AN IMPERFECT EYE

 

1 EYE Iguana 6495SM
A perfectly perfect imperfect eye

 

My eyes are off. They’re not symmetrical; one seems larger than the other. Or maybe one eyelid is lazy, or heavier and hangs lower. It’s not a huge difference. Maybe you wouldn’t even notice, certainly nothing to give a child nightmares. I don’t see it when I look in the mirror. I only notice in photographs of myself, and only in recent photos. Maybe it’s like the Buddhists say: life is change. But that’s not the point.

Faux Zen Koan #1: There is no “i” in “me.”

Wait, that makes no sense. But maybe that’s the point. Some people believe there are three “I’s” in a person: the one you want others to believe you are, the I you believe you are, and the one you are. That’s a trinity of I’s running amok inside you, and maybe colliding like atoms into each other, even merging now and then.

Who knows what is real, when “whatever we believe” is what is real for each of us. And we know how different beliefs can be. I confess, I do not know what is real for me. I know one or two things. I used to know more, had more answers. At one time, I knew the answer to just about everything. These days, I scratch my head a lot.

 

2 Duncan NewShell 11-14 ESM
Perfect eyes but no face

 

Sometimes I quip about being the poster child, but when examining the symptoms, doctors cannot accurately diagnose it, so we can’t call it ADHD, but I know this: I do not keep my eye on the prize. When young and playing sports, I never kept my eye on the ball. I never take naps. I tire easily of things: people, places, tasks. My memory is a sieve with a hole in it. I rarely move forward in one direction. If I see a tangent…I am running all over that sucker in the blink of one imperfect eye.

And if I’m already off on one tangent, and I see another tangent loom up on a horizon—right, I feel obligated by the gods and demons residing here in my earthly temple to jump ship, move onto that other track, walk barefoot through even-greener grass. I used to love this about myself, the variety, the fire. I used to think it was normal. Maybe I thought everyone was like this, or if they weren’t, they had a problem. It felt natural, the obvious choice, the passion. Until people I cared about stayed put, started crying and saying things like: “You’re going where?”

Old news—this is something we all now know: I am no planner. I am the kind of traveler who simply heads out into the world, trusting a path will appear. Along with angels bestowing miracles. Along with maybe a few “voices” to guide the way. One day back in the days when I was like Crown Prince and heir to the World, I was working the cash register in my natural food store in Aspen, Colorado, circa early 1970’s (a long story for another time, but yes, ginseng, wheatgrass and John Denver appear as minor characters). Two customers walked past, and one word in their conversation rang like a chime inside my head: “Costa Rica.” Two months later, I had acquired a bank loan on a VW camper van and was driving it down the Pan American Highway (one more long story for another time, circa pre-Lonely Planet guidebooks).

However, I have recently been reading other travel writers who seriously plan their trips, and I have lately begun feeling as though that may be a more intelligent, a more sane, a more mature way to operate. Jeff buys a pile of guidebooks, makes a “playoff chart” the way newscasters do for the World Series or Super Bowl playoffs; he plays countries against each other until he chooses a winner, and then he goes there.

Sue and Dave plan out their trips apparently down to the minute they take showers. They have to, because half the time they’re riding bikes up mountains, and half the time they’re climbing sheer cliffs on those mountains. You need to know when you’ll be showering when you travel the way they do—with one dang carry-on bag and wearing your helmet on airplanes. And Alison and Don have plans made in advance for six months to a year, maybe longer. You have to admire travelers with that kind of skill and dedication to planning.

So, fine. Maybe I should get my planning act together. Maybe I should apply the Buddhist theory of change, and change. But what about a man who doesn’t know how to plan, a man who would rather throw up a little in his mouth rather than commit to a plan, a man who has no patience, let alone desire and skill, necessary to plan—how does a man like that learn to make plans is all I’m saying here.

Short Answer: He doesn’t. He seeks help.

I spent years on too many beaches during my travels and ruined my skin in the sun, so I don’t need to visit one more beach. I’m up to here with beaches in my life. Quite honestly (and very sadly), beaches bore me now. For a beach not to bore me, it’s going to need some very serious WOW factor going down: 25-foot waves, or white-sugar sand, or a bevy in thongs. Once in Mexico, they even named a beach after me: Son’ova Beach.

