Thursday, May 13, 2010

Trying to pay it forward....

Recently, one of my bar regulars told me that his daughter was going to Australia for three weeks. I was excited for her since I believe in travel. I believe there is education in seeing another land, culture, language. In this case, they speak English, but with a definite accent. And say things like---How you going? or Let's give it a go! Both phrases annoy me to no end. It is screechy and how does "how you going?" make any sort of sense?
Anyways, Mike had asked me if I would talk to his daughter. He knew that I had traveled and wanted someone to ease her fears--I think--or at least have a better handle on what to expect. The trip, itself, was paid for. He was curious about debit cards, exchange rates, how much money to take, etc...basically, the financial end.
His daughter had other questions. Namely, baggage. Unfortunately, I don't know her name. I only know her as Mike's daughter. She is a teenager and is a brunette. She babysits. Outside of that, I don't know anything about her.
Regardless, I was happy to meet with her. I told him that I would meet them Wednesday at 3:15. I knew that if they came into the Bull while I was scheduled to work, I would be distracted. So, I arranged to arrive early and talk to her. I wanted to help.
I unpacked my backpack. I had stuffed it with items that I traveled with and some other random crap that I needed to find a place for. Touching my pack reminded me of the months I spent abroad. I found that I was excited to talk about traveling with someone that was new to it.
I kept my pack towel, money belt, lock and a small journal in it. I located my day pack and was set to go. I bought a coffee and headed into the work at the arranged time.
I waited. And waited. And waited.
They never came. I don't know if the weather was an issue. It snowed yesterday, in May. It wasn't awful, though. It was cold, rainy and dreary.
Then, I thought, maybe, he forgot about our meeting. Either way, they never showed. I wasn't able to explain the beauty of travel, of packing light or keeping a journal. I think having a journal is fantastic and necessary. I had mine, amongst all of my books when I began my journey. Soon, I realized that carrying all of the travel guides was heavy and foolish. The journal remained with me.
I really wanted to help her out. I wanted to point out that it is better to travel light since she will be responsible for carrying her stuff around. Or, that technology requires more chargers, technological inserts and crap to carry. You don't need it. Focus on what you see, imagine, taste, smell, feel. Technology cannot replace your senses. Hence the beauty of having the journal. A way to record the senses of a particular trip or time period in your life.
Paying it forward....hmmm....another opportunity will arise....I suppose.....