Sergio here, (aka Antonio, Mr B, dearest darling, come here papi, and leporkstar etc), with a guest post about traveling.
As most of you know, or basically, have absolutely NO clue about me, or what the hell I do, (not going to disclose that yet because early retirement doesn’t count), one thing I certainly do is travel like there is no tomorrow.
Obviously, one of the first things people would ask is, how the hell can you afford the traveling? What I usually spew out of my mouth is, “None of your business”.
Actually that is a topic for another blog post.
I, for one, love to travel and have been doing so for the past 5 years constantly. Bouncing off to Europe a few times a year, within the United States or even trying my luck with Canada after getting deported from there once. Because they think they are a real country.
Whatever the deal might be, traveling is something that for some of us, permeates the soul, enhances your knowledge, cultural and intellectual, as well as increase the breadth of your horizons. Last but not least, traveling teaches you tolerance.
Years ago I traveled with the ex-wife to Cancun, Mexico. The intention was to be horizontal at the beach, sip a Mojito, or 10, slowly roast under the sun to a crisp and check some tail on my part. Once there, we realized, there was more to it than just dodging the annoying time-share sharks at the airport and the all Americanized feel of the place. We didn’t waste time exploring ruins, traveling deep into the Yucatan peninsula visiting ancient Mayan architecture, temples, etc and all the while, learning from the locals and aboriginals about their culture, even if it didn’t differ much from mine. You see, I happen to be a Latino (*gasps! No shit!!) as well and even as such, I initially didn’t feel the need to do much exploring or seeing old crap that resembled my own country (Colombia), and well, my thing has always been European architecture and old Asian temples.
And getting drunk. Anywhere.
Boy was I mistaken.
Out of 2 weeks there, only 2 days were spent at the beach and the rest was exploring, learning and visiting. Much to my previous expectations, I fell in love with Mayan history and the Mexican culture overall, which even form a Latino’s point of view, was a very interesting and surprising learning experience.
Quoting St Augustine: “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” Even if it’s just locally or regionally, there are always places to go see and people to talk to. There is always people willing to give you directions to find the best hike somewhere, the best view to take pictures and also some people would just plainly tell you to fuck off. Right there you also learn first hand, who the assholes in the town can be. Aside from that, the locals from your own town can also be a source of cultural information. Making friends with your town’s locals, just as making friends with people from other countries if you travel abroad, you can discover and learn about their heritage, their customs and general diversity.
Depending on your type of travel, your tolerance can be also tested. Regardless of wether you are a creature built for comfort and 5 star hotels, or hiking and camping under millions of stars, you may still run into language barriers, unpleasant places, confusing directions etc etc. The simple fact of dealing with navigating in a new place and finding your way around is a test of tolerance, which may include swearing, but that’s totally okay. In terms of “other” type of tolerance, mingling with the locals can land you a few free local drinks and new friends. Trying to learn a new language, when overseas or even imitate the local accent of any place below the Bible belt in the US, for example, is fodder for ensuing hilarity. You learn to imbibe aplomb, like the best of sweet water fish and your alcohol tolerance level also reaches new limits.
Regardless of your type of travel, regional or abroad, there is a great variety of things that can be acquired from it. Aside from the usual credit card debt we all incur into (because we’d suffer from nipple withdrawal from our financial institution otherwise), the knowledge and experience from a trip to any other country (because believe it or not, the US is not the only country in the world), to any other state or even to the next town over, your mind will automatically try to adapt to that new-ness of the place. It will try to embrace and understand it, as a survival instinct and test your tolerance levels. Wether is the new directions, the accent or different language from this new place, their traditions, (which may not be the same as yours), or simply, your blood tolerance to alcohol, even shit faced in a foreign country, your tolerance level has already increased significantly in more ways than one.