There may be a 1-2 week pause in Hobopoet posts as I embark on a travel marathon till the end of February. I'll be flying from Bangkok to Atlanta, then driving from Atlanta to DC, the back again to Atlanta.... then Atlanta to Bangkok. I'll spend a few more days in Thailand and then fly to Osaka Japan... and then finally take the bullet train from Osaka to Hiroshima. So I've got two weeks of jet lag and cramped seats to look forward to. Remind me again why I love travel?
I am looking forward to one interesting aspect of this trip. It will be a unique opportunity to compare people and cultures- going from Thailand to America to Thailand to Japan should present some interesting contrasts. Along these lines, I would like to take an extended around the world trip one day. I usually prefer to spend lots of time in one country/place but it would be fascinating to move from Africa to Europe to the Islam belt to India.... etc, all in one trip.. especially to do so while practicing "sacred drift": no guidebooks, no itinerary, no plan. Just go where whim, intuition, or circumstance takes you.
Increasingly this is my preferred mode of travel. Ive mostly done away with guidebooks. Not that Im a snotty purists. Guidebooks have their place. They were a great comfort to me during my first few trips.. I probably would have been too scared to make that initial trip to India, for example, without the trusty Lonely Planet to guide me. But now they are a hindrance and a limitation. Im no longer scared.
I prefer Hakim Bey's notion of sacred drift. One of my favorite activities is to take off in a particular direction and follow my whim. If something captures my eye-- I pursue it. If I get a whiff of something interesting.. I try to find it. This process quickly leads off the beaten path- to chance encounters and interesting surprises.
Give it a try sometime... even in your hometown. Most people move in fairly small circles and would be surprised at the weird and wonderful things that exist in their own home.