International Travel Writers try to paint a word portrait of the area they are visiting in order to let you experience a new vision, a new culture, and try to help you glimpse an unfamiliar territory and travel destination through their unique view. International travel can be exploratory; a starting point of discovery or it can be like visiting a well-known relative after numerous visits and being surprised by a new facet that had gone unnoticed before.
Frequently, the first visit to a new area is only scratching the surface and you have to plumb the depths to discover the diamonds. Each subsequent trip adds to the mosaic being formed, building a mufti-dimensional representation, and other international travel writers submitting their perspective rounds out the whole.
(by select talented international travel writers)
Riding the travel comet is akin to navigating cultural landscapes on a dizzying flight in a time machine...propelled by both imagination and anticipation...in a quest for knowledge and understanding mankind's differences. It's like putting the "country pieces" together to form a whole sphere...earth.
I can stay in the present and marvel at skyscrapers dominating the skyline...Hong Kong, NYC, Tokyo.
I can leap to a futuristic site that fantasies are made of...Dubai, Las Vegas, Abu Dhabi.
Or I can opt to be transported to the past...Rome...where I can feel and hear the thundering cheers as legions return...stomping triumphantly making the cobblestones (that I now trod on) vibrate in their wake, smell the sweat of the valiant returning from grueling and gruesome battles...aha!
I now understand the Roman love of relaxing baths that cleansed the souls as well as the bodies...where the steam penetrated and melted away weariness, dissolved their salty sweat and gave men an opportunity to vent and then mellow while still in the atmosphere of their comrades...in preparation for the change of pace that would be life at home with families, for the weeks or months before they left again. Perhaps this methodology would be of value to our own returning warriors...can we learn from the past?
Athens...In spite of the magnificence of a new archeological museum and the ancient Parthenon enshrined on the hilltop it was disappointing to see the graffiti despoiling their heritage. The creators of laws and principals...now just a diluted hybrid of other European countries. Standing there, in person, you see that mankind's intrusive nature is quickly homogenizing and destroying.
Egypt...The splendor that was...that is no longer...the remnants of a culture lost to time and the shifting sands, yet the magnificence of the Pyramids is still to be marveled at. Sitting quietly in the heat of the evening, viewing a laser light show projected on to the Great Pyramid of Giza made me pause, reflect, and know the transience of life.
A magic carpet ride through time that was as surreal as the projected graphic visions reviewing the history of this now troubled country. Standing alongside a highway with the ancient pyramids in view, just a stone's throw away, causes you to ponder and contemplate, to attempt to glean a partial comprehension of the culture before tribal battles and religious rivalries burst forth once more.
I don't want to look at a photo and think how beautiful the scene is...I want to feel the spray of water on my face when the ocean kicks up its feet and taste the salty air. I want to feel the heat of the desert sun on my cheeks and smell the scent of camels while I ride, then shake the sand from my hair.
I need to be there at that moment and be the one writing the words and taking the photos to have the indelible visions imprinted in my brain, which when I am no longer able to travel, confirms I have lived my life and truly felt and fingered the fabric of my dreams.
Without a doubt, it's the past that intrigues me the most. While ignoring the motor scooters, fast food outlets and smog, the desire to experience as much of the past that still exists spurs me to quickly see it all now and hone my instincts of understanding the "whole picture" of our planet...and then share it with others. If just one word jumps off the page at someone and triggers an idea, then I have succeeded in my quest.
I find that my preferred method of exploration now that I'm older and the world and safety issues have changed, is to cruise to multiple destinations, get a taste of each port...returning for the full flavor meal when I find the location tantalizing. Many international travel writers opt for this method.
I hope you join us on these destination journeys...oftentimes slipping through a crack in time to view the past. Grab a seat and enjoy a ride in our "time machine"!
Or...have fun creating a "Rainbow List"
I invite and welcome any international travel writers or bloggers with a story...to submit it...just click on this link. (Please note that ads will be minimal on guest article pages to maintain good narrative flow). Or, you may just wish to add comments to a story already done...revealing a point that may have been missed.
By Carolynne Woods, © Copyright 2010-2014. International Travel Writers.com All rights reserved images and text