York, Jakarta, Burma and an Indonesian island called Sumba. Right now I'm racing around getting shots, finishing assignments, arranging a complicated schedule with scores of moving parts — and imagining how my suitcase will fit everything I need, plus the three moisture meters I'm ferrying over to Burmese coffee farmers.

It's tempting to wonder whether it's worth all the bother. But it hans't been so long that I've forgotten how it feels. i'm keeping in mind what travel does for the soul. It feeds it — and fills it.


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