Oh, the Places We’ve Been and the Things We’ve Seen.

Lately, the desperate urge to travel has overtaken me. It’s always there, lurking, but right now travel is all I can think about. I picked up a couple of G Adventure booklets from a travel agency the other day and have been pouring through them, I’m googling places non-stop, and I’m drooling over the travel photos that friends have posted on FaceBook. One friend is in Borneo and another is in South Africa, and a third is in Morocco. I have even gone as far as to suggest a trip I want to take in the fall to my husband who is not what I’d call a reluctant traveller but is way happier to stay home than I am. To my surprise and pleasure, he wasn’t negative about my suggestion. Stay tuned to see what happens.

I’ve tried to analyze this travel obsession I have. Maybe it’s escapism. I know for sure that I have always had a strong desire to see what there is to see in the world. Whatever fuels this travel bug in me is as strong as ever. And, after my experience with cancer, it is even stronger. And I know that my time of being able to travel in the way I want to is fast running out.

When I think about why I like to travel I can come up with all sorts of reasons. Seeing with my own eyes things and places that I had only seen in National Geographic. The amazing feeling of first stepping on foreign soil. I remember so well that feeling when we disembarked from the ship in France and I realized I was in A Foreign Country. I also remember the wonder of looking at signs in Hong Kong and realizing that I could not only not read the words but I couldn’t even recognize the letters. The gobsmacking amazement of the age of things, like Stonehenge. The serendipity of events that happen when you have no expectation of them is another wonderful thing about travel. I remember arriving in a small hillside village in Tuscany with my son and seeing a wonderful outdoor exhibition of statues which were scattered all around the town. Here a motorcycle totally constructed of nuts and bolts, there a life sized statue of a bronze cow. I am a quilter and my friend and I happened on a quilt show in a small town in North Wales and I saw hanging a genuine Kaffe Fassett quilt. In a handicraft store in Luang Prabang I complimented a young salesperson on her English and ended up giving her a lesson on adverbs at the end of the working day at our guesthouse.

I read somewhere recently that this person never takes photographs because she feels that photos keep her from being present with where she in and what she’s seeing. There is something in that thought, I guess, but photos of the places I’ve been and the things I’ve seen are very important to me. When I look at certain photographs I am immediately transported back to where it was taken. I can hear the sounds around me, I can feel the heat or the pouring rain, and I can recapture place; I can even remember what wasn’t in that photo. For me, one of my photos can be similar to that certain smell that transports a person back in time and place. When I smell the aroma of damp cedar I am immediately back in the rainforest of my childhood home; and when I see my photos of street scenes in Hanoi, I hear those motorbikes honking and whizzing by and feel the freneticism of the streets.

My photos that show the serendipity of travel:

Sculpture on the side of a building in that Tuscan village. It’s difficult to see, but two horses are racing out of that eye.

The English Lesson.

Some of those places inspired by reading National Geographic:

The Hanging Monastery, outside Hunyuan China. This dates back more than 1400 years.

At Angkor Wat, Cambodia.
One of Michaelangelo’s marble “Prisoners” in a museum in Florence, Italy.

Some interesting sights and places from our travels:

The Great Wall.
We took 5 half days of Spanish lessons at this school in Cuzco. I was a very bad student.

Mary’s house, close to Ephesus, Turkey. According to legend, St. John brought Jesus’s mother to this stone house where she spent the remainder of her life. The foundation dates back to the 1st C AD.

Rice fields in southern China.

Inside the mosque grounds, Xian, China.

And we have had some amazing experiences:

Hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia, Turkey. We splurged and treated ourselves to this as a retirement present to both of us.

A stay in the most elegant stateroom ever on a boat in Halong Bay, Vietnam.
Rafting on the Shesley River in northeastern BC with our son who was the trip leader. Yep, that’s me front left, Walter in the white hat, and Jamie rowing.
It was amazing for me to watch Walter on that steer in Cuba!

Author: judywig

I’m a retired educator, mother of four, grandmother of five. I live in a small town in northern BC (with my husband of 47 years) where I have lived for the past 50 years. I came to this place for my first year teaching, intending to stay for one year only and yet here I remain. And happy to be here. My passions are travelling and reading; my hobbies are knitting, quilting and taking photos.

3 thoughts on “Oh, the Places We’ve Been and the Things We’ve Seen.”

  1. Hi Judy,

    Except for the comments about your cancer diagnosis, and those about Walter – I could have written this – we are birds of a feather and I often think how wonderful it was that you reached out to me when you came across my travel journal! Looking forward to seeing you in Victoria in April!




  2. Judy, may your travels take you again to wonderous places, may the people you meet lift your spirits, may the world continue to be your teacher and, soon, may your current travel plans bring you close enough to my home to enjoy an ethnic dinner and evening of good times.


  3. Thank you for another wonderful blog post. You have already seen some amazing sights and wish you many more.

    I tried to comment on your blog but it says “page not available”.


    Sent from my iPad


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