62. Learning to Love Travel Day

Learning To Love Travel Day: The first three months of this trip have given us a mantra, a thing we say to ourselves almost more than any other thing. It’s a cliche phrase, the kind of thing that sports coaches and stock brokers say when they’re being interviewed by local papers, but that doesn’t hinder its curative powers for us. It works. It also happens to be a good conversation ender, because it always gives another chatty traveller the chance to let out a hearty, knowing laugh as we say goodbye and walk out on a high note. This is it:

It’s a good problem to have.

Even when we’re sitting still for a week on a beach somewhere, there’s almost always a list of logistical issues we need to resolve, a raft of small decisions that seem so much larger and more interconnected than they really are. Phone calls to make, guest houses to choose, flights to book, international ATMs to find, pharmacies to visit. And then when it’s time to move to a new place, it’s always an exhausting day of negotiating taxis, settling arguments between ourselves, and navigating the functional chaos of bus stations, ferry terminals and airports. It’s all just the mundane details of life and travel, but with new language barriers and weird security procedures every 25-30 days. It’s easier than you’d expect, getting wrapped up in the petty hassles, or even just the anticipated hassles, which is absurd given of our good fortune in being on a trip like this. We’re aware, and we’re slowly letting go of the stresses associated with travel day, because we know they’re all good problems to have. Who cares if we got ripped off on this shitty hotel room with the guy passed out in the hall and napkins for bath towels tonight, tomorrow we’re flying to Cambodia. And we only have about an hour to learn how to intelligibly say “hello” and “thank you” and “does this have any meat in it?” and “I don’t know, I just keep vomiting,” in a new local language. Tick tock.


  1. rja72 says:

    let it ride. dont clark w. griswold that shit.

    your gonna do a second lap aren’t ya?

  2. S says:

    It’s a marathon not a sprint, so we have to bring our “A” game and make some real heads-up decisions in the clutch.

    On another note, I thought of you yesterday when we were sitting in a ferry terminal listening to a troupe of blind Filipinos play a note-perfect rendition of “American Pie” while more than half of the people in the waiting room sang along. Ten minutes of beautiful agony.

  3. Zaque says:

    My favourite as of late has been “a doctor should know the difference between dysentery and just basic diarrhea”. Might be a little difficult to remember in multiple languages though.