A Tentative Travel Plan

I’m sitting in the center seat on the back of a bus from San Agustín to Popayán.  The good thing is that I have a little bit of legroom behind the teenage girl who’s sitting on the aisle floor in front of me.

The transport setup lacks assigned seating.  I’m perched too high to get more than a narrow glimpse of the visually therapeutic nature outside.  I think:  At least I have leg room so this isn’t one of the most uncomfortable bus rides I’ve had to endure.

There’s nothing to do.  The full bus’ passengers are surprisingly silent.  The ride is too bumpy to read or write.  Twice now I’ve almost smacked my head on the ceiling after being thrown aloft.  The roadway is rugged in parts.  The backseat isn’t bump friendly.

I notice that the bus is trying to get around a truck.  Now we’re stuck in mud.   I think: This is exactly how I used to get stuck in snow.

The driver and his conductor try to free the bus from the mud.  Their efforts are to no avail.  We all get off the bus.  It feels great to stretch the legs.

After intense steering and a lot of forward and reverse maneuvers, the bus is free, just like it would be in the snow.

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In a world of endless gadgets and stimuli, our minds are always occupied.  It’s not often that we’re placed in a position where our psyche is free to wander.

While sitting semi-crammed on the slow and sometimes bouncing bus, I was forced to think out of the blue:   I don’t have much of an aim in my travel plans.  Do I continue to drift throughout Colombia?  Or do I move on down to Ecuador, where I can start blogging in my eighth country?

I realized: As much as I absolutely adore traveling in Colombia, it might soon be time to move on.  I don’t have infinite drifting time. 

I’ve been on a ton of nature/exercise hikes lately.  I could take a break from that.

I’ve been in Colombia for seven weeks.  It’s almost time to drift into Ecuador and cross the equator.  This is the right plan now.

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More stoic hours rolled by and I continued to reflect:  But I really like Colombia.  I feel so comfortable here.  I could stay.  What’s the right thing to do? 

In this situation, there is no right.  There only is.

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Have you ever had a hard time deciding on a travel destination, even if just for a weekend?  What was the underlying factor that caused you to go where you did?

Feel free to leave a comment below.  If you have something more personal please send me an email: mike@earthdrifter.com


4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Mamma on February 28, 2012 at 23:54

    Good luck with your decisions. I look forward to more nice posts and pictures…


  2. Yes the dilemma of deciding what’s next… Usually time and the desire to experience certain things plays a part, but mostly time! We have met people here in Cambodia who have spent six months or a year here, and to be honest I think they probably have richer experiences than moving from place to place offers. But I have an appetite for many different countries, and maybe that desire is stronger than settling in one place, for now. I like to think that at some point, I will settle somewhere for a while, but for now, I’ll drift 🙂


    • SARAH: Time Yes. I notice a lot of travelers cruising through huge geographical chunks of South America due to time constraints. At the opposite end of the spectrum, I recently met a group of Aussies from Perth who are running an Aussie bar called the Speak Easy in Salento. They are surely getting a much deeper feel of Colombian culture than people who just pass through.
      For now, at this moment, I feel like drifting. Simultaneously, I feel flexible and know that that can change when I want it to. 🙂


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