Hitting the Travel Wall


Hey all, just a “little” update for those wanting to know about my three months of travel around Europe.

I just spent the better part of 6 days in Plovdiv, Bulgaria and now the past five days in Sophia at a family’s home… Mostly just enjoying conversation with interesting people I met at the The Crib Hostel or with the friends and family of a woman I met at the famous “beach beer garden” discovered in Bonn, Germany. I have increasingly shied away from meeting ‘travelers on missions to check off another city or country’, as the stories are mostly the same, just with different twists and turns along the way.  Stories I have fortunately lived in abundance over all the years of being addicted to travel.

Yes, people go out and have a good time in the rest of the world too.
Yes, people go out and have a good time in the rest of the world too.

And to be honest I can’t process all the information; either the names of another new, amazing “must see” place or the names even of another traveler for that matter.

The Hard Drive between my ears is currently at maximum capacity and my RAM is fully utilized. Virtual cache consumed by thinking “How to do I say something in ‘simple’ English?”, so another person possessing only a few basics words in the English language, the bridge connecting us, can understand me, or trying to absorb the meaning of a dialect and just the basic phonetic sounds that are absolutely “Chinese” to that which I am familiar.

Friends for life encountered along the way
Friends for life encountered along the way…

I was never good at learning the technical terminology of grammar, or “seeing” a representation of the letters, i.e., A equals “aah” in English. And as such, my abilities to decipher and translate a sound to a visual representation in my mind’s eye of letters familiar to me, consumes 99.99% of my mental brainpower. There is nothing left to consider what was comprehended in an intelligent manner, to mull it over, to excite a biological and chemical response process, to carry forward the conversation.

~~~It is a myth I am addicted to disproving… and one I’m learning that there is no reason to disprove it at all. I am beginning to comprehend the need to “Just let it be what it is”, and enjoy the beauty of all that presents itself as it is revealed at the time and place that is correct.~~~

I’m burnt out, both literally and figuratively, from taking another picture of that church or learning about this city’s central square; then editing the image to post it to Facebook or Instagram for family or friends to see and enjoy… to live vicariously through my adventures as I have been known to do in the past, to live up to the HansWorldTravels brand I have crafted, not through active desire, but rather through the default public representation of my insatiable addiction to travel.

Sure, there is an easier route, but should be just take that?
Sure, there is an easier route, but should we just take that?

I currently have not the time to write about an experience I had here; a different perspective, either cultural or personal, I have encountered there. It does not matter whether it was one I experienced personally or one that was relayed to me in this unending cultural exchange with people whom I encounter.

The rush, rush, rush to see everything one can in each city for a day, maybe two, then on to the next place is great for maybe a month.  But, after that, it is no longer a vacation, the travel becomes a job in and of itself. At some point, you have to stop and just stay in one place for a week or more. And even then, for the first 3 or 4 days, they have to be anticipated as being “becoming familiar with a new place” days, no different than travel or city exploration days. They are not periods for rest and recovery, meeting basic human needs of sleep, shelter, food, allowing the brain to reboot and the cache to be cleaned, is what is required, but you can’t in these initial days at yet another place.

It's not a famous castle, but it's comfortable and sometimes that is enough.
It’s not a famous “must see” castle, but it’s comfortable and sometimes that is enough.

Even the simple act, otherwise enjoyable, desired and why I have focused my trip so heavily around CouchSurfing; of meeting new people; exchanging the basic cultural experiences and knowledge, sharing information about the next city or the train or bus schedules to get there, they too are like work.

And in that time, no real world things can be accomplished. One enters a vacuum to reality, you are neither vacationing nor working.  Yes, you are “growing” in experiences had, making yourself more “well rounded”, but you are not bettering yourself, you are just getting by. Living in the moment to be certain, but one is living in a fake moment, a fake reality, a life that does not move forward, nor does it move backwards.  It is basic existence, no different than what we of the “developed” world consider the “ass backwards” life of a Bushman of the Kalahari or some country bumpkin who just fell off the turnip truck. It is not even the “simple life” highly stressed and successful people of the world turn to when “enough is enough” and they need a break, throwing in the towel, albeit privileged in the wealth they now have amassed… it is more primal than this.

I don’t write this to gripe, to complain, to rant or to any way imply I am not having an amazing time, because I am doing just that… This is an unbelievable adventure and time in my life. Each person I meet, story I share, conversation amongst one person or many others, no matter how deep or trivial, is more beautiful and more amazing than the ones that proceeded it. This trip is not what I imagined it would be. To be honest, I had no ideas what it would be like, but I would not have it any other way.

Inspired me to buy shoes. Who's dances in flip flops! ;)
Inspired me to buy shoes, two months into only flips. Who dances in flip flops! 😉

The generosity extended to me from old friends, family I had never met or new people alike, is unmatched in the society I have been raised and have lived for over 40 years. It comes with no conditions, it comes without expectations to provide something of hard value in return. The hospitality and generosity I have received is foreign to me, I can neither explain it in words nor reciprocate it in action. But there is not the need, just being myself has been enough. Sharing what I know and how I help others to understand the crazy, lunacy that the United States has de-evolved into, is all they desire to learn and somehow begin to understand in their own ways.

The world is enormous. The “Little Blue Dot” image, brought to us when the Astronauts landed on the moon, this same Earth we all live and breath on, has inadvertently represented in my thinking as small; a tiny world that someone, with enough money and time, can experience in totality within a lifetime. But that is not correct by any means. A single person, no matter their intelligence, holds more knowledge and intricacies than all the world combined, yet we could never expect to learn everything possible about just one person, let alone all the world’s people, their diverse and unique cultures or histories combined.

It is a myth I am addicted to disproving… and one I’m learning that there is no reason to disprove it at all. I am beginning to comprehend the need to “Just let it be what it is”, and enjoy the beauty of all that presents itself as it is revealed at the time and place that is correct.

From Sofia, Bulgaria… Hans out. 🙂

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