When we were in Chennai, India, several years ago, we had come across a store that sold interesting antiques. One of the most unusual items that we came across were tables that had been made out of antique doors. We came extremely close to purchasing this particular table and, in hind sight, regret not making the purchase. The thought of having to pay for shipping ended up discouraging us from making this unique piece of furniture part of our home decor. Lesson learned, in the future we’re not going to let the logistics and costs of shipping keep us from purchasing something that we truly wanted to purchase. Obviously that wouldn’t happen too often, but there are just times when you find something so special that you just need to bite the bullet and make the decision to get it. Since we didn’t buy, we’ll just have to go back to Chennai someday and see if we can find it again.
This week’s Discover Challenge ask us to thing about the old days of analog. The world has certainly come a long way since the days when we grew up. Television without remotes, telephones with rotary dials, no such thing as a microwave or personal computer. In this new world where everyone has instant access to entertainment and the internet, it seems as though life would come to end if we lost access to our phones, tablets, and computers. There are times that we think that the younger generation has lost the art of communication, real communication, looking someone in the eye and carrying on a conversation. No longer does anyone send a letter expressing honest thoughts and feelings, but who knows, perhaps blogging is the new exchange of letters, but in the new world way. Anyway, we thought we would share one of our photos taken before the days of digital cameras, but of course we scanned it into our computer ;).
Every trip brings with it a series of experiences, mostly good, but not always. And with those experiences come opportunities to learn. To learn new things about a culture, about history, the people, and sometimes even yourself. This week’s Discover Challenge is about learning and so we figured it would be a timely opportunity to consider what we learned from our travels within Bolivia. We certainly learned a great deal about the Incan culture between our visits to Incallajta, Tiwanaku, and the islands of Lake Titicaca. We also found that our grasp of the Spanish language was not nearly sufficient for a country where people who spoke English were few and far between, but we also learned that push come to shove, we were able to communicate effectively enough. Whether spending the night in jungle, zip-lining in the canopy, riding cable cars above the city, or going into caves filled with bats, we discovered that we even more adventurous than we previously believed that we were.
There is a saying that you learned everything that you needed to learn in life in your first years of school. In many ways we believe that this is true. You learn how to interact with other people, follow rules of society, and most importantly learn how to learn. Once you learn how to learn, learning becomes second nature and you’ll spend the rest of your life looking forward to learning new things. We were so fascinated by the history of Bolivia, and specifically the Incas, that we’re looking to buy a couple of books and delve even deeper into those subjects. We usually do a lot of reading in advance of heading to someplace that we haven’t visited before, but we didn’t do as much preparation for this trip. In some ways that made each discovery during our adventure that much more enjoyable as we literally learned something new every day.
With every trip that we take, we come home feeling more enriched than when we left. We feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn from many different people during our travels. If you have the opportunity to work with guides while travelling within a country, you will often get to learn even more than if you just explore a country on your own. We like to do a combination of the two, exploring on our own and working with guides, trying to get the best of both worlds. Life is a constant learning experience and if we ever stop learning we will stop growing and travelling.