I have been very fortunate to travel to many different lands and continents. As any seasoned voyager knows, there is no better way to test one’s capacity for surprise and the unpredictable. I have learned to adapt well enough to stay out of trouble, but much of it is sheer luck. Travel has taught me never to assume too much, to ask questions, and not believe the story I created to explain what I simply do not know. That is why I have tried to learn the language in the countries where I have lived and with a passion that began with French, the language of my ancestors (and my gateway to Paris and, not surprisingly my first overseas destination).
Having spent a good part of my life “on the road,” this space pays homage to all the enriching, heartwarming encounters with people, whether on a plane or in a remote village in Yemen. I have been privileged by the immense exposure I have had as a development worker to cultures and conversations I never would have imagined as a young child. They live in the memory of my heart like a colossal collage.
I share these stories humbly, as I make no claims to speaking with authority on a particular country or people. I journeyed into the world with a sense of curiosity and compassion which furnished me in return with some knowledge, heaps of personal learning, and more lasting impressions about our similarities than our differences.
Very often, in the kaleidoscope of those experiences, I am the observer without an interpreter. The images are at times entertaining, at times disturbing, perplexing, touching, or awe-inspiring. Then is the adventure series – the mishaps, thrills, synchronicities, and great escapes. In the end, when I contemplate all that I have ventured, I am convinced that the world is made of madness, as much as I believe it has a purpose.