October 1, 2012

My Future Travels: Some Thoughts

In my last post, I reviewed my recent travel fitness. As my Parkinson's disease progresses, I won't be able to maintain the independent, do-it-myself variety of travel I've always preferred, particularly now that lower back pain is part of the mix.

I was wondering what's in store for me down the road when I picked up the The Art of Ageing by John Lane. It's a delightful, warm, inspiring little book by a Brit my age who seems to have shared my lifelong love of travel. Here's how he sees it now:
Years ago I took delight in traveling. There was my discovery of India, from which I have yet to recover; and the old, the traditional Japan, hardly less stimulating. In different years, I have traveled to Russia, Lithuania, Thailand, Morocco, Cambodia, New Zealand, Sweden, Australia, and the United States. I now find the contemplation of a few yards of autumnal hedgerow to be enough....
I am relieved to discover that although some facilities are closing down (packing up is probably the better description) other things -- inner things -- are quietly taking their place.  My relationship with the world is shifting from "outer" to "inner" concerns. Joy, silence, stillness and contemplation are becoming more important; making, doing, and rushing around becoming much less so.
I'm about halfway between the hyperactive travel addiction of my earlier years and Lane's serenity with a more sedentary life.

I've always felt an aversion to group travel and cruises, but I'm considering taking a look at these options. Though I've traveled extensively in Europe and Asia, the furthest south I've ventured in our own hemisphere is Costa Rica. Maybe I'll try a South American cruise this winter. And a cruise to Alaska would make a great escape from the heat and humidity of another Washington summer.

I also wonder if river cruising might be more to my liking. A neophiliac, I always like trying something new.

And this weekend was an example of how pleasant time at home here in DC can be. The fall is my favorite season in Washington. My ten years of traveling to Nepal at least once and usually twice a year meant that I missed a month or so of fall in D.C.  So I thoroughly enjoyed a Saturday spent almost entirely at home, most of it either working in my garden or (more often) just sitting on my back porch contemplating it.

Aren't too many places I've seen on my travels much lovelier that this view from the porch:

I Needn't Leave Home To Find Novel Adventures
As a confirmed neophiliac, I love traveling to new places or trying new things when I've visiting familiar spots. For example, here I am in New York City's Times Square in July 2011:

But even if I stay home, even after 57 years here, I can still find something new to try in D.C.  Today, for the first time, I went to the "drag queen brunch" at Perry's restaurant in D.C.'s Adams-Morgan neighborhood:

So wherever I am, there's always something new to try. And there's nothing wrong with exploring more contemplation and less charging about.


Linda said...

Hello John, I enjoy so many of your posts, neighbor. Just had to weigh in on this travel one. Have you considered a South American trip by freighter? I remember my folks did that in their, oh, maybe 60s. Much more informal than a cruise. I don't think you'd like normal cruises much, from what I read of you. Another option is canal boating in France. I haven't looked into either of these ideas myself, but couldn't resist suggesting them for you!
Linda, Sherier Place

John said...

Thanks LInda. I'll definitely look into the freighter idea and the canal boating also sounds great. As you seem to sense, I prefer more off-beat travels.

Harold said...

Couple of comments on your latest posting. Having had past back injuries and periodic spasms, I have faced your dilemma. Right now I am confined to quarters while recovering from the latest episode. I have taken a number of organized tours which provided travel connections, hotels, and intro tours of each area - along with plenty of time to explore on my own. The most memorable were to South America (Peru and Ecuador), and South / Southeast Asia (including an overland from Kathmandu to and through Northern India with Explore Worldwide....btw, one of their Nepal tour groups was killed last week in a plane crash from Kathmandu to Lukla). In addition to gaining access to people and places I would not have had otherwise, I met people I really enjoyed on every tour - along with a few I did my best to avoid. Right now I am contemplating a Holland America repositioning cruise next May from either Los Angeles or San Diego to Seattle or Vancouver. From there I would either continue on an HL cruise tour to Alaska or a Gray Line coach tour. The couple of cruises I have taken were fabulous. I prefer smaller ships that do not cater to children