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Monday, August 14, 2006

A wistful longing

Watching Where the Hell is Matt made me feel more than a bit wistful, simply cos of the sheer number of countries that he's been to.

Here is one pretty interesting guy. One day he decided he was bored with his life, so he took all the savings he had, went as much around the world as he could, and made a video along the way.

Of him dancing none too gracefully in all the locations he's been to. Seriously, you have to see it to know what I'm talking about.

As stupid as the whole concept sounds, I can't help but feel envious along the way. Like, this guy has travelled to more countries than most people have heard of, can???

I know there are many people who consider travel a frivolous affair, a waste of money that could have been put to better use. Sometimes, they are right. Sometimes, they have the wrong idea of travel altogether, ie to eat, shop and repeat pattern.

I feel real travel should be something that adds to your life, and which greatly enhances its colour and vitality. It is a reasonable assumption that if I was the kind of person who had decided to spend my savings on, say, a new car, or the deposit on my online stock trading account, and not on my Europe trip, I would probably be a far more boring person than I am today.

I think I would also be a more narrow-minded and short-termed person, incapable of appreciating a great deal of the diversity of life and culture, and only able to see as far as fulfilling the financial needs of my future children. [if any] The Trip, and all subsequent travel, did a great deal to open my mind to the rest of the world, and to show me just how many possibilities there were out there, if I were only willing to grasp them.

And if I were not bonded to a powerful government agency, but that's beside the point now......

Of course there were setbacks, and disadvantages. For one thing, that Trip seriously impoverished me, in terms of preparations, actual expenditure over there, and put me in serious debt for several months.

But for all I saw, for all I experienced, and for all the memories? Like the ad said, priceless. For all that I lost monetarily, and it was no small amount, it was still a small price to pay for the riches that I brought back with me. And that will last me for many memories and stories, all the way down to my grandchildren.

I guess if you're worried about the money aspect, think again about the future aspect: What would you rather tell your grandchildren about your life? That you went to school, got a job, got married, and had kids and that was that?

Or would you want to tell them that........ [fill in blank with hope and dreams]

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