Scenes around Cairo, Egypt
It’s been a month since we’ve returned to the SF Bay Area, and it was my original intention to update the travel blog. I was all afire in the first two weeks, but as tasks like finding housing, schooling, camps, gymnastics for Amy, family gatherings, dining out daily, and even just cleaning and organizing the photos overcame my intention. Things became routine!
I wonder what it was that allowed me before to focus on writing and publishing a blog page while I was in a different country? Was it the “newness” of the place? … The unusual situation that slowed me down enough to write? … The freshness of what I was experiencing, feeling alive, curious, even anxious to see what will happen next? … Was it the unstructured schedule that allowed me to observe, and see MORE into what was happening? … And who was I writing for – myself, my family, my friends to tell what I’d seen, felt, tasted, heard; to reassure everyone we were well and still adventurous; to document in case I was going to write a book?
At any rate, the disconnection from “real life” as we know it – living on an income from a job, commuting to and from work, school, after school activities, meetings, grocery shopping, scheduling appointments, “play dates,” doctor’s visits, doing the laundry, balancing the checkbook, paying bills, … and the list can go on and on – certainly made writing quite a bit easier, to allow my mind to clear, focus, and remember what delighted, fascinated, surprised, angered, and pleased me. Is this what authors have to do to generate copy? Separate themselves from the distractions of everyday life to write?
Gosh, does that mean I just need to keep traveling? Ha ha …! Hmmmmm, …
Well, since I’m in the Present for now, I’ll also report that the most asked question is, “Which country was your favorite?” And my usual answer is, “Well, each country has its pros and cons, so it’s really hard to answer.” Of course, the person persists, and I will finally answer, “Before New Zealand, Thailand was a country we would consider returning to visit and possibly to live. But, there are many natural beauties of New Zealand that attracted us, too, as well as a glass blowing school in Whanganui.” Chris would then divert from the next part of our answer, and say that Sri Lanka is the BEST place in the world, and that Barcelona was one of his favorite cities (because of rock climbing. NOTE: He daftly – or purposefully – MISSED any and all Gaudi architecture in Barcelona! Such a Philistine!). Amy and I beg to differ, as we loved Venice, and Italy, in general – the food, the people, the architecture, culture, music, the water in the canals, the attitudes, the value of families. Paris and Versailles charmed us; England’s quaint cottages, with enormous thatched roofs, white stucco thick walls, warm homey pubs made us feel at home; Scotland’s dreaded Hagis turned out to be delicious and the center of a wonderful dinner with two even more wonderful people; Denmark was full of quiet, amusing, and calm folks who are generous, humorous, and intelligent.
So, at this point, it becomes a hard question to answer, doesn’t it?
I would then have to say, “My favorite were all the people we met, talked with, and who touched us in many different ways.”