As you read the stories in WDT, you’ll discover certain common threads expressed by our writers. All have to do with a passion for living – a thirst for adventure, beauty, friendship and discovery. Travel takes us out of our comfort zone thrusting us into strange and sometimes risky situations – situations that can be very uncomfortable even painful at the time — but once survived provide memories that put a smile on your face the rest of your life.
Travel can certainly be dangerous — especially for thrill seekers who search out adrenalin-laden activities like cliff diving, rock climbing or running with bulls. But most folks who read this magazine like their adventures in less aggressive forms. But, regardless of how and where you travel, misadventures will occur – it’s a law of the travel universe.
Getting sick from food, drink or a fellow traveler is one of travel’s most common downsides. We actually expect to get some kind of bug at least once on every long trip. It’s happened to us everywhere in the world. As much as we try to play it safe, we love to sample local cuisine and drink and that regularly challenges of digestive systems with unfamiliar food and the bugs that sometimes tag along.
Some misadventures come out of nowhere. On a business trip to Fiji to cover a surfing tournament, Ron landed in the middle of a military coup. Things actually got worse, when he found himself wading a quarter mile through coral reefs crawling with poisonous sea snakes
And who can forget crazy taxi drivers encountered on every continent. In our experience speeding cabbies in New York can be just as reckless as India’s notorious tuk tuk drivers or China’s full-throttle fearless van operators.
No matter how adventure-proof you try to make a trip, the mundane can easily become a hair-raising experience, even on a luxury cruise liner in the Baltic or a private food tour in Istanbul. It’s this possibility of adventure, even if we’re not looking for it or frankly trying to avoid it – is, for us, one of the reasons that makes travel addicting.
In this issue, two of our writers come down with a bug that colors their journeys, making them more memorable than if they had stayed well. Maribeth Mellin shares the silver lining she found when got sick in Machu Picchu and Jody Jaffe, felled by a bug in the Yucatan, uses the day to luxuriate in a lovely inn. “If I had to be sick,” Jody said, “I can’t think of a better place.”
Since getting sick or hurt is sometimes part of travel, it pays to be prepared. Veteran traveler Amy Laughinghouse offers some funny, but sage advice about preparing for those moments in her “Disaster Planning” column in this issue.
So take heed and enjoy the adventure. It’s why you left home in the first place.
Wishing you safe and exciting travels. ~ Ron & Mary James