Virtues of Travel: Part 7
While reading my brother’s recent posts on training for his 100-mile run, I began contemplating the importance of getting ready for travel. To succeed, he has to be disciplined about the types of trails he’s running, about training in heat, about consuming proper nutrition, and about abundant stretching, yoga, strength training, and core workouts. I am envious of his efforts and his careful preparation.
Many great travel experiences require similar levels of planning ahead: researching the destination and the routes getting there, exploring places to stay and see, learning about the local cultures, foods, and adventures, thinking through the climate and the exposure and the risks and deciding what will go in your pack and what to leave behind. It’s a magnificent process.
Of course, depending on your personality and your disposition, your level of preparation will vary. For many wanderlust souls, preparation might even be nonexistence as you throw your thumb towards the asphalt and head into the sunset without a care. But even that is a conscious decision to not prepare … preparation, whether acted on meticulously, avoided intentionally, or everything in between, is part of every traveler’s journey.
Sure, I would love to throw caution to the wind, but after years of hitting the road, I’ve found that I believe strongly in packing lists, guidebooks, reading histories of people and places, and even the trip to the travel clinic for necessary vaccines. Like having a home from which to leave from, I enjoy the grounding which preparation provides. I also benefit from a travel companion who is a master at travel research and planning.
Some might be reading this and asking, wait, isn’t he the gray wanderer? What kind of wandering spirit is this over-prepared fanatic? That answer will have to wait until next month, for the 8th virtue is preparation’s ultimate complement.