i’m not exactly sure when my philosophy on travel changed. my assumption, without much thought, is that it was in peace corps. i got used to two things…having plans fall apart mid execution, and having other people make the plans in the first place. either way…the results were interesting. i didn’t always know what would come next and i usually had a horrible that morphed into a great story later (like almost getting shot at the taxi rank in south africa) or just an all around great time, like gorilla trekking in uganda.

a friend of mine is in town and today’s plans (which i didn’t have a great handle on to begin with) didn’t pan out as anticipated. we were headed to see chihuly’s glass exhibit at the legion of honor…only that isn’t where it was (they only had three of his works). so after a sumptuous but overpriced dim sum brunch we took the wrong bus to the wrong place (were forced to get a cab) only to get back into a cab that took us back to basically where we had started.

after wandering around the exhibit (with PC who i lured out to the wrong spot) we took a wrong turn that meandered us through the botanical gardens near the museum. a complete circle. i managed to stop and look and touch things (as i am prone to do) despite our quick pace. finally out…at the exact spot we entered…and we got the bus to powell for some ice cream and shopping.

all in all it wasn’t what i had anticipated but i had a grand time.

it made me think though…people have different expectations of travel and despite speaking the same language often we are using different tongues. my friend Kindred feels the need to fill my every waking hour when i visit her. if i spend too much time puttering around her house (even if she isn’t home) it makes her nervous. after years we’ve finally reached a compromise – she picks one major thing for us to do at some point.

i enjoy that and wouldn’t want it to change but i have tried to explain to her that if something is calling to me…i’ll let her know. and if not – i’m fine. but see, that’s the way i travel…after all, she planned our trip to the gorillas. of course when she has come to visit me we don’t do much. mostly eat because that is what makes me giddy. i think i’m just starting to discover that people may say the same words and infer very different meaning.

my friend JC came to visit me a few months ago – i told him to make a list of what he wanted to do and i’d try to make it happen. he did…and i did. we found the proper translation. i’m going to have to figure out a translator for any other visitors because i like people visiting and i want them to have a great time, to anticipate coming back…but we don’t always speak the same language.

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