I have the conceit that my writing, and photographs, will be motivation for people leaning in the direction of travel. I’ve recently returned to Seattle after 20 years, to find that my friends here actually think I’ve Done Something With Myself. I feel like mine has been a life of stumbles and starts, where they get a refined and edited picture of a purposeful whole. But I have consistently recovered from stutters and falls to go on the the next great thing, so I guess that is something and there is a pattern.
Nena kindly responded to my about page that she would love to follow my adventures. I responded that we all make our own adventures. But the truth is that I was following others’ adventures, too. Today there are few firsts. We follow in well trod foot steps. Living in Saudi Arabia may have seemed an extraordinarily brave thing to some people, but I wouldn’t have gone if I hadn’t thought, “well, many people have done this, so it must be okay”. I traveled abroad to teach because it was being written about a lot and that inspired me.
Why not go teach in Bangladesh? There is already an American-style university there with some American and European faculty. It is quite doable. And it was. Not that it didn’t take adjustment and resilience, but it didn’t take Neil Armstrong courage.
So, maybe the fact that this 67 year old grandmother will go to Cambodia or Ecuador, or wherever I choose, with little money and less local vocabulary, maybe that will be inspirational. Or at least evidence that is quite doable.