Travel Now, Not Later, Now!

I sat in the hard plastic chair eating my breakfast

at the long table filled with strangers

who transformed into friends

thirty days of adventure through China

the end coming near

attempting to swallow that hour-old fried egg

travellers milling around the buffet room

sharing experiences

making plans

offering suggestions

crunching that cold crusty bread

taking it all in.

One more day

twenty-four short hours

ticking away

too quickly

washing it all down with the far too sweet orange juice

tuning into the conversations surrounding me

focusing on the elderly Alaskan man

having travelled  to hundreds of countries

offering advice to our group of new-found travellers

stopping

pausing

pointing

at me

me, taking my last bite of juicy pineapple

looking around

confirming his intention

me, he is talking to me

“You need to travel now. Not later, now!”

confused

lost

my perfectly paved future plans

shattering

slowly

then

quickly

as those words encircled me

TRAVEL

NOW

NOT LATER

NOW

How does he know

the questions running through my head

repeating

throughout this trip

He has given me the answers

Travel

Now!

A nod

acknowledging

his advice

Travel now, not later, now!

I wish I could speak to that Alaskan Man one more time. Two months after our brief interaction, I signed a contract to work in Vietnam. Six years later, I am still living overseas and travelling as he recommended.

He was right; travel now, not later. 

The World Through My Eyes

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Canada is home, family and friends.

Sri Lanka is a culture mostly untouched.

United States is Spring Break year after year.

Malaysia is climbing mountains and exploring caves.

Italy is endless walking for pizza and gelato.

Indonesia is sleeping in rice paddies.

Andorra is lemmings jumping off cliffs.

Philipines is beautiful children becoming your friend.

Switzerland is chocolate and mesmerizing mountain views.

South Korea is coffee shops and impeccable manners.

France is ordering chocolatines at a boulangerie.

Thailand is Pad Thai, curry and ladyboys.

Vatican City is just a confusing place.

Laos is zip-lining and tubing down fast moving rivers.

The Bahamas is perfect beaches ruined by terrible resorts.

Peru is hiking up and down mountains to calm your mind.

Vietnam is massages, second families and amazing food.

Spain is being squished in a car with your family.

Cambodia is temples and the trickiest children.

Cuba is dancing with Mom on the beach.

China is love and where I found my happiness.

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