However, you know those exotic resorts that rent those luxurious, romantic bungalows built out over coral reefs in the middle of the ocean, Jacuzzi on the veranda, triggerfish, sailfish and stingrays galore. I have always wanted to hang out and do nothing in one of those bungalows, experience that kind of WOW factor under an umbrella on a comfy chaise lounge. Kelly did that, and she took a photo of a bottle of imported beer sitting on the railing and overlooking the crystal-clear, green water below her bungalow. I figure…I’ll follow Kelly’s footprints, I’ll go there, and I’ll take that same photograph. Decision making at its finest (*brushes palms together as though finishing an arduous task, excess particles of accomplishment falling like fine powder to the floor*)

But by now, you probably realize just how much energy, concentration, effort it takes to force me from this end of the scale of merely making a decision and move all the way over to the other end of the scale to commit and actually do something. Sometimes, it has taken years. But you just might be surprised this time. I have already bought a plane ticket to the Maldives. I rented a bungalow over the water; it has a Jacuzzi on the veranda. I did some not-quite-extensive research of several resorts, but ended up reserving the same one where Kelly stayed: hey, if you’re going to follow footprints, follow the dang footprints, or else make your own decisions, eh.

Lesson learned: following the footprints of other travelers drawn to adventure and WOW factors is not cheap sometimes.

Possible problem Number One: I only booked a one-way air ticket because I wanted to make sure I got there, but I didn’t know exactly where I’d fly from there—back to Abu Dhabi, Seychelles, Amsterdam, Zanzibar, Bali, Timbuktu. Buying one-way air tickets is not something one should generally do. Sometimes, it’s cheaper just to buy the round-trip and not show up for the return flight. Or…just plan better. Sooner.

Insight of the day: when you buy an air ticket to follow footprints of another traveler, make sure you know where she went next. And then commit.

But see…that is precisely why I do not relish planning, it’s too much like work. Too many decisions to be made. I’m a Libra. And I’ve never been good at making decisions, or committing to plans. Therefore, I have decided to officially adopt a new system of planning travel in the future.

Kelly went to the Maldives; fine, I go to the Maldives. Kelly went to Sri Lanka, I go to Sri Lanka. Kelly went to Katmandu, I go to Katmandu. Kelly went to Bhutan, I go to Bhutan. Following in Kelly’s footprints makes the decision-making process much easier. Maybe we’ll call it the Kellian Travel Planning Technique. Maybe I’ll change my blog title to: Badfish Following Kelly. Or simply: Following Kelly.

The good news for you: if you now read both Kelly’s blog and my blog, in the future, you can simply read one or the other, cut down on the reading and responding since we’ll be writing about the same places. Of course, the experiences may vary: she may spend more time climbing mountains and trekking, I may linger a little longer on descriptions of thongs, but otherwise…

New news: Kelly suggested taking the short flight from the Maldives to Sri Lanka. She also offered her itinerary for the Sri Lanka visit: some mountains, a tea plantation, beaches, villages with exotic names. I was set to go. Plans made, decisions made. Plans set in stone. But something kept me from making the air reservation to Sri Lanka from the Maldives. One of those voices whispering: “wait.” Was it intuition, or just the Libra in me? Or that voice you hear now and again coming from your gut, or the cosmos, or who knows where? I knew I’d go to Sri Lanka because I’d already purchased the guidebook, and we’d already made the decision. I say “we,” but Kelly doesn’t know she’s actually making my decisions for me; she just travels, writes her adventures, and offers cool travel suggestions to a commitment-challenged traveler.

 

4 Turtle Galopagos 6534 Esm
Galapagos tortoise–beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Then, two interesting events occurred. Well, three. One, I received a full scholarship to the 5-day Indian Yoga Festival in Goa, India. They awarded me the scholarship either because of my age (a youngish geezer-something) or because of the short letter I wrote telling them my history of practicing and not practicing yoga for decades; I don’t know which. Two, the hotel hosting the festival was already full. That meant, right, first searching for another hotel, making a decision and committing (* grabs desktop and gags*), and then booking the room. Imagine a clownfish languishing in deep water if you desire. And three, I happened to run across a blogger living in the ashram of Amritanandamayi, a renowned guru and yoga teacher in India, revered as a saint by some. Why is everything always so many shades of gray, so many choices? Why can’t everything just be black and white, with one choice? I know what you’re thinking: it is black and white—you bought the guidebook, you made a decision, just follow Kelly’s footprints to Sri Lanka.

Long story short: I made the decision. I bought a one-way air ticket from Male, the capital city of the Maldives to Trivandrum, a city in the south of India in the state of Kerala. Trivandrum is not the real name, it’s the name the British changed it to, the way they changed Bombay and Calcutta. The Indians have now changed Trivandrum back to it’s original name, but the original name is quite unpronounceable and contains like 36 syllables. I now say Mumbai for Bombay and Kolkata for Calcutta, but even locals still call it Trivandrum.

Another long story short: because of the way airlines price tickets and the fact that a computer doesn’t understand why I don’t want to return to Male from Trivandrum instead of flying to Abu Dhabi, the city I flew to Male from, I purchased yet another one-way air ticket from Trivandrum to Abu Dhabi.

