Sunday, January 06, 2008

To the Indefatigable Traveler

Don’t say you’re not even tempted to shop when you’re traveling. I saw you looking at postcards in the souvenir stalls near the Notre Dame in Paris and buying designer look-alike handbags from street vendors in Florence and Venice. Yes, you brought the world to your home. There is a Greek vase with its familiar scroll on the side table in your living room, a Japanese kimono hangs from a bamboo pole on your dining room wall, African masks adorn the hallway, and Eiffel Tower base lamps in your bedroom, a bright reminder of the City of Light. Who can miss the lace fan from Spain, painted with flamenco dancers, that sits right above the mantle, next to the castanets?

How exotic you look in that colorful sarong from Bali you always wear when the temperature outside matches the tropics. The upscale flip flops from Hawaii go well with your outfit. Now I know you’ve been everywhere. Even the soap in the bathroom is pure English lavender and the chocolates in the fridge are Belgian, no less. How long has it been since you came back from your last trip?

Your wine rack has two bottles of reds you lugged back from Burgundy. I was hoping you would offer me a glass. And the sophisticated refrigerator stickers are copies of artworks from the Musée D’Orsay. I know, I have a couple of those. The guide book you lent me of Scandinavia has a banana shaped bookmark from Costa Rica. I was touched when you gave me the silver camel brooch from Peru and the papyrus painting from Egypt.

When are you going to wear the wooden clogs you bought in Amsterdam? They’d be perfect for working in my garden during the rainy season, if you would lend them to me. And how did you silence the cuckoo clock you found in Germany which hangs in the guestroom? That rug from Turkey looks good in the family room, except the dog has chewed it a bit. How I wish I have my own set of bronze Buddha statuettes, just like the ones you brought back from Thailand.

You are an inspiration to me. You’ve been everywhere! And you have reminders of all your journeys at your fingertips. I admire your sense of adventure and wanderlust. I thought I was well traveled until I met you. You've been to 65 countries and counting. That’s way more than I’ve visited or hope to visit. I know I have a long way to go and not enough space for all the memories I will bring back home.

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Image by Rosario Charie Albar

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