The travel bug


Well, it rained all afternoon, so I never did make it to that other monastery. But I had some great conversations. One of the fun things about traveling the way I do is meeting interesting fellow-travelers. Backpackers come in all kinds of varieties. There are, of course, students who are traveling on school breaks, or are creating their own school breaks to get a different kind of education. There are recent graduates who are taking one last grande tour before settling down to a traditional lifestyle. There are business people of various sorts who are taking extended leaves to sort out what they want to do with their lives. There are people who have started internet businesses that they run from internet sites during their travels, businesses that access the millions of niche shoppers available on-line for products that would NEVER sell to the limited customer base of traditional marketing. This being India, there are the “seekers” who have come to experience some guru or ashram. And this being the Himalayas, there were a lot of trekkers, people on their way to extended hikes up into the mountains. I never did get to that monastery; but an afternoon of food and coffee and conversation while the rain fell was a nice way to spend some time. That, and I checked my e-mail. Yes, in this little town on the LITERAL edge of nowhere, there was an internet shop with two sometimes-running computers. Very strange to see the familiar Yahoo windows in this most out-of-the-way locale. Only fifteen years ago, it took a month to research how one could communicate with the U.S. during an exchange year in Germany, and it was VERY expensive. Amazing . . . only fifteen years . . .


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