Notes of Randomness After Being on the Road for Longer Than 6 Months

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I’m in a safari tent in the Masai Mara in Kenya writing down some randomness:

• Traveling for this length has caused a curious warping of time for me. It’s the never knowing the date or the day because there’s no need to (which is great), but it’s more than that. Time as a measuring tool has lost its usefulness. The last 6 months have gone by so much faster than I had anticipated, so trying to think back to February or just last month leaves me usually scratching my head. Instead, I convert it to what country I should have been in during that time, and think about the experiences in that country to gain a mental foothold about the past experiences.

But if I try to just think about the experience and fit it into a time measure, it feels so much longer ago than it should. I guess I’ve had so much input to absorb—cultures, peoples and experiences, that processing it all makes my brain work in overdrive and changes temporal perceptions. Anyway, it has me all jumbled up. I must ask Mari what day it is at least once a day.

• People ask us whether we’re sick of each other yet since we spend all of our time together. Oddly and surprisingly, no. It’s been remarkably easy to get along, work into a travel groove of sharing responsibilities and watching out for each other, and avoiding each other’s areas of contention. We’ll revisit this at the end of our travels and see if the answers remain constant. But to date, we’ve had one blowup so far with each other in Istanbul, which isn’t too shabby.

• I’ve always known I liked animals but traveling has confirmed my love for them. When I look at the percentage of photos committed to animals as opposed to world heritage sites and masterpieces of art, I’m embarrassed. But I keep clicking away.

• I’m still afraid of bugs, but I’m trying. To be fair, the types of bugs we’ve encountered aren’t the ones you swat with a newspaper, they’re the types you hit with a bat.

• I’ve recently recognized that traveling has had an effect on my hygiene. I’ve noticed I’ve taken to rubbing the griminess from my neck and face into those little dirt cigars and flicking them away…often…and in public. I also clean the dirt from my nails all the time, mostly because there’s dirt in my nails all the time. Both habits are disgusting, but oddly enough I might still be the cleaner of the two of us.

• Climate change is real and its effects are being felt all over the world. It’s the consumption levels of the rich countries that cause it, but it’s more apparent in poorer countries whose resources can’t be committed to aid in us ignoring the problem. Hope we get it together.

• I feel comfortable saying the world loves Obama. I feel accurate saying the world hated Bush.

• If there’s a hope that has been growing in the last half year, it’s that I hope I am malleable enough to be changed by what I’ve been seeing and the people I’ve been meeting.

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