Holidays April 2011 ~ some considerations

I live in a large city with all that it implies: noise is at the top of the list. There are no much green spots, it´s a jungle of concrete and tall buildings that are spreading all over the city at very rapid speed. There is a river, the widest in the world, but it´s contaminated. Funny thing? the city has grown giving its back to this river. Just recently a new area was developed next to it. There are 40-story buildings with the best view but again, they add concrete to the landscape, no real gain for those who enjoy being outdoors.

Calles de BA desde la terraza
Taken from the rooftop in 2007

And here I´m. The type of person that pines for open spaces, rivers that are not contaminated, lakes that are not artificial, mountains that are not made of concrete, green spots where you can hear birds chirping instead of cars honking, animals at large instead of in cages.

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La Pampa

Monkey
Mendoza zoo

And there I go, every time I have the chance. I like getting to know new places, cultures, environments. But I also like to spend some days in a quiet place where I can hear the music I like: nature.

I make miles and miles in hopes of finding the quietness I need but then there comes the always unexpected factor: people. I assume – and sometimes I´m very very wrong- that people who travel that far are people who have certain appreciation for nature. You don´t expect to find a person in a jungle complaining about mosquitoes or yelling because the accommodation doesn´t live up to their expectations. You know beforehand that you won´t have your creature comforts, that you won´t always find a bathroom when you need it or the food you like or a proper bed.

What you expect is to find people who appreciate what is around them and who are willing to learn, to see, to smell, to hear, to touch, to taste new tastes, to observe, to make use of the senses in a way that you don´t normally need to.

When I was at La Pampa (that will be the next post) the bathrooms where outside the bedrooms and you needed to walk on a plank to get there. There was no electricity so you needed to adapt your eyes to the darkness. And you needed your ears too because there were crocodiles that you could hardly see in plain daylight because their color was the same color of the water so imagine at night. You needed to hear them to know they were there, that was your alert. And that was one of the many things you learn while being in a foreign environment.

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if you look hard, you´ll see it in the water

Now imagine that you cannot hear because there is someone with a radio at full volume in the bedroom next door ? And believe me, it happens more often than you think. And you cannot understand why a person goes that far to hear the same sounds they hear in their daily life. Why don´t they want to try a new music? the music of the place they are in? Why do they complain about the lack of comforts instead of enjoying what the place does have to offer? If they miss so much their daily lives, why traveling?

When I was in La Pampa I spent a morning in the hammocks while my group went for a walk. It was about to rain, you could smell it in the air, you could tell from the sky. And I decided to stay in the camp, not because of the rain if not because of a burn in my leg that had me in pain. And then the rain came and it was just beautiful to hear the drops and to feel the breeze (a blessing since it was extremely hot) while swinging in the hammocks. Then the group came back and I waited for them at the dock, helped them with the ropes and we had a nice coffee while chatting about our experiences.

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One of the topics we dealt with was precisely what I´m telling you now. And we all agreed. We all had found people in our travels that should have chosen a different experience for their holidays and not one in which they miss so much their homes.

Dón´t get me wrong. I was lucky because I met incredible people who made me feel very comfortable. Sometimes I think that I´m getting old and that´s why I´m bothered about certain things. Then I meet people half my age who are bothered about the same things and I feel better. It´s not an age thing if not the way we perceive things regardless the passing of time.

Sorry about my ramblings but it´s what it´s in my head while I travel and in that sense, part of the story too.

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18 thoughts on “Holidays April 2011 ~ some considerations

  1. i know what you mean ellen, about wanting to hear quiet, nature sounds…. i would never be able to exist in a concrete city…. i need outdoors… all the photos are wonderful, with the photos of the rain being my favorites… sooo beautiful….

    • G? is that you?
      If so, I know that you do enjoy outdoors and rain !!! every time it rains, I think of you !! no wonder my rain picture is one of your favs!! glad you liked it, you would have loved being in the hammock that morning, it was so so beautiful !!!!

  2. Great story as you have brought a remarkable point that many people do not think of.We are so use to our comfort zone and doing our everday things with the same foods, sounds, sights and then we run away to someplace that is the same. You are the exception. You really walk on the wild side and take your chances and enjoy what is given to you. Even a rain in a hammock. So many would complain that the weather sucked. You took that moment and found the peacefulness and beauty. You are an exceptional person and an inspiration. Thank you so much for sharing that story. You have really inspired me to think outside of the box and try things that I otherwise would have been afraid to do and to look at things in a different prespective. By the way…… Love the rain drop photo!!!! Exceptional piece of work!!!!

    • Thank you Ellen, for all you said and for being my friend. I think that both of us have influenced each other in a positive way. You always help me to put things into perspective, you always encourage me to keep going, you have tought me many many things throghout the years that have been priceless and have enrichened my life. So thank you again!!
      Happy to hear that you love the rain drop photo … it was a treasurable moment !!

  3. Unfortunately you get people like that in Africa too. As you say, why bother going into the wilderness if you don’t really want to escape the city?

    The other day I was walking the dog on the beach. There was a man walking ahead of me, who was talking on his mobile phone the whole time he was on the beach. He might as well have been on a treadmill at the gym.

    Lovely photo of raindrops on water!

    • Glad you liked the photo!! I´m sure you find all types of people in Africa, especially there, one of the “exotic” destinations. Thing is that there is a type of holidays for everyone. If you are the type of person that cannot sleep if you don´t have a comfortable bed, don´t go camping.

      The other day I went to the park for a walk. At that time of the day you see the joggers and people excercising. There was a man (your comment reminded me of him) who was about 60, running (?) while talking on the phone and with a cigarette in his hand and I couldn´t help but laughing (to myself) because he was the antithesis of a runner.

      Besides, you need your air to breath when running !!!

      Have a great week!!

  4. These photos are gorgeous.

    I think I would be very annoyed if the person next door was blasting rock music or something while I was trying to relax.

  5. I love seeing (and sharing) my green. But I’m also envious of the photo opportunities that a concrete jungle can offer. You seem to be able to reach the best of both through your travels. So you had to walk on a plank across water where there may be a crocodile that you can only identify by sound? Yikes! Those last two photos are gorgeous!

    • It is true, a concrete jungle has plenty of photo opportunities, and I manage to combine both concrete and green in my life. It´s just that when I open my window and all I see are more windows and hear the traffic noise, I wish I had a garden to chill out after a long day out of my house.
      Yes, you got it right about the whole scene with the crocodriles but I´m trained, since I have to walk in this jungle every day and try to see a thief behind a tree LOL Well, not funny that part of the city life but for example, I don´t walk in the streets with my mp3 because I cannot hear the steps at night, if somebody follows me.
      Glad you liked the pictures!!! Have a good week Becky!!!

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