Adventure and Travel

I wave my privat parts at you

          When people are asked what they would do if they had all the money in the world, they usually answer travel. Yet, most people in the world barely leave the county where they grew up. There are individuals in this world who have never crossed a state line and have no intention on leaving the area. Adventure and exploration is something you watch on TV where the people are stuck on islands or forced to eat grubs to survive. Where meeting a new culture is the stuff of nightmares that conjure up burnt buildings, unintelligible gibberish and pagans. If you haven’t figured it out yet, this ain’t us.

          Lee says: When I was a mere lass of 21, I went to Europe by myself with no plans, backpack or list of safe hostels. I wanted to see London, Paris and Scotland. I wanted to see Stonehenge with my own eyes and touch the ground that is said to vibrate. I wanted to experience things but subconsciously I really wanted to experience myself. Too fluffy? O.K., I wanted to see what I was made of. I wanted to see if I had the stones to leave my comfy suburban home in Southern California and go to a land that I had read about, by myself without Mommy and Daddy to hold my hand. I wanted to walk into a pub and order a gin and tonic with only one friggen ice cube and drink it anyway. I wanted to get in trouble and get myself out of it.

          I left for London and was able to travel to Paris and Scotland before coming home. In 25 days I rode trains and tubes and ate weird food and walked the streets alone and went to pubs and talked to strangers and almost was shot in the belly by the French Militia and saw the Mona Lisa and the Eiffel Tower and Big Ben and Stonehenge and Freud’s couch and drove on the wrong side of the street and saw a beautiful man in a black kilt and saw the color green the way God intended it to be. I did it by myself. I did it in spite of my parents protesting it and being called crazy. I saw what I was made of and I knew I was a badass.

          I was ready to come home after all that and had a deeper understanding of myself. It is through trial and error that your real mettle is seen. It is through adventure and exploration that relationships are tested; especially your relationship with yourself. I learned long ago, in a land faraway, that I could be alone and do just fine. Many people would take that knowledge and not read anything into it. However, on a deeper level, we can see that that knowledge is the foundation to creating a healthy relationship, one that is based on interdependence because I knew how to depend on myself. A relationship where I knew, at least for me, that I could survive without it.

          I haven’t traveled alone since, aside from the occasional conference or training here and there. The adventure is limited to where I will eat dinner and making conversation with weird people. Does that change who I saw back in Europe? No. The badass is still there. She just likes fluffy beds and a continental breakfast when she goes on adventures.

          Paul says: Travel has always had a component of stretching one’s self for me. From traveling with my parents as a child to the leisurely cruises with Lee that are full of sex, conversation and alcohol, I believe in approaching travel like a quest where my job is to look through the door that says ‘no admittance’ , drink more than I think I can, eat one of everything and sleep all day so that I can break the night.

          Oddly enough, that does not change even if I am traveling with my children. I have no problem with lifting Bobby to a window with instructions to report back what he saw. When I travel, I run. Sometimes I’m running to something, sometimes away, but the carefree feel of travel gives me a form of excitement that I share with my kids.


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