Thursday, 20 October 2011

Pig kissing, and other travel related adventures

Thursday morning book review!!  Yay!!

I must admit I've felt a little guilty about almost, but not quite, cyber punching a little old lady in the head yesterday.  I mean she didn't really do anything wrong, in fact she might not have even been being sarcastic.  Husband and I talked it over and he said she might have actually been making conversation in an nice, albeit a little weird way.....  Moving on, I do not take back that post because I believed it to be true at the time of the writing.  I am just letting you know today's post will be a little nicer.

The book I am reviewing is called "kiss the sunset pig" by Laurie Gough.  The title is from an obscure line in a song, and also maybe a folk tale, and also partly from some unpublished memoirs.  The story is a woman driving from Guelph to California.  Along the way she remembers a lot of her other crazy travel adventures, as well as having some new ones.

I love to travel and I love to read about other people travelling.  Her travel style is a little more intense than mine.  I don't think I am a high maintenance traveller, but her favourite memory is the week she spent living in a cave on the California coast without speaking to another person, eating granola and hoping she didn't get sick from drinking spring water she had seen cows bathing in.  A little too rustic for me, but I appreciate the sentiment.  I think you find a better, truer part of yourself when you travel.  I like to see what other people have found about themselves through adventuring.

After a particularly challenging trip to Sumatra she says, "trips don't mean you have to have a good time.  All you need to have is a 'time' for its own sake where you see this baffling universe in a different way than you've ever seen it before.  Bruno said I should go to Sumatra to see it and to see myself in it.  I'd done that, and even though I didn't always like what I saw in either, it would change me".

I think every trip changes you.  My sister and I went to an all inclusive resort in Cuba last year.  For $530 including tax we got our flight, food and alcohol, and activities for a week.  We had a blast, eating mostly raw vegetables (because one day we saw two guys carrying a dead goat across the resort, and that night it was on the menu), napping through the extreme heat every afternoon, and I took an accidental intimate shower with a tree frog (that story is for another day). 

Marea del Portillo

One day we decided to go horse back riding.  Our guide rode us off the resort and along dusty not quite paved roads and right into the heart of the village of Marea del Portillo.  This was not the romantic horseback ride along the beach you see in brochures.  We stopped at a roadside bar while the guide joked with the locals in Spanish.  We tried our best to interpret, refused multiple offers of beer, and had a small glimpse into someone else's life.  We saw how they lived in the village, not from the view of a large tour bus, and not as white saviours coming in with supplies to give them.  Just as two girls, bouncing in on horseback, alone in this foreign world.

When I look back on that vacation I think about the things I learnt from a week spent with my sister, about the laughter and the relaxation.  Would I recommend this resort based on its food, or comfort of the rooms, or safety?  Probably not.  Do I regret going?  Absolutely not. 

The end of the horseback riding story is that as we approached the beach the guide said to my sister, "When we reach the beach your horse gallops."  We had little time to think this over before we hit the beach and her horse took off at full speed leaving me trotting behind wondering how I was going to explain her unfortunate death to my parents......  She made it, but was told by her doctor when she got home, for the sake of her tailbone, to quit horseback riding!

I saw myself in a remote village in Cuba.  I wasn't as brave as I had hoped, or as fluent in Spanish.  But it definitely changed me.  Brought me a little bit of peace with who I am and what I am capable of.  Be brave and strong my readers!  Travel the world and come back and tell me about it. 

Today I am concentrating on seeing myself in my life here in Toronto.  I will admit, I don't always like who I am in my every day life, but really seeing that will help me to change into what I would like to be.  Hopefully.

Hey - give me one post of self reflection, I promise tomorrow I will be back to punching little old ladies! 

Maybe these little guys are my sunset pigs?

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