Travel, Canoeing & Introspection

My daughter had this interesting set of comments about traveling. Normally I think of traveling for a purpose such as business or sightseeing. For those of you who are old enough, there was a movie when I was a kid called “If Its Tuesday, It Must Be Belgium” about the hectic pace set by vacationers and sightseers. She takes a different direction for traveling, slowing down, chilling out and introspecting. And she also had some fun while canoeing. Here is what she has to say.

I went on a 4-day canoe trip when I was younger and the two camp counselors dropped us off on a remote piece of land for a morning with a pencil and a notebook. We were supposed to reflect and have a deep introspection. When they first mentioned it I was extremely skeptical but it was a very moving experience. Not enough people take the time to sit down in nature and really reflect on themselves and figure out what they want in life. We tend to be too busy and too connected. Even today I look back and try to do something similar once a year, maybe in a kayak so I don’t need another person to maneuver. It is key to bring an old-fashioned pen and paper so you can sort out your thoughts and feelings. Anyway back to the canoeing. Make sure to go with a partner who doesn’t annoy you. On a hot day it is also fun to jump out and go swimming and then jump back in (without flipping the canoe) and dry off in the sun. If you are adventurous and your stuff is in waterproof bags and not likely to float away, you can try flipping the canoe on purpose and duck under and come up inside the canoe. Oh and if you don’t want to be miserable sunscreen is key! I didn’t reapply one of the days and was very burnt and uncomfortable the next day. Also when you choose your direction. Or destination think about which way the water flow is going so you aren’t working harder than necessary. Also you can stop paddling all together and drift. Basically there is nothing like floating down a river in a canoe with no destination in mind. If you ever get a chance to go canoeing, take it.

Arm Chair Traveling

The show Antiques Roadshow is like going on a trip to multiple places around the world. Roadshow can be addicting, waiting to see if the painting that someone bought for $50 is actually worth $50,000. Then they immediately scan to the next objet d’art or piece of memorabilia or furniture and you are hooked all over again, wondering what are the details, how much is it worth and how much did they pay for it.

It is almost like smoking. They say smoking is so addicting because each time you take a puff, the nicotine affects the brain almost instantly and so you are constantly getting little mini highs with each puff. Each new item on the show brings its own little high.

The show is also educational. You find out so much about certain styles or periods of paintings, ceramics, glass, toys, musical instruments, silver, jewelry, posters, sports memorabilia and other objects. Along with that you usually pick interesting tidbits about different periods of history. It is also useful if you plan on doing any antique shopping because they point out forgeries and knock offs. Also, what can decrease the value of a piece, whether it be a scratch or a piece missing. It all makes traveling more interesting because you are understanding more about what your are seeing when you do travel.

The backstories for many of the objects is also fascinating. A sword was given to their great grandfather by Ulysses Grant and things like that. Oops, the sword wasn’t made until after Grant’s death. Sometimes the stories pan out and add great value to the object or add interest at the least. You feel bad for the person on the occasions that they find out they don’t have what they think they have.

Then you have all the different locations. Not only around the US, but also in England. It is fascinating how the location makes a difference in what people bring in. In another way, it is also amazing how location doesn’t make a difference. Wherever the show is being filmed, someone will have something from England, France, Germany that may be several hundred years old. It is rather amazing how these objects, whether it is furniture or jewelry or paintings have moved all over the world and become somewhat homogenized in their distribution.