I reckon by now, you’ve surmised this is less about an “imperfect eye,” and more about some imperfect inner “I.” Yet I prefer you feel no pity for my plight and poor planning skills, and my emasculating dependence on some stranger (a girl), to nudge my butt into the world. It’s a burden I must bear, perhaps, but as the Buddhists believe: life is all about the suffering. If submission to a Kellian travel plan that forces me kicking and screaming to the Maldives during Christmas holidays in 2015 to drink imported beer in the Jacuzzi on my veranda overlooking the coral reef while watching a whale tailfin disappear into clear water is suffering, then fine, perhaps I’ll make a better Buddhist than we previously surmised.

Although I’m not offering the option to vote in a survey, I would consider your opinion on whether to post weekly updates of the upcoming sojourn/ pilgrimage/ travail (departure only a couple weeks away), or perhaps a daily photo, or simply wait until I return to share the journey in toto. Electricity and wi-fi always being a factor in third worlds. Or, you may offer any other options you might conjure (although I would appreciate your withholding comments on my visiting a shrink regarding any apparent issues you believe I may be harboring).

 

You can find other entries in DP Photo Challenge here:       Eye Spy

You can find other entries in Lucille’s Photo Rehab here:   Photo Rehab

92 comments

  1. I totally want some updates AND photos from the travel, written on the go (I never write those myself though, I´m usually hanging around places where the electricity/internet is difficult to get) if you are willing to spend the precious travel time writing about it!
    I myself never plan a travel, I just pick the country. Oh, okay, I might plan for a treck – going from point A to point B – but that can change, too. Especially with my crazy husband who is a no-planner too.
    Besides, I highly appreciated the (intended?) word play commit/vomit pun – “a man who would rather throw up a little in his mouth rather than commit to a plan” 🙂
    Thums up! (that´s a brand of Indian coca-cola. Without the “b”.)

    Liked by 2 people

    • OK…one vote for updates and photos…noted! Thanks, Karin. I’m hoping a bunch of my time will be simply hanging out…in my bungalow, or on a houseboat, so hopefully I’ll have time to write. DOING it…well, that may be another matter altogether. But thanks for the input!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. But there is an I in Id. Which still comes down to the same concept of three things running amok. While contemplating that, make sure you take some time to chill with the crustaceans.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I would suggest you make no plans for posting. You are not a planner, remember? Just go and enjoy it, and post if you get wifi in the Jacuzzi. Fantastic photos here and one of your most amusing posts of all, to my eye (ahem). I’m also super jealous of your break plans; I’ve got Colombia and Nicaragua lined up, but yours sound much better.
    (P.S. I thought the faux koan was There’s no I in “team.” Makes more sense anyway. Maybe that’s Faux Zen Koan #2.)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Right On! Make no PLANS for posting…I do like that! And how could I not post if I have wifi in the jacuzzi?
      Now I am jealous—Colombia! I want to go there, but I’ve been a little intimdated, scared. But I hear it from people who’ve been there recently, that it is fairly safe now. I can’t wait to hear what you find!
      Someone did suggest there was an “I” in Id…if you’re into Freud??

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I am an advance planner, so I request weekly posts with photos, please. Thank you.
    No beaches for me. I have spent my life avoiding heat and have never seen beaches — with ONE notable exception, that look any different from every other decent beach on earth, sometimes with blue water, sometimes with green and brown.

    The exception is the Brazilian littoral. Some day I will post on that. But I drove the length from Rio to Fortaleza on the two lane path that traces the coastline and I have never, never seen any beaches anywhere that come even close.

    Have a great trip! (Love the animals in this post, every one of them deserves a hug).

    Liked by 2 people

    • Beth, OK…a request for weekly posts with photos. Got it. But now you’ve got me thinking of the Brazilian littoral (don’t know much about that!!). If you ever get to Turkey…they have some of the most beautiful coastline that I have seen anywhere. Just breathtaking. And I’ve seen a bunch of beaches (most looked like your description…all the same).
      I hug Duncan, the crab. But I’ll leave cyber hugging the tortoise to you!!!

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      • OMG, BF, you HAve to get to Brazil then. It is about a 2200 mile coastline and I drove it in a 4 cylinder, manual, Ford Corcel that they make in Brazil but not the US — sans air conditioning or radio. It was a trip, literally — oops, have to do this: littorally. ;-D. I have not been to the beaches of Turkey but to everywhere else except Indonesia and these Brazilian beaches are completely unique. Every few miles, the vegetation and terrain change completely. The only thing they all have in common, all the way up and down, is warm, Gulf-stream like water that you can lie in as if in a spa, all year long. More on that in an upcoming post on my time in Brazil.

        Anyway, I will take your word for it on Turkey. I am a student of Byzantium and love the history of Constantinople, but don’t feel safe as an ugly American traveling there right now. It is on my bucket list. My in-laws went there several years ago but all they did was on the tourism circuit. That is no way to learn about a country. One has to go sub rosa, in all black, no bags, just a small camera and vegan MREs ;-D.

