After spending three months at home taking care of necessary business, my wife and I prepare for a four-month travel adventure that will begin in West Africa’s Cape Verde Islands. We purchase one-way airline tickets, as we often travel without reservations beyond the first few nights lodgings.
Enter the energy of “Three months at home,” a powerful, psychological experience that wreaks havoc upon our freestyle spirit of travel. Daily television news shows, politics, an overload of internet information, all this bombardment sprouts seeds of fear and paranoia in us. Suddenly, our world appears doomed. War is inevitable. If fatal violence doesn’t get you, a new disease will. Don’t leave home. The world is a scary place, and it’s either melting or blowing up!
I’m getting sucked-in. Starting to believe that the whole world hates Americans, especially since the recent divisive election. Many people think that our country tolerates racism, and we’re a couple of white Americans planning travels to West Africa?
There’s more. Azores Airline employees are on a two-day strike. Reviews on Trip Advisor warn us to stay clear of this terrible airline, describing the planes as old and decrepit, the staff rude, and common delays up to ten hours. Reviews also tell us that our hotel on the island of Fogo has no air conditioning, and previous guests have felt unsafe. I’m nervous. Even my free-spirited wife starts to get nervous. We don’t know what to believe anymore. Too much information coming in from all angles. Let’s get out of here!
We start to feel better the moment we hit the skies. The world beyond television and internet welcomes us. It’s a life full of real people, nice people. Face to face interactions and experiences dominate, rather than distant opinions, tirades, and preconceived notions. The reality of travel on our Azores Airlines flight proves to be one of the most unique, fun experiences we have ever had on a plane. A stranger invites us to his house for a big party next Saturday. Musicians play guitars, bongos, sing and dance down the aisle. Flight attendants serve cake and fill our glasses with champagne, in celebration of the airline’s maiden direct route.
We land in the city of Praia, on the island of Santiago in Cape Verde, and wait during a four-hour layover. We’re the only white people. Strangers welcome us with friendly gestures and attempts at conversation in English. Four guys at a nearby table buy us a round of beers. A young woman from our flight invites us to join her for lunch with her cousin during the layover. We decline, merely because of exhaustion.
Our final flight lands on a live volcano – the island of Fogo. We look forward to hiking to the top. To hell with the energy of “Three months at home,” that spirit killer which had tried to prevent us from leaving our “comfort zone.” We escape its grip, back into freestyle travel, and it feels fabulous. Stay tuned for some travel blog posts that explore new adventures. Peace, love, and happy trails to all.
WOW…you two are my hero/heroine…. I am so much looking forward to reading your adventures… Thanks you both…
You are a hero yourself, Skip Redpath!
Great post! I travel a lot and am so often pleasantly surprised by the wonderful world out there that emerges above the fray, bad press and fear. we need to travel and see the world to keep from being divided.
Thank you, Mark. We totally agree. Travel helps in so many ways!
Looking forward to another alternate reality adventure with you
I’m laughing. Looking forward to it as well!
great! show the world that white Americans are neat, fun-loving, we-like-you people/
Yes, most of us!
Well, those that aren’t, are missing out on so very much — as you always prove. 🙂 Thanks for letting us share your adventures, Mariam
Wow! Being Canadian I didn’t realize how difficult it can be to escape from America – here everyone travels all the time and breathlessly compare adventures and next possible destinations, the only worry being the low value of the Canadian dollar. This current journey of yours hasn’t come up on any of our lists – I am really looking forward to your latest escapades.
Blog post coming soon about hiking live volcano Pico de Fogo!
Yea!! This puts life into perspective. Looking forward to the vicarious adventures. BTW great writing.
Thank you, Jill. We may put up a post today, if motivated enough!
Ron, It was a pleasure meeting you on the plane as you flew to Pittsburgh. I am blown away at how many adventures you have been on! Wow. I am looking forward to reading more about your adventures. I hope all is well with your mom. Blessings my friend!
Thank you, and a pleasure to meet you too. Good luck on your adventures as well.
Love you too and grateful for this blog .. our country needs it..
Amazing that I wrote this three years ago! Suddenly, life threw in a new twist.