When driving through East Africa in the 60’s we learned something very interesting and deeply significant. Often times conditions conspired to keep us in a place longer then we anticipated. Often we were in places for two months before we could move on. And what we learned was that to really appreciate the qualities and condition of many places, it took two months. The language, the customs, the usage, the markets, the people and the places within the place. Often we didn’t get it until after at least a month and then another month to savor the depths we had unintentionally uncovered.
We know this is not a casual recommendation. It is not a recommendation that encompasses the mere vacation (and I don’t mean that to sound as snotty as it does). It’s obvious that one can use the two week or gasp the one week to decide, to focus , to inform one’s self about where it might be worthwhile to spend more time. We actually suffer from something much worse and we are writing for those similarly afflicted. We become possessed by certain places. As the pioneer hitches his wagon and travels over the hill, coming to the happy valley and knows he has arrived, we search out places that will capture us, hold us, draw us back time and time again and grasp us for significant stretches of that time. Yes yes yes you need time to do this but the compulsion we feel causes us to make time, to actually arrange our lives to have this kind of time.
I know that not many people will go to this extreme. But many of us are reaching an age and a disposition where this becomes a tantalizing idea, a temptation that we might actually give into. Even if this is not the case, perhaps you can read us with the idea this is an inoculation against the whirlwind tour, the get on the bus we have hundreds of places to see this week kind of travel that our parents and grandparents were talked into. It’s indicative of a busy lifestyle and need we say how wasting and barren that lifestyle can actually be. The schedule, pick up the kids, take the kids, the Disney world approach to great and old places, the rise , get on line for the ride. Maybe we can talk you out of that just a little and open your eyes to slower, deeper, richer experiences in the places you travel too.