BootsnAll Travel Network

Contemplating Leaving

My one year visa in Mexico expires August 8. After visiting my son Greg in Las Vegas I should be back in Oregon by the middle of August…driving from Oaxaca to Queretaro to pick up my friend Patty who will be my traveling companion along the way. I have mixed feelings of course. Returning to my home country will be the measure of things great and small. In the fall I will return to Asia to visit son Josh and his wife Amy in Beijing and son Doug and his wife Luk in Thailand.

In the meantime I am reading my irreverent, indepensible, if tattered, “The World’s Most Dangerous Places” by the consummate journalist Robert Young Pelton. After Asia, maybe a visit to Syria? Or…? Then maybe a return to Oaxaca to get that language down after all.

A regular columnist for National Geographic Adventure, Pelton produces and hosts a TV series for Discovery and the Travel Channel and appears frequently as an expert on current affairs and travel safety on CNN, FOX and other networks.

“The United States has a very comprehensive system of travel warnings,” says Pelton, “but conveniently overlooks the dangers within its own borders. Danger cannot be measured, only prepared against. The most dangerous thing in the world,” he says, “is ignorance.”

Welcome to Dangerous Places…”no walls, no barriers, no bull” it says in the preface. “With all the talk about survival and fascination with danger, why is it that people never admit that life is like watching a great movie and–pooof–the power goes off before we see the ending? It’s no big deal. Death doesn’t really wear a smelly cloak and carry a scythe…it’s more likely the attractive girl who makes you forget to look right before you cross that busy intersection in London…

It helps to look at the big picture when understanding just what might kill you and what won’t. It is the baby boomers’ slow descent into gray hair, brand-name drugs, reading glasses, and a general sense of not quite being as fast as they used to be that drives the survival thing. Relax: You’re gonna die. Enjoy life, don’t fear it.

To some, life is the single most precious thing they are given and it’s only natural that they would invest every ounce of their being into making sure that every moment is glorious, productive, and safe. So does “living” mean sitting strapped into our Barca Lounger, medic at hand, 911 autodialer at the ready, carefully watching for low-flying planes? Or should you live like those folks who are into extreme, mean, ultimate adventure stuff…sorry that stuff may be fun to talk about at cocktail parties, but not really dangerous…not even half as dangerous as riding in a cab on the graveyard shift in Karachi.

[A big part of] living is about adventure and adventure is about elegantly surfing the tenuous space between lobotomized serenity and splattered-bug terror and still being in enough pieces to share the lessons learned with your grandkids. Adventure is about using your brain, body and intellect to weave a few bright colors in the world’s dull, gray fabric…

The purpose of DP is to get your head screwed on straight, your sphincter unpuckered and your nose pointed in the right direction.”

I love it.

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-8 responses to “Contemplating Leaving”

  1. Karen Brooks says:

    Thanks for the message. Have a safe trip back to OR. I’ve enjoyed your blogs, just wanted you to know. This aging thing isn’t easy and I salute your courage and spirit.

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