Sunday, January 29, 2017

What makes me a ^Boring^ traveler

The sky is gray. Will it rain? Or snow? I am not sure. All I am aware is- I am playing the same song Choe Nge Soo En for the 100th time. A perfect fit for the gloomy Minnesotan winter weather. My flat-mate is all dressed to go for the pot-luck dinner at a Professor's place which I graciously decided not to go to, all because I am not that crowd-girl [anymore].

"Why have you become such a boring (quiet) girl?" Ngawang had exclaimed way back then in 2009. She was right. She is right even to this day. Said another way, I told my husband's friend how meeting KP tamed my wildness (bigger imagination is left for the reader to imagine the [ex]-wild in me). Jim raised his brows in disbelief, "I won't ever believe you were wild."

Well, maybe I wasn't wild as I claim to be - except for the permed yellow hairdo, the fancy pair of glasses, and colorful clothes some pitch fluorescent, not to miss the faux leather jacket I wore to my first date with KP. How is that for an imagination? For sure, I have aged in my choices. So is the excitement level.

This defines what makes me not a traveler or said in a rusty way, a boring traveler.

For one, I realize I no more enjoy bigger crowds. Too much of hi-hello tire me out. City buzzes bring out the insanity in my head. When I confided a friend, her rebuttal was, "I prefer city life. I like seeing lots of people buzzing around." This made me feel even more different than I thought, in a weird way. 

Food has never been a calling agent on the list of must-haves. Should someone ask me what would be the nicest meal I had for the week, I go mum. That's another of my traveling weaknesses. I am not tempted to enjoy a good meal in a good restaurant (whatever that means). All I look for is some food to fill me up - can be a bowl of soup, a plate of salad or two slices of bread. 

Places. I am OK to go to a historic and cultural place. I like Arts and museums. I don't mind gardens either. Yet again, not so fascinated to explore something for it. This portrays the retired side of my traveler trait.

Except if I have people to meet in the place I go. Oh! I love catching up with old families and friends. Better still if I get to know newer faces. I enjoy listening to their stories, without having to go out on a cruise or dine in a restaurant. This is my whole idea of traveling - to meet and connect with people.

Does this mean that the western concept of post-retirement traveling won't work on me? Ha! Not that I worry. The retirees here travel around the world and come back with fascinating stories from all over. Like the two 83-year ladies who my niece Lilly and I met during our break. These ladies are preparing the Taktshang hike this February. 

Having said so, this hasn't helped me jerk off the crowd-tiredness that's mounting in me, increasingly and deeply. Anyway, I take that this is the call to the mountains, solitude, and aloneness (which by definition is not loneliness). At large, I admit I am quite not an interesting traveler.

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