Travel can be one of the most rewarding forms of introspection.
-Lawrence Durell, Bitter Lemons
The more we travel, the more we learn about both the world and ourselves. And as I’ve noted before, the more places we visit the more we learn about our travel preferences. One thing that becomes easier and easier is identifying the aspects of a place that we enjoy. For instance, on this trip, I knew I liked India and Nepal more than Thailand, Lao, or Cambodia. But I couldn’t put my finger on why. I theorized maybe I liked South Asia more because it is more familiar to me, maybe because its crazier a place, perhaps because its more different, or even because of food or cultural reasons. But Lao was really different and Cambodia was pretty crazy, I like Thai food and I’ve become pretty familiar with all three countries. But coming to Indonesia has helped me to identify what I like most about a place and travel in general. Its not crazy or totally different places like I thought, although I do enjoy those qualities in a destination.
What I love is adventure. There is so much adventure to be had in India, Nepal, and Indonesia. Being in Flores gave me the same euphoric feeling as when I’m in the Himalayas. An overwhelming sense of contentment and happiness, stemming from the knowledge and experience of being in a truly awesome place. Its tough not to be content while taking in the beauty of Flores, just as its difficult to not be awed by the grandeur of the Annapurnas. Also there’s something about being on the edge of the world, or the fringes of civilization at the least, that I enjoy. The edges of the world are seldom confortable, but usually extraordinary. I’ve made no secret of the fact that I like being away, and where is more away than some far-flung place. Unlike Joylani, I kind of enjoy the times when we’re out of phone and/or internet land. Remoteness appeals to me, although I’m still learning the reasons for that. I guess I’m just an adventurer.