16 November 2010

a new season

It is almost a week since I have returned from my North Africa adventure. I celebrated my 36th birthday in Djerba, Tunisia. The Med, the Sahara, and everything in between. It was a magnificent country and yet another experience that left a long-last mark on my being.

The people, the landscape, the way of life, it all captivated me to a level I did not anticipate. The more I travel, the more I see (and I have seen an awful lot for my age), the more the world make sense in some weird way. We, as humans, are all alike, regardless of our race, creed, religion, or sex. Language doesn't serve as a barrier to communication; a smile does more than words.

During this trip, I thought about my old traveling companion (now dead), Helen constantly. I was reminded of our last trip to Cambodia. During that time, American travellers were a rarity but the few small lessons Helen taught me were like a tape on repeat in my mind during Tunisia. Things I learned from Helen:
  • Smile. Always smile.
  • Wave, especially at children as they need to know that travellers are capable of kindness.
  • Always, always say hello; preferable in their language, but when in doubt a good old fashioned 'hello' works.
The compassion Helen instilled in me is something I am eternally grateful for. I had so many wonderful encounters and subsequent memories because I faithfully followed Helen's guidance. While I miss Helen greatly, it felt wonderful to have her still encircling me on my latest holiday.


Fiona said...

Wow Patsy, I didn't realise you were off on the road again.

It sounds like it was a magnificent journey and I'm sure Helen shared it with you, as you carry her with you and see things through her eyes, as well as through your own.

Anonymous said...

Love the bit about the children. It's so true. Can't wait to see your photos.

patsy said...

thanks, chicas!

so many good looking men... i could have brought two dozen home with me!!