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        • Beth…hahah! vegan MREs…yeah, you’re no tourist! You’re a ethnographer. Brazil does sound cool. Maybe all that coastline and Gulf Stream is why their bathing suits are so…interesting?
          I was afraid to go to Turkey for many years…after watching the movie: Midnight Express. But the people were absolutely marvelous. I drove the coast from Antalya to Ephesus (now that place is cool…especially the public toilets of stone and open seating, more like a cafe than a toilet).

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  5. Such a fun post. I laughed out loud a couple of times. I love the photos!! That eye is amazing. I am kind of a non planner too, or well I used be more than I am now. I love spontaneity, but find as I age I can’t tolerate the uncertainty quite as much. Used to lay a blanket down, sleep for a bit and keep going. I loved that. I would love it if you could post as often as you can, given wifi ability and no planning. Post when you just feel like you want to share what you just experienced and we will all eat it up vicariously. Have fun, bf, whatever you end up doing!!! May you encounter many wondrous adventures and surprises.
    Blessings on your trip
    Mary

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mary, well, I’m glad you liked it because after writing this post, I almost didn’t post it. I thought it was…I don’t know, maybe odd somehow, or not blog-worthy.
      Got it…a vote for spontaneity!
      Yeah, that getting older thing…it gets in the way of a lot of things I used to think were so cool! And thanks for the blessings!

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  6. I’m still brand (what does that mean anyway?) new at all this but I am definitely becoming a fan of yours!!
    I would challenge your beach boredom though, if I could figure out how to send you a photo!
    Keep writing and clicking..planned or not, I don’t care, just take me with you on ALL your tangents!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah…and what about Brand Spanking new. What’s up with that? And I am so glad to have you along for the ride!
      I would welcome anything that would bring back the joy of beaches!!! Why don’t you post the photo? I tried to figure a way to insert a photo in a comment, but the only way I found was if the photo had a link??
      Tangents…you’re invited, but…buckle up!

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  7. Oh Badfish I laughed and laughed. One of the reasons we plan so much is that our time is limited. Still laughing. I love the idea of following someone else’s itinerary. Brilliant as far as I can tell. Congrats on the scholarship! So cool. the Maldives sound fabulous. We shall parachute in to your Jacuzzi. You don’t mind do you? As far as blogging i would say do what feell slike it is fun and not a chore. Really the internet gods shall decide right? I’d aim for once a week if possible. I think one loses some of the excitement of being in the moment. Just a personal opinion.

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    • Time. Limited. Yeah, that seems to be my problem, too. And I always waste so much of it. Maybe when I run out of places with Kelly, I could just bum a couple itineraries off of every blogger I know. I would never even have to think of making plans again.
      You guys are always welcome in the jacuzzi, but parachuting in…yeah, that would be just like you two!! Or ziplining in.
      Once a week sounds doable without overdoing anything. You mentioned blogging from your phone. I just don’t even know how I’d do that. I don’t even read email on my phone. Not sure I even have the Chrome app.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well my friend if you don’t read email on your phone this may not be the time to learn to use the WordPress App on your phone. I will admit that the first trip I tried it my phone almost got thrown in a lake. My phone seems to have the best relationship with Ms Wifi and in Peru really was the only way I could upload a post. My laptop had a complete blow out with Ms Wifi. My iPad was at best lukewarm to a friendship.

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  8. Don’t plan to blog and you just might. Do send us a scrap or two of your exploits if you even think of us chomping at the bit for a Badfish tidbit.
    As for pre-planning everything, weeelll. Spontaneity is a good thing Badfish! Remember how we flew by the seat of our pants in Mazatlan and had so much fun doing so?! Then cashing in our return flight home (at a time when doing so was easier than it is now) and taking a rickety train with colorful locals back to the states. What fun!!! Other than our spring break plan to go, nothing else was.
    How did our T become such a total opposite? She’s got to have every detail planned. Go figure. I still love the beach though, I just can’t stay out as long as I used to.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sponaneity…and scraps…you got it.
      Mazatlan…yeah, hard to forget that seat-of-your-pants trip. And someone stole my dang surfboard out of the cargo car!! Poop!
      As for T…hmmmm. Well, my mother was a planner. And I can be when I must, it’s just too much like work.

