Article – Paul Gioffi Well Weathered Edition 4Michelle @ ISR2018-03-27T11:51:16-07:00
Travel Survival Notes & Other Curious Observations
Monthly Travel Column by Paul W. Gioffi
Disclaimer: While travel can be exciting and rewarding there are unforeseen dangers that may arise. The Information presented in Paul’s articles is the author’s personal opinion and what may have worked for him yesterday may not work for someone else today or tomorrow. Therefore, you agree to use any and all information provided by the author at your own risk and agree that you will hold the author and ISR harmless in regard to any and all instances that may arise or result from use of this material.
Following, you’ll find travel tips number 10, 11 and 12 from Paul W. Gioffi. To read the introduction to this column which began in February of 2006 please see Edition 1. To access other previous editions please see the Index.
Entry 10: Pro Anti-Meridian
Those travelers who are ‘morning people’ to begin with will, perhaps, grasp this better than those who do not rise from bed until the double digits of the new day. The morning time is the best time for enjoying the peacefulness and calming pleasantries of the day, and it’s the best time to do the things that need to be done with optimum efficiency and minimum stress, whether you’re traveling or not. As evolution carries us further and further toward some unknown horizon, we appear to be staying up later in the evening and getting up later in the morning (I’ve found this to be particularly true in the western, first world countries). Late to bed and late to rise may be your preferred motto but while hiking and traveling, try taking advantage of what the morning has to offer, mentally and physically. It’s quieter, more peaceful, more thought-provoking, and less crowded. If you are on a trek or vacation of limited time, and want to take full measure of where you are, then keep yourself healthy and anticipate fewer hours of sleep. It’ll be worth it. Wake earlier and get your driving done before the roads congest. Open the museum along with the security guard and enjoy the hollow corridors. Take the first washing machine and complete your laundry while others still slumber. Witness beautiful sunrises. Listen to birds and other animals, and make undisturbed observations of nature in a more serene morning calm. You’ll appreciate things with a heightened sensitivity and find that getting things done in the morning will leave the day free for adventure.
Entry 11: Traveller Residue
The carry out what you carry in and leave only your footprints slogans found at the trail heads of most national parks in the United States are words to live by. These are the signposts that I don’t mind seeing. Planet Earth has become the human race’s playground but it’s still everybody’s responsibility to pick up their toys (and their trash) when they’re finished playing. This concept of cleaning up after yourself can be extended to the movement of all humans, everywhere. Most Native-American Indians did not practice private ownership of land, yet kept a communal responsibility to respect and cherish the land. In our modernity, we have surely ignored this idea. We’ve fenced, signed, partitioned, dug, blasted, deeded and soiled just about everywhere we’ve been. While there’s no going back in time, we can make a concerted effort to repair and protect what’s left. Whether your hiking, camping, or just sauntering through the city streets, pick up after yourself. If you must leave something with the people you meet and the places you’ve visited, then it’s best to leave just good memories.
Entry 12: Global Citizen
No matter how hard you try, you will most likely not fit in. The strangers you encounter, in a removed area of your own country or in a completely foreign land, will quickly determine your ‘foreignness’ and engage whatever stereotypes they hold. Don’t let this, however, stop your efforts at blending in with the crowd, adhering to local customs, and being respectful of others’ privacy, personal space and point of view. Especially when traveling abroad, the locals will certainly stare. No worries. Keep them guessing as to your origin. This may diffuse any simmering, would-be animosity and even transform their curiosity into friendliness. In any case, showing local denizens your willingness to adapt to their customs, as opposed to brandishing your own, will surely allow for better days on the road. Also, you may think that you have a right to just be your own quirky self no matter where you are. In one sense, this may be true. In another sense, however, a little respect can go a long way. Among our sacred hoop of existence, we really are all related in some way or another. You will find that what we do to someone else, we really do to ourselves.
I hope you have enjoyed this month’s edition of Well-Weathered Travel Survival Notes & Other Curious Observations. Check back next month for a new entry. Until then, safe travels. Contact me at Well_Weathered@yahoo.com