Sunday, June 6, 2010


As I was sitting in the backseat of a taxi heading toward the bus station in Yerevan it dawned on me. I was basically just along for the ride. At first, I had mixed feelings about it but looking back I’m okay with everything.

Let me be a little more specific about what I’m talking about. Most of the trips that I have taken have been alone. I would decide where I wanted to go, do my background research, buy a round trip ticket and go. Every thing that needed to get done was done by me and me alone. I had to find my way from the airport to the hostel, find the train or bus station and make my way to where ever it was I wanted to go. My last few trips haven’t been quite like that, I have instead had one of my two sons with me. That has changed things.

I made my first trip to Chile on my own. It went okay. Basically not speaking any Spanish it was hard but I got by. I did eat “pollo y papas fritas” (roast chicken and french fries) almost every night because that was the only thing besides “uno más cerveza por favor” that I knew. Then two years ago my son Ethan came down with me to be the “official” STREAM SIDE ADVENTURES translator and interpreter. Boy did Ethan make things so much simpler for handling things like getting a flat tired replaced all the way to having access to the entire menu at La Picta! I didn’t think to much about how having Ethan there changed things for the better, I just went with it.

My other son, Dan, has followed in my footsteps and done some traveling himself. He spent several months in Morocco learning Arabic and traveling around the country and just last year he moved to the Czech Republic to get a Masters Degree from Charles University in Prague. Having made several trips around Europe, along with the advice I have told him over the years he knows how to go on an adventure.

Fast-forward to our trip through Turkey, Georgia and Armenia. Three different languages, alphabets, cultures and religions. It was potentially the most taxing trip I’ve ever taken. But it wasn’t taxing at all. It was in many ways more of a vacation than a traveling adventure. Over a meal and the local beer, Dan and I would decide were we wanted to go and what we wanted to see. Than all I had to do was sit back and let it happen. Dan would find out where the mini bus left from and what time it left. All I had to do was make sure my backpack was ready to go and I had enough money for our bus fare.

My last two trips to Chile and this trip have been much simpler and less stressful for me. Why would I want to travel alone any more and have to figure it all out on my own when I have two world class adventures for sons? Now I just have to decide who I should take to Mongolia and who should go to the Amazon with me.

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