Oh, you have to see.....

Trip Start Oct 07, 2009
Trip End May 25, 2010

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Flag of Italy  , Lazio,
Tuesday, December 8, 2009

So here I am in Rome, the so called 'Capital of the world'. One of the hottest destinations for tourism. Perhaps it is here that I will see what it is that drives people crazy for tourism. I've enjoyed my time as a typical tourist, but only to  a small degree. Perhaps I'm just not a big city person. Perhaps I should have learned more about European history or architecture before I came. Sometimes I just don't get it.

Yesterday I managed to get my Ethiopian visa with ease, which freed up the afternoon to do what I wanted. Naturally my first priority was to locate the food market, which happened to be on the other end of town. As I stormed through the streets in pursuit of culinary delights. I came across the Roman Forum, and the Colosseum. I hadn't looked too closely at the map, so they actually caught me by surprise. I felt the cynic in me disappearing as a sense of awe swept over me. I guess I never realized just how huge these monuments were. I stood, jaw open, and stared for some time, then continued on my way.

Today I join Brittany, one of the girls from San Francisco I met the other day. She's read a little about Roman history, and has better defined goals than me when it comes to travel.

"What is it that you want to achieve through traveling?" she asks
"Yeah, good question, I was just wondering that myself. In short, I don't know. I wanted to learn about food certainly, but beyond that....I don't really know"
"If you don't have a goal, you can't score."

I suppose its true, but do I really have to be looking for something?

"I wish I had payed more attention in history class" she laments
"But you couldn't possibly have. There was no motivation, no curiosity"

For me, I suppose that's a big part of it. Traveling exposes you to so many different experiences. From experiencing a different culture and struggling to get what you need in a foreign language, to staring up at a building older than Jesus. It allows you to find what piques your interest and instills a genuine curiosity about the world in which we live.
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