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Riding the buses » Editorials, Featured trips, Uncategorized, Why travel, Women travellers » Can falling in love change the way you travel?

Can falling in love change the way you travel?

A couple of years ago I shared Carol Kiecher’s blog about leaving a youth hostel in Mozambique in the middle of the night to catch a bus to the airport. She was concerned about packing up her mosquito net and getting out of the dorm in the dark so as not to wake her fellow hostellers. She was also worrying about not tripping, which “would be a disaster,” she wrote. Carol was 79 years old at the time and having a fall is certainly a concern as we age. 

But Carol stayed upright and continued to travel just like she always had, to countries such as India, Russia, Sardinia, Malta, Uzbekistan. She travelled simply, using local transportation, staying in hostels when they were available, combining lunch and dinner into one meal she called “linner” with a glass or so of wine or beer. Carol’s a cultural traveller, a friend of galleries and museums. She is also one to seek out locals and fellow travellers.

And then it changed.

That’s because of Burt. As she describes it, they met at a chamber concert in the USA. He, like Carol, is cultured. He also loves food and is described as being “a demon cook”. He collects cookbooks, has 1200 of them at his home. And together they travelled to rather tame places like Tuscany.

And this is what happened. Apartments with well-equipped kitchens replaced youth hostels. Domesticity reigned. Carol wrote about “washing clothes and drying them on a rack in the backyard” and “making ice cubes in little plastic trays”. “Linners” were no more. Now there were “lunches in garden settings”, “martinis on the patio”, exotic dinners à la Burt like abbacchio (baby lamb with its kidney) or saltimbocca (fatty veal with prosciutto and sage on top) accompanied by wine (Burt is also a wine expert).

The local bus is no more either; instead they’re renting cars. No more getting up in the middle of the night in a dormitory; it’s the Airport Hilton!

And Carol looks so good, so happy and well taken care of.

And then it all changes again and she’s in a youth hostel, this time in Kazakjstan, a typical Carol-sort-of-destination in her pre-boyfriend days. Usual sort of stuff. Long flight, visiting four ATM machines upon arrival before finding one that would accept her card, being cheated by the taxi driver, being locked out of the hostel, getting a bunk in the dormitory. She’s back to having “linner”, fitting it between lots of walking and museums.

There are four blogs like this and I’m starting to miss Burt. Whatever happened? And then Carol writes that she is “very ready to go home”, that she is “missing Burt” and that in six days they will be off to France for a month. And she is happy and I find that I am happy for her too.

Perhaps there’s something in all this about not postponing joy while still adhering to the Dalai Lama’s Rule for Living: Once a year go to someplace that you’ve never been before. Works for Carol, it would seem.

By Sylvia Fanjoy

© ridingthebuses.com 2017

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