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      • Yeah, me too, spontaneous. Ah, she does remind me of your mom. Your mom took her hands and held them turning them around, saying how much they were just like hers. I guess the planning must be her too.
        Genetics can be so irrefutable. LOL

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  9. Get on with your Bad self…the Maldives, what fun! I too have always wanted to stay in one of those places…If you post pics of your Christmas vacation while there I’ll post some of mine…we’ll compare the vast differences in our lives! HA!!
    I really enjoy your writings that speak to who you are, or who you think you are, or who we think you are!! 🙂

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    • Got it…getting on with my bad self it is!! And just where will you be??? Snow?
      I’m glad you like the writing about who you think I am, but I’m a little disappointed in who some others think I am!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • No snow here…no, just you will be relaxing in one of those huts over the water and I will be knee deep in a 4 year old’s Christmas, a house remodel in the works, crazy schedule of events…blah, blah, blah! HA! Perhaps we will find time to relax at the beach for a day or two! Here’s hoping! In regards to the disappointment…Screw em. 🙂 I enjoy your writings about who you are…

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  10. Wow, you’ve rendered me nearly speechless! I’ve never featured so prominently in another person’s blog post. I was laughing all the way, and also very happy to have inspired your adventure to Maldives. I can’t wait to see it through your eyes, whenever you decide to post (ironic that you’re already thinking about a schedule). As a fellow Libra, I love your no-plans style. Serendipity finds you, because of it. So sit in your jacuzzi tub and have that beer and send a photo sometime. A shared experience — even a year apart — is a wonderful thing. And as for Kerala… I’ll follow your footsteps there someday, for sure. ~K.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yoda…well, once again you hit the nail on the head: IRONIC…that I’m ALREADY thinking about planning to post!!! Hahahah! Right. But I’m probably going to end up waiting for Ms. Serendipitiy to show up with her map once I hit Kerala! What was your buddy’s name: Srijit or something? And…thanks for the inspiration.

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    • HA! I’m thinking you were once (or are now) a school teacher. Am I right? And nothing is too much to ask. Just don’t harbor any expectations of what you might get!

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    • I love your comments! I would LOVE to say that I sit to write, take about 20 minutes, and slap a few photos in, and bam!…done in less than half an hour. But no. I first get some notion of a post, then lay down a layer of garbage on the page, then revise that garbage until it doesn’t stink so bad. Then I have to try to discover what it is I’m trying to say. And then, of course, I have to check spelling and grammar. I’m a slow writer.

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  11. Words like itinerary and plan give me hives, especially when talking about traveling for pleasure. Traveling for pleasure should be, you know, pleasurable, which to me, means doing whatever I feel like doing at that moment and not following some schedule.

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  12. Squirrel! Oh, sorry. Distracted a moment. Being one of the stay-puts, complete with tears in my *eyes* because I’m stuck at home, a victim of planner-itus, I challenge you to fall in love again with the beach. If Ipanema is where you have to go for a little thong inspiration, then so be it.

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  13. Dear Badfish, please dont beat yourself up just because there are a few people out there who like to control time. oh, you might call it, “planning”. you see, there are just as many intelligent, smart, creative people out there who fly by the seat of their pants and follow the wind. there’s probably a very good term for it – hey, you could just say you have perfected the art of Zen and being in the moment, koans and all – isnt that what we are always told – “be in the moment”? you’ve Aced it, Badfish! Be Proud!

    now, onto turtles and I’s.. whoops, eyes…. i LOVED that turtle pic. what great colours in that grumpy face. or seemingly grumpy. loved the first pic too.

    as for non-votes, I’m non-voting with LexKlein – you are already too stressed about how and when you should post! or is this another clever BF marketing campaign?

    Enjoy the ‘danged’ Maldives, Badfish! Jacuzzis and imported beers and that endless ocean! take pics, pop them up if you can or want to or feel like it, dont if you don’t.

    AND your sense of travel is obviously watched over by angels – your gut told you not to get that return flight because the universe was conspiring to give you a scholarship to an ashram! dude, thats what these planners miss out on! the Spontaneous Combustion of the Universe, Maldives to Ashrams and back to ADDDDD….

    oh, and i forgot, NEVER give up on beaches. What is life without the ocean????

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    • Deb, apparently, I have missed a number of comments. For some reason by the time I got to responding, they were no longer in my orangey drop-down thingy. I just happened upon them now as I was scrolling here!! Blogging is work!!!

      But right…”in the moment Badfish” …my new name.
      And I wish I were smart enough to call things a marketing campaign! We all know what happened last time you called something I did a marketing campaign!! Sent off around the island, kicking all the way.

      Love the spontaneous combustion!! Love the syncronicity. And there is no life without the ocean. I’m not tired of oceans, only beaches. And for me, that could change at any moment!!

