View of La Paz
After the trek, I took a few days in La Paz to relax, decompress, and to warm my cold bones. Then, it was time to return home. A few posts ago, I noted the cacophony of being in La Paz, which is something I tried to get away from as much as possible. Upon re-entering the U.S., I became acutely aware of a different kind of cacophony, one that wasn’t merely related to the sounds of a city going about its daily business. While I was preparing to go through customs, an airport employee loudly berated a foreigner for the crime of cutting a line. (Welcome to America, where you too can be publicly shamed for any minor offense.) Then, as I passed into the main terminal, I was immediately inundated with media shouting at me from every television screen, newspaper, and magazine headline—giving equal weight to problems with N. Korea as it did a Kardashian pregnancy. (I can’t believe I just typed that name. Now I feel dirty.) At my gate, a passenger loudly argued with an airline employee because the employee wouldn’t change her seat to one that had an empty seat next to it so she could stretch out her broken leg. (There were lots of extra seats on my flight. It would have been a simple thing to do.) Heavens, there’s just so much shouting here.
America, like every country, has its own special noise. It’s nice to take a break from your own country on occasion, if you have the chance. It’s an opportunity to learn more about the world we live in, open your mind to new ideas, and appreciate the differences, whether good or bad. Every time I leave our borders, I learn something new. Sometimes what I learn makes me feel alienated from my country, and sometimes it makes me more appreciative of it. Often, it’s both. Right now, I am just thankful to have had the opportunity for another great trip and another chance to be reminded of the things that are more important, like the beauty of the world we live in, or the rejuvenating power of nature. Hopefully, I can hold on to that vibe for a while longer before the noise takes over.
Thanks for sharing in another memorable trip. Until next time…
“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is like going home; that wildness is a necessity.”
– John Muir