I have been to many places and am lucky to have seen more of the world than most people ever will. And yet, in the grand scheme of things, I've barely scratched the surface. I've never even touched South America or Australia. Major cities like Moscow, Prague, and Mumbai have escaped me. There are so many amazing things on this planet that I will never get around to experiencing, and it always depresses me to think about it.
It's questions like "What if I die before I see Angkor Wat?" that keep me up at night.
People who travel a lot will know exactly what I mean. People who don't get to travel much will probably think this makes me a colossal asshole. And that's okay, I guess. Except I have worked hard and sacrificed a lot to go the places I've been, and am very grateful for the opportunities I've had which have allowed me to do so. Wanting more is just human nature...
I've written about this all before, but today something happened which gave me a new perspective on the matter.
I was walking to the mini-mart when I saw some guy standing in the doorway of his motor-home spouting off about all the millions of places he's been and the millions of things he's done. His audience was two older ladies who stood there patiently listening to him toss out the names of cities, parks, events, and sights he's visited. Intrigued, I stood off to the side listening to the conversation, which the man eventually summed up by saying "Yep, I've pretty much seen it all."
My first thought was "I'll bet this guy hasn't even been outside of North America!" because all the places he mentioned were in the US and Canada. This was worth a chuckle, because it always amuses me how some people think that the USA is the entire world.
But one of the ladies did me better...
"Well, you weren't there when I gave birth to my three children, so I guess you haven't seen everything after all."
I would trade ten trips to Angkor Wat to have this kind of life wisdom.
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I suspect it won’t apply to the guy in the motorhome, but North America seems big and rich enough in nature to keep you busy for a lifetime if you can be bothered to look at things properly.
Perhaps there’s less variation than what you get when you go to see places all over the world, but that may give you more time to look for the details.
Good counter by the lady, though…
This woman’s face would have been priceless if back in the day a strange man burst into the delivery room and shouted, “I gotta get this off my list!”
There are FAR too many people in this land of ours that judge the rest of the world without having ever been anywhere beyond our borders or either of the oceans, wide and deep. Although I’m certainly aware of the subtle differences between the two states and their sensibilities, in a big-picture way, if you’ve been to Wyoming, you’ve been to Maine.
I had to look Angkor Wat up. Feh. Cambodia seems a bit too buggy for me. 😉
I was just shocked to see you’d been to Iowa. Now, how did I miss that? 🙂
Now that’s a comeback.
Is it wisdom that comes from experiencing childbirth? Because I swear it feels more like dementia with a side of insanity…
Ok I gotta admit, I’d never even heard of Angkor Wat until today. So thanks for that.
I’d like to register my vote against TC10 being in Angkor Wat.
Angkor IS pretty cool.
But then I haven’t given birth.
Still think I’d rather go to Angkor.
All I can say is that a cross-country North America trip in an RV with you would be funner than anything.
And yes, I used “funner.”
I admit that seeing you travel to various places on a regular basis is something I wish I could do. Obviously, the extreme amount of travel you do gets tiring, I’m sure.
And that last line was classic.
You’ve got similar wisdom – the non – vaginal kind.
Perspective is awesome.
You gotta love old(er) ladies.
That was perfect.
I only know of Angkor Wat because of YES Union album, where Cambodian Poetry was used in one of their songs.
You can see a fan video of it here, showing some great pictures of the city: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ffl1kMKFMu4
I’m hoping you make it to all the desired destinations on your list… For partially selfish reasons, too! I love hearing about your adventures!