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Traveler or Imposter?


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We managed to see some of Medellin today. I am beginning to feel that maybe the city is too big after all. It's too big to be safe enough for us to sit all night in the park or central square, people-watching or sniffing the air for grilling corn or noisily sipping the last foamy bits of our jugo natural. The Metro system makes it easy to get around, and yet in one day it seems we've exhausted all the places we wanted to go.

It could just be we aren't in a city mood right now.

It occurs to me again and again that I'm not the likeliest of travelers. I find comfort in routine. I tend to worry. I require a certain amount of cleanliness, and I get irritated when I'm physically uncomfortable. I'm timid, shy, passive. Frugal to a fault. I frighten easily. And yet, perhaps since I could read, I've longed to go places. Some glittery idea of adventure lodged in my brain and blossomed, despite the hostile environment. So I am surprised every morning to see that I am not at home, preparing to go to work, but rather, say, in a $13 hotel in Colombia with porn playing in the background en silencio. And of course I realize that this would be perfectly normal for someone else, the type of people we meet all the time on our trip--confident, energetic, outgoing, positive, genuinely adventurous people. But I am here as an imposter, a fake. I am here because I am interested in what is outside--outside my country certainly, but also outside where I feel I should be. I am interested in strange encounters, however unwilling I may seem. I am also interested in my unwillingness, my discomfort. But most of all I don't want to be content and bored at home, restless on gray days, driven out of the house for a futile walk on the Embarcadero and returning with nothing but a throat ache and an idea for where we'll travel next summer. (Right now such a walk seems lovely to me.)

So here I am. And Chris along for the ride. Tomorrow and hundreds more tomorrows.

Posted by chschen 16:00 Archived in Colombia

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