Tempus fugit

The grandfather clock in the dining room of this little B&B we’re staying at in Wisconsin bears the timeless wisdom, “Tempus Fugit”. I had to look that one up on my phone, it sounded familiar but I couldn’t remember exactly what it meant.

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I have a feeling this trip will involve another expression, “Feast or famine”, and quite literally so. We’re used to eating a certain way at home, and while we’re all about experiencing the local fare, unfortunately the local fare seems to vary wildly in terms of quality and quantity in each place we go.

Sicily I think will be more of a feast place. Wisconsin is seeming more like a famine place. Of course, there’s plenty of soda and beer and such!

The time with family here is welcome. But luckily, time flies, so we won’t have to worry about the famine for too long…

This, too, shall pass?

Why we travel

The Wolf and I¬†were kicking around a few links via e-mail the other day as we (she) put the finishing touches on our South America excursion. We were reading something from one of Tim Ferriss’s guest writers about “how to travel”. The guy was a little sanctimonious in the beginning but ultimately offered some tips I found valuable for getting the most out of my upcoming travels.

I say it was a little sanctimonious as if I am displeased. But as a sanctimonious person myself, I mostly took interest. What the guest author was on about was “good” and “bad” reasons to travel. As I read it, I have to say I couldn’t figure out how anyone could have a “good” reason… it all seemed to boil down to restlessness borne of subtle, unaddressed displeasure with one’s usual circumstances.

I thought about why I like to travel. I noticed a lot of my reasons boiled down to this nagging insecurity and unhappiness thing. I haven’t found a way to rationalize my way out of that bag (and maybe I never will), so in the meantime I thought I’d “invert, always invert” (erroneously attributed by naive financial market philosophes to Charlie Munger) and pose it this way:

Why wouldn’t you want to travel?

I came up with a short, condescending list, in no particular order:

  • You’re completely unaware there is a world of other people and experiences outside the narrow confines of your everyday life
  • You can’t afford it (ultimately because you don’t prioritize the experience highly enough to take the steps necessary to produce enough for others in exchange to pay the cost)
  • You’re a racist
  • You’re intimidated by foreign languages and awkward some-English interpersonal encounters
  • You don’t like the food
  • You realize churches and temples are bizarre no matter where they are in the world and, seeing as how most travelers eventually wind-up staring at a place of foreign worship at some moment or another in their trip, you decide to skip it and stay home
  • You are a Zen-like being of perfect self-knowledge and self-control and there is no felt uneasiness you feel the need to relieve yourself of by journeying beyond your present place and state; in fact, you are so consumed by your enlightened presence that you don’t even travel into the kitchen for a snack… ultimately you stay right where you are until you sublimate into supreme nothingness (aka, you die and leave a smelly mess for the neighbors to find)

I think when you put it this way, it’s pretty clear why we travel and it’s really hard to come up with a reason why you wouldn’t live life exactly as we are (take THAT, Zen master!).

2013 Year End Travel Schedule

Where we’re jetting this year:
Cinque Terre
Florence, Cinque Terre, Sicily, Rome (Italy): Aug 1 – Aug 15

Washington DC
DC (USA): Aug 18 – 25

Machu Picchu
Cusco, Santiago, Valparaiso, Mendoza, Buenos Aires (South America): Aug 29 – Sept 16