Poem written for Marin County Fair in the creative writing section about global travels. Won 3rd place.
Trip of a Lifetime
Remembering the past
Not the past of illness
But the past of adventure and travel.
The trip of a lifetime
21 months, 11 countries
By plane, bicycle, car, train, riverboat, ferry, foot, rickshaw, tuk tuk, wagon, donkey and even elephant.
Through heat and cold, wind and rain.
Exploring the exotic –
Ayers Rock, the Taj Mahal, the Ganges River, the pyramids of Egypt and the Wailing Wall, more ruins and Buddhas than one could imagine.
Exploring the mundane –
The lively markets, the colorful food stalls, the exotic wildlife, the colorful regional costumes and handicrafts.
The stress and fear of living on a kibbutz in Israel with a war that surrounded us.
Being awakened by loud crowing roosters and the haunting daily Call to Prayer
Disturbed constantly by loud honking vehicles
Listening to strange languages and learning a few words here and there.
Remembering the taste of juicy ripe pineapples
Hot spicy food
Salty fish and chips.
Remembering the feel of
Sand beneath my feet
Pain in my knees, hands, back
Smooth silky fabric
Many bodies touching too closely together
Soothing cooling ocean, river water.
Remembering the smell of
Pungent cow paddies
Intense incense sticks in Bali
Barbecued chicken in street stalls
The pungent aroma of thermal pools in New Zealand
Salty ocean air.
What remains – I have a binder of photos and a computer full of digitized slides.
I will never have the energy or the strength to repeat this trip
But the memories will last a lifetime.