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  14. OMG BF I hardly know where to start.
    First – “my emasculating dependence on some stranger (a girl).” A GIRL! AGIRL! Really! Did you really say that! Without thinking! I think I’m speechless. Shakes head at the putrid patriarchal implication. I think you meant it as a joke. I hope so. I hope it’s okay for a man to take advice from a girl. It’s 2015! If you don’t get that reference watch this:

    Second – where is the link to Kelly’s blog? I’d like to read it.
    Third – I love the photo of your hermit crab whose name I’ve forgotten.
    Fourth – we never book more than 6 months in advance, and then only round trip airfares because we’re too cheap to buy one way tickets because we found out the hard way how expensive it is in South America. We hadn’t planned beyond a flight to BA and an apartment there for the first 3 weeks of what we imagined would be 6 months travelling in South America. As it happened we flew through the US and they literally would not give us boarding passes in Vancouver for the flight to Houston until we could prove we had booked and paid for transportation out of Argentina. Sheesh. So we randomly guessed a date and booked a flight from Ushuaia to Santiago. That’s about when it started getting pricey.
    Fifth – Where is the link to Sue and Dave’s blog – I wanna have a look. I know a Sue and Dave in RL but I don’t think it’s them. I already follow Jeff. I follow Kelly too but I don’t think it’s the same one.
    Sixth – apart from the bit about taking advice from a girl this is a great post and I’m thrilled for you beyond measure that you’re finally going somewhere other than Bali.
    Seventh – please please don’t post about the whole trip in toto when you get back – too much to ingest at once. Weekly updates along with a photo every other day if there’s internet available and if you can restrain yourself at 500 words would be lovely.
    Eighth – I had a lot of fun writing this 🙂
    Happy travels, Alison

    Liked by 1 person

    • HA!
      First—REALLY? Jeeeez. Trudeau said it…it’s 2015, it’s the 21st century. I’m more a feminist than most women. Of course, it’s my humor.
      Second—OMG I forgot to post the links??? Poooop.
      Third—Duncan
      Fourth—yeah, it just seemed to me that you knew where you were going far in advance…if not actually had plans made. However, this is a no-retraction blog!
      Fifth—OMG again
      Sixth—I’ve been to over 65 countries, and quite honestly, I would prefer to simply go back to Bali and stay. Which I might do when I leave here for good. But this blogging thing and reading other travel blogs has forced me to go somewhere. But I don’t need to. I’ve got so many stories, I could sit and write them and never go anywhere. I just don’t have photos here. And I could write a whole book on traveling in Bali. For me, it’s not about “going,” it’s more about “being” wherever that is.
      Seventh—right, I actually didn’t mean the whole thing at once. Remember, it took three posts of over 5000 words each to write that one-day trip in Bali. I’m going to wing it, again…see what happens.

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      • First – I *knew* you were joking! 🙂
        Second – yeah, links
        Third – it’s a perfect name.
        Fourth – I’m okay with no retraction 🙂
        ATM we don’t know beyond the first five months of the new year in San Miguel de Allende.
        Fifth – ditto
        Sixth – 65 countries is impressive. But now you’re *forced* to visit a few more 🙂
        I didn’t mean you should, actually. I know you’ve travelled – a lot! It just seemed lately you were having trouble getting beyond Bali, and that you wanted to, or that you thought you should. I get why you want to stop in one place. There’s a slowing down that happens. I get it about being rather than doing. That’s why we’re spending 5 months in San Miguel. Time to just be. Much needed.
        Seventh – phew!
        Eighth – looking forward to hearing about the Maldives – it looks sublime. It’s on our list!
        A.

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  15. Thank you for another amusing and familiar contribution. If I dared, I’d be you. The only thing I’m wary of is being fed up with beaches. Especially Son’ova. (diiiies chuckling) So go and stare into nothingness some for me too.

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      • Slovenia has only 40 km of coast. None of that is a beach proper, that is natural. The neighbouring Croatia has more beaches but they were always so crowded. When I first came to Greece, I thought this must be heaven: we were often the only people on a beach! And now I live 1.8 km from a 12-km beach, and only I know how rarely I go there. So I know what you mean.

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  16. Wow, your eye photos are so compelling. I’ve never looked a tortoise in the eye before. The Indian Yoga Festival promises to be a most enlightening way to start your New Year, and I’m sure you’ll have so much to tell us on your return, whenever that might be. Just post as and when you can. I’d really love to see some photos of Trivandrum. It sounds so exotic. Enjoy every second of your trip.

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    • Thanks so much!! I think I’ll take your advice to heart…post when and as I can…if at all, eh! I’m wondering what Trivandrum looks like, myself, but I fear it will just be another dirty Indian city, with traffic and smoke and odors. What’s not to like?

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  17. Sometimes the detours are more interesting than the planned journey.. and I think posting tidbits during your trip would be fun! The Maldives holiday with imported beer and Jacuzzi sounds like it might be a bit too much suffering, though. Even Buddhists can only take so much… 😉

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  18. Travel planning and actual travel are two different things to me. Travel planning is what I do when I’m stuck at my desk job and need a little fix for my travel habit. Actual travel is what I do when I get “there”- following each new inspiration at the moment, surfing the flow. It’s the same way I cook – I always want a recipe handy, but then substitute a bunch of stuff and wing it. It all usually works out.
    Usually.
    And well, when it doesn’t, it sure makes for good stories, as you’ve so well proven!
    I’d love it if you posted a photo whenever possible, just a little eye candy to tide us over until the stories come out. Enjoy!

