I never imagined myself to be the sort of person who’d go on safari. It’s just not in my genetics. I don’t really like the sun. Large animals frighten me. And I don’t look all that good in khaki.
Plus, I have very short legs, and I’m not particularly good at running. If things went awry (and if a lifetime of watching situation comedies has taught me anything, it’s that things will go awry), and my entire tour group found themselves running for safety, I can guarantee you that I’d get picked off.
I have a problem with mixing up beauty and goodness. I am fully aware of how bad this is.
I mean, I’ve seen Snow White, guys. I get that the evil queen can be both hot and, well, evil.
But I still have trouble getting my head around that fact. I just can’t get past the fact that something can look one way, and be totally different. (For the record, the converse is not true for me: I don’t assume that everyone and everything ugly is evil. Even though I’ve had some I’m-wearing-sweatpants-today-and-I’m-in-a-rotten-mood moments that would affirm that idea.)
Sometimes beautiful things belie their horrible true selves. That’s the case with Robben Island. I know that awful things happened there. The relics remain: the narrow cell where Nelson Mandela spent the better part of two decades, the limestone quarry where he and other prisoners slowly went half blind as they worked in the searing sun.
But, in spite of all of that? It’s still incredibly beautiful. And that’s a hard thing to reconcile.
I have a little bit of psychotic episode every time I go to an aquarium.
Part of me is thinking, “You should not be here. You are in some amazing part of the world that few people get to visit, and you should be out seeing unusual and unique things and not staring, slack-jawed, at the same fish you could see at any aquarium, anywhere.”
But a slightly larger part of me is thinking, “OMG. FISHIES.”
And that part always wins out. It’s why I visit so many damn aquariums. How many? Well, enough that I don’t tell you about all of them. That’s right, kids: I keep some things to myself. Like the fact that I’m an aquarium-loving nut.
I recently learned that I’m not all that afraid of heights.
I kind of hoped that I would be. Fear of heights is your brain’s way of saying, “Don’t take us tumbling off a cliff, please.”
I have to tell you about an important travel realization that I’ve come to: in order to have fun, you have to abandon the idea that you are too good for some things.
Do you ever get the feeling that you’ve forgotten something?
It’s a sensation I absolutely hate, and I think that’s part of the reason why I’m always doomed to feel that way. I can’t leave the house without being convinced that I forgot to put something important in my purse (like my wallet or my phone or the emergency granola bar that I keep eating and needing to replace). Or that I left my straightening iron plugged in, or the iron on, or I somehow managed to set the kitchen on fire and it’s now engulfed in flames that I failed to notice as I waltzed out the front door.