For the Journey Outward and the Voyage Inward

This post is for travelers to places found on maps and for adventurers of the heart, for those bold enough to journey outward, or brave enough to voyage inward, possibly even gifted enough to go both far away and deep within at the same time!

If you're planning to travel this summer, whether taking several day trips, some longer vacations, or a planned or unforeseen voyage of the "life-map" variety, and you wish to keep a travel journal or log, here are some questions to get you into your travel reflection mode. You can answer them literally, metaphorically, or both. Answer all, or only some. Tell about the places you’ve been and places you yearn to be. Share your answers here or keep them for your eyes only. Either way, I’m wishing you joyful discoveries.

In due time I'll post follow-ups to this list with replies to some or all of the questions by a few amazing adventurers I know. Meanwhile, here are the questions...For YOU!

  1. Briefly introduce yourself as a traveler. Try to tell one thing many of your friends may not know about you.
  2. Tell about an event or two in your life that shaped your desire to learn about other places/people, or about yourself through travel or exploration.
  3. Give the short itinerary of your first trip or adventure that was out of the ordinary or which stands out as the beginning of traveling for you.
  4. What did this trip do to inspire or kindle within you a desire to travel more?
  5. Give advice to young people or newbies planning a first adventure to someplace exotic, overseas or far-away, whether geographically, philosophically or socio-politically. The “other side of the tracks” or border may be very far away for some.
  6. What, in your view, is the “Ugly American.” If it’s a myth, how do you think it came into being? If not a myth, how can you help other travelers avoid this pitfall?
  7. What is your idea or vision of a great trip?
  8. What has traveling taught you about other people/cultures/countries—be as general or specific as you like.
  9. What has traveling taught you about you?
  10. Add a question I didn’t ask, but should have…a “Why” or “How” question, maybe?
  11. What is the next adventure you have planned? What are you hoping to discover...about others or other places...about you?
Bonus tip: Next time you depart or arrive over the ocean, study it, pay attention. Although I avoid the cooped-in feeling of the window seat, especially on longer trips, I’ve always dreamed of finding whales from a fast-moving jet. The time before last, coming back in for a landing off the coast of Santa Monica, I was doing my little devotion, I guess you could call it that, with my forehead pressed to the pane--and what do you know? I spied a cluster of five huge “things” moving below, under water. We were flying over too fast to be certain, but they could have been whales or very large schools of fish. I only hope they weren’t submarines--that would be a disappointment to me. I checked the migratory paths for the season, and like to think they were gray whales.

Happy trails and pleasant dreaming!