Friday, March 1, 2013

“A day without fun is a day that eats sh*t” - Hunter S. Thompson

Short Version: Tell me about the most important trip you've ever taken and how it changed your perspective on the world - johnledyard1773[AT]gmail.com

Maybe it's because I had the opportunity to spend the past two weekends away from home, exploring a brand new city with best friends and also learning how to ski, but travel and new experiences are on my mind.

Lately, when I find myself too deep in the daily monotony that is the 9-5 grind I think of Mr. Thompson's words and try to imagine how best to embrace his decree. Intuitively the meaning is clear: Fun Is The Best. However, it also can serve as a sobering reminder of how trivial, in the grand scheme of things, the pursuit of fun actually is. When considering the number of people facing extreme poverty, disease, lack of potable water, insufficient food, discrimination, and the persistent threat of violent conflict - fun can seem impossibly naive. Despite these realities, some solace can be found in Hemmingway's commentary on the perseverance of the human spirit, "Man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not defeated."

A good friend of mine recently explained to me his approach to Lent (albeit blasphemous to some of you): Instead of practicing self-denial by giving something up, he uses the time to try as many new and challenging things as possible. This approach reinforced my belief that my concept of fun is also linked to the idea of challenging one's world view by trying new things, visiting new places, and experiencing different cultures.

Surely my upbringing living and traveling abroad serves as the foundation for my interest in travel, but my friend's concentrated period of self-discovery along with my recent trips rekindled my desire to get out and more fully understand the human spirit by interacting with new people and places.... but i need your help.

And with that I turn it over to The Listserve: Tell me about your travels!

What was the one trip that you've taken that had a profound impact on your perception of the world or changed the course of your life?
Who were you with? Where did you go? What did you do? What did you see?

And if you haven't been able to take that dream trip - where would you go and what would you do?

Most importantly - Where should I go? I trust that your stories will inspire me enough to leave the familiar behind and get out to see the world and all it's imperfections.

In the spirit of travel I leave you with a quote commemorating one of the first great American explorers - John Ledyard

"In 1773 a freshman at Dartmouth College
on this spot felled a giant pine
from which he made a canoe
and in it descended the river to Hartford, Connecticut.
He was a traveller among the Indians
an associate of John Paul Jones
an officer under Captain Cook
traversing all oceans and penetrating remote lands.
He foresaw and foretold the riches
of the Pacific Coast and the advantages
of commerce with the far east.
When about to cross Africa he died in Egypt
at the age of 37.

He too heard the voice crying in the wilderness"

Remember that the world is much bigger than the little corner you interact with and see everyday.

Warm regards,


CP
johnledyard1773[AT]gmail.com
USA

**Many thanks to M. Lewis for convincing me to sign up, we can only hope he wins The Listserve lottery someday.

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