“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”
Today I’ll ponder about the state of traveling. Reading the news I came across articles that made me think. First, there is a 21 year old woman from Nevada, who visited all 192 sovereign countries of the world in her young life. She set a Guinness world record as the youngest person to accomplish this (what shall I call it?).
I am wondering, what do you do after this? And what did she take away from it? Just wondering.
She liked Northern Pakistan the most because of the unexpected kindness of people (and the absence of other tourists). Her travels have attracted 50,000 followers… A book is next… Still…
“The traveler sees what he sees.
The tourist sees what he has come to see.”
Then this is for all cruise ship passengers to think about. Princess Cruise Lines and its parent company Carnival Corporation have been fined another 20 milion US$ for dumping plastic waste into the ocean. Not the first time they were fined for environmental crimes.
Not sure what the attitude is here, soiling your own playground?
And finally, considering climbing Mt. Blanc in France? Better make reservations. No ticket, no mountain for you. 25,000 climbers have overwhelmed the hut system and the environment, so local authorities are limiting access to the mountain.
I think there is a common theme here. Too many people in one place, locals or visitors, are not good for the environment. Wild and quiet places turn into tourist attractions. What’s left? Now even rugged mountains are being overrun?
Begs the question, why some of us are seeking solitude and wilderness.
Our modern ways of living and traveling allow us to see the world, but do they let us experience nature?
Well, that’s it for today. Another day of business as usual.
PS: A day after I wrote this I found an article on The Atlantic. There is a word for this phenomenon: overtourism.
“Where is home for you?”
How do you answer that question? Is it the place you grew up in? Maybe you call home the place where you currently reside. Either way, in most cases that place comes with a street address and a zip code. A valid mailing address.
Without that, you are almost … nothing.
“Living in the present moment with quiet joy and happiness”
I am looking forward to reading Sam Wright’s book “Koviashuvik – Making a home in the Brooks Range”. Sam was a biologist, priest, and teacher who lived with his wife decades north of the Arctic Circle in a one-room log cabin, reflecting on life, mankind, and wilderness. He called his home Koviashuvik, which means a time and place of joy and happiness. According to Inuit tradition one must live in harmony with nature to experience koviashuvik,
I have not found a street address for Sam’s home, but living in a place with such a beautiful name, I imagine you don’t care that you can’t have a residential phone line, a cable subscription, or even utilities…
Maybe it was just the lack of modern day amenities (and obligations) and the presence of a relatively undisturbed wilderness that made his home a happy place…
It’s been a while.
I did unplug myself.
The world kept spinning in the meantime and the same nonsense is still going on.
When I turned my computer back on I learned that I am several updates behind. The apps that I have been using for years will not work in the near future. What is this?
I am going back to reading books. They don’t become obsolete and they work off-grid.
Speaking of books here is something I can recommend: “Walden on wheels” by Ken Ilgunas. As a young man Ken travels to Alaska to work at a remote camp, hitches back to New York and starts living in a van to save on rent and other expenses that suck your bank account dry.
I am halfway through the book and my favorite quote is:
“Comfort and security, when overprescribed can be poisonous to the soul – an illness that no amount of love can cure, freedom being the only antidote.”
Here is to freedom.
“For those who know the value of and exquisite taste of solitary freedom, the act of leaving is the bravest and most beautiful of all.”
Another season comes to an end. Breaking up the tents, moving on…
It is always hard to leave friends and the comfort of a warm cabin behind. To trade in a convenient routine for the dusty road into the unknown.
I’ll be joining two friends for a long bicycle trip in the Southern hemisphere on roads less traveled, if that is still possible.
I will be gone for as long as I can stay with a tourist visa, 3 months that is. I hope to unwind and unplug and focus on what matters: the moment I am living in.
Until then my friends…
“Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.”
What will the New Year bring?
More of the same?
Do I have a say in this?
It may be worthwhile coming back to Walt Whitman’s quote throughout the year and revisit…