Thursday, November 10, 2005

Is This a Travel Journal?

About a month ago, Andrea over at Unhinged nominated me for "Best Travel Journal."  (Isn't she just a sweetie?)  It sorta threw me for a loop, though, because I didn't really think of this as a Travel Journal.

OK, yeah, it started off that way -- when I was getting in shape for a trip to New Zealand a couple years ago.  (Shortly thereafter, I was surprised to find out that AOL had "filed" my journal as a "fitness journal," which this most certainly is not.  They were probably thrown by the use of the word "treadmill" in the title.)  But, basically, I journal everything.  I'm certainly not restricting it to trips or anything.

On the other hand, I do love journalling trips.  I'd thought I just liked journalling when I travelled solo -- 'cause it fills some of the time when other people would be all couple-y -- but I found out with the Grand Canyon trip that I also like journalling a trip when I'm with someone.  So it isn't just that it gives me an activity to fill the down time or anything.  It's that there's a whole different mindset associated with journalling a trip.  It's like, I'm not just enjoying the trip -- I'm also watching myself enjoy it.  Sorta thinking about how it would all read.  And I really dig that.

This is, I guess, my roundabout way of saying I've got another trip planned.  I always get a little nervous about telling y'all about a planned trip, in case something goes wrong between now and then.  But, just now, I was sitting at my computer working out my schedule for the rest of the month and what with me having Friday off (it's good to work for the government), it's very nearly the weekend already and that basically means...

Holy crap, I'm going to Taiwan in a week.

OK, ten days, but still.  I'm still crossing my fingers that Avian Flu doesn't figure out how to jump from person to person for the rest of the month.  (Well, obviously I'm hoping it never figures that one out, as I think we've got enough problems to deal with on the planet right now thatwe really don't need a Pandemic, thanks very much.)  But in terms of how this affects me, the CDC still says travel to Taiwan is a go.  Although they do tell me to "Avoid all direct contact with poultry, including touching well-appearing, sick, or dead chickens and ducks. Avoid places such as poultry farms and bird markets where live poultry are raised or kept, and avoid handling surfaces contaminated with poultry feces or secretions."  Which doesn't look to put a major crimp in my travel plans, as touching surfaces covered with bird poop wasn't really high on my sightseeing list anyway.

The trip itself sorta came up at the last minute.  Some friends of mine have family back in Taiwan, whom they visit regularly.  And, some time ago, I'd casually said something like, "Hey, next time you go, can I go too?"  Well, sure enough, they're going home for a week and ... I guess the honest way of putting it is that they "allowed me to invite myself along."  (Thanks guys!)  Of course, to them, it's a fairly routine visit home, where they'll spend some time with relatives they don't get to see all that often.  For me, it's a tremendously nifty opportunity to visit a whole different continent, and take in another country's culture and food and art and architecture... (but perhaps not the zoo).  AND I'll have friends there so I won't be all totally alone in a place where I don't even know how to say, "Where's the bathroom?" in the local language.

I gotta say, though, I was most excited when I found out that Taiwan operates on the same electrical voltage as we do.  I can take my laptop!  No wandering the streets of Taipei late at night looking for internet cafes -- I can journal from the comfort of my own hotel room!

Bouncy, bouncy, bouncy!


mom23nca said...

A couple of warnings, birds are sold in markets everywhere and many people have them as pets.  Internet connection is pretty lousy and slow there, although that might have just been in the cheap hotels we stayed in while there.  Have a great time.

annalisa135 said...

I didn't tell you, but I nominated you for Best Travel Journal too.  I was seriously disappointed when you weren't officially nominated.  You aren't "strictly" a travel journal (you definitely are not a fitness journal!  LOL)  But your trips and the great amont of detail you go into sharing it with us, makes you definitely fit into the travel category.  You would also be a great candidate for "pets journal" and all the sweet entries you do about your princess.  Thought provoking?  Hell, yeah, definitely.  Humorous?  I've practically peed my pants laughing at some of your entries, as you are well aware.  So you could fit into numerous categories, honestly.

Taiwan?  Holy crap is right!  wow.  geez, nz, I want to go with you SOOOOOO much!  I love reading all about your trips, I seriously do, but I get sooooooo envious sometimes.  I wish I could squeeze into your suit case, but it would take a king size trunk to make that happen.  You are so so soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo cool!  I want to see all the pretty stamps on your passport.  

LOL!  I'm glad you won't be hanging around much bird poop during this trip.  :-)

LOL -- "bouncy, bouncy, bouncy" -- :-)

swibirun said...

We will have to quarantine you for 10 days when you return.  We don't want bird flu to mutate and jump from blog to blog.  

And when you return, you can't write about any fruit, livestock, or any other potential carrier medium, per US Customs.


ravenlark2 said...

Oh wow...sounds like a great trip. I loved your adventuresome spirit. It shines through every entry you make. Have fun over there and leave those birds alone.