The weblog of a traveller

   May 04

New Adventures

Tanzania is hereby official.

Fuzzy 80's sunset photo

Fuzzy 80's sunset photo

It will be simple. A lost and found phone will be my most valuable possession. We will stay in a bungalow (nicer term for hut) with “sort of a bathroom” in the words of the host.

Although Tanzania is regarded a peaceful place in African context; as Europeans tourists we are advised to travel in large groups and not at all after dark. Hard for someone who goes exploring first thing in a new place and a type of rule I would normally be flexible about. But seeing our in comparison staggering prospery, it’s hard to blame anyone for doing like a certain mister Hood and take justice in own hands.

Why go to such great lengths in pursuit of uncomfortable, inescapable heat, new interesting germs, towering barriers of communication and very limited freedom of movement?

It’s been said that you will never be the same having seen the Moon from the other side of the globe. Maybe I will understand things I would not if I stayed in the West. Maybe I can spread said understanding and contribute in making this world a more unified place.

It’s tempting to claim the altruistic aspect (the work part of the schedule) as a rationale for going, especially when people ask and don’t seem too interested in actually listening to a proper answer. That would, however, have been very shallow minded and just as selfish as other grounds. If helping out was the reason for going, the money would certainly be better spent if simply sent.

Someone said that the value for money is terrible when booking everything yourself as I do. I guess if value for money means comfort for money, I would have been better off at a hotel in Alicante. And I would return and not be a millimeter better a person.

In biology, outgroups are used in distinguishing characteristic features. If studying flies, adding an ant can be useful (Comparing them you can say that having six legs is an insect property, while having wings is not). Maybe discovering a very different way of life can tell me something about human traits. Could some of the things I reckon as distinctly Western be universally human? Or the other way round?

In my otherwise thorough History class in High school, one page of a fat textbook was dedicated to Africa. As far as I remember no one questioned the striking skewness. Since, the pattern has been upheld and in the country where “looking at your navel” is a commonly used phrase, international media coverance is either missing or horribly sensational (and the next person to mention swine flu is in risk of getting a fist. Obvious hype is obvious). When we never hear of something, we conceive it as less important and further away, not a part of us. To break the mental pattern, I realize I need to go get a glimpse myself.

People and societies aside, I look forward to feel a different air, walk on different soil, drink different (although filtered) water and climb some different trees.

To sum up this brainstorming shortly and a bit bombastically, I strive to expand as a human being and that is why I go outside of the yellow brick road.

It's a gnu life!

It's a gnu life!

As a bonus, the change of plans gives more time for recruiting and plotting destinations on the Interrail route. Flipping coins is good, but there needs to be some anchors as well.

So; travel partners wanted for backpacking in India, tracking in Scottish high plains or abovementioned Interrail! Leave a comment if interested.

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One Comment

  1. Balanse says:

    Backpacking i India? Yessss (kanskje om noen år)