“Travel is glamorous only in retrospect.”
― Paul Theroux
I am uncomfortably sitting here, In Split, Croatia looking out of my second story kitchen window with dismay…I am missing my Dalmatian Sun! Today my view is a weathered sky with a heavy gray mist over the Adriatic sea. It’s rather dark and dreary similar to a winter’s day in wet damp England. The rain is coming down with intermittent spurts of drizzle and downpour. As I peer from my window down to the street, I can see the people below trying to decipher today’s errands and the short cut to get there and avoid the rain storm. So unlike the warm and sunny Split I have come to know. Normally this city is alive and vibrant without any cloud shadows and bursting with people going here and people going there…in a constant movement. But today it is a slow pace, a gathering of water from the sky with a wield of walking umbrellas to color it. Today, I am the Armchair Traveler glued to my keyboard on my uncomfortable ‘comes-furnished’ chair, reading and writing.
It’s days like these that make me feel melancholy because my travel movement stops and makes me acutely aware of all the possibilities in my life. And sometimes that in itself, can be brain exhausting. Really, I am not complaining because I rather enjoy a change in seasons but rain is a real mood swinger. My dreams start overlapping and I wonder how I can make things different. Make them better, make them happen or not happen. I feel as if I should be exploring the local museums, tasting all the tidbits and nuances of this cultures foods, walking the palace walls in wonder, and be THAT Force of Nature. But instead I am unforgivably limp and the weather has squelched my oomph. I hear an airplane over head and wish I was on it, but Wait, I AM on it…just on the ground.
Should I put my heart on my sleeve and let my readers know what it’s like to be a real long term traveler with moments of anxiety (like what should I do or go to next?), or the frustration and pensive thoughts? Or should I only show the bright side of musical traveling with the photos, the friendships and the performances? In my heart there needs to be a balance of both for my readers…a happy medium. Stability and a warm home also has it’s perks and I envy those who can live a normal quiet family lifestyle. Seems we always want what we can’t have – or rather – what we are not meant to have. I DO honor my achievements and appreciate when someone else honors the years I’ve practiced my instrument and my knowledge of traveling combined. But the fact of the matter is, I am a simple wanderer…not in search of fortune or fame, but tidbits of those things seem to miraculously find me all on their own anyway. I live more for love then that almighty do$$ar….the coin has come and gone but love and memory’s live on inside me. Like I have always believed “If you don’t go along with life willingly, it will just drag you”.
“I was an adventurer, but she was not an adventuress. She was a 'wanderess.' Thus, she didn’t care about money, only experiences - whether they came from wealth or from poverty, it was all the same to her.” ― Roman Payne, The Wanderess
I AM A WANDERESS….I live my life based on my spiritual beliefs and the yearning to uncover the mystery that unfolds in every moment I spend abroad and experience the universal n o w…the only moment that matters is the present cause I can’t control anything else. When I was studying FENG SHUI in China I came across this interesting Taoist teaching. The Chinese have always understood that in reality “Man” has three types of luck that accompany him throughout his lifetime. Essentially these are: Man’s Luck, Earth Luck and Destiny Luck. I have lived by this teaching ever since.
1. Man’s Luck: Our luck is said to come from the things we do to create our own fortune. The decisions we make, the friends we make and the good ideas we implement to create our future. Choose smart.
2. Earth’s Luck: This luck is said to come from the Earth and the way we are nourished by choosing where you live, your surroundings and what you gather from the Earth itself. Choose well. Many ancient cultures believe the Earth is made up of Five Elements – Wood, Earth, Water, Fire, and Metal which bring about creation, harmony, polarity, and destruction.
3. Destiny’s Luck: The last luck we share comes from Heaven, Universal Source, The Force, Buddha, God, Nothingness…what ever you want to call it. This means any good fortune we have created from the accumulation of our past actions and deeds will formulate into the luck we have NOW in our PRESENT MOMENT. Let Destiny Choose.
The older I get, I find myself becoming more of a recluse…a wall flower hardly sharing a word when in a crowd, unless I am performing. Apparently this is very common with long term travelers because of the amount of time you spend alone. Especially if you are a writer with a blog that needs to be maintained. Everything surrounding me becomes a story in my head. Inevitably I also begin to include thoughts about love and what I have lost and what I have learned and if my destiny is to roam this earth alone with music as my lover. Love is a lot like traveling. It has moments of sheer butterfly excitement mixed with fear and a struggle to accommodate the many differences you encounter along the way. You wrestle with your common sense declaring your promises and plans which inevitably always change for better or for worse….till death do us part.
Most Armchair Travelers, and I mean the not-much-travel folks who are stationary and follow me with interest, often tell me they live vicariously through my adventures but don’t realize both sides of the coin. They only idolize the photo’s and tall tales that I share and not the low moments when inspiration escapes me and alone-ness kicks in…because these are the messy bits. And who wants to read about the messy bits? BUT it’s reality.
So I continue to SHARE, all bits, wonderful, laughable, lonely and peculiar because I am the one traveling. I am doing it all by myself. I am strong willed and I can go on doing what I love and share the moments of joy and sadness with people so they get the chance to IMAGINE a world journey through the eyes of a traveling musician, who is compelled to share the love and peace and magic and messy bits that the world has to offer… all from the living room of my readers. ARE MY WORDS shockingly uncouth? dunno, and don’t care…it’s life. My life in fact.
I will end this babble with a few wonderful travel quotes that touch the core of my traveling beliefs.
“We wanderers, ever seeking the lonelier way, begin no day where we have ended another day; and no sunrise finds us where sunset left us. Even while the earth sleeps we travel. We are the seeds of the tenacious plant, and it is in our ripeness and our fullness of heart that we are given to the wind and are scattered.”
― Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
“But that’s the glory of foreign travel, as far as I am concerned. I don’t want to know what people are talking about. I can’t think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything. Suddenly you are five years old again. You can’t read anything, you have only the most rudimentary sense of how things work, you can’t even reliably cross a street without endangering your life. Your whole existence becomes a series of interesting guesses.”
― Bill Bryson, Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
― Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad/Roughing It
“We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate. We travel to bring what little we can, in our ignorance and knowledge, to those parts of the globe whose riches are differently dispersed. And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again- to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more.”
― Pico Iyer
“Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends.You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things: air, sleep, dreams, sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.”
― Cesare Pavese
AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST….we do not live forever….so GO AND T R A V E L
“Roam abroad in the world, and take thy fill of its enjoyments before the day shall come when thou must quit it for good.”
XOXO Ms Harmonica M u a h!! From the Sinbad that I am…