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On staying foolish

Editorial: There is a travel forum that I occasionally visit where a woman has been posting reports of her travels on a very remote Indonesian island. She is an American, 74 years of age, divorced, and going solo. She travels very cheaply. The places she stays usually cost $8 – $10 a night, breakfast included. She tells of visiting several hotels in an effort to find a room with a bathroom that has a sink so that she won’t have to brush her teeth in the shower. She’d just bought an onward bus ticket for a trip that will take 12 hours and cost $13.25. I don’t think money is the issue for she takes her grandchildren on very exotic vacations. Her simple postings have gotten me thinking that I need a different travel experience this year. There is something quite appealing about it.

The death this week of Steve Jobs, former CEO of Apple Computer, has added to my restlessness. Like many of you, I read the commencement address he gave at Stanford a few years ago, where he said that for the past 33 years he looked in the mirror every morning and asked himself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And if the answer was “No” for too many days in a row, he knew he needed to change something. He also spoke of his credo, to ‘Stay hungry’ and ‘Stay foolish’. So maybe what is missing in my life is that I need to be a little more hungry and foolish.

Of course, there are different ways to ‘stay foolish’. Matthew Reinhardus’ journey to see Komodo dragons seemed a mite foolish to me. At first I thought he was talking about mythical dragons or maybe statues like you’d see on Easter Island. But no, they were free-roaming lizards and the largest on earth.

Stephanie Jack’s experience canyoning in Vietnam is another feature this month, and it also seems a little too foolish to me. But she drew strength from what seemed to be a very frightening moment and knew that ‘If I could do that I could do anything.’ Maybe that is what Jobs was talking about, testing yourself and drawing strength and satisfaction from your accomplishments.

Certainly there is a ‘don’t wait until it’s too late’ message in all of this and there are two features this month that bring that message home. One takes place in Norway and the other in Costa Rica. And while the circumstances differ, they are both about finding opportunities and bringing families together.

There are also a couple of articles on volunteering abroad, a somewhat controversial topic but a movement that will probably continue to grow. Enjoy.

Sylvia Fanjoy

© Riding the buses 2011

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One response to "On staying foolish"

  1. Thanks for alerting me to your editorial, that included some things about my traveling. By the way, I’m not 74, but 76. And yes, I do get a kick out of traveling the way I do, mainly because it makes me feel so competent! But it seems in your creating your blog or forum, you are realizing your dream, too, and contributing to the world.


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