Travel: the anti-venom of ignorance

Buzz Lightyear:

A sense of inevitability has taken over me.

Leading up to my first departure for Mexico, my to-do lists read like norse epics. They were constantly updated with new reminders of the varied tasks that I needed to accomplish before I was ready to head off. As the time approached, the list got smaller and smaller until the day arrived to leave and all that was left were a few insignificant nothings. Now, like then, my to-do list has dwindled down to just a few rudimentary details.

To be perfectly honest, it feels wonderful. I feel excitement, to be sure, and the nervousness that seems like a natural byproduct of departing on an unknown, and possibly dangerous, adventure is quite minimal. Though I am fully prepared for a panic attack or a sudden feeling a ineptness, at this time, I feel quite peaceful and prepared. Preparation is good and preparation is necessary. But I could spend my whole life preparing for this trip and never truly be ready. At a certain point, you have to throw caution to the wind and take the first step. And for that, I am as prepared as I’ll ever be.

On my trip, I never really pass by a big city, I am mostly on dirt roads (or so says the map), and there are a few points where the map shows no road but google earth makes me think otherwise. When the time comes, I will ask locals and find the best route. I fully expect and look forward to the route changing along the way; it is part of my quixotic nature to look for a path where there are no roads.

The main highlight, by far, was my dad coming to visit me. Many years ago, in a discussion that we were having about visiting Mexico, my dad expressed a rare moment of ignorance when he said, “Why would I want to go to a poor third world country? There is plenty of poverty in the US, why would I want to go somewhere else to see it?” If you know my dad, you might find this comment impossible to believe, and though he is most likely not proud of his past thinking, I think it is a quisessential example of how travel and experiential education is the perfect anti-venom for ignorance.

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