I just returned from Papua New Guinea and have some time between trips. I wanted to post some photos from this amazing place while also try to digest some of the experiences I have had while traveling in this remarkable country.
I guess I have never really been that comfortable around bush knives. Probably never will be for that matter but in a strange way this image reminds me of one of the reasons I travel. I believe Eric Newby wrote in his book, What the Traveler Saw, "travel is the sherbet between the main courses of life". That sounds pretty tasty if you ask me. For most people this probably conjures images of far away vacations to luxury lodging and white sand beaches. These thoughts are often followed by the image of kicking back in a comfortable chair, a frosty drink in hand on a sunny day. There are other versions of this theme wether it be on the deck of a cruise ship or a quaint village in europe. I think most will get the picture. Now, do not get me wrong, I like Eric's idea of what travel represents but I find travel or "shall we say adventure travel," like sherbet has many different flavors. With travel providing as perfect an opportunity to get away from my everyday comfort zone, along with a chance to find a place of experience for personal growth. Do I really want to travel half way around the world to find the same food or some version of it that I have access to back home? Do I want to have the same set up for accommodations as I can find in many chain hotels back home? I have found that a hut with leaky roof during the rainy season or mosquito net with a hole just big enough to let a squadron of the little buggers in overnight to be one the uncomfortable but genuine ways to gain a sense of place. So you get a little wet or a few bites, sometimes many bites. I know I usually get my fair share but I remember that experience. Regional cultures seem to be more and more difficult to find now days especially around large resort communities. Initially the aromas of distant locations, or the difficulty dealing with a local dialect can be off putting. These are the very things I appreciate when I travel, reminding me that there still is some differences left in the world. I should say up front, that I always put safety on the top of my list when traveling on my own or leading adventures but I am always trying to be more open to the experiencing the subtle differences of a place. It can be through what we perceive as little discomforts, that we allow ourselves to appreciate more of what a destination is about. I do not want to miss out on experiencing a place because I am worried about a chance of an afternoon rain shower but rather, I would like to enjoy the walk in the rain.