The In Between Traveler
“Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralyzed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds’ wings.” Rumi
I’m probably never going to trek in the Himalayas, hike the Inca Trail and camp out in the Carpathian Mountains. I prefer not being locked in a fancy resort for my entire trip but I don’t mind a few days. On the other hand, I will probably never go on a charity vacation where you perform worthy labor on behalf of poor people. I don’t see a cruise as being a fun thing but I have never been on one.
I am the in between traveler. I search for the right balance between comfort and strangeness – not too hot and not too cold, not too scary but not too fake, not too primitive and not too antiseptic. I like a mix of culture, history and nature. I’m not jumping out of airplane adventurous but I enjoy going to places that many people have not been. I have been known to eat insects in countries that do that but tying my feet together to bungee jump off a bridge is not my thing.
I will always prefer to do something out of the ordinary when traveling but there are times that I want to do the touristy stuff as well. I hate words like glamping, staycation or bleisure (that one sounds like something that requires medical attention). I do not like when trips are described as soul-searching. Eat Pray Love came out a long time ago. I am over it. Nor do I like it when they are described as good for people who like to live on the edge. Do I need any more adrenalin in my life? I’ve learned that recommendations are tough. One person’s paradise might be my idea of hell. I do a lot of research.
I like mental adventures. I prefer to visit countries that have fought wars or had revolutions in my lifetime, extinct volcanoes, countries we are mad at that aren’t dangerous and countries with drug cartels that are safer now. I am interested in seeing history unfold.
For me, in between is the way to travel. The adventurers and the cruisers have their paths set. But the journey in the middle is the path of movement. As the travel guru Goldilocks says, “This one is too big and that one is too small but the one in the middle is just right.”