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    • I agree…two vastly different things: planning and travel. And I’m afraid my travel is very similar to yours! But it does seem to work itself out for both of us…usually! I have missed some things…like the Nazca Lines in Peru. But that was more a time and travel buddy issue than a badfish floundering issue.
      I will try to post a bit as I go, eye candy being so necessary sometimes! Thanks again…

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  19. wow – I never know quite what to expect from you next … but following someone else’s travel itinerary is really unique. Really. I only wish I had thought of it first.

    I love the photo of your little hermit crab. Who takes care of him while you go off on one of your adventures?

    Christmas in the Maldives sounds idyllic and it would be nice of you to share the experience with those of us stuck in cooler climes by posting frequent photos 🙂

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    • yeah, I know what you mean, I never know quite what to expect from me either! After I wrote this, I thought…no, that’s silly, I can’t post that. But then I thought…screw um if they can’t take a joke.

      I have a lady who comes in every other day to add water to his bowls: salt and fresh, and fill his food dish as needed.

      Xmas in the Maldives. That’s another funny story. I did not plan to spend Xmas there, it just sort of worked out that way. I usually have worked Xmas day, it’s just another day. But this year, it occurs during our semester break. I will try to post photos, at least, as I go. I’ve never traveled and posted before (being so new to blogging…not quite a year yet). We’ll see how the wifi and electricity gods act??

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  20. Sponteneous + travels are the perfect match! I love traveling with no plans, wandering. Sometimes its more expensive but sometimes you can also save money that way. Voting for lost of posts from the Maldives 🙂 Looking forward to them! And the crab image caption “Perfect eyes but no face” made me laugh, so thanks for that!

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  21. First, I love each and every photo that you selected for this post. As always, I love seeing Duncan showcased, and the closeups in the first and third are just brilliant. Second, I enjoyed your waxing philosophical around the three ‘I’ concept. I am going to have to meditate on that one. Third, I have developed that asymmetrical eye thing but only see it in photos as well. Fourth, my sister is a Libra and is also challenged to make decisions (like ever). My decision making process for the big ones often involves a little bit of back and forth, weighing the pros and cons, and then taking a GIANT leap of faith in the direction of the choice that seems more desirable but less sane. Somehow, the universe always catches me and I land gently. I hope my luck holds out. Fifth, in my career, I am a project manager and incessant planner. As a traveler, I’ve done the incessant planner thing and also done the ‘just let it unfold thing’ I find the later approach allows for the grander adventure. Sure, sometimes I miss out on things that book up early, but that just forces me to walk upon the ‘road less traveled’. Never disappointed. Sixth, regarding your question as to whether to ‘post weekly updates of the upcoming sojourn/ pilgrimage/ travail (departure only a couple weeks away), or perhaps a daily photo, or simply wait until I return…’ I say, do what works for you in the moment. Post when you are inspired to post . If you are lacking internet, write the post when inspired and post it when you can. This is a about creating for and from the soul.

    Hug!

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    • Libra is designated with a set of scales…does not mean they are balanced. It means they keep weighing all sides, they can SEE all sides, and the good stuff of all sides, and that keeps them from ever making that decision. Or at least…me. And apparently, your sister!!
      And I think you’re right about the no planning allowing for perhaps a grander adventure (if not an easier time of traveling), “adventure” being the pivotal word there. These days, I’m leaning more toward the go to Bali and watch the rice grow than any “adventure” anywhere else. I think it’s a geezer thing!
      And thanks for the sage advice…I think you hit it on the head—the soul thing.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Gotta love people with wonky eyes who write brilliantly 🙂 I don’t mind how or when you post- I’ll get here when I can.
    Somewhere along the way I surmised you should just go with Kelly. Would she mind? 🙂 I’ll go and ask her in a little while. Maybe she could come along for the yoga. Aah, it’ll all work out… probably.

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  23. Hi bf! I think you take a photo a day and then share weekly In a condensed post. Or not….
    And your comment on ‘son of a beach’ reminded me of his country song that used to play – not my genre, but heard it while out and about. Anyhow – I know what u mean with that (somewhat)

    Lastly – love the tortoise photo – the colors and textures and that eye!

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  24. It’s so interesting how you say things that resonate with me as if you were me in another dimension. I’ve always seen my face as being lopsided, and even more so now that my nose is falling apart. But the eyes are what look, or appear assymetrical. And it makes me wonder if we see differently from each eye? See different worlds?

    Ah, the “Is” thing. I heard there are, in fact, many more than three I’s in people. As many as there are thoughts that seem to take us in many directions at once. There’s the me me, and the daughter me, and the lover me, and the blogger me, and the dreamer me, and the pissed off me, an the student, teacher, traveler, and so on, ad nausium.

    Very astute to recognize that we know nothing, for then we’re truly at the place of understanding. Now that’s not me knowing that, only repeating what I’ve heard. Do I know it for sure. No. How could I when I know nothing.

    Oh, you just hit a nerve with the no one can accurately diagnose it, since I’ve been feeling that way for as long as I can remember, which these days is perhaps a minute. I mean that. I walk across the kitchen for something while I’m making food, and suddenly don’t remember what I was going to get. I look back at the counter where the supplies are laid out and search for that one thing I just forgot. Happily, most of the time, I will find my way back to the missing link, and be able to get it.

    I don’t think we were made to stay put. It always had me wondering why I was going here, going there, and I discovered that I was just being true, perhaps, to an ancestral nomadic aspect. Were we made to stay in one place? I hope not, because that doesn’t only apply to one part of who we are, but all parts. If we believed we were meant never to move, we’d remain, like an ostrich, with our heads in the sand.

    While it may be unwanted thoughts, I’m throwing them at you. You said, some posts ago, that you’re comfortable with simply spinning the globe and going to where your finger lands on the maps. That sounded like a truly authentic you. I could be wrong, as I usually am. But just saying. If others are doing something different, doesn’t mean it’s something that will be a fit for you. You’ve spent, – what is it? 40 years? – on those forgotten highways. And the quality of those journeys have created a most extraordinary man. That’s not to say you wouldn’t remain as you are, but it might leave an oddly off taste in your Soul. On the other hand, don’t listen to me, I’m just in a bad mood… Lots of fubar on my fans.

    BTW, it’s good to be back here sitting in your rice paddy.

    Oh, and, weekly updates are good. Regardless of whose footprints you’re following, you’ve got a boatload of folks following your delicious descriptions of your journeying.

    Safe Travels.

    Oh and, PHOTOS: who is that gorgeous eye? And was that Duncan because I’d like to think I know him when I see him. And, yes, the turtle is exquisite!

    Now I feel like I’ve just returned from a major trip; no planning involved. Just flying by the seat of my reading pants.

    XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOX

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  25. […] Badfish out of Water goes to the Maldives for Christmas! The tale on how he organizes this trip is simply wonderful and you have to read it. While you do it, you can enjoy these great photo entries to WP Photo Challenge. you can also see stunning photos of blades which tale you can also enjoy here:  Sacred Waste: A Trio of Blades and One Transition. […]

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  26. Hi BF,
    You may compare yourself with whomever you want, but this is not helpful. You may simply accept that you seem to have always had the wisdom to know what the options are, the capacity to take decisions regardless of not being sure of what you want, and have had the rare ability to take actions.
    65 countries later, what is to complain about not ‘liking’ planning? I am sure that whatever type of ‘I’ you practice the most, you seem to be yourself most of the times. So, why change? You follow the Kellian way, you pay the Japanese way, and you experiment much more and enjoy much more, and end up knowing much more about the places you visit, than people who need to control their time and live with schedules. There is nothing wrong with them, and equally nothing wrong with you. What separates the two types is a price tag. It is more about economics than psychology.
    It is just a matter of patience and acceptance of last minute changes and higher costs. But hey, don’t you Americans say there isn’t free lunch in life?
    Enjoy Maldives in ‘Budhist’ style, stay in the moment and then India! Congratulations on the scholarship.
    And if you feel like, and if you have time to kill, and if you have wifi, and if you are bored, then post something here. No plans. The only thing you cannot forget is to make photos, and to live all moments very intensely, so that they will be unforgettable, and you’ll want to share them with us later.
    Have a beautiful trip and a wonderful holiday season.
    Lucile
    PS: Did you arrange the crab sitter for Duncan?

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  27. Funny as usual, Badfish! You have such a way with words 😛
    Look forward to reading about your next adventure. Planning about when to blog can be so stressful, and become a chore when you’re out and being adventurous – post when and if the mood suits you, I’d say. Enjoy the scholarship; I’m quite sure that you will lots to write about this one 😀
    Love the your photos – you captured the eyes so well!

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  28. I vote for 3 updates a day so we know what you ate for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

    I may normally be a very good planner, but in a week or so I’ll let you know something that is going to blow your mind and change the way you think of my planning.

    Have a great time on your trip. India is a lot of fun, as you know.

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  29. It is so great to read your writing and your photos emerging seemingly organically as they do. Sometimes the posts are quite long but really I would not like to suggest you curb your style. Your journeying and your view of the world from where you are is truly fascinating. Your writing and photography are brilliantly equal and equally brilliant. I like to see both.

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