fragments in transit

Conversations, connections, diversity.

What a beautiful world we live in. How many hours am I in now? 9 hours since I set out this morning, I guess this trip is underway.

My over packed bags

My hand fumbles clumsily as it pens its way across the page; it’s been awhile. Is my voice still here? I hope so, last time I was in Israel I skimped on the writing, having being burned out after 7 months of it in Ethiopia. I promised then to try harder next time, so here we go. I’ll see if I can find my voice in order to share with you the experience this time. The words will flow no problem I presume for the next 6 days, but when I arrive in Haifa, well it’s a daunting thought to try and put the experience into words, because it can’t be. I’ll do my best to scratch what surface I can with words. This time even more than last, I hope to share the experience through photography. So here’s me, humbly striving at the art of writing and photography hoping to bring you a glimpse of the Holy Land.

Connections are what makes travelling enjoyable, when you can make them that is. I think this may be something that I experience more when travelling alone—it comes more natural to connect with other lone travellers. Although, I think I might just be making this all up. Regardless, connections are what make a bland and lonely trip rich and exciting. There’s nothing worse than spending a whole trip wishing you had someone to share it with, maybe that’s where I find the motivation to write and photograph. I sat down beside a girl my age in the Vancouver airport, and soon discovered that she was bound for Tanzania to volunteer for 5 weeks. Naturally, we had lots to talk about and share. It made for a very enriching conversation.

I love travelling, seeing so many different cultures and such diversity, observing, interacting, and experiencing. We live in such a rich world, humanly rich; there is so much heart at the soul of our crumbling society.

A picture I accidentally took of myself.

I certainly feel like I’ve matured a lot in the last 2 years since I was last on a trip of this… scale. I feel much more calm and ready to go with the flow than I think I did before, much less confused and worried about what is going on. Pretty impressive seeing that I still have no plans or a place to stay upon my arrival in Tel Aviv, we’ll have to wait and see how this holds out.

I think I’m experiencing Canada in its vastness for the first time. I’ve never traversed the country in the daytime before, chasing the sun as it attempts to hide. The sinking light is revealing Canada’s north for what the rest of the world probably thinks of all Canada—a frozen hostile wasteland. What I am assuming is Tundra stretches out to what seems like infinity. I see snow dunes, ice, drifting banks, all sprawling with an orange orb that glows ceaselessly upon it all, never letting it experience to absence that is dark. Why is my window the only one open on the plane? I look to the right and see a bright golden hue cast down my isle onto the other 8 people to my right, I guess I’d better shut it out so we can close ourselves into the darkness of this tube.

The sun wait

Air travel is so fascinating, so many people from so many diverse backgrounds stuffed into an aluminium tube together, sharing a common experience. And as if the body heat generated from that wasn’t enough, KLM decided to leave the heaters on as well. Thanks for a sweltering flight.

I walk unhurriedly through the Amsterdam airport taking it all in. Airports are interesting places. From my limited experience they all seem to be, or feel like numbed down isolated bubbles within a culture. The culture of origin is faintly present, but an overall western materialism seems to have taken precedence. Of course there are differences—the construction of bathroom stalls and the connection between male and female washrooms, or the explicit content showcased on magazine covers.

France, Paris. Everyone speaks French… It’s a little uncanny at first, my experience with foreign language for the most part is in Ethiopia where it was obvious based on my skin colour that I didn’t speak the language, and hence people would do there best at English. (We are so arrogant as English speakers, or maybe it’s just me). I’m not quite quick enough to retort in French when I’m hit with a spew of rapid fire. I just smile and nod, sure I’ll have some of those, yes I’ll get out of your way. I must say I think we have the best flight attendants in Canada.

I’ve decided from my passing through Amsterdam and Paris that Europe is too expensive for me to ever travel through, everything is the same price, but in Euros!