Yes, I’m Going to Mexico
I found this great quote this morning:
“But that’s the glory of foreign travel, as far as I am concerned. I don’t want to know what people are talking about. I can’t think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything. Suddenly you are five years old again. You can’t read anything, you have only the most rudimentary sense of how things work, you can’t even reliably cross a street without endangering your life. Your whole existence becomes a series of interesting guesses.”
― Bill Bryson, Neither Here Nor There: Travels in Europe
It’s a great quote, not because it expresses how I feel about travel, but because it casually highlights the things that scare me.
First of all, I have no desire to be five again. None.
Yes, I know, sense of wonder, beginner’s mind, all that. But hey, have you noticed that we do NOT let five-year-olds take trips by themselves?
That’s because they can’t read, don’t understand how things work, and can’t even reliably cross the street alone.
Despite knowing better, on Thursday, I will get on a plane and land three times ~ once in Dallas, no problem, couple of hours layover. Once in Houston, still no problem, 8 hour layover is a little excessive, but apparently unavoidable. But then ~
~ then, all tired and frumpy from hanging out in airports, I’ll get on a plane that lands in Oaxaca City, Mexico.
Don’t misunderstand me. I can do this. Of course I can do this.
I’m not really a five-year-old.
Ok, I don’t speak Spanish, but that’s not a big deal. I’ve got a few days to master key phrases. Isn’t there an app I can download?
I’ll have hotel reservations, a shuttle to get there, and Conan and a friend picking me up in the morning. All will be well.
The grown-up in me knows that I can manage this just fine. It is the five-year-old who’s kicking and screaming, “NO! I don’t wanna go!!”
I didn’t much like being five back when I was a kid. Like Wendy, in Peter Pan, I “…was one of the kind that likes to grow up. In the end she grew up of her own free will a day quicker than the other girls.”
So I have no desire to feel like a five year old again.
On the other hand, I think this second phase of life is when we get to revisit all those issues still unresolved from our early years. In that case, maybe I’ll like being a five year better the second time around.