Thursday, September 13, 2007

Good and bad

I think I am a good traveler because:
- I don't tire easily
- I am curious about new things to eat (as long as it’s not something soft and furry with big, beautiful eyes and long lashes such as rabbit or alpaca; and nobody's intimate parts such as tripe, testicles or brains.)
- Within reason, I have a bug resistant stomach
- I can function fairly well on little sleep
- I like to get up early
- When strangers try to guess where I'm from, they venture Italy, Greece, Romania, Argentina, Iran, Turkey, Spain, Ecuador, Israel - even India. In other words, I don't stick out unless I'm in an Asian or Nordic country
- I can make myself understood pretty much anywhere
- I'm a really good packer
- I travel light
- I rarely complain
- I'm fairly tolerant of heat and cold
- I can walk pretty much all day
- I'm punctual
- I handle changes and delays well
- I want to see everything
- Wanting to rest doesn't make me feel guilty, even if I might be missing something
- I keep myself entertained on flights or long drives
- I’m a good copilot
- I carry my own stuff
- I trust that I can figure it out
- I'm easily amused
- I see the glass half full

I think I could be a better traveler because:
- Someone needs to help me with actual travel arrangements, as I have zero tolerance for "if you'd like to make a reservation, please press one".
- As much as I love to go, I always find it hard to leave home
- Except for dinner, I don't do night life (although I was irresistibly charmed into going dancing in Peru)
- I don't like noise
- I don't like crowds
- Mosquitoes make me crazy
- I get hungry
- I get thirsty
- I always need a restroom
- I can't skip a meal
- I cannot lie in the beach all day
- I don't consider shopping a pastime
- My sense of direction is never where I think I left it

And you? How are you a good or bad traveler?


Miguel Cane said...

Dear Dushka,

You know? Paco Taibo used to say there are two kinds of people: Tourists and Travelers. He would claim he fell on the second, more prestigious category, whereas I would fall on the first.

At first I was annoyed to think *so*... so to prove a point, I took my first trip alone, ten years ago, to NY.

I fended by myself pretty well. The sense of freedom was exhilarating. I got so accustomed on traveling alone, that whenever I got to travel around with my family, it ended up being a total disaster.

So, I became a traveler more than a tourist.

I identify with most of the points of your list, although I have to make a point here: I'd much rather travel to cities than to rural environments. I get antsy and easily bored in the country. I need a city. I am a city rat.

So, there. I won't be a real traveler then, but my urban need is perhaps too big.

I can live with that.

Much love to both,

Dushka said...

I thought I was a city rat (and maybe once I was.) But now I love open spaces. I get tired of cities.

David said...

I think I'm a good traveler because I gain massive pleasure from communicating with people (young and old) who don't speak the same language as me. It's amazing how much you can share with a smile, a couple of maps and photos and a lot of pointing!

On the other hand, I think I can be annoying to travel with because I love to learn EVERYTHING I can about the places I visit. This can lead to six-hour museum visits and endless scrutiny of inscriptions on statues in town squares!

Dushka said...

David, "annoying" is in the eye of the beholder.

In Cusco, for instance, there is a plaque on the floor with a name. I asked about 6 people who that person was - it turned out to be a restorer who fell to his death on that very spot while cleaning a cathedral tower.