Day 10: At what point in your travels have you felt most in tune with the Earth? Share a story of how you interacted with the local environment or nature.
I honestly haven’t had many opportunities to be In Tune With The Earth, considering my travel’s been limited more-or-less exclusively to built-up areas. I guess the adventure that counts the most was that one time I was wandering through that reserve south of Manly, in Sydney. The hike in question consisted mainly of me trying to not get lost (a backpacker got lost for two weeks in the Blue Mountains some months earlier) [In fairness, the guy didn’t know what he was getting into. Incidentally, four months later, I saw a funny bus ad referencing the event.] or bit by some poisonous evolutionary freak (it had been drilled into my head that the wildlife down there feeds on human suffering). Despite this, I have some fond memories of that little adventure (the views of the ocean oh my God), which fond memories are the only reason it’s not on the Mistake List, because that is by far the dumbest thing I ever did down there.
Day 11: For some of us, food isn’t just a part of our travels, it’s the reason why we travel. Whether you travel the globe to try new foods and use food to form a deeper connection with the culture or just eat to live, food plays a big part in the travel experience. Share a food-related story from your travels or describe your best meal.
When we were touring Japan my buddy and I were in Kamakura, and we had found this really nice little family-run restaurant to get some lunch, and we went in and sat down (traditional-style on one of those low tables) and ordered some ramen.
What do you think of when you think of ramen? If you’re an American college student, probably those little packs of noodly things that are real cheap and real easy to cook and which may or may not be a staple of your diet, yes?
That is not how they do ramen in Japan. Over there, they do it right. We each got a big soup bowl in which floated not just actual, legitimate non-stringy noodles but also chicken and veggies and pork chunks (like, big pork chunks) and all sorts of other good stuff. It was, I suspect, one of the best meals either of us have ever had.
[I mentioned the deep-fried squid in Sydney before. There was also the borscht I had at a friend’s house.]
Day 12: Travelers meet dozens, if not hundreds, of new people on every trip. They may become friends, enemies, lovers, and resources; they may stay in your life forever or be forgotten the next day. Tell about a time you felt a powerful connection – for however long – to another person while traveling.
C____ and T____ and A____ and Other C____ and L____ and all their friends from Sydney. [You know who you are.]
I’d been in touch with C____ before heading down, and it was he who picked me up from the airport when I arrived (L____ was coming in from America at roughly the same time on a different flight). Thus was I introduced to C____’s very large circle of friends, all of whom were amazing, wonderful people (I visited T____ and A____ and Other C____ often and we’d just sit and talk or play video games or relate wonderful travel experiences of our own). They just made Sydney for me. It’s a pity I’m so bad at staying in touch with people; I really should